I have just accepted a position in our hospital's pacu/preop/pain and endo center. I worked on med/surg/pcu for 10 long years and needed a change badly. For the past year I have been working IT part time and the floor part time. We are implementing a new computer system and I was on the team building it. I have no desire to return to the floor. I am tired of it and burnt out, I really wanted to do something different. I applied in PACU and got the job and am very excited but some things are making me second guess I my decision. My current manager did not want me to leave. She offered my my part time hours back (I have been working FT since the computer project and want to get back to PT as I have little kids at home) She said I could just work every third weekend and holiday on the floor and do computer work the rest of the time. I declined the offer and now am afraid I made the wrong choice. Some people have indicated that I am not moving up but moving down. I do have more duties now and am involved in more than the average floor nurse. I never thought of PACU as moving down and am now scared. I may be at the bottom of PACU but was so sick of med/surg I could not stand it. I was there 10 years already, partly due to being pool for 5 years while staying home with children so it is my fault that I have not moved on, it just worked at the time. Some people have said I am going to be bored and lose my skills. Others have said that I would be foolish to pass this PACU position up as most people go to pacu and never leave cause it is a nice job. I am very excited and can not wait to start but them someone says something negative to me and I second guess myself. I honestly think I will be a better, happier person off the floor right now. No more waking up at 2am to go work, no more of all the floor crap. I could not stand to watch another new person move on and it not be me. I know I am rambling but am just frustrated because I wanted to be sure.
So, what do you all think? Is PACU the place to be? We have small hospitals without much opportunity. We have ICU/PCU/Med surg/OB/ER and anything to do with surgery so my choices are somewhat limited.
Last edit by EvanRN123 on Jul 26, '11
Jul 26, '11
I can honestly say, everyday I leave work, I feel like my nursing skills are challenged. Its a very assessment oriented area. You have to be on your A game with assessment skills!
I don't doubt that you will be like me, I was a floor nurse and an LTC nurse before this, so medicating with the order of fentanyl 25mcg q5min X8 doses, freaked me out! srsly! medicating so heavily is what I have had the hardest time with.
Jul 28, '11
OP, a lot depends on where you want to be in ten years time. By then you won't have small kids at home and may be wanting to make changes to your career. If the med/surg, or any kind of floor nursing scenario gives you the heebie jeebies, then the move to PACU is a good one, regardless of how you feel about the IT skills. After all, IT knowledge and experience is not something necessarily confined to the workplace, it's something you can do at home, all you need is a PC.
PACU will open up other doors and windows of opportunity - I know many nurses who moved on and did theater technique or anaesthetics (circulating) after working for a while in PACU. It's not a dead-end street.
However, if you feel that you want to move away from nursing at a later stage and work in an office environment, then it might be better to stick with the IT position, and just endure the floor slog for those few days a month that you are required to work there.
Aug 23, '11
Every PACU nurse I have hired was apprehensive at first but it has been there favorite job. Most PACU nurses never look back. Good luck.
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