Interview for PRN Recovery position in PACU unit that only listed CPR as requirement?

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    Hi all,

    I have an interview this week for a PRN Recovery position in the PACU at an acute care hospital. I have experience in Progressive Care, Tele, and School Nursing. With school nursing being my last position I did not have to keep my ACLS certification. So I only am CPR certified. Well, I saw this Recovery position open up and I applied for it because it only listed CPR and RN license as the requirement. Usually I see PALS and ACLS requirements, and/or ICU experience.

    Anyway, to get to my question, what type of position in the PACU do you think this will be? Maybe a phase II recovery? If so, could someone tell me a little bit about what Phase II recovery is like? Will recovery nurses often float to Pre-op?

    For anyone that works PRN in PACU/Recovery what type of schedule do you have? I really want a full-time or part-time position but this is what is available.

    I am curious if anyone who has worked the floor and also has worked in Recovery which position they perceive as more stressful. Progressive Care and Telemetry really stressed me out. Not because of the acuity of patients, but usually because of patient load...constantly being pulled in different directions. I think I would like to focus more on a smaller group of patients even if their acuity is higher. In school I always thought I would work in ICU. I know what stresses some people out doesn't always stress another person out. It is very personal, but if anyone has an opinion on it I'd love to hear it. I don't want anyone to think that I feel that Recovery will be an easy position, because I know it is not.

    I have not been in the hospital since 2009. So I am really nervous about going back. I really want to make sure that I have a good orientation. I plan on asking about this in the interview, but I am not sure what a good vs bad orientation to the unit would be. So what do you think is a good length of orientation and what should be included in it? For the interview, is there any clinical topics that I should brush up on that I might be asked about?
    Sorry for the long post!! Thanks in advance for any advice!!
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  4. 9 Comments so far...

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    Phase II recovery receives patients after they have been stabilized in Phase I. Usually they are in phase I one hour before they go to phase II.

    Phase II you stabilize them some more....but of course ideally they don't need close monitoring. Usually every 15 minute vitals for an hour. How many patients you have would depend on your policy. You give them some nourishment, pain meds, get their ride home and go over discharge instructions, or call the nursing unit they are going to. But with newer and better anesthesia phase II is changing.

    It is usually not stressful. Whether you will float to pre-op depends but certainly a manager would prefer a nurse who is willing to float when needed.

    My gut tells me they want someone who can be ready to work independently sooner rather than later, i.e., with a PRN position they may not want to or plan for a long orientation for you? I'm just saying if you REALLY want the job you might need to be ready to jump in with a short orientation.

    I went from a management position to working phase II. I was very nervous that I had lost my nursing skills. But honestly phase II is not, was not, that hard. Be positive, hopefully you will get the job, then come back here with more specific questions about patient care that your "quick" orientation might not have dealt with.

    I don't know why they wouldn't want ACLS? It is not that hard, if they ask or want you to get it don't let that be a deal breaker.
  6. 0
    Thanks for the response and advice!

    I was thinking along the same lines of what you wrote here "My gut tells me they want someone who can be ready to work independently sooner rather than later, i.e., with a PRN position they may not want to or plan for a long orientation for you". If it is a Phase II recovery, then I don't think I would mind a shorter orientation. If it is Phase I, I would be more hesitant about that. I have had ACLS in the past, but I just haven't needed to recertify for school nursing. So I don't mind getting recertified at all. Even if it isn't required, if the hospital will pay for it I would want to get it anyway.
  7. 0
    Sounds good.

    I alluded to the fact that phase I phase II is really changing with the use of propofol and less sedation, etc. My information is from 8 years ago where I worked in-patient PACU. I currently work out patient PACU where there is no phase I or II. Regardless of the surgery or anesthesia patients come right to us and can be going home within one hour.
  8. 0
    Sounds good.

    I alluded to the fact that phase I phase II is really changing with the use of propofol and less sedation, etc. My information is from 8 years ago where I worked in-patient PACU. I currently work out patient PACU where there is no phase I or II. Regardless of the surgery or anesthesia patients come right to us and can be going home within one hour.
  9. 0
    sorry hiccup!
  10. 0
    So to update on this, it turns out that the position is for a PACU nurse that can do all phases of the recovery. PALS and ACLS are required. I interviewed with the manager, but she told me that she doesn't want anyone without experience for the PRN position. Not sure how I got an interview, because I don't have any experience in PACU! She said that she might have a full time position open up in April that she would consider hiring someone without PACU experience for. Apparently, the person that was recently hired into the position didn't have any prior experience, and they may not "work out". This is the 3rd job this month that I have interviewed for that was a bust. The first two jobs I applied for day positions, but when I went to the interview the managers told me that they are only hiring for nights. Oh well, the job search continues!
  11. 0
    sometimes people without experience can be trained easier...dont have to break bad habits
  12. 0
    I was hired as a per diem in the PACU as a new nurse, and it did make orientation challenging. My manager supported my training, even giving me an extra month with more hours per week to get me up to speed. Now I have weeks with 3-4 days and weeks with no days. I find that the nursing stuff "sticks," but my process suffers when I'm away for a while (i.e., remembering all the little stuff that makes me more efficient). I hope whatever position you chose has worked out well! I love the PACU, but it's not for everyone. And for what it's worth, we needed ACLS and PALS within 6 months of hire.
  13. 0
    I want a PRN job in a PACU. I work level 1 Trauma Center in PACU so I def see some crazy stuff. I'm talking like you need 2 nurses to handle 1 patient type stuff. ( I mean kind of sometimes haha). But I want the cushy PRN PACU job recovering ortho patient's who get blocks and then get sent home haha.

    I'll start applying after I get my CPAN.


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