PACU 'boarder unit'

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    It has been a long time since I posted anything about the PACU 'boarder unit' that was being proposed and is now up and running. We have a 5 bed ward that has one RN and a Sec/Tech to help. They work 12 hr shifts Monday through Saturday as needed. (99% of the time) If the hospital is short staffed, the PACU call nurse will be used to do Phase I recovery and the assigned staff is floated to the BU and they receive "Out of Area" pay. It was also agreed that if you are in the main recovery and your assignment was taking the 'overflow boarders' you also get out of area pay (3-4 floor or SAC pts). We also use the Float pool nurses to staff the BU. The BU only takes floor status patients, NO SAC or patients that need monitoring. There have been times that the BU was full and the PACU held an additional 12 patients overnight. This has caused problems because the OR got backed up and had to cancel cases or delay them for hours. Needless to say, this is not good for the patients, staff or hospital. There have been a few days where all the patients got rooms and we had to flex the BU nurses or they could accept assignment to one of the surgical floors. The doctors like having their patients close in the BU and several have wanted it dedicated to their service, i.e. urology or GYN. The biggest problem we have noticed is that 'management' has gotten use to having the extra 5 beds available and often it seems that they will leave the patients there so they can admit from the clinics or ER. The nice part is that the patients really like having the excellent care that the staff gives. They are close and it takes less than 10 seconds to answer their lights. We are hoping to get back to the idea that the BU will be for those who need short term (<24 hrs) but we have had patients 3-5 days and D/C them home from the BU!!

    Just breezing to retirement (at hurricane speed!)
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