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,
Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!
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 *
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