recovery room

  1. I was just wondering if any recovery room nurses could tell me a little bit more about their jobs. I am a senior nursing student and didn't get much clinical experience in this field, but from what I saw I am interested. I posted in the periop section, but thought I'd get more feedback here. Any input would be appreciated. Just maybe someways this differs from floor nursing, some pros/cons, etc. Thanks!
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   dstout-rn
    I am a NICU nurse thinking of moving to an adult PACU any information would be great. :roll
  4. by   hoolahan
    PACU (Recovery) is the BEST!!!

    I always told the students this. Pt's go to surgery, and I worked holding room tooo, or pre-op, so I sent them off, calming them when they were anxious, reassuring them when I could.

    Then, you pt comes out feeling pretty good generally, if they hurt, you give them something to make it better. If they are a PIA, they will be gone in an hour or so!

    Pt's go into surgery thinking they may never come out again. When nthey wake up in PACU, they see the face of an angel, or at least they are relieved to find out you aren't a heaven's angel! They usually are so happy they survived, their stay in PACU is a relief for them.

    The down sides? Testy surgeons and anesthesilogists (sometimes! Do you believe I actually once saw a surgeon and an anesthesilogist put up their dukes to each other? In the holding room in front of pt's. I literally pushed them out the doors and said "Take this outside of this room now!")

    NO beds in house, pt's camp out overnight. if YOU WORK IN A TRAUMA CENTER LIKE i DID, THIS WILL HAPPEN A LOT SINCE AS SOON (SORRY about the caps) as you get a bed, a trauma rolls in and takes it away!

    On-call, hope you don't mind getting out of bed at 1am to recover someone who needed BBQ tongs removed from his arse!! If you are on-call and no beds, be prepared to spend the night!

    You get a variety of pt's from babies to geri's, ICU pt's etc.

    All in all, it's a great job. My friends says PACU is where old nurses go to die! LOL! But where I worked we had to push stretchers ourselves to deliver pt's to their rooms or to amb surgery, so it's not easy with regard to physical labor at all.

    I recommend some critical care experience first, but if you have good preceptors, I see no reason why you couldn't go here directly from school, just refuse to take call for a good 4-6 months, if that soon. You are by yourself when on-call. Anesthesia is usually pretty good and will babysit you until they trust you enough to leave you in the unit, usually with the OR nurse as a back-up, at least that was our system.

    Good luck!
  5. by   sharann
    Hoolahan said it perfectly
    (LOVED the BBQ tongs at 1 am thing. Sooooo true, so true)
    This is critical care/ER/Psych/Med-Surg?Tele/PICU/NICU/Neuro/and Ortho all rolled into one. You need to be sharp as a tack, quick as a bee, and strong as 7 male wieghtlifters. You never know if you'll get the job if you don't try.
  6. by   blue42
    Thanks for all the great input. I think I might shadow a nurse for a day in recovery room if they will let me. I am confused about being on-call, though. Is it every single weekend and every single night? I guess it depends on where you work. Thanks again!
  7. by   sharann
    On- call varies from hospital to hosp but in our unit we rotate. For example, each of us is on call for an entire weekend or 2 of 3 days in a weekend, once a month. Then we might be on call one day a week (7p-7am) sometimes more usually less. Rotating keeps us from burning out and we generally like the system. Your unit needs to get along well to have this work nice and smooth though.
    Shadowing sounds like an excellent idea. Go for it!

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