PACU Room Nurse

PACU Room Nurse

General Overview

The PACU Staff Nurse in the Post Anesthesia Care Unit is organizationally responsible to the Nurse Manager for OR/PACU/SSU.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:  Care of the post-anesthesia patient including assessment, patient teaching, and development of post-anesthesia nursing care plan. The PACU nurse is expected to possess the knowledge and technical ability to function independently in the recovery room providing quality care during the post-anesthesia phase and immediate postoperative follow up. Participation in the emergency call back system is required on a rotational basis. This nurse must be proficient with computer documentation skills and possess outstanding verbal and written communication skills. The PACU nurse must also possess exceptional customer service skills and ability to work effectively with clinical, administrative personnel, patients, and visitors. The PACU nurse may also be required to float other inpatient areas.

Main Job Tasks and Responsibilities

The nurse is obligated to ongoing, comprehensive evaluation and improvement of clinical practice and health care delivery systems to meet the needs of patients in the Post Anesthesia Unit (PACU) Practice is based on current and anticipated trends in health care. The Staff Nurse in the PACU Clinic demonstrates leadership in delivering critical care and improving holistic care through collaborative strategies with others. Demonstrates and maintains critical care and clinic core and unit specific competencies. Demonstrates ability to lead nursing staff in performance of nursing care at the unit or team level. Administers medications appropriately, following the 5 “R’s” of medication administration and established facility and service policies and procedures. The incumbent is knowledgeable of the expected therapeutic results (and possible side effects) of medications administered, as well as medication administration issues for adult and elderly patients in a critical care unit PACU. Educates patients regarding medications, therapeutic uses, possible side effects, etc. The nurse is responsible safety and infection control practices on the unit, working with the nurse manager to ensure compliance with regulations. The nurse is responsible for assessment and documentation of assessment for various surgical clinic patients, and for the completion of clinical reminders. Additionally, the PACU nurse will be responsible for critical assessments in the Post Anesthesia Recovery Room using critical care knowledge and skills for both phase I and phase II recovery patients. Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) required in specific specialty areas.

  • Accountable to the Nurse Manager, PACU/ASU/SDPU.
  • Must be able to rotate assignments through the SDPU, PACU, Holding Area, and ASU.
  • Effectively utilizes all aspects of the nursing process to provide optimal nursing care to patients during their immediate post-operative and/or post anesthesia recovery period.
  • Practices within the guidelines of the policies, procedures, and standards of care relative to post- anesthesia, post-operative, and critical care nursing.
  • Monitors patient and administers drugs for conscious sedation under the direction of the attending physician during Regional Anesthesia Block Process, Trans Esophageal Echocardiogram, and other procedures.
  • Assists the attending physician in the administration of regional anesthesia.
  • Recognizes and responds promptly and appropriately to emergency situations.
  • Effectively communicates with appropriate nursing, surgical and anesthesia personnel.
  • Participates in SDPU/ASU/PAR teaching conferences, quality improvement, and research activities.

Key Competencies and Characteristics

  • Must pass pre-employment examination.
  • Designated and/or Random Drug Testing required.
  • Background and/or Security Investigation required.
  • Must be proficient in written and spoken English

Education and Experience

  • Candidates must have a bachelor’s, associates or diploma degree in Nursing.
  • Full unrestricted Registered Nurse state Licensure, Certification, or Registration required
  • The ideal candidate will have at least have one year of recent PACU/Recovery Room or ICU RN experience
  • Employment is conditional upon passing a drug test and background check


  • Current TX or any state Compact license – American Heart Association ACLS, PALS, BLS certifications

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