Postoperative Complications: Clinical Guidelines for Nurses

7m of CPD
Every time a patient undergoes surgery, they are at risk of potential complications. These can vary from the mild side effects of surgery to major complications that may result in the death of a patient. Postoperative nursing care should involve closely monitoring the patient in order to identify early warning signs and prevent complications from occurring.

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What is this article about?

Complications vary depending on the surgery being performed, however, many are common across a variety of different procedures. The following article will provide an overview of some of the postoperative complications that may be experienced by patients.


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Meet the educator

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Sally Moyle
Clinical Nurse Specialist, Clinical Nurse Educator
Sally Moyle is a rehabilitation nurse educator with Epworth HealthCare. She has completed her masters of nursing (clinical nursing and teaching) and has experience in many nursing sectors including rehabilitation, orthopaedic, neurosurgery, emergency, aged care and general surgery. Sally is passionate about education in nursing in order to produce the best nurses possible.
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What do others think?

972 reviews by Ausmed Learners
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Taylor Hassing
30 Apr 2022
Very informative and quick.
Valerie Wyk
12 May 2023
A good talk on post op pain
Portrait of Frances  Davina  Hona
Frances Hona
25 Sep 2020
this resource was great it helped with the realisation that every pt is different that 2 people having the same operation can have 2 different outcomes, this depends on many factors within the individual person
Tracy Preece
14 Sep 2020
This resource was beneficial and helpful in my role as an operating theatre nurse. The information has increased my awareness and understanding of post operative complications and how to best manage a patient if the need arises
Olivia Aloisio
07 Jul 2021
Great article. Very informative
Bradley Hutchinson
22 Sep 2020
Very informative and directly relevant to my practice as a student nurse. This has provided me with some additional knowledge and may help me identify patient needs more appropriately.
Kellie Lee
22 Sep 2020
was great as a general refresh and reminder
Blainy Gwarada
23 Jan 2022
It was very concise and a great resource!
Jennifer English
22 Apr 2022
Registered Nurse
Tawita Maibintebure
06 Feb 2023
Excellent piece of information
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There are so many different subjects on Ausmed! I thought it'd be hard to find the resources I need for complicated procedures or rarer conditions, but they've had everything I've looked for so far.

- Jacob, Enrolled Nurse