a step forward?

by karo07 (New) New

I currently work in endoscopy recovery. I enjoy it for the most part, but on crazy days it feels like an assembly line. I feel pressured to get them out faster than I would like, because more patients will be coming out. Sometimes all bays are full with more patients in overflow, and they just keep rolling out. My question is: would pacu be better or just more of the same? I have heard from the crna's that pacu has better staffing ratios. Pacu nurses, what happens when your patient takes longer to recover than expected? Do you still get the next patient?

whichone'spink, BSN, RN

Has 3 years experience. 1,473 Posts

I work in PACU right now. If I have a patient with issues recovering, most of the time the other nurses pick up the slack and I can focus on my one patient. We don't have more than 2 at a time in PACU. Phase 2 (aka the discharge area) we have up to 3 at a time. Phase 2 also gets MAC/Local cases directly from OR.


Has 37 years experience. 3,413 Posts

Generally speaking recovering endoscopy patients is more of an assembly line, get them in and out quickly.

Generally speaking surgical PACU can be 2 - 4 at a time.

Some PACU's separate patients as phase I and phase II. Phase I patients are two to one.

Some surgical centers incorporate endoscopy and surgery all together in the same PACU so you may have 4 easy stable endoscopy patients, or 2 endoscopy patients and 2 cataracts, and it can be assembly line.

If your surgical patient is obtunded, requires a lot of pain meds, is bleeding, is nauseated, etc., your charge nurse would hopefully be aware and not give you another patient even if it was your turn. Or ask you if you thought you could take an "easy" endoscopy or cataract patient along with your busier patient.

Nothing is written in stone.....it is just common sense.