Techs on PACU???

  1. I am currently a PCT at a major hospital. A friend that I work with in the same hospital is a OR RN and loves PACU. She explained some of the pros and cons of the unit and I felt like I might be interested in exploring the unit if they had tech positions. She told me that techs are limited due to the complexity of most patient procedures and I completely understand that. I am currently attending a university to get my BSN, but I thought I would might want to switch things up from iso pts all day to something more interesting. Has anyone even heard of tech positions in a PACU unit? If so, what was the atmosphere like and how was it as far as a lifestyle/work adjustment?
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    About SexyFloridaGirl

    Joined: Mar '13; Posts: 42; Likes: 23


  3. by   ava920
    Hi. I worked as a student nurse associate in the preop/pacu of a large urban teaching hospital for over a year. We had pca's there as well, which i'm guessing is very similar to pct's (patient care techs).

    I really loved working in that area because you really see a lot, although at times it sure feels repetitive. Our preop area is always so busy, especially in the early morning. It's also fast-paced, with the turnover of patients, and all the surgeons, residents, anesthesia, abd the rest of the OR teams talking to patients all at once (everyone wants to get their job done! Lol).
    I'm really confident with the skills I learned there, from phlebotomy to venipuncture, EKG acquisition, and physical assessments. I'm not sure what your hospital's job description is for techs but it's probably not that different.

    In PACU, you really get to hone your assessment skills and critical thinking. If you get a pt coming out of the OR, you gotta know what to assess and pay special attention to in terms of the procedure they had done, and of course close monitoring is very important as they are still sedated.

    I also got to learn more about EKG rhythms, beyond what they'd teach in nursing school. And i had my coworkers always giving me strips to practice and read.

    We don't get a lot of codes (thank god), but i've seen a few while working there. I got to help out in two codes, just a runner, but it was still roetty exciting! And i learn so much from watching everyone else help and call out things abd do/work on the pt. It really is a learning experience!

    Another good experience I had while working there is that I actually got to interact with the doctors and the rest of the healthcare/OR team. If there was a lab value that came back critical, i got to tell the doctor myself. They really let us function as a nurse (with limitations of course).

    My hours were pretty flexible too since I was still in school then. I would work from 4am to 4:30pm if i wanted to do a 12-hr shift, and sometimes i would do a 16hr shift from 4-830p.

    Anyway, hope this helps! I really loved it and really learned a lot. Having awesome coworkers that are willing to help and teach really made a difference too!
  4. by   SexyFloridaGirl
    Thanks so much for your input! This really made me feel a lot better about the possibility of exploring.

    In my hospital, we are allowed to do catheters, but I was looking to go outside to another hospital to get the phlebotomy and venipuncture training as well as being allowed to administer the accuchecks to patients (RNs only do this here). I work on a Hem/Onc/BMT floor which is alright but it does become repetitive if you don't get to float (which is pretty rare for my unit).

    I also wanted to learn more how to read the EKGs but monitor techs are mostly at the team centers just calling me constantly to go change a tele battery or something of that nature. RNs are also the ones responsible for knowing the algorithms and which ones are really similar to others and how to tell them apart. They must pass an annual exam here as well. I am mainly looking for the experience and as you said some interesting critical thinking type of cases to become apart of.

    I don't have much experience but I think I will give it a shot at least at getting an interview since I feel that this is where I want to be right now. Thank you so much for your input as it has really helped me decide on this new adventure!
  5. by   ava920
    You're welcome! glad I helped!

    I hope you get the position! Let me know how it goes!

    Also, you really will learn a lot in preop/pacu. The nurses in my unit do need ACLS, ECCO, and all those certifications. So when there's a vent pt postop, they try to teach me about what to monitor, they even let me pull out Arterial lines.

    Always grab the opportunity to learn new things no matter how intimidating it might be! You'll be surprised with the things you learn at work
  6. by   SexyFloridaGirl
    I just applied last night so I may/may not get a call to even interview.

    I know the learning curve is what most people talk about for preop/pacu but I am willing to learn if they want to give me an opportunity. I had to learn A LOT of things on the job right now as a PCT for my BMT unit. I do have my BLS, was debating on the ACLS as well so I am glad that they require it. I am really excited about the arterial lines! I also considered cath lab tech but didn't really see myself as advanced in ALL the uses of a-lines etc. and the extensive knowledge needed to even be a tech in that unit.

    I will definitely keep you updated! It's always nice to have someone to relate with about these kinds of things
  7. by   pattycakeRN
    In what way would having unlicensed personnel ACLS-certified benefit patients? I'm not being rude, just curious why you would do this, and to what end? You can't assist in a code more than you already do.
  8. by   SexyFloridaGirl
    I am not required as a CNA on my unit to be ACLS licensed, but am for BLS. In my unit we have patients on telemetry, so in my personal opinion I feel that I should have that ACLS certification because we are dealing with telemetry patients on a daily basis as well as chemotherapy, radiation and blood transfusions. We have also had patients who were not on telemetry who went into cardiac arrest and were unaware until she had already had a heart attack and needed to later be moved to ICU because of it. It isn't that I am wanting to assist in a more specific way than I already do but I DO feel that it is my personal responsibility that I should be ACLS certified because all the patients I deal with are telemetry. Hope this makes more sense.