Mrs. Campana has just been transported to your surgical nursing division from the PACU. She underwent a right colectomy (right sided large bowel resection) for removal of a tumor. Her vital signs were stable in the postanesthesia care unit (PACU), and her temperature was 36.8° C (98° F). She has an intravenous (IV) line in her right arm, a Foley catheter, a nasogastric (NG) tube, and oxygen at 4 L/min per nasal cannula. She received 10 mg of morphine sulfate intravenously in the PACU and now has morphine patient controlled analgesia (PCA) with a demand dose of 1 mg every 10 minutes connected to her IV line. When you assess her, she is slow to respond to your verbal questions.
· Why may Mrs. Campana be slow to respond?
· In a postoperative patient with decreased responsiveness such as Mrs. Campana, on which key assessments should you focus immediately?
· Mrs. Campana’s daughter enters the room and is very concerned about her mother’s slowness to awaken. What do you tell her?