Post Anesthesia Care Unit
Find On-Demand Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) Jobs Nearby
Learn What it Takes to Work in PACU as a Registered Nurse
Post Anesthesia Care Unit nurses (also referred to as PACU or recovery room nurses) serve a critical role in hospitals and surgical centers by providing care to patients who are recovering or waking from a surgical procedure. Side effects and responses to anesthesia can vary by person, and while some patients will come out of anesthesia gently and easily others may wake disoriented and in pain or even more serious issues.
Due to the critical nature of a PACU nurse, these PRN shifts are often some of the highest paying RN jobs available on the Nursa™ platform. We’re committed to helping surgical teams continue their work without delays or cancellations due to employment issues by providing experienced clinicians on-demand.
Where does a Post Anesthesia Care Unit Nurse Work?
Anywhere surgeries with anesthesia are performed, a PACU nurse can be found. This means work settings can vary from hospitals to ambulatory surgical units, or even outpatient care centers and sometimes doctors’ offices.
What Does a PACU Nurse Do?
A PACU nurse assumes the care of a patient following a surgical procedure. They are responsible for monitoring vitals, documenting a patient’s process of waking, and recovery from surgery. This can also include changing wound dressings and monitoring IV levels. In some cases, lifesaving intervention may be necessary. Nurses working in the recovery room determine when a patient is ready to be moved and will often provide guidance and education for recovery when it comes time for the patient to be discharged.
Download the App and Get Started Now!
Nursa™ provides you a safe and secure place to store your credentials, and find available per-diem work close to home or across the country in real-time.
The following certifications are recommended and others required for various posts in the post-anesthesia care unit. Your certifications can be included in your professional digital portfolio on Nursa™ and assist you in landing high-paying PRN shifts by demonstrating your commitment to both your patients and your career.
- Basic Life Support (BLS)
- Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS)
- Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS)
- Certified Post Anesthesia Nurse (CPAN)
- Certified Ambulatory Perianesthesia Nurse (CAPA)
Traits Essential in a Successful PACU Nurse
In the recovery room after surgery, the PACU nurse is usually the first person a patient sees upon waking. Sedation can cause confusion and fear in some people therefore patience and a calm demeanor serve as necessary qualities for a nurse in this role. Not all patients coming out of sedation will be able to coherently verbalize any discomfort or side effects they may be experiencing, therefore attention to detail is paramount in this unit.