I'm in my first year of nursing school, and so far I have loved the ICU, the CRNA was my favorite role in the OR, and I'm hoping for a full PACU day but have taken 2 patients to the PACU and loved it, too.
I've seen threads on this board where people said that to be a good PACU nurse, you need ICU experience. However, I just read another thread saying that ICU was better prep for CRNA than PACU because it involved more skills; this would suggest that to be a good ICU nurse, you should start in the PACU.
So, experienced PACU and ICU nurses, I am not trying to start a war
, but I am interested in both of these areas. Can you tell me which path seems most helpful? Thanks!
Sep 4, '10
Good question. ICU skills are necessary to work in the PACU. You'll never know what drips, PA caths, artlines a patient will come out of the OR with. And a PACU nurse must be competent to handle all critical patients if need be. Pretty much any situation you will encounter in the ICU, you will see in the PACU. In our PACU, only ICU experienced nurses who are who are ACLS , PALS and BLS certified are allowed to work there. I would first get a few years experience in a busy surgical ICU before going to the PACU.
Med-surg nursing is probably the best place to start off initially. There, you get your basic nursing and organizational skills down. Building up to advanced nursing skills from med-surg will help you in ICU and PACU. To become a CRNA, you definitely need to be experienced in ICU nursing. I hope this helps in your decision.
Last edit by sandyteele on Sep 4, '10