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A pre-admission clinic is a medical facility that patients are sent to prior to surgery to make sure that the patients are adequately prepared for their surgical procedure. Patients meet with staff members who are hired specifically for the purpose of getting patients prepared for their surgical procedure. Patients usually need to take proper identification and information regarding insurance.
Job duties at a pre-admission clinic may vary somewhat by who is completing them. Front desk staff members provide patients with the proper paperwork needed in order to let them proceed to the next stage of the admission process, meeting with the pre-admission clinical nurse. Paperwork can include the completion of medical history and other paperwork regarding medical insurance and the surgical procedure itself. Aside from providing patients with the necessary paperwork, pre-admission staff may also have to file the paperwork, either electronically or in paper format.
Another major responsibility in the pre-admission clinic is to get patients properly prepared for their surgical procedure by checking their various vital signs and recording them. This type of work is usually completed by a registered nurse who is licensed to practice and administer medical care in her state of residence. Vital signs checked can include heart-rate, height, weight and blood pressure; other aspects of health may be checked as needed for specific procedures. For example, some surgeries may require a pre-surgical blood test to check for any abnormalities that could adversely affect the outcome of the surgical procedure. Staff nurses or other personnel may also be responsible for preparing the patient for surgery by shaving them in the area where the surgical incision will be made.
Pre-admission clinical staff also educate patients about their upcoming procedure. This is usually the work of the nurse who has the adequate medical knowledge to convey to the patient what his procedure will entail. Nurses may instruct patients regarding what time they are to check in to the surgical unit and how long they can usually expect to be in surgery. They may also instruct patients regarding diet, water intake and sleep the night before surgery. If patients are receiving a treatment that may have potential complications, pre-admission nurses may also instruct patients regarding the potential dangers of the surgery. They may also briefly touch on post-surgical care, although this is usually covered in greater depth by hospital and perioperative nursing staff as well as physicians and surgeons.
Jared Lewis is a professor of history, philosophy and the humanities. He has taught various courses in these fields since 2001. A former licensed financial adviser, he now works as a writer and has published numerous articles on education and business. He holds a bachelor's degree in history, a master's degree in theology and has completed doctoral work in American history.