Holding overnight (or even days at a time)

  1. Hey PACU nurses! I was just wondering how many PACUs out there have patients holding overnight routinely (or even for a couple of days). Our bed situation here seems to be out of control, to the point where we have anywhere from 2-5 patients holding just about every night. Is this normal to anyone else? I have working in one other PACU and there it was rare to hold overnight; I just wonder which is more common.
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    Joined: Oct '06; Posts: 24


  3. by   debthern
    We never hold patients overnight but we do function as overflow if the floors or icu's are full but all we do is supply the space they have to bring their own staff.
  4. by   mustanggirl
    We have only had to hold patients overnight a few times a year and when we do administration is notified and they usually come by in the morning to see how we are doing. If it is an ICU patient we usually provide the staffing, but if it is a floor patient they usually provide an RN to staff the area. During the day we often have to hold patients, but usually a bed opens up before the end of the day.
  5. by   All4Seasons
    It's quite common for us to hold patients O/N in our PACU - usually because there are no Stepdown ICU (we send a lot of pts to Stepdown) or ICU beds - and we have to provide the staffing. We always have 2 RNs on call from 11pm-7am (mandatory O/T ),so, we're in all night.

    Of course,it gums up the surgical schedule for the next day,and sometimes we have had a pt for 2 full days. We feel like a dumping ground a lot of the time - the 'solution' to many of the hospitals woes. I worked in CVICU for 10 years and probably could count on one hand the number of times we took a general ICU (medical/surgical/neuro) patient - I think because the CV surgeons were (and still are) SO protective of their beds -they nearly ALWAYS refuse, so PACU is it! :angryfire
  6. by   lapstads
    We have patients in our Pacu everynight except maybe Sunday. We are viewed as the hospital dumping ground. We even receive nonsurgical patients from the ED if the hospital is full.
  7. by   All4Seasons
    Quote from lapstads
    We have patients in our Pacu everynight except maybe Sunday. We are viewed as the hospital dumping ground. We even receive nonsurgical patients from the ED if the hospital is full.
    Does this mean that the unit is staffed every night?,(even if there are no surgeries being done),or are you on call like we are,from 11pm to 7 am? The unit is not open at night unless we have holds or emergency cases are being done. To be hired into PACU,you have to do the on call (so it's mandatory OT) -we are paid time & 1/2 for the first 4 hours,after that, double time. How does it work for you?

    Nonsurgical holds?!?! I almost swallowed my tongue! This must really impact the next day's surgery schedule! Why do the surgeons stand for it I wonder?

    The nurses in our PACU are so major fed up with administration...we do a lot of this: :angryfire
    I wish we could do a little of this:

    and a LOT of this:



    (it's not that funny, actually....but you gotta laugh sometimes,eh? )
  8. by   Siss
    Your situation sounds horrible. God bless you. We don't hold pts. overnight. But then again, we barely have the staff to recover surgical patients during the day. If our oncall staff had to come out to watch overnighters, and heaven forbid, nonsurgical patients, and then work the next day, there would be mass rioting and probably no PACU nurses.
  9. by   lpnstudentin2010
    I am not sure for certian, but from my experience it appears that they do not hold overnight at the hospital I am a patient. Once I was the last patient there. my nurse had to wait for me to leave for her to leave but she would not discharge me (though my mom told her I was OK she didnt feel comfortable with it) for about 45 mins aparently i was the last patient
  10. by   healingtouchRN
    since I work 3rd shift FT in PACU (only one in our city), I get to hold patients over night at least once a week if not more if the census is up. they can be a combination of floor or ICU patients. IF I do then get a recovery patient that I have to wake up, I call the back up RN or house supervisor to come help. They can watch my others while I do my PACU wake up thing. I have gotten used to it. I have been in critical care for a long time so it doesn't bother me to hold a vented or really sick patient. It's a bother for the more ambulatory patients since we don't have a bathroom right here, it's in the OR side. they have to use BP or urinal. Not so fun for them. But no one thought to build us a potty. Smart huh??

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