Published Aug 11, 1998
OUR PACU SERVICES 28 OPERATING ROOMS AND WE ONLY HAVE 28 SPACES IN WHICH TO DO THIS. WHEN WE ARE FULL WE MUST PUT THE OR ON HOLD. HOW DO OTHER PACU'S HANDLE THIS SITUATION.
Well, we have only five theatres and our recovery unit is only small compared to yours. 5 adult spaces, well 6 at a pinch, and 2 paediatric spaces.
If we are full we notify all theatres and they have to hang on to their patient until we have the space. At the same time we notify the charge nurse so that she is aware. Often a lot of our problems stem from the fact that the wards are slow in collecting their patients. Excuses usually are....."there's only 2 of us on the ward because its tea/lunch/dinner time, and you will have to wait until they get back". If you are full, then you are full and you can't do anything about that. Even ringing the nurse manager out on the floor, doesn't help as she just says that the wards are all busy/full and she doesn't have spare staff to transport post op patients.
Obviously the situation needs rectifying as it is not satisfactory, but that would depend on why you are full.....ie very ill patients, patients ready to go back to wards, but no staff to transport etc etc.
We have 4 OR suites and only 4 Phase One recovery rooms. We also have 5 Phase 2 recovery rooms that we use to preop our patients. Space is a major concerned, and for one reason or another it is difficult to get that information over to the OR. We have to work hard in getting our patients recovered in a timely and safe manner and get them up to their rooms to keep the space available for the next patient. OR is not going to wait for us, but we do have some control as to when they go into surgery. If we are getting backed up in Phase 1, we will slow down on preoping the patients for surgery. This causes a delay in the start time, but does give us time to move our Phase 1 patients to the floor.
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