In my hospital, there is a separate Day Surgery (ambulatory) with a separate staff. The position I am interested in is with the main OR preop area. Most of the patients coming in are going to be post-op admints...could be anything from a thoracotomy, gastric bypass, AAA repair, complex ENT surgeries, gynonc, etc. I work at a major hospital so we see everything. Also, there is normally no transferring done in the preop care unit (POCU) as the bed the patient is on is taken from the POCU to the OR and the patient is transferred there. Additionally, say a patient is admitted the day before, they will still go to the POCU before going to the OR. Sometimes when a surgery on an inpatient is added later in the day, a POCU nurse will come to the floor to preop the patient and then they go straight to the OR.
I was under the impression that the PACU required a lot of experience, namely critical care experience, because you are often dealing with ASA 3 and 4 patients with multiple comorbidities with high levels of acuity. Indeed many patients receive ICU level care in the PACU.
Quote from HouTx
There may be some confusion as to what you are referring to, since the "pre op" area in many hospitals is essentially an outpt/ambulatory department. I am assuming that this is what you are looking at - the place where patients show up on their day of surgery; you gown them up, administer the pre-op meds & sometimes have to start an IV.