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PACU nurses being floated to ICU?

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Florence NightinFAIL has 9 years experience and specializes in Medical - Surgical.

11,927 Profile Views; 267 Posts

Have any of you seen this or it happened to you?

Due to the coronavirus scare, elective surgeries are being halted and some PACU nurses are being quickly oriented and floated to ICU units to help with the shortages.

Can they say no?

I would like to hear from personal experiences.

Edited by Florence NightinFAIL

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LeMa88 has 12 years experience as a BSN, MSN, RN and specializes in Ortho, Med/Surg, ED, CCU- Agency.

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What does your contract say? Sometimes they specify that you might be required to work in other clinical area if required even if you are contracted to work in PACU only. However you do have the right to refuse if it is out of your depth

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amoLucia specializes in LTC.

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A declared 'state of emergency' may supercede or outrank normal operational proceedings.

I may be wrong, but we may be at that level (or soon to be).

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Florence NightinFAIL has 9 years experience and specializes in Medical - Surgical.

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16 hours ago, LeMa88 said:

What does your contract say? Sometimes they specify that you might be required to work in other clinical area if required even if you are contracted to work in PACU only. However you do have the right to refuse if it is out of your depth

I'm still in training so I have no clue. I should probably check that first LOL. Thanks.

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MunoRN has 10 years experience as a RN and specializes in Critical Care.

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PACU is typically considered a critical care level of nursing, and given that where we're freeing up staff, beds, and equipment is by cancelling elective surgeries PACU nurses are an obvious choice to fill these gaps.

If you're saying that's not ideal, no ***, neither are pandemics.

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amoLucia specializes in LTC.

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MunroRN - TY for your informative and educational responses to many of the more technical and detailed issues raised here.

You are a calming tour de force. Thank you.

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KeepinitrealCCRN has 6 years experience and specializes in SICU,CTICU.

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Everyone should come together and help out. Even if they are just transporting pts, putting IVs in or giving meds. The MICU nurses should not have to be the only ones working with the Covid pts in this very stressful time.

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CCU BSN RN has 7 years experience and specializes in CICU, Telemetry.

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We're basically pulling any nurse who has touched a ventilator in the last 5 years to be ICU nurses: RRT, cath lab, managers and educators, IR nurses, PACU. Whatever we can get. Too many intubated patients for the regular ICUs to also cover all the COVIDs. All ICUs are helping to staff the COVID ICU, but we'd still be down 10 icu nurses a shift without pulling anyone. I don't know if you're allowed to refuse, I just keep waiting for them to mandate OT

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chris21sn has 4 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in CVICU, CCRN.

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Personally, in my hospital they are allocating PACU nurses to ICU. PACU nurses are considered, by my understanding, competent with ventilators, drips, lines for the most part. Considering the circumstances (I'm in North Jersey, 5 miles from Manhattan), it is best to use the staff to their fullest potential and actually help one another.

Our ICU try to give the PACU nurses the least heaviest assignment. The other day I had three ventilators with three paralytics. The PACU nurse had one vented patient and another with a nonrebreather.

If one has the skills, I don't see the harm in helping lessening the burden of care on the ICU health team. Just my two cents.

There was a PACU nurse before complaining she didn't want to be exposed to the Covid, and that she would rather be the waiting staff in case any emergent case came to the OR.

And I'm sorry that attitude - does not help anyone.

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48 minutes ago, chris21sn said:

PACU nurses are considered, by my understanding, competent with ventilators, drips, lines for the most part.

LMAO!!

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chris21sn has 4 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in CVICU, CCRN.

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7 hours ago, murseman24 said:

LMAO!!

Might be a reach, emphasis on the “most part”. LOL

In any case, we need help. I’m not going to be taking care of 3 vented, proned, paralyzed, sedated patients, while PACU nurses sit pretty on their phones waiting for a case to come out. At least they should have the audacity to take the easiest patient or at least act as a helper/PCA.

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1 hour ago, chris21sn said:

Might be a reach, emphasis on the “most part”. LOL

In any case, we need help. I’m not going to be taking care of 3 vented, proned, paralyzed, sedated patients, while PACU nurses sit pretty on their phones waiting for a case to come out. At least they should have the audacity to take the easiest patient or at least act as a helper/PCA.

Sorry, I know this kind of dialogue isn't helpful. I just finished CRNA school and would LOVE to see some of the perioperative and OR nurses take care of critically ill patients and hold some personal responsibility for their actions. Amidst all the politics and power struggles between MDAs and CRNAs, the nurses made me want to throat punch them the most, by a long shot. So flipping rude and power hungry. The last I'll say about it (probably). I know everyone isn't like this and all the help you can get is great.

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