Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU)

We understand that when a family member or close friend has surgery, it can be stressful. Providing excellent patient care is our top priority so we’ve created these guidelines to ensure that we provide quality care and a healing environment for your loved one. Here is what you can expect:

After Surgery

The surgeon will visit with you following the procedure. Your loved one will arrive in the PACU (Recovery Room-Phase I) about 15 minutes after that. We will call you as soon as we have your family member settled and it is safe to leave the patient to use the phone.

For Patients Going Home the Same Day

The patient will be in Phase I recovery for about 60 minutes. The nurse will call you so that you may visit during Phase II – the time when the patient is almost ready to go home. During Phase II, the nurse will review discharge instructions and ensure that your family member is safe to go home. If the patient will be delayed going to Phase II, the nurse will arrange for you to have a five-minute visit with your family member during Phase I.

For Patients Staying in the Hospital

Once the patient has been in PACU Phase I for about 45-60 minutes, the nurse will arrange for a brief family visit (except in the Spine & Total Joint Center). This visit will be for about five minutes and limited to 2 family members (no children please). It is important to limit the visit so that the nurse can continue to care for your family member during this crucial time. The patient will be sleepy and may have pain and nausea, so it is important to maintain a quiet and calming environment for him or her. You will receive another phone call when the patient is ready to go to the hospital floor.

Visitor Responsibilities While in the PACU – Phase I

  • Visitors are not allowed in the Spine & Joint PACU.
  • Visits are limited to five minutes and two people (no children).
  • Place your cell phone on vibrate and limit use.
  • The PACU is a large, open area with patients in various stages of waking. Privacy for all patients is paramount so visitors must stay behind the curtains.
  • If you have a history of fainting, please inform the nurse.
  • Please understand that certain care situations in the PACU may take priority over family visitation; your visit to your family member may be delayed for these reasons.

These guidelines will help us ensure patient safety, privacy and comfort. We appreciate your commitment to helping us deliver that to your loved one.