Ambulatory Surgery / PACU Department

The Ambulatory Surgery Department

The Ambulatory Surgery Department at The Bellevue Hospital has a spacious area to take care of patients before and after surgery whether it is same-day, overnight or inpatient surgery.  Our staff is made up of registered nurses (RNs), a secretary & transporters.  Each of our rooms is private and contains a cart for transporting you, a recliner, a standard chair, a dresser for your belongings and a television.   

The PACU Department

PACU stands for Post Anesthesia Care Unit, also known as the Recovery Room.  At The Bellevue Hospital PACU is connected to Ambulatory Surgery and its nursing staff works in both the surgery department and PACU.  All nurses in this department are certified in BLS (Basic Life Support – CPR), ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) and PALS (Pediatric Advanced Life Support).  


What will happen the day of my surgery? 

  • When you arrive at the hospital for your procedure you will check in at the Concierge desk.  Our receptionist will double check that all the necessary paperwork has been completed for your admission to the hospital. 
  • You and your family will then be directed to the surgical waiting area on the 2nd floor just outside of the Surgery Department.
  • Your surgery nurse will come and escort you to the room assigned to you.  Your family will be asked to stay in the Surgical Waiting Area while you are prepped for surgery.  Once your admission is complete your family will be allowed to sit with you until it is time for your procedure (we allow 2 visitors to be with you at a time).
  • Once you are in your room, you will be asked to change into a hospital gown.  When you are changed, the nurse will then start your admission paperwork.  Your nurse will verify who you are and what procedure you are having done.  You will go over your current medications and be asked if you have any allergies.  You will also verify that you have not had anything to eat or drink since midnight (this is done to assure your safety).  Your vital signs will be taken, a physical assessment will be completed and if needed, an IV will be started.   When the nurse is finished, your family will be able to come to your room and visit with you.
  • Both the surgeon and the anesthesiologist will see you before going to the surgery area.  If you have any questions regarding your procedure or your care afterwards, please ask the surgeon or the anesthesiologist at this time. 
  • The circulating nurse will introduce himself or herself to you.  The nurse will verify your name, date of birth, allergies, and procedure you are having done.  You will then be wheeled back to surgery and your family will be escorted back to the Surgical Waiting Area.
  • Your family will be instructed to check-in with the volunteer at the Surgical Waiting Area.  If your family leaves the area while you are in surgery, we ask that they notify the volunteer so we can locate them if needed. 
  • Once your procedure is complete and you are in the Recovery Room (PACU), your surgeon will meet with your family in a Consultation Room to discuss how your procedure went.  After the surgeon talks with your family, they can expect to see you in about 1 hour.
  • When your surgery is complete you will be taken to the Recovery Room (PACU) by the circulating nurse and the anesthesiologist.  The average time patients are in Recovery is about one hour, your time may be less or more.
  • While in PACU you will be given oxygen by a mask placed over your nose and mouth.  Your vital signs will be monitored closely.  Your pain will be assessed and medications to relieve your pain will be given as needed.  You may also receive medication to relieve any feelings of nausea that are associated with having anesthesia and general surgery.  Your dressings are watched and assessed for any signs of post-op bleeding.
  • Once your PACU recovery is complete you will be taken on your transportation cart back to your Ambulatory Room (if you are same-day surgery) or taken to your room on MedSurg or ICU (if your surgery is an overnight stay or inpatient).


Same Day Surgery Patient

  • When you are back in your Ambulatory Room, you will be given a menu to look at and offered your choice of beverage. 
  • You will be allowed to rest and recover from your procedure in your private setting.
  • Your pain will be assessed using a 1-10 scale (1 is mild pain & 10 is the most severe).  Medications will be administered appropriately to keep you as comfortable and pain-free as possible.
  • Your family will then be allowed to come back and visit with you.
  • Once you are awake, your pain is under control, you are able to keep liquids down and have urinated, you will then be allowed to be discharged from the hospital.
  • Your nurse will review all your discharge instructions and give you prescriptions -- if the doctor has written any.  We will go over what you should do when you go home, what you should eat and drink and what kind of activity you can do.  We will also go over your medication, when you can drive and go back to work.  Please make sure that you ask any questions if you do not understand or if you have special concerns.
  • You will be escorted by the nurse, or taken in a wheelchair to the lobby.  Your family will pull their vehicle up to the patient entrance and you will be helped into the vehicle.


Sterile Processing

The Sterile Processing Department (S.P.D.) employees of The Bellevue Hospital have over 35 years of experience.  Certified Sterile Technicians, Surgical Techs and trained staff are represented in the department.   

The Sterile Processing Department is responsible for timely and accurate sterilization of all instruments to obtain optimal patient outcomes.   

The department honors the standards of practice outlined by The International Association of Healthcare Central Service Material Management.   

Various duties of department members include receiving, sorting, cleaning, decontaminating, and sterilizing all instruments coming into contact with our patients at The Bellevue Hospital.  The team also thoroughly inspects all instruments to determine if the item needs to be repaired or replaced.