MEDICATIONS. The patient should be able to state the name, purpose, dosage, schedule, common side effects, and importance of taking her or his medications.
COMPLICATIONS. Teach the patient to report any dysphagia or odynophagia, which may indicate a regrowth of the tumor. Teach the patient to inspect the wound daily for redness, swelling, discharge, or odor, which indicates the presence of infection.
HOME CARE. Teach family members to assist the patient with ambulation, splinting the incision, and chest physiotherapy. Educate caregivers on nutritional guidelines, food preparation, tube feedings, and parenteral nutrition, as appropriate. Inform the patient and family about the availability of high-caloric, high-protein, liquid supplements to maintain his or her weight.
RESOURCES. Provide patients with a list of resources for support after discharge: visiting nurses, American Cancer Society, hospice, support groups.
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