What is it about?

A significant number of patients never return to work following coronary artery bypass grafting or aortic valve surgery, and the time interval until work return is longer than expected. Failure to resume work represents a threat to the patients’ finances and quality of life. Nurses are in a unique position to assess work-related issues and have an active part in the multi-disciplinary facilitation of tailored occupational counselling after cardiac surgery.

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Why is it important?

A multi-disciplinary and systematic approach is needed to identify patients at risk of no return or delayed RTW after CABG and AVR. Moreover, professional counselling should be part of the standard follow-up after cardiac surgery. The role of the nurse in assessing work-related issues before and after surgery is important from the perspective of the fundamentals of care. Even so, more knowledge is needed on specific interventions to improve RTW after CABG/AVR surgery.

Perspectives

Even though most patients return to work after cardiac surgery, some patients do not return to work. How do we help them? More research on this field is warranted.

Michael Mortensen
Western Norway University of Applied Sciences

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This page is a summary of: Return to work after coronary artery bypass grafting and aortic valve replacement surgery: A scoping review, Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences, May 2021, Wiley, DOI: 10.1111/scs.13006.
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