CA1 residents (later in the year) and CA2 residents are assigned 2 week rotations in the PACU. The PACU resident is expected to ensure safe and efficient flow of patients through the recovery phase of anesthesia. PACU residents may be called by the nurses for problems such as “airway emergencies,” pain management, hemodynamic or cardiovascular alterations, neurological changes, nausea and vomiting, and evaluation of possible post-surgical complications. They are expected to arrange for consultations for workup of postoperative problems and communicate with the anesthesia team, PACU nurse and the primary surgical service.
In addition, the PACU resident is expected to accompany the 3911 senior resident to “codes” (in the hospital) and trauma activations in the Emergency Department. Cardiac arrests and severe traumatic injuries in the Emergency Department provide valuable learning opportunities for the junior residents, teaching opportunities for the senior residents and another pair of hands to assist with patient management in less than optimal circumstances.
By the end of this rotation, residents will have the knowledge and skills to observe, recognize and treat problems that commonly occur in the PACU.