The Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) may be one of the best kept secrets in hospital nursing. The PACU provides critical/intensive observation and care of patients who have undergone procedures that require anesthesia. Advocating for patients at their most vulnerable requires our nurses to be expert clinicians with excellent critical-thinking and communication skills. Post-anesthesia nurses are capable of making intelligent, independent decisions and initiating appropriate action as necessary.

The PACU Nurse Fellowship is designed to prepare new nurse graduates and nurses who have no prior work experience in a critical care setting to perform the roles of the registered nurse in the post anesthesia care unit/perianesthesia setting. The program is tailored to meet each individual's specific training needs, based upon their prior educational and work experiences.

The fellowship combines the AACN's Essentials to Critical Care Orientation (ECCO) course, which provides the foundation of critical care knowledge along with perianesthesia focused classes. The perianesthesia class content is created and presented in accordance with the American Society of Perianesthesia Nurses (ASPAN) standards, ASPAN Competency Based Orientation as well as the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) guidelines; this provides an evidence-based foundation in post anesthesia care patient management.

The Perianesthesia Nurse Fellowship Program is a 6 to 7 month program that orients nurses to all aspects of perianesthesia nursing care with a focus on postoperative/post procedural care. Nurses in the program work 36-40 hours and are paired with an experienced nurse preceptor. Along with their preceptor, the new nurse hire gradually assumes a normal patient load and is responsible for all aspects of patient care.

The program includes an introduction to other perioperative areas such as the Operating Room, Same Day Surgery, Endoscopy and Anesthesia. New graduate fellowship trainees also participate in the yearlong nurse residency program that is led by the Office of Clinical Practice and Professional Development. Many of the courses and workshops associated with this fellowship are approved for contact hours.

The program is offered two times a year: winter and summer. Applications for a position in the fellowship are accepted on line through the normal employment process. Applications may be submitted when the position for the "MC Registered Nurse II-Nurse Fellowship PACU/ Shock Trauma Center PACU" is listed as an available opening on the website.

For more information, please call 410-328-9936.
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