Today I was sent to "observe" in the Short Procedure Unit. In other hospitals this is known as the "Same Day Surgery" unit. We (me and my counterpart from the other clinical group) spent most of the morning in the Intake part of the unit, bringing patients back, orienting them to the unit, helping get them into surgical gowns, caps, sock-with-treads, et cet, then taking vital signs, and completing intake assessments. We were only TECHNICALLY supposed to be OBSERVERS, but the nurses were busy, and pretty soon we were doing 2/3 of the intakes, while the nurses were doing the urine pregnancy tests, starting IVs, giving meds, and charting. This was fine with us, as we had something to do.
The remainder of the day we went to the POST surgical area, which is also known as Recovery II. Recovery I is the PACU, where patients are brought out of anesthesia, and vitals are assured to be stable. If the patient is going to be staying, they then are admitted to a floor. If, however, they've had a tonsillectomy, or a tendon surgery, or a fixation of a broken arm, or something, often they come back down to the SPU, and stay there until they are ok to leave- not nauseous, fully consious, pain controlled, feeling ok. We helped dress people, complete "discharge teaching", brought warm blankets and snacks, and basically did all those little things that are really nice, but nobody ever gets time to do for the patients. We got profusely thanked about 40 times.
If only our patients up on the Cardiology unit would be so grateful... :-p