PACU nurses: overcoming challenges | Australian College of Nursing

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PACU nurses: overcoming challenges

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About the CPD short course

This short course is conducted over one day and is equivalent to 7 continuing professional development (CPD) hours. Please note that the program is subject to change.

Who should attend?

This short course aims to increase and update the knowledge and skills of nurses who work in the post-anaesthetic care/recovery departments.

Dates and locations

We are currently finalising our calendar of CPD short courses for the first half of 2017. If you would like to be informed when dates are announced, you can register for email notifications

If you would like to tell us which courses you would like to see in your area, please click here to complete a short survey.


RN member $187.50

EN member $153.50

RN non-member $219.50

EN non-member $186.00


Key learning outcomes

On completion participants will be better able to:

  • demonstrate an advanced level of knowledge in the care of paediatric, obstetric, elderly and complex patients in the PACU
  • identify and describe the management of common complications for paediatric, obstetric, elderly and complex patients in the PACU
  • summarise the pharmacological considerations for paediatric, obstetric, elderly and complex patients in the PACU, including updates in pain management regimes
  • reflect upon current policies and procedures in relation to clinical practice in their own PACU
  • discuss the application of stress management techniques as part of maintaining a safe working and patient environment.


Program outline




Care of the paediatric patient

  • specialised care of paediatric patients in the PARU
  • review paediatric airway and anatomy
  • recovery of paediatrics from ENT surgery
  • pain management


Care of the obstetric patient

  • specialised care of the obstetric patient in the PARU
  • recognition and management of obstetric emergencies in the PARU
  • pharmacological considerations including pain management
  • discussion topic: care of the newborn in the PARU – current research update


Morning tea


Care of the complex patient

  • airway assessment management in the PARU, including difficult airway
  • identifying and managing emergencies in the PARU
  • monitoring in recovery, including noninvasive and invasive
  • interventional management of complex patients
  • extubation – the ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘where’, ‘when’ and ‘how’
  • pharmacological considerations




Care of the elderly patient

  • review anatomical and physiological differences in the elderly
  • the difficult patient in the recovery room i.e. emergence delirium
  • differences in pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics of drugs in the elderly


Afternoon tea


Professional issues

  • legal requirements for documentation
  • discharge, handover and transfer of the recovered patient (updates from the ACSQHC, ACORN and ANZCA)
  • stress management in the recovery room


Summary, evaluation and finish