A nurse checks on a patient in the cancer ward

Departments

Pre-operative

Staff

On admission to hospital you will be introduced to our staff. These will include the Nurse looking after you who will take a full history from you.

The ward Doctor will speak with you and do a physical examination. It is important that you know what tablets you are taking and any illnesses or operations that you may have had in the past. Make a list if you have trouble remembering particularly when you are nervous.

The ward Pharmacist will speak to you about the medication you are taking and any drug allergies you may have. Please bring all of the medications you take at home into the hospital with you.

The Physiotherapist will come and talk to you about the breathing and coughing exercises that you will need to do after the operation. He/she will also need to take a history, especially of any respiratory problems you may have had in the past.

An Anaesthetist will see you and will order a medication ("premed") to be given just before you go to surgery so that you will be more relaxed.

Social Workers are available to help patients and their families with the many personal and practical concerns that can arise because of their illness.

Such as:

  • Adjusting to the effects of illness and disability.
  • Coping with crisis events, loss and bereavement.
  • Information regarding housing, accommodation, financial benefits, hospital and community services, etc.

Social Workers can also help with other problems that may be of concern to you at the time of hospital treatment.

Tests

After your admission you will have several tests ordered by the doctor. These will include an ECG, Chest X-ray and some blood tests. You may also have lung function tests. Some of these tests will require you to go to a different department in the hospital but there will be someone to escort you there.

A nurse from the Austin may take some of these tests at home prior to surgery.

Skin preparation

Your chest and legs will be shaved/clipped before the operation. You will also be given special soap with which to wash, before surgery. It is important to have a thorough wash with special attention given to your groin and under your arms.

Belongings/valuables

We encourage you to send your valuables and most of your belongings home before surgery as there is no room to store these while you are in the Cardiac Recovery Area. You will only need your toiletries in Cardiac Recovery. Hospital gowns are provided and your relatives can return your own night clothes when you are back in the ward. For female patients we recommend that you bring an old bra to hospital as many women find that it helps to support the chest wound after the surgery. You will have occasional change of rooms during your hospital stay and it is easier if you bring few belongings with you.

Visits to the Cardiac Recovery Area

It is often possible for you and your immediate relatives to visit the Cardiac Recovery area before the operation. If you or your relatives have a strong desire to see Cardiac Recovery before your operation, please inform the staff on admission.

Flowers

Relatives and friend may like to send flowers to wish you a speedy recovery. We advise that they send them after you return to the ward because there is no room for them in Cardiac Recovery.