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Pre-verification Checklist

What is pre-verification checklist?
It is a checklist that is required to be asked and assessed as part of your safe care before going for surgery.

What will I expect?
Your nurse in the Preoperative Holding or Prep area on the day of surgery will make sure that all your requirements are done before surgery. Below are some examples:

  • Patient identification:
    • The nurse will ask your complete name and birthday, check your identification bracelet and compare it against your records. It is important that you accurately identify your complete name to prevent any potential errors.
  • Surgical consent:
    • The nurse may witness your signature on your written surgical consent. You are encouraged to ask questions about your surgery. You need to be well informed by the surgeon. The nurse can assist you in calling your physician to answer your questions.
  • History and Physical Examination:
    • Your surgeon will completely document your medical history and physical examination. Most often it is done before the day of surgery but may be done on the day of surgery too. If you had any changes in your health conditions after they had done your medical history and physical examination, you must inform your physician on the day of surgery. For example, a flu, any injury that your physician may not know, or blood transfusion.
  • Surgical site signature:
    • Surgical site signature means your surgeon or designee will sign the site of your surgery to accurately identify the area of your surgery. Not everybody will have this surgical site signature. The need for surgical site signature is for patients with surgery that indicates a right or left location. For example: left leg, right arm, left eye, or right kidney.
  • Blood specimen:
    • When taking blood specimen from a patient, the nurse must check the patient identification and compare it against the blood label to make sure there is a correct match.
  • X-ray:
    • If you bring an x-ray film with you, the nurse will check if the label matches correctly with your identification.
  • Anesthesia interview:
    • Your anesthesiologist will interview you before surgery. This is the time that you want to ask questions about your anesthesia and how your pain will be managed.
  • Nurse interview:
    • The nurse will assess and ask you a lot of questions. Some of the questions may be repetitive but it is important to ask for your safe care.
  • List of medications:
    • Make sure you bring your list of medications, doses and how often you take them. The medications will include both prescribed and over the counter medications, herbs and other medications like cocaine. The nurse will validate all of these medications on the day of surgery. She will either document or update what it is in your record. It is very important that we need to know all the medications that you are taking.
  • Allergy:
    • You need to inform the nurse and the physician if you have taken medications that caused itchiness, redness, hives, or any discomfort after you have taken a medication.
  • Devices:
    • You need to let the nurse know if you have home insulin or pain device including pacemaker and automatic internal compression device (AICD.) This is important to know so we can safely plan your care. If you have home supplies, bring extra to the hospital with you.

Reprinted with permission by the American Society of PeriAnesthesia Nurses (ASPAN).
Copyright © 2010. All rights reserved. ASPAN Patient Information. Available at: www.aspan.org.