Hi there. I have worked in Recovery, PACU, for many, many moons... close to 12 years of Recovery, and another 11 years as an Anaesthetic nurse. [a different role in Australia, compared to the USA].
I enjoy recovery nursing, it is varied, and interesting, and the patient contact is pretty satisfying......and some times it sure is great to be able to send on a troublesome [I mean rude] patient back to their ward after half an hour of their company. Our recovery unit is only fairly small with 6 adult bays, and 2 paediatric. Our theatre complex has 5 operating rooms, and occasionally we also get dental patients who have their ops done in the Day Surgery Unit, and who have had general anaesthetics. [usually paed cases, and adults who are a few sandwiches short of a picnic].
We don't do hearts, chest, burns, neuro type cases, so most of it is fairly low key in comparison to some hospitals. We don't work night shift, weekends, or on call, although that may change one day.
What do I like? well, the fast turnover of patients, especially when its people who are rude and demanding...like young guys who demand to have their cigarettes NOW, and abuse you because the ward staff and orderlies are taking so long to take them out of recovery, so that they can get back to their rooms, grab their cigarettes and go outside for a smoke. The varied casemix, great people that I work with, team spirit and all that, and especially the hours.
The downside...... rude and obnoxious patients, ditto for doctors, although that doesn't happen much at all, anaesthetists who dump their patients without a handover, and without filling out medication charts/anaesthetic charts, which means you have to chase up all of that. Another sad part is that often, as recovery staff, we are on the outer from the rest of the unit. Not often, but on quiet days when the other staff are allowed to leave 15 minutes early or so, no one bothers telling us in recovery.....same thing on evening shifts sometimes...... we wander around looking for the rest of the staff at knock off time, only to find they all left a while back...... Grrrrrrrr.
The upchucking, bleeding and sputum covered LMA's don't bother me either.
Give PACU nursing a go, I think you might like it.....but remember to work as a team member. We are all there to help each other.