Intermediate/Tele floor to PACU

by Busymom2day Busymom2day, ADN Member

Specializes in Intermediate Telemetry. Has 7 years experience.

Hello. I’ve been a nurse for 7 years. I’ve worked on an Intermediate Telemetry floor for 4.5 years and I’m currently ready for a change. My heart aches to work in ICU. The more lines, tubes, drains my patient has the more challenged and excited I feel. When I transfer a patient to ICU, I so wish I could follow them to see what comes next. I currently work nights and my family desperately needs me to move to day shift. I recently interviewed for ICU and it went very well, but the manager went with someone with over a decade of ICU experience. She told me she would love to hire me but won’t have a day position coming along for quite some time. Can someone tell me what a typical shift is like in PACU. It’s really the only other area that I’m interested in. Will I get the critical care experience I crave? I also really enjoy bedside nursing and I’m worried that I will miss that. I will gladly take any advice and thoughts from experienced PACU nurses!

Edited by Busymom2day



Has 37 years experience. 3,413 Posts

Yes you will get critical care experience in PACU. You may even find it hard to be hired in PACU, they might want someone with critical care or ICU experience.

But still apply for the PACU position. I love PACU.

However even if it is a 7 ish to 3 ish shift you may have to be on call. That may be a hassle to deal with vis a vis the family? But don't let it be a deal breaker. Find out how often you have to take call. Find out how much orientation you will receive, how many times you will team up with an experienced co-worker, and take call together before you're on call on your own.

PACU is different from bedside nursing. You will (usually) only have two patients at a time. You will only be with your patient (usually) two hours at the most and they will be sedated, "out of it", those two hours.