I will never appreciate PACU so much as I will now that I have left and worked in ICU (in two different hospitals/states, for that matter.) Nothing makes you realize how good you had it like letting it go and having the patient on the oscillator with three vasopressors on maximum rate (only one left to go!), xigris, maxed out on propofol as well as versed (and still, miraculously, attempting to breathe spontaneously) a bicarb gtt, and four antibiotics all timed to be given simultaneously, stool the bed at the exact time your new admission arrives from the emergency department in respiratory failure without even ONE working IV.......but, enough of that...I will soon be back to PACU...and I promise NEVER to take it for granted again
But, I know that rant of mine doesn't take away from the fact that it wasn't right, DEFINITELY not safe, for you to be left alone with any patient in PACU, let alone one that was still intubated. The standard in any PACU should be two RNs at all times; that's just ASPAN standards talking!