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Elliot Health System is a non-profit organization serving your healthcare needs since 1890.
Inpatient Care & Nursing Units

Post Anesthesia Care Unit

The PACU Experience

Upon arrival to Surgical Day Care... You will be asked to go the Surgical Waiting Room while the patient is being prepared for surgery (change, start IV, fill-out forms). This can take as long as 30 to 40 minutes. When everything is completed, you will be able to rejoin your loved one until surgery time.

How many family members should be waiting in the Surgical Waiting Room?
Ideally one or two.Our space is limited.

During your family members surgery and recovery period, a Nurse Liaison is available to keep you updated as to his or her status and will answer any questions and concerns that you may have.

After surgery… The surgeon will speak with you about your family member; please do not hesitate to ask the surgeon for a private consultation room.

When may I visit? You will be able to see your family member once discharged from the PACU. Visitors are not permitted in the PACU; however, if your family member is staying longer than expected, the PACU nurse will try to contact you in the Surgical Waiting Room. Parents of young children will be invited into the PACU as soon as the child awakens from anesthesia.

What happens in the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU)? Following his/her operation, your family member will recover from anesthesia in the PACU,where a PACU nurse will continually monitor him/her.The PACU nurse will frequently check blood pressure,respiration (breathing), and pulse as well as check dressings (bandages), regulate intravenous fluids (IVs), and begin pain medication as needed. When your family member is recovered from anesthesia,he/she will be moved to a hospital room or to the Surgical Day Care (SDC) area by the PACU nurse. The Surgical Waiting Room volunteer will be notified of the patient’s discharge from the PACU and will inform you.

Average length of stay in the PACU is 1 to 1.5 hours for minor surgeries and up to 3 to 4 hours for major surgeries.If your family member stays longer than expected, do not be alarmed; a longer stay may be necessary to ensure that the patient receives the very best of care and is comfortable before being discharged.

Translation Arrangements… Arrangements for translators may be made in advance for several languages, including French, Spanish and the hearing impaired. Please make arrangements with the PACU staff for this service.

Our volunteers… Are happy to assist with communication between you and the PACU staff.

  • They will provide additional information and assistance to you during your wait.
  • If there is an emergency while the volunteer is away from the desk, please use the telephone and call 0 for the operator.
  • If the telephone rings and the volunteer is not present, please answer it; the PACU nurse may be calling to notify you of your family member’s discharge.

Please be sure to check in with the volunteer upon arrival to or departure from the Surgical Waiting Room so the PACU nurse will know if you are waiting to rejoin your family member.

Elliot amenities for family and friends... Complimentary coffee, tea and cocoa is available in the Surgical Waiting Room.

Baby Changing Area: Located near the elevators on the second floor.

Elliot Commons: The cafeteria is located on the ground floor and is open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Dunkin’Donuts: Dunkin’Donuts is located within the hospital on th

ATM: An ATM is available passed Dunkin Donuts to the right.

Chapel: The hospital Chapel is located on the first floor passed Dunkin Donuts.

The Gift Shop: The Gift Shop is located on the first floor. Take the main elevators to the first floor and
it is to the left.

The E-Store: Located in the Main Lobby of the hospital, The E Store offers unique and useful gifts at reasonable prices.By shopping at the E Store, you are contributing to Elliot initiatives like the Elliot Breast Health Center that continues to bring excellence in healthcare to our community.

Smoking Policy: Elliot Hospital maintains a no-smoking policy for the health and comfort of patients, guests, and staff. There is no smoking within 50 feet of Elliot Hospital and affiliated buildings.

Cell Phone Policy: Please take note: Cell phones can interfere with monitors and equipment critical to patient care.We ask that you use your cell phone in the hallway by the visitors elevators on the second floor, in the hospital’s front lobby, or outside of the hospital building. Thank you.

The nursing staff of the PACU strives to provide the very best care possible to your family member following their surgery. If you have any concerns or if we can better meet their needs please do not hesitate to inform us.Thank you.