Communication and perioperative care of elderly patients

Original Article, Pol J Public Health 2019;129(2): 55-60

Marta Kotomska1,2, Aldona Michalak1,2

1 Chair and Department of General and Transplantation Surgery, Transplantation Institute, Warszawa, Poland
2 Department of Surgical and Transplantation Nursing, and Extracorporeal Treatment, Medical University of Warsaw, Poland

DOI_disc_logo 10.2478/pjph-2019-0013

© 2019 Medical University of Lublin. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonComercial-No Derivs licence (


Communication is one of the basic human needs, it builds trust and facilitates people-to-people contacts. This is widely under­stood exchange of information as well as feelings, it is both; discussion and argumentation.

The basis for effective treatment is proper communication between the medical staff and the patient. Nurses, medical careers working with elderly people are often in a situation where it is difficult for them to communicate with the patient. Ignorance of the physiology of human aging, difficulties and diagnostic limitations may lead to errors of medical personnel.

The objective of the article is to draw attention to the role of communication among nurses, supported by medical caregivers, who deal with an elderly patient in pre-, peri- and postoperative period, as well as to point out that nursing staff is insufficiently involved in creating standards of medical care.

Lack of training, outlines and guidelines in the field of communication and geriatrics, in the treatment and care of elderly patients result in ignorance, intuitive, incomplete and accidental action, without intentional continuity, what may result in dete­rioration of care and may contribute to an increase in perioperative mortality of older people.

Keywords: communication, perioperative care, old age (elderly patient).

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