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Post Anesthetic Care Unit

Unit Profiles in the Gerald P. Turner Department of Nursing

The Post Anesthetic Care Unit is located near the Operating Room and consists of 17 monitored stretcher bays equipped to handle any emergency in this Phase I Recovery area. This unit is considered a critical care area, and occasionally patients require postoperative ventilation.

Patients remain in the PACU until they transition into the Phase II Recovery period.  At this point, patients are discharged according to discharge criteria based on research and evidence of positive outcomes, either to surgical inpatient units, the ICU or into the Day Surgery Unit.  This unit is staffed from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.,  Monday to Friday, with nursing staff on call to handle emergency surgery during the nights and on weekends.

The PACU is combined with the Day Surgery Unit.  Phase II Recovery of the day surgery patients occurs in a separate but closely associated area of the unit.  Here, the patients are cared for by the same staff that is also experienced in Phase I Recovery in the PACU on an rotating basis. Patients are prepared for discharge home in the Day Surgery Unit by being encouraged to resume independence as they mobilize and regain their ability to manage their ADL’s within pre-operative parameters.  40% of the surgical cases are completed as day surgery patients.