Any PACU orientation suggestions/resources?

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    I am looking for information or resources to develop our PACU orientation program which is severely lacking. We are frequently short staffed and unable to provide adequate orientations to new PACU nurses. In fact, I have stopped precepting new RN's to our unit b/c I don't feel I am given the tools/time/ and resources to do so properly. Our new PACU RN's are being oriented for a day or so as if they are travelers w/ PACU experience when in fact they have NO PACU experience and are frequently coming from the floor environment.

    Our managers are swamped and say they will help us but nothing is being done. We have an OR educator responsible for PACU who is never around and has absolutely no PACU experience so of course her priority is to the OR. I have spoken to the higher ups abt the need for a PACU educator or a better system and no one seems to realize what a great disservice to employees a bad/inadequate orientation is until several months after hiring and we realize the new nurses do not know what should have been taught to them during their orientation!

    Worth mentioning is we do take care of ICU patients fairly frequently and most of the staff does not have ICU experience. Our staff has no classes during the orientation process at all...Does anyone have experience with educational needs assessment of staff or any suggestions or orientation programs in place that they are willing to share? Thanks!!!
    Southern Fried RN likes this.
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  3. 2 Comments so far...

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    I think we might work in the same PACU! It's sad but true that many hospitals do not place the emphasis on proper education and orientation like they used to. My hospital has really cut back training in ALL areas, ICU used to have an 8 week training course with a formal educator (CNS with CCRN), now it's all OJT with whoever you get assigned to that day. The director who cut all these orientation programs said "there's no need for all those classes, a trained monkey could show a power point presentation." :angryfire

    Anyways, the PACU orientation was pretty slim for me but they did use the ASPAN peri-anesthesia course. It is a series of modules on all the different topics with a test at the end. However, it's pretty useless since it's not terrribly in depth (can't ask a binder full of paper questions!) plus if you're not working with an experienced PACU nurse on the types of cases, how can the information truly be learned?

    Sorry that wasn't too helpful, but I feel you on the frustration with management and education on this one!
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    ASPAN has a great "Competency Based Orientation Credentialing Program" that consist of a written manual that can be self paced. I use it for all new hires. I just add what I need for our facility. It can be sent to the printers and duplicated easily.


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