Aim: The aim of this study was to ascertain the opinion of caregivers on counselling of the surgical patient in tertiary healthcare facilities in Port Harcourt in the months of May and June 2020.
Background: The care of the surgical patient partly requires that an informed consent be obtained before a therapeutic or diagnostic surgical objective is accomplished. Surgical counselling should therefore alleviate the fears of patients and relatives on intended surgery and anesthesia and prepare patient for possible postsurgical deficits.
Materials and Methods: All surgical caregivers available at the point in time who gave their consent were recruited for this cross-sectional descriptive study carried out in the wards and specialist surgical out-patient clinics of Teaching Hospitals in Port Harcourt, Nigeria between the months of May and June 2020 using semi-structured questionnaires. Data obtained was analysed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 20.0.
Results: Although 89.8% of respondents affirmed communicating information on the nature and purpose of the treatment to patients, only 161 (56.7%), 158 (55.6%), 156 (54.9%), and 156 (54.9%) responded in the affirmative to discussing the involved risks, potential benefits, available alternatives and the effects of non-treatment respectively. Lack of adequate time for consultation was considered a hinderance by 230 (81.0%) respondents.
Conclusion: The challenge most asserted as a hinderance to surgical patients’ counselling was short patient contact time during counselling sessions. The overstretched tertiary health facilities can be decongested if efforts are made by governments to ensure optimum function of the health centers.
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