As a member of the health coaching team who recently underwent surgery, I became aware of the progressive questions the hospital staff asks before a procedure. In a pre-op appointment, a nurse asked me questions like “Do you have transportation to get here on the day of the surgery?”, and “Do you have access to a pharmacy after surgery?”. I was thrilled that the hospital system is thinking of these kinds of questions and making sure patients can be adequately taken care of throughout the surgery process, even after they leave the hospital. But can they do even more? Not just physically, but mentally as well?
Prior to this surgery, I had an unexpected back injury that put me out of commission for longer than I would have liked. As someone who loves to be outside: running, hiking, and being on the move, this injury affected me more than it should have. Without being able to do the things in life that I enjoy most, I mentally lost it. It took longer than it should have to think of strategies and goals for myself while I was unable to do the things I really enjoyed, and get my life back on track.
As my surgery came closer, I thought back to this injury and wanted to be sure this would not happen to me again. I prepared for being forced to sit around the house and not be as active as I would like by coming up with many activities I could do on the couch, and talking it out with friends and family. Can that also be an option for a pre-op appointment at the hospital? What if a nurse could also offer a health coaching session to discuss post-surgery goals and ways to cope with being down for a while? What if there was even an option for a home health coaching visit if it turned out that you were not coping well?
After thinking about what I could do while forced to stay at home, and with the support of friends and family, the healing process has been so much better than before. How can health coaching be incorporated to form a post-surgery strategy?