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Med-surg to PACU


Last day of med-surg!!!!! I will starting at the PACU Monday and am really excited! I'm a relatively new nurse, about 10 months in, and med-surg was my first job. Since the news that I've gotten the PACU job some co-workers are positive and happy for me while others keep telling me I'm going to hate it and be back. I'm not one to give in the the negativity of others and know it'll be a good switch, I just came on here because I wanted to hear your opinion out there about the switch! Let me know your thoughts! Thanks!

OUxPhys, BSN, RN

Specializes in Cardiology. Has 4 years experience.

I don't work PACU but Ive heard once people get to PACU they tend not to leave.


azhiker96, BSN, RN

Specializes in PACU. Has 10 years experience.

PACU is long stretches of near boredom punctuated by a few moments of sheer terror. Depending on anesthesia, most patients arrive unable to manage their airway or secretions. You keep them safe, oxygenated, and perfusing until they reach their discharge level which ranges from ICU to home.

With a good preceptor and learning the meds and procedures you'll do fine. I love it. Good luck.


Has 7 years experience.

PACU is long stretches of near boredom...

And wouldn't you know it, that is always when a manager decides to walk through to see us twiddling our thumbs. That was one of the biggest adjustments I had to make right off. It's downright unnatural to sit & shoot the breeze with coworkers after you're used to running your tail off on the floor.

But I adapted. ;)

It can be terrifying when a pt is having airway issues & frustrating when pain control is nonexistent. I love the challenge!

HeySis, BSN, RN

Specializes in PACU. Has 25 years experience.

I agree with the above posters.... It's the same for the OR circulators... they always wander in between rushes and think we do nothing... they don't see it when we are slammed and the floor is not returning our calls to take report and so we have patients in the holding pattern (who continue to need pain control or void and don't want to use a bedpan) and each nurse has another coming in that is requiring a jaw thrust or having emergence delirium that takes several hands on the patient to keep them safe.

I love the PACU, its a very different area than anything else, as you have probably noticed this past week. Welcome and come back and let us know your impressions.

I decided to go to PACU after working 2 years on general surgical ward and I absolutely love it. Mostly nurses dont leave PACU unless they have some personal reasons like relocation. Sometimes, we sit and gossip, sometimes we are hell busy. I was told by my colleague on my previous ward that I will lose my skills and that it is boring. She must be jealous being so busy on the ward, when I have time to look after my patient properly as never before. And also I have patient for an hour or few hours if waiting for bed and then I can forget him or her :)

However, I might soon change my job as I am tempted to become Urology Nurse Practitioner, however I wil; still like to do shifts in PACU