Sometimes, medical terminology is needlessly confusing. Other times, a
lack of experience can make it hard to understand exactly what you're
going to go through when you come in for a medical procedure. Fortunately,
there are usually easy explanations for what's going to go on at a
hospital or surgery center. One issue that tends to confuse patients is
that of outpatient care. Though the definition is simple, many people
still feel confused about what outpatient care really entails. Fortunately,
we can quickly walk you through the process of the average outpatient
In most cases, you'll know about an outpatient procedure long before
you actually come to the hospital. You will talk to your doctor about
your health problems and be referred on to a specialist. If you need a
procedure done, you will generally get a set of instructions that need
to be followed during the lead-up to the procedure.456 Following these
instructions is a necessity, as they help to make sure everything goes
well during the procedure.
When your procedure day comes, you’ll go to the hospital. You won’t
be visiting the ER – you will generally go to an area that is dedicated
to procedures similar to your own. Depending on what’s going to
be done, you may be given a specific time at which you must arrive or
you may be told to show up early in the morning. Regardless, you’ll
check in with the front desk and wait to be taken back to a room.
After you are taken back, you’ll generally talk to a few different
people. You will certainly talk to at least one nurse, as well as the
doctor performing your procedure and you may even talk to an anesthesiologist.
This is done to make sure you understand what your outpatient procedure
will entail, that you are able to give informed consent, and that you
understand any dangers.
Your procedure may only take a few minutes or it may take a few hours.
When you are finished, you will need to make sure you have a ride. You
will also need to pay close attention to any after-care instructions,
as failure to do so might interfere with your ability to heal properly
after the procedure.
Your role in an outpatient procedure is not complex. Follow the directions,
show up on time, and be honest with your doctors. Once the procedure is
done, follow your instructions and make sure you have a ride home. You
will be back on your feet soon after an outpatient procedure as long as
you are willing to do your part.
Call Meadville Medical Center today for any questions you may have.