PACU Preparation

  1. I'm a RN student who would like to one day (not right after graduation) work in a PACU. I understand that this unit could be categorized as a critical care unit; any ICU experienced required? I would prefer to work a PCU/step-down unit with telemetry instead of an ICU for preparation; would that be helpful and make me more attractive hire for the PACU. How long should I work another unit? Any special certification required? Help please! Need any advice on this matter. Thanks.

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    About VicChic

    Joined: Mar '03; Posts: 35


  3. by   meandragonbrett
    Where I am they will train new grads to work PACU. All of our PACU RNs have ACLS and many are able to extubate per anesthesia protocol.

  4. by   sharann
    I too knew I desired and belonged in PACU before leaving nursing school. I worked for 1 year in telemetry and 3 months Med-surg before being hired in a PACU. I've been there over 1.5years and am loving it! I think the reason I was hired (besides a major staffing shortage) was that I had the Tele knowledge and the ACLS. PALS will help your odds more (but this can be done after hire I think).
    So good luck Vic in your pursual of your career!
  5. by   JudithL_in_NH

    Thanks for asking this. I'm at the beginning of my studies and I, too, am very interested in eventually working in PACU. I'm also trying to sort out what the best "path" is to get the knowldege and experience to be a good PACU nurse.

    I recently attended a symposium/seminar/job fair where the local hospitals all had booths. Two of the hospitals were very encouraging about arranging PACU externships and even about going into PACU as a new grad (with a lot of training and support). Not sure I want to go without relevant experience--but it was great that they were encouraging and interested. The third (the least remote hospital--so I'm sure they have a somewhat easier time finding staff) said no way--do a year or two in med/surg then we can talk about a move to critical care. No externships in critical care, either.

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