Hi, I'm currently coming up on a year of experience on a Med/Surg unit. I'd like to transition to eventually become a PACU nurse. I was told out of nursing school that I should first get Med/Surg experience which I've done. I now think it's time I try something I've been interested in for quite some time now. Most PACU positions I've come across require some critical care experience. I was wondering, is there a specific ICU specialty that would better prepare me for the PACU or is ICU experience considered ICU experience?
Jun 18, '13
I have only worked ICU in a smaller hospital. It wasn't big enough to separate CCU, ICU
Last edit by brownbook on Jun 18, '13
: Reason: kit the wrong key on keyboard
Jun 18, '13
I have only worked ICU in a smaller hospital. It wasn't big enough to separate CCU, neuro, peds, etc. I imagine any intensive care unit experience would be fine.
What about the hospital you are currently working in? Talk to their ICU charge nurse, or talk to the OR charge nurse. Let them know of your interest. Talk to the charge nurse where you currently work. It is easier to transfer into an OR or ICU in the hospital you currently work in than a new one? It is not impossible that the OR/PACU charge nurse would give a good experienced med/surg nurse a chance to orient to PACU skipping the "need ICU experience" step.
I transitioned into ICU from med/surg because I always volunteered to float. Thus floated to ICU and after a while was offered a position there. Then transitioned into PACU.
Jun 23, '13
I went from med-surg to PACU. I do think ICU experience is extremely helpful but it also depends on what kind of training they are offering you. I had to learn a lot about critical care as we sometimes extubate and recover patients who are going to ICU and we also hold ICU patients until they are ready for them (this can take quite some time). Most patients do fine but occasionally someone doesn't do so well and things have become serious, not too often though. With the right training it's definitely doable, plus a lot of your med-surg skills will transfer. Good luck!