Wants PACU But Doesn't Want to Just Sit

  1. Dear Nurse Beth,

    I have been working nights for over a year and I am ready to find a job that has a more steady schedule. I am interested in surgery and have found some PACU positions that allow me to not be on call or work weekends. However, I have never worked PACU and I don't want a job that I sit most of the time and monitor people. I like that my job now (telemetry and ICU stepdown) has me moving around a lot. Do you think PACU is a good option to move to in order to get into the surgical world? I would really love pre-op or actual OR itself. Is this a good stepping stone? Thanks!

    Dear Considering PACU,

    Many nurses are used to being active on the job and aren't attracted to sitting jobs.

    Not to worry, because PACU is fast paced. You have a lot to do, whether it's pre-op or post-op.
    In pre-op you will be admitting patients, performing preps or overseeing preps, starting IVs, giving antibiotics, and more. In post-op, you'll be extubating patients, managing airways, and closely monitoring their recovery- a fresh post-op is an ICU level patient until recovered. You will learn the art of pain management in patients who are recovering from general anesthesia.

    You'll be transferring and discharging with a lot of patient teaching.

    From PACU you can talk to the OR nurses and maybe shadow in some different cases to see if it'd be a good fit. OR training is long and highly specialized, so it's important to be as sure as possible that it's for you.

    Best wishes in your decision,

    Nurse Beth
    Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!
  2. Visit Nurse Beth profile page

    About Nurse Beth, MSN, RN

    Joined: Mar '07; Posts: 1,571; Likes: 4,711
    Nursing Professional Development Specialist; from CA , US
    Specialty: Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho

    5 Comments

  3. by   meanmaryjean
    You need to shadow in PACU because there is very little sitting involved.
  4. by   zoidberg
    learn what types of patients are coming to said pacu. i float to two buildings in my hospital system, one pacu is delightful, the other is a **** storm. shadowing is a good idea. and you don't have to worry about sitting too much.
    Last edit by Silverdragon102 on Oct 2 : Reason: changed to all *
  5. by   Rose_Queen
    Quote from meanmaryjean
    You need to shadow in PACU because there is very little sitting involved.
    Makes me wonder how knowledgeable about the specialty the asker is. See it a lot with the OR too.
  6. by   KelRN215
    Quote from meanmaryjean
    You need to shadow in PACU because there is very little sitting involved.
    This was my thought too. I don't think I've ever seen a PACU nurse sitting when I've gone down there for whatever reason.
  7. by   zoo*moon
    Holy cow just sitting and watching monitors? What the heck? I was on my feet 8 straight hours taking care of 2 fresh generals at the same time,trying to get pain and BP under control. I don't ever JUST SIT! Also dang, PACU nurses generally HAVE to take call. It's rare to find an opening where you don't have to. There are middle of the night cases and weekend cases.
    Last edit by zoo*moon on Oct 31

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