PREVENTION. To prevent atelectasis, instruct the patient prior to surgery about coughing, deep breathing, and early ambulation. Encourage the patient to request and take pain medications to assist with deep-breathing exercises. Explain that an adequate fluid intake is important to help loosen secretions and aid in their removal.
MEDICATIONS. Instruct patients regarding the use of any medications they are to take at home. Discuss the indications for use and any adverse effects. If patients are placed on antibiotics, instruct them to finish all of the antibiotics even if they feel better before the prescription is completed.
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