Post-anesthesia care unit nurses monitor post-surgical patients who have had anesthesia using equipment that provides patients with oxygen and monitors their vital signs. PACU nurses typically work in hospitals, surgery centers and other medical facilities, in what is commonly known as the recovery room.
PACU nurses monitor patients from the time they leave surgery until they are conscious and stable. The equipment they use monitors blood oxygen levels, blood pressure, heart rate and other vital signs. Although they work under the supervision of a physician, PACU nurses also treat patients for postoperative pain, nausea and other complications from general, local and regional anesthesia. These nurses decide when and if a patient is discharged to another department or sent home.