typical day of a pacu nurse

  1. I am a senior in nursing school and am interested in finding out more about recovery room nursing. In my rotations we were only in surgery for 2 days and only spent about 10 minutes in the recovery room. I thought it seemed interesting, though, and I liked the teamwork I saw. I was wondering if a pacu nurse could describe some things they do on a daily basis and maybe some pros and cons of this field. Thank you.
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    About blue42

    Joined: Feb '02; Posts: 8


  3. by   HawkinsRN
    I do not recomend you go into Recovery Room right after school. You need a bit of time on the Med Surg ward. This is important because it will help you understand the focus of care. For instance, why it is important to make sure your patient coughs and deep breathes post op...or pain management and its affects on the healing process. Being up on the ward also opens your eyes to the whole being...meaning, not just the surgery, but the whole disease process leading up to it.

    If you go straight to recovery you will skip that whole important step. Many units will not hire you without it. I would plan on spending a year on a regular medical surgical or orthopedic floor, learn as much as you can. Pile it all in, and tell yourself all the while, this is ONLY TEMPORARY.

    Once that year is over, get some critical care clases in. Most hospitals offer continued education classes. Enroll in those that review EKG's and other critical care topics. It shows you are interested. After you have gotten some of those classes done, enroll yourself in an ACLS class. A full class. Even if you have to pay for it. If you want off the medsurg floor bad enough, it won't matter to you. It will show your future employer that you took intiative, that you REALLY want to work recovery.

    Once you have done all of that, get your resume out. You will be ready for the best job in nursing, the recovery room!

    Good luck!
  4. by   blue42
    Thank you so much for the helpful advice. I can see how being on a med surg floor first would help with invaluable experience you can't get from nursing school. You get to see so much and I'm sure it would make you a better and more competent nurse. Thanks again for replying.
  5. by   HawkinsRN
    blue42...I do want to warn you. As a new grad, it is going to be very tough. There may even be days when you simply want to turn around and go back home leaving your stethescope behind. Hopefully, those days will be few, and the days when someone says thank you and means it will help you to forget.

    I don't want to discourage you, but I want you to remember this...no matter what happens, stick out your first year. Learn as much as you can about everything. Ask questions, watch procedures, make time for these things, and keep telling yourself it is not forever.

    The first year is the very hardest, but if you can make it on a busy med surg floor, managing too many patients, and too many post ops...then you know what? YOU CAN DO ANYTHING!!!
  6. by   gypsigirl
    hawkins, I'm curious as to why you say the recovery room is the best job in nursing....is this because you love it....can you tell a little about what a recovery room nurse does...thank you