Patients’ discharge experiences: Returning home after open-heart surgery

NTOCC My Medicine List (Spanish)
August 7, 2019
NTOCC My Medicine List (English)
August 7, 2019

Patients’ discharge experiences: Returning home after open-heart surgery

PURPOSE This study explored patients’ narratives of technology in heart surgery and recovery. METHODS A narrative inquiry was conducted with a sample of 16 individuals. Interviews were completed 2 to 4 days after transfer from cardiovascular intensive care, and 4 to 6 weeks after discharge. Participants completed journals between these 2 time periods. RESULTS Discharge and the return home were highlighted as key transitions. These transitions were driven by a technological script that included teachings and texts provided upon discharge. Complicating participants’ narratives were their own personal dramas and self-characterizations of vulnerability, as they struggled to incorporate this script into the particularities of their daily lives. CONCLUSION Comprehensive conceptualizations of technology that involve the associated logics and pathways of recovery provide deep insights into patients’ stories of recovery from heart surgery. It is salient that discharge programs consider the ways that technology enters into patients’ narratives, and also consider dialogical approaches to communication, education, and supportive interventions that are offered at multiple intervals and continue in the home.

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