What Happens in the Recovery Room?

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May 14, 2015 by Kelly Wolfe, SMC Nurse Manager PACU/Recovery


The Recovery Room is sometimes referred to as the POST ANESTHESIA CARE UNIT and is generally located near the operating room. This area accommodates a group of surgical patients following either minor or major surgery who are under the continuous surveillance of highly skilled professional registered nurses. These nurses monitor the patients condition continuously.

This type of observation of the surgical patient cannot be completed from any other location in the hospital (except the Intensive Care Unit). The nurses' duties are to prevent complications, detect early complications and relieve patients' discomfort from the surgical intervention. This is a time for limited visitation from family members until the patient is fully alert, and the pain from the surgery is manageable.

When the patient has fully recovered from the effects of the anesthesia and there is no evidence of complication, then the patient is prepared for discharge home or transfer to the appropriate nursing unit.
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