orm_april-2024 - 8

Safe postop patient recovery: A day in the PACU leader role
LEADERSHIP
C
ritical assessment and rapid response
are essentials skills for
perioperative staff members, and
that goes double for perioperative leadership.
Patient-centered leadership is a
must. Like the OR, the postanesthesia
care unit (PACU, formerly referred to as
the " recovery room " ) is a critical care
area plagued by an influx of new hires
with little experience being thrust into
a high-acuity environment. In today's
volatile staffing ecosystem, PACU leaders
need the right clinical expertise and
enough maturity to guide new nurses
through decision-making and communication
best practices.
Perioperative work
involves multiple moving
parts-collaboration
is key for success. The
work inside PACU exemplifies
this well, says
Tonya Seckner, MSN,
RN, CPAN, assistant director
of perioperative
services at SUNY Upstate
Medical University
in New York.
" We have a great relationship with
our OR and anesthesia staff, " she says,
pointing to the importance of morning
team huddles, during which the team
discusses the plan for that day, as an
example of a collaborative environment.
Those close relationships build a sense
of trust in the team that is essential
to do the work well, especially when it
comes to checking on patients postoperatively
who might not be recovering
as they should. " PACU is all about the
patient handoff being done well, " she
says. " It's critical for patient safety and
good outcomes that [staff outside of
PACU] trust our opinion. "
Tonya
Seckner,
MSN, RN,
CPAN
Leaping into PACU nursing
In 2002, Seckner was freshly graduated
from nursing school when she decided
to take a leap of faith and join the
PACU. " I was lucky to be hired right into
PACU as a new grad, which is unheard
of, " she recalls. When asked why that
was not the norm, she explains that
departments such as the PACU and the
OR require a set of skills that usually
come from specialized training.
" Nursing schools do not introduce
nursing students to a career in surgery,
and PACU nursing is not strongly
touched on, " she says, explaining that
PACU, for instance, requires acute care
expertise similar to nursing in the intensive
care unit (ICU). Most hospitals
require nurses to have at least 2 years
of acute care experience before being
hired into PACU. Seckner cites the basic
scenario of a patient waking up after a
surgical procedure. " The skills required
to assess the patient when they first
wake up, for instance, come from ICUlevel
of experience, " she says.
But she was up for the challenge. " I
defied the norms a bit by going straight
into PACU, so it is possible to do it. My
hiring manager back then saw my enthusiasm
and eagerness to learn, and
they took a chance. " The promise of
making a real difference in a patient's
journey by aiding in their postoperative
recovery was very appealing to her as
a 22-year-old nurse, and Seckner bets
the same is true for many young nursing
graduates out there.
It was a steep learning curve, however,
and Seckner found she quickly
had to adapt to the critical care demands
of her then-new role. " My training
was intensive, " she says. " I went
through an extended 6-month orientation,
compared to the usual 10-week
orientation most nurses go through in
a new role. " But she stresses that the
investment was worth it. " I always knew
I wanted to be a nurse and help people.
Nursing is my calling, and PACU is my
passion. Going through that orientation
period let me discover what I'm passionate
about. "
When asked what her favorite thing
is about PACU nursing, Seckner anBY
TARSILLA MOURA
swers right away, " I love that nothing is
ever the same. It's not even that every
day is not the same, there's constant
change in the same shift. So much can
happen from one moment to the next. "
That type of demand, she stresses, can
be taxing and requires good reflexes
and a lot of flexibility. " I'm not the only
one who likes that about PACU. I hear
other PACU nurses say they appreciate
that the work never feels mundane. "
Patients almost never react the same
when waking up from anesthesia, Seckner
cites as an example of how different
the same work can feel in a single
shift. " When patients are first emerging
from anesthesia, they are at their most
vulnerable because they can't speak for
themselves coherently. Sometimes they
react badly. We have to be on our toes
and be ready to meet a patient's individual
needs in that moment. " Another example
is pain management. " Again, it's
constantly different. Pain tolerance can
vary a lot from patient to patient. We
have to be pain management experts to
help our patients through what can be a
difficult time. "
A day in the life
A day in the life of a PACU nurse revolves
around the delicate balance of
preparing patients for surgery and caring
for them postoperatively, Seckner says.
Both come with their set of challenges.
Preoperative work usually involves dealing
with patients' anxiety and getting
them as reassured and educated about
their procedures as possible.
They also have to move fast, she
adds. Surgeons sometimes are in a
hurry to get started, and first case ontime
start is a metric that is carefully
tracked in the OR. " The responsibilities
shift once the surgery is done, " she
says. Patients are more vulnerable and
need closer attention, and a lot of pressure
is placed on monitoring their vitals.
" You're responsible for their breathing,
pretty much. "
8
OR Manager | April 2024
www.ormanager.com
http://www.ormanager.com

orm_april-2024

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of orm_april-2024

orm_april-2024 - 1
orm_april-2024 - 2
orm_april-2024 - 3
orm_april-2024 - 4
orm_april-2024 - 5
orm_april-2024 - 6
orm_april-2024 - 7
orm_april-2024 - 8
orm_april-2024 - 9
orm_april-2024 - 10
orm_april-2024 - 11
orm_april-2024 - 12
orm_april-2024 - 13
orm_april-2024 - 14
orm_april-2024 - 15
orm_april-2024 - 16
orm_april-2024 - 17
orm_april-2024 - 18
orm_april-2024 - 19
orm_april-2024 - 20
orm_april-2024 - 21
orm_april-2024 - 22
orm_april-2024 - 23
orm_april-2024 - 24
orm_april-2024 - 25
orm_april-2024 - 26
orm_april-2024 - 27
orm_april-2024 - 28
orm_april-2024 - 29
orm_april-2024 - 30
orm_april-2024 - 31
orm_april-2024 - 32
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/orm_august-2024
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/orm_july-2024
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/orm_june-2024
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/orm_may-2024
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/ormc_brochure_march-2024
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/orm_april-2024
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/orm_asc_march-2024
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/orm_march-2024
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/orm_february-2024
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/orm_january-2024
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/orm_november-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/orm_october-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/or-manager-september-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/or-manager-august-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/or-manager-july-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/or-manager-june-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/or-manager-may-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/ormc-brochure-march-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/or-manager-april-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/or-manager-march-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/orm-february-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/or-manager-january-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/or-manager-november-december-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/or-manager-october-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/or-manager-september-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/or-manager-august-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/or-manager-july-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/or-manager-june-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/ormc-brochure-may-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/or-manager-may-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/or-manager-april-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/or-manager-march-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/or-manager-february-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/or-manager-january-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/or-manager-november-december-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/or-manager-october-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/or-manager-september-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/or-manager-august-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/or-manager-july-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/or-manager-june-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/or-manager-may-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/or-manager-April-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/or-manager-march-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/or-manager-february-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/or-manager-january-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/or-manager-december-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/or-manager-october-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/or-manager-september-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/or-manager-august-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/or-manager-july-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/or-manager-june-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/or-manager-may-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/or-manager-april-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/or-manager-march-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/or-manager-february-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/or-manager-january-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/or-manager-december-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/or-manager-november-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/or-manager-october-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/or-manager-september-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/or-manager-august-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/or-manager-july-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/or-manager-june-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/or-manager-may-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/or-manager-april-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/or-manager-march-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/or-manager-february-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/or-manager-january-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/or-manager-december-2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/or-manager-november-2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/or-manager-october-2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/or-manager-september-2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/or-manager-august-2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/or-manager-july-2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/or-manager-june-2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/or-manager-may-2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/or-manager-april-2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/or-manager-march-2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/or-manager-february-2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/or-manager-january-2018
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com