New PACU Opens: Designed by Staff, for Staff

April 29, 2015 2:32 pm
group shot

Group shot of many of the PACU team.

PCA and anesthesia work area

PCA server that will hold the Anesthesia work station

Starting April 29 and April 30, 2015, surgery patients will be transitioning to the new 18-bed PACU (post anesthesia care unit) for recovery after surgery, as part of Phase One of the Surgery Renovation Project on Mercy Health Saint Mary’s Campus. A PACU is the first stop for a patient after surgery to recover from anesthesia. From the PACU, the patient will either be admitted to a hospital room or an outpatient will go to a “Phase Two” recovery area before they go home.

“I believe this will be a smooth transition for the staff and our patients,” said Julie Jackson, BSN, PACU nurse, of the upcoming move to the new PACU space. “We are ensuring that we will have a one-to-one nursing ratio during the transition for optimum patient care.”

Nursing server

Nursing servers holding necessary supplies are located between each bed for easy access.

“We are not only proud to have this new space, but we are most proud of the fact that our staff designed this space,” said Kathy Wells, Manager of Perioperative Services. “We have been planning for three and a half years, performing simulations and building the mock-ups in the Cathedral Square space in 2013. We have put so much thought into this. Our staff and physicians asked for this, and their voice was heard.”

Some of the changes:

  • Nearly 100 square footage of space for each bed;
  • A separate nursing server, a cabinet that holds necessary supplies at the bed side, is located between every other patient bed;
  • In a separate space from the nursing server, the anesthesiologist’s computer is located on top of a PCA server. Different space is necessary so a PCA can access their supplies and seamlessly;
  • Once the entire construction project is complete, the Pre-op area will be only one doorway away from the PACU, so staff can float better between the departments for necessary staffing;
  • The future Operating Room Control Desk will be located next to the PACU and features a window, so surgery staff can visually see the PACU.
view of several bays

View of several bays in the new PACU.

“The general placement of supplies and objects necessary for our job will be the biggest changes,” said Jackson. “We are very comfortable with the design of this space.”

Stay tuned – six operating rooms are scheduled to be open on May 15.

Future door to preop

Future doorway to the Pre-op area, positioned for staff to be able to float between the two units.

Trisha Brethauer

Environmentalist Trisha Brethauer prepares the PACU with important last-minute touches, including labeling the curtains and placing trash cans.

Surgery staff plan on hosting a colleague open house once the entire surgery project is complete.


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