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PACU/PSWA - Emanuel

Note: This information is provided for nursing school faculty to let them know the kinds of clinical experiences available for nursing students at Legacy Health.


Randall Children's Hospital at Legacy Emanuel

Unit Name:

PACU (Post Anesthesia Care Unit)
PSWA (Pre Surgery Waiting Area)
Surgical Family Waiting Lounge

Patient Population &/or Specialty Served:

PACU: Post-surgical, post-anesthesia care, infant through adult.
PSWA:  Pre surgery holding area for IP pediatric and IP adult patients, including ICU & Burn. 
Family Waiting Lounge : Provide a liaison between surgeon and family members

Usual Times/Days of Week Unit Open:

PSWA: M-F, 0630-2030; Saturdays 0700-1500
PACU: M-F 0730 – 2400.  Saturday 0700 - 1500

Shift Length Worked & Start Times:

Varies, 8-10 hr shifts; Start times begin at 0600 through 1530

Number of Licensed Patient Beds:

Main PACU: Peds - 8; Adult  - 17; Isolation -1 (located in West Wing/Basement)  Peds Dental Procedure  - 4 (located on 3rd floor)

Average Daily Unit Census:

60 patients per day  (post op patients only)
Pre-op patients are not counted in daily volume

Average Length of Stay:

PSWA:-  5 – 30 minutes

PACU:- Highly dependent on patient’s response to anesthesia used

Number RNs Working Each Shift:

Peds 6-7; Adults -1210; Peds Procedure -2

Family Waiting Lounge - 1

Skill Mix: 

RN & CNA; Customer Service Associate

Style of Nursing & Usual Patient Assignment:

RN patient assignments (1:2, 1:1, 2:1).CNA assist RNs with patient care within the scope of practice; Glucometer testing; assisting with admission procedure, e.g. attaching BP cuff oximeter probe, admitting temps; empty Foley; holding/rocking babies and small children during anesthesia emergence phase, etc.CSA does housekeeping and assists with transports.

Special Skill Sets Usually Required of RNs: 

ACLS, PALS; Trauma certification optional but encouraged


 RN staff rotate through all four units, (PSWA, Adult and Peds PACU, & Dental PACU) to provide the opportunity for a diverse and satisfying work environment. The PSWA and PACU’s have embraced the “Patient-Family Centered Care” concepts and encourage parents to be with their child in the Peds PACU. All RN staff participate in providing “Standby Call Coverage” during the time when the PACU is closed.  There are two RN’s on call at any given time.  Depending on the after hours volume, a Nursing Assistant may be assigned to help. A Surgical Services Family Coordinator day shift RN position serves as a liaison between the Surgeon, Anesthesiologist, PACU and the family members.