Does anyone know if PACU experience will help?

Posted
by 8jimi8ICURN 8jimi8ICURN Member

Specializes in Flight RN, Trauma1 CVICU STICU MICU CCU.

Hi there,

I've been in the ICU for about 1.5 years. My ICU is THE PITS. Lately, I've been seeing how interesting PACU is. Now, don't get me wrong...

ICU is just a stepping stone for me. hehehe. I know I haven't seen it all, I wouldn't expect to see it all in under 10 years.

That being said, does anyone think that PACU experience is helpful, or do they just wanna see ICU time? Granted in my ICU we recover our own patients from surgery...

ckh23

ckh23, BSN, RN

Specializes in ER/ICU/STICU. Has 6 years experience. 1,446 Posts

I think it depends on the program. Some want the ICU experience, but some take other experience into consideration such as ED at a level 1 trauma center. I know one specific program would consider PACU if you recovered open heart patients.

srna28

srna28

Has 5 years experience. 18 Posts

Yeah, it definitely depends on the program. All the programs I applied to didn't accept ER or PACU...but I've heard some do. I never ran across any that did when I was applying but I was limited to NYC and NJ, and there aren't a lot of programs around there.

nike0777

nike0777

Specializes in ER, TICU. Has 7 years experience. 23 Posts

Obviously there are many differences in schools and applicants, but I know a nurse who applied to the program the same time as me who had previous ICU experience but worked in PACU for the last few years and she did not get in. I had a PACU nurse ask me the same question the other day so I asked one of my instructors who do the interviews and he said they might consider it if most of their career was ICU and PACU only for a short time.

yankeesrn

yankeesrn

38 Posts

PACU doese on count and will not help you at all. If you dont like being an ICU nurse then you might want to rethink going to CRNA school.

ckh23

ckh23, BSN, RN

Specializes in ER/ICU/STICU. Has 6 years experience. 1,446 Posts

PACU doese on count and will not help you at all. If you dont like being an ICU nurse then you might want to rethink going to CRNA school.

Icu nursing and anesthesia are totally different things. Just because some one doesn't like being an icu nurse does not mean they won't like anesthesia.

wtbcrna, MSN, DNP, CRNA

Specializes in Anesthesia. 5,078 Posts

I had a variety of clinical experience before I started anesthesia school, and each one taught me different things.

PACU taught me basic post op pain control, basic airway management, and got me interested in anesthesia.

ER nursing taught me time management, and triage skills (if you are working alone which I often am which OR/OB "emergency needs to go first" ER helped with those skills).

ICU taught me how to deal with vents, gtts, and taught about how to deal with different disease processes in critical care.

Prison nursing taught me how to deal with demanding, rude, drug-seeking patients, and patients with minimal education.

LTC nursing taught me how to communicate with a different generation, and how to deal with dementia patients.

Clinic nursing taught that I really didn't want to sit behind a desk all my work life :lol2:, but it also gave me insight on dealing with clinic referrals.

No one experience is the perfect recipe for nurse anesthesia school.

You should take into account what kind of experience the schools that you are interested in want, and then go to work where you want to from there.

yankeesrn

yankeesrn

38 Posts

One of the points that i was trying to make was that if you dont like being a nurse (either floor, ICU, ect..) your not goint to like being a CRNA. As a CRNA you are still a nurse, and if you patient is crashing your ICU experience will come in handy.

wtbcrna, MSN, DNP, CRNA

Specializes in Anesthesia. 5,078 Posts

One of the points that i was trying to make was that if you dont like being a nurse (either floor, ICU, ect..) your not goint to like being a CRNA. As a CRNA you are still a nurse, and if you patient is crashing your ICU experience will come in handy.

I guess it just depends on your ICU experience. I think my PACU experience better prepared me for more emergencies in the OR (since most emergencies are airway in nature) than my ICU experience, but that is my individual experience.

What most people don't realize is that there never has been any correlation between ICU experience and success in nurse anesthesia. We all agree that nursing experience helps in nurse anesthesia school, but what kind of experience and how much experience still remains a mystery.

ICU, RN, BSN, B.S.

ICU, RN, BSN, B.S.

Specializes in Medical/Telemetry. Now ICU. 192 Posts

Researching a lot of CRNA schools, almost every single one said PACU does not count as critical care.