I'm very seriously considering a change to PACU after working in ICU's for 9 years
I'd like to hear from those of you who have done both, what do I have to look forward to in the way of new skills to learn, and changes in enviornment?
Jan 1, '07
you wont regret it........IF< IF IF IF the department adheres to the two patient max recommendation.
Jan 3, '07
I did the move from ICU to PACU 3 yrs ago, after 2 yrs in ICU. I haven't regretted it for a minute. You'll have to see for yourself, but I think of PACU as critical care without a lot of the harder parts (i.e. chronic pts, death and dying issues, chronic incontinence, etc, etc). Of course, PACU has issues of it's own as does any unit, but I find them much easier to deal with. For instance, we have a lot of holding and thru put difficulties, you deal with confused and sometimes combative patients, and of course you spend a good portion of your day on hold with the floor trying to give report. But if you are someone who likes to take care of fresh post-ops, PACU may be for you!
Jan 3, '07
BTW, to add to my last post, ASPAN dictates a maximum of two Phase I pts per RN at one time. If your facility is not abiding by this very important rule, I would look for other employment. You are really putting yourself and your nursing license at risk. On the other hand, my PACU does a lot of holding while patients wait for beds. If the patients are floor status, once they are out of Phase I, they move to a holding area, where we PACU nurses care for them with a 4:1 ratio. If the patients are ICU, we treat them as 2:1 as if they were in ICU.