Hi, I am new to the PACU and I am wondering how other hospitals handle handoff from the OR into the PACU. Currently I am recieving bedside report from anesthesia and from the OR nurse. I realize this is a standard of care, however, I find it distracting from patient care. I feel like those first few moments in the PACU are critical for patient safety. Do any of you other PACU nurses have a better or different way you recieve handoff? Thanks!


102 Posts

Has 20 years experience.

Usually a quick report from anesthesia while I getting my patient settled. All of this information they were telling me was also noted on the anesthesia flow sheet. If there was time, the circulating RN might make an appearance to give additional info, but not always. Once I had the patient settled, airway protected, on the monitor, first set of signs taken and monitor set for q 5 mins, check the op site, pain assessment, I could refer to the anesthesia flow sheet while starting my notes. This was, however back when we use to chart on paper.


1,114 Posts

Specializes in PACU, pre/postoperative, ortho. Has 12 years experience.

Ah yes, the cascade of details thrown at you while you're trying to make sure the pt is breathing, giving a jaw thrust, or holding the pt's flailing arms, keeping them in bed &/or hooking up the monitor. I hated that too when I was new, mostly because it was hard to focus & I ended up feeling like I missed most of the details of report. After working in Pacu a few yrs now, the mechanics are second nature & it is much easier to set up the pt while someone is giving report at the same time.

Sometimes it got really bad though, where even the very experienced nurses were complaining about report. We have one circulator who would start talking as soon as they rolled thru the doors, before the pt was even wheeled into a bay or a nurse there to receive the pt. We finally made a change a yr or so ago where report is not to start until the pacu nurse states they are ready. Sometimes it still doesn't happen, but it is better than it was.

Tenebrae, BSN, RN

1 Article; 1,851 Posts

Specializes in Mental Health, Gerontology, Palliative. Has 11 years experience.

We do bedside reports. Not long and prolonged, includes what the procedure was, any concerns, what medications the patient received in theatre, any post op instructions eg prophylaxis ABs, whether OBS were stable

It gives you the opportunity to jump in straight away and do what needs to be done IMO

Specializes in critical care, ER,ICU, CVSURG, CCU.

It is the real world....