Aromatherapy Blend for Postoperative Nausea in Ambulatory Surgery Patients
AuthorTrandel-Korenchuk, Sarah C.
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AbstractProblem and Purpose: Postoperative nausea (PON) is one of the most undesirable outcomes after surgery, affecting 30% of surgical patients nationwide. PON increases patient dissatisfaction and risk for postoperative complications such as hematoma and dehiscence. In the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) at an urban hospital outpatient surgery center, PON occurs in about a third of postoperative patients. Use of alcohol swab inhalation is ineffective and pharmacological methods can lead to prolonged PACU stays, decreased patient satisfaction and increased hospital costs. The purpose of this project was to implement and evaluate the effect of an aromastick on nausea in post-operative patients at a surgery center. Method: Implementation occurred over twelve weeks in the Fall of 2019. The first two weeks PACU RNs were educated and completed a competency around aromatherapy, aromastick use, and documentation. For the following ten weeks, PACU RNs offered aromasticks to patients with PON upon arrival to the PACU as a non-pharmacological means to mitigate nausea; anti-emetic medication was not withheld. The quantity of aromasticks provided and baseline and post-intervention PON scores were obtained to determine the effect of aromastick on PON. Results: 100% of PACU RNs (n=20) were educated and demonstrated competence in aromatherapy intervention, 70.6% of patients with PON utilized an aromastick for PON treatment, and of those patients who received an aromastick for PON 94.4% had improved PON scores. Conclusion: Aromatherapy is an effective non-pharmacological treatment in reducing PON score for patients recovering from surgery. These results offer support for nursing practice to utilize aromatherapy as an additional method to enhance patient experience, improve outcomes, and reduce cost in recovery rooms. Utilization of aromatherapy for nausea in other areas should be explored to enhance available non-pharmacological treatment methods for nursing practice.
KeywordAmbulatory Surgical Procedures
Postoperative Nausea and Vomiting--prevention & control