Well, I consider PACU my reward for 20 odd years in ICU. DGMW, I loved ICU but once I was convinced I could handle "anything that come through that door" it started getting tedious. My buds started disappearing and I found them livin' it up in PACU. First time I heard the phrase, "PACU is where burnout ICU nurses go to die" So, 10 years ago I made the switch.
In the 6 PACUs I have worked I found it can really differ from unit to unit. I have mostly been in a hospital setting which usually has a mix of inpatients and outpatients. The shifts will stagger throughout the day. Pre-op nurses will come in at 0600 start cases then move to the PACU setting later in the morning. Other nurses arrive at 0800, 0900, 1000 and can work 8, 10 and 12 hour shifts with the bulk of your staff during the mid part of the day and the final two PACU nurses staying until 1000, 1100 or 1200.
Sounds like you know about call. People seem to either love it or hate it. You can almost always find a "call-wh*re" to take your call if you don't want it. I actually like call most the time. One patient at a time with a buddy to share/alternate the work. Nothing like seeing one of your stylish workmates with bed-head at 0200!
My ICU experience has been most useful in preventing crisis rather than dealing with it. You really don't want an elective/routine surgery to end up as an ICU admission. Knowing how to draw blood from an Art line, manage vents and start drips comes in handy. We work closely with our Anesthesiologists but they're really not all that close once they've started the next case. So, you gotta be on top of airway obstruction, hypotension, nausea and pain control and may have to start intervention before the Doc gets back to you. The professional nurses you work with will expect you to handle your own cases but you will also have to be alert to what is going on in the unit, hence the open bay concept. Ask for assistance when you need it and appreciate help when it's offered. Move 'em in and move 'em out is how we stay fast-paced and don't back up the OR!
Once you have a year in, get your certification (CPAN or CAPA). That dollar or two combined with standby, eve/night/weekend diff, callback and incentive pay can really add to your base salary.
I will probably die as a PACU nurse. I can just hear those new-grads perk up their ears.
Best to you and welcome to the ranks!