Education Career Articles

Connect Facebook Connect Twitter Connect Google+ Connect Pinterest Connect Stumbleupon

5 Activities Nurse Anesthetists Perform in the PACU (Post-Anesthesia Care Unit)

Career News August 19, 2013

Opportunities for nurses to progress in their careers include advanced degrees in management, as well as advanced degrees as a physician extender in areas such as post-anesthesia care nursing. While most positions can be lucrative and rewarding, a position as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) provides opportunities in locations such as hospitals, outpatient surgery centers, doctor’s offices, as well as consulting positions in all of these locations.

The role of a nurse anesthetist is well defined and integral to every stage of a surgical procedure from planning to recovery. Responsibilities include care for the patient prior to surgery, during surgery and post-anesthesia care nursing. Prior to and during a surgical procedure, the CRNA will assure that all pre-operative care instructions for the patient are followed, as well as assisting the surgeon and anesthetist in evaluating the patient’s condition and developing and administering a plan for the type of anesthesia to be used, along with monitoring the patient’s condition during surgery.

Post-Anesthesia Care Nursing Responsibilities

Once a surgical procedure is completed, the care of the patient is transferred from the surgical staff to the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) staff. One of the only professionals whose responsibilities continue from one unit to the other is the Nurse Anesthetist. Their post-anesthesia care nursing responsibilities include, but are not limited to the following list:

Vital Signs – The CRNA will monitor the patient’s condition throughout the process of recovery. From body temperature to heart rate to blood oxygenation levels referred to as oxygen saturation, the nurse anesthetist will assure that the correct medications are prescribed and delivered to maintain healthy vital signs.

Condition – As the patient recovers from anesthesia, the nurse anesthetist will assure that a plan of care is delivered that addresses the patient’s condition including comfort, pain level and nausea. Medications, patient positioning and other factors are adjusted at the Nurse Anesthetists discretion.

Report – As post-anesthesia care nursing is being delivered by the Nurse Anesthetist, the CRNA is also delivering a report on the surgical procedure and current status of the patient to the PACU nurse who will take over responsibility for the patient in the recovery process.

Post-Op Instructions – Post operative instructions will include post operative care medications, diet, positioning, monitoring alerts, medical devices, contact instructions, as well as adherence to standing orders that are in place both for common and specialized procedures. Standing orders are established to save time and streamline care.

Transfer of Care – Once the patient’s condition and post operative care instructions have been relayed to the PACU staff and all immediate questions regarding the patient have been answered, the Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist will transfer care of the patient. Often their responsibilities do not end at this point, and the CRNA will make themselves available by pager or phone for any issues that may arise throughout the patient’s recovery process.

The Nurse Anesthetist takes on many responsibilities throughout the surgical process from preliminary evaluation to recovery. They perform tasks both as an extension of the anesthesiologist, as well as the nursing care staff. The overlap of responsibilities not only strikes the importance of their position, but is vital to the transfer of information and delivery of care throughout the surgical process.

Searching Searching ...

Matching School Ads
5 Program(s) Found
  • Apply At Fortis College Today! Explore the Career Programs.
  • Accredited
  • Financial Aid
5 Program(s) Found
  • Which career path will you take – Business, Nursing, Education, Psychology? Something else? GCU offers more than 100 majors to get you started!
  • Colangelo College of Business: Features more than 25 programs from the bachelor through the master's level, including several high-demand MBA programs and an accelerated accounting degree.
  • College of Nursing and Health Care Professions: Rich 25-year history providing outstanding health care and nursing degree programs, including an RN to BSN program & master's in nursing degrees.
  • College of Education: Whether you are looking to start or advance your career as a teacher or administrator, GCU offers bachelor’s and master’s in education degrees in key areas.
  • College of Humanities and Social Sciences: Provides a job focused education and features a variety of programs from counseling and psychology to justice studies, history and English literature.
  • Does something else interest you? GCU also offers programs in Doctoral Studies; Theology; Science, Engineering & Technology; and Fine Arts & Production. Speak with an enrollment counselor today!
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
4 Program(s) Found
  • Recognized as a Top 20 Best Online Bachelor’s Program by U.S. News & World Report in 2016.
  • Online, campus-based, and evening courses offered in 95 areas of study, including Business, Nursing, Psychology, & more.
  • Endorsed by G.I. Jobs and Military Advanced Education magazine as a Military Friendly School in 2015.
  • Features small class sizes, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 23 to 1.
  • 88% of Regent University students receive financial aid, with $18 million awarded in institutional scholarships & aid each year.
  • Online Courses
5 Program(s) Found
  • Online Bachelor's programs include BBA, Criminal Justice, Psychology, IT, Healthcare Management & Public Health
  • Over 115 years of delivering quality education and personalized attention to students
  • Provide a range of campus experiences and services online including advising, tutoring, student community, and career services
  • Give students and alumni access to career assistants who help with resumes, cover letters, job hunting, and more.
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
  • Looking for an Online Healthcare Degree Program That May Improve Your Career Options?
  • EarnMyDegree.com Can Help You Match Your Educational Goals With Your Desired Career.
  • Whether You Are Looking to Earn a Degree Online, or Study at a Nearby Campus, This Is The Place to Connect With a College That May Be Ideal for You.
  • Browse Through Our List Of Online Colleges and Traditional Schools to Determine Potential Places to Earn a Degree NOW!
  • Online Courses

Searching Searching ...

Matching School Ads
5 Program(s) Found
  • Which career path will you take – Business, Nursing, Education, Psychology? Something else? GCU offers more than 100 majors to get you started!
  • Colangelo College of Business: Features more than 25 programs from the bachelor through the master's level, including several high-demand MBA programs and an accelerated accounting degree.
  • College of Nursing and Health Care Professions: Rich 25-year history providing outstanding health care and nursing degree programs, including an RN to BSN program & master's in nursing degrees.
  • College of Education: Whether you are looking to start or advance your career as a teacher or administrator, GCU offers bachelor’s and master’s in education degrees in key areas.
  • College of Humanities and Social Sciences: Provides a job focused education and features a variety of programs from counseling and psychology to justice studies, history and English literature.
  • Does something else interest you? GCU also offers programs in Doctoral Studies; Theology; Science, Engineering & Technology; and Fine Arts & Production. Speak with an enrollment counselor today!
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
4 Program(s) Found
  • Recognized as a Top 20 Best Online Bachelor’s Program by U.S. News & World Report in 2016.
  • Online, campus-based, and evening courses offered in 95 areas of study, including Business, Nursing, Psychology, & more.
  • Endorsed by G.I. Jobs and Military Advanced Education magazine as a Military Friendly School in 2015.
  • Features small class sizes, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 23 to 1.
  • 88% of Regent University students receive financial aid, with $18 million awarded in institutional scholarships & aid each year.
  • Online Courses
5 Program(s) Found
  • Online bachelor's programs include BBA, Criminal Justice, IT, Healthcare Management, Pscyhology & Public Health
  • Over 115 years of delivering quality education and personalized attention to students
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
  • Looking for an Online Healthcare Degree Program That May Improve Your Career Options?
  • EarnMyDegree.com Can Help You Match Your Educational Goals With Your Desired Career.
  • Whether You Are Looking to Earn a Degree Online, or Study at a Nearby Campus, This Is The Place to Connect With a College That May Be Ideal for You.
  • Browse Through Our List Of Online Colleges and Traditional Schools to Determine Potential Places to Earn a Degree NOW!
  • Online Courses

Login to your account

Can't remember your Password ?

Register for this site!