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PACU - what do you love, what do you hate?

MaiBee MaiBee (New) New

So I just relocated across country and have just started looking for a job. I spent the last 4+ years (since I was a new grad) working in a super busy, very chaotic, high acuity IMCU. I had been reluctant to start working again...long hours...hated having the kiddos in daycare for 12 hours at a time. Finally decided it's time to jump back in though, and started by throwing out a long-shot application for a position I really knew I'd never get. An hour later a nurse recruiter for the hospital I'd applied at called and said that while I wasn't qualified for the position I'd applied for, my background looked great and she wanted to find me something. What a difference from the new grad job search experience, right??

I mentioned that I loved critical care and I'd be interested in positions like PACU. PACU is hiring, so she sent me links to an application for that, as well as pre-op/post-op. I filled out both and got a response requesting I fill out an assessment and schedule a phone interview.

So this is all happening quite fast and now I need to know...

1) The IMCU I worked in was considered critical care and I've been ACLS certified for years. I've never worked ICU though. So will I be in way over my head in the PACU, or will my IMCU time give me a good background? I've done stable vents, insulin drips, lots of different cardiac drips, etc...no pressors or ET tubes.

2) I have a good sense of what pre-op does, but what are the big differences between post-op and PACU? Just trying to figure out which position I'm most interested in. It's the same manager so possible an interview could be for either/or.

3) What do you like about working PACU and what's not so great? The PACU nurses at my last hospital always seemed to like their jobs and were super friendly and on top of things (I tried to reciprocate even on days where I just couldn't take one. more. patient.)

Let me know your thoughts! Looking forward to new challenges but nervous too!


1.) Love the people I work with and the pretty much set schedule. I know what I am working a year from now.

2.) Patients are asleep. ASLEEP!!!!! Hot diggity darn! Coming from ER, I thought I died and woke up in heaven when I realized that for the first 15-20 minutes I have my patient, they are sleeping. When they wake up, most are so happy to be alive they are sweet.

3.) I can work an extra day here and there and I am not drop dead, bone weary, "I really shouldn't be driving home this tired" tired. It just doesn't exhaust you like Med surg or ER.

4.) Anesthesia and PACU are a team and work together.

5-100.)NO FAMILIES!!!! *Drop the mic and walk away*


1.) The crazy wake uppers. I mean, dude, the swinging and roaring like a bear?? Stop.

2.) The uncontrolled pain in people that live off percocet and Benzos. I have given you 200 mcg of fentanyl, 20 mg Morphine and 0.5 mg of dilaudid...how is your pain still a 10????

3.) Recovering people from surgeries that you knew they didn't need anyways--. (i.e. 94 Year old with end stage everything getting right leg amputations).

4.) The floors and ICU "dodging" report and patient transfers.

5.) Waiting 2 hours for room to be clean until I can send the patient up.--How long does it really take to clean a room? You don't have to repaint the freaking thing!!

Overall, SOOOO Glad that I transferred to PACU. Hope to be completely done with ER by the summer.

Edited by PACUpleeze
adding words


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