Ambulatory Surgery (ASU)
The Ambulatory Surgical Unit (ASU) at at St. Charles Hospital, also called pre-op services, is a unit where patients are cared for before, during and immediately after surgery. The ASU is the first stop on the day of surgery for both outpatient surgery, where patients are able to return home the same day, and more complex surgery that requires hospitalization after the surgery.
A team of skilled nurses, nurse's aides and technologists, specially trained in pre-op care, are the first staff members that patients see on the day of surgery. Our pre-op routine involves a patient assessment, pre-op education and any pre-op preparations including starting IVs, administering medications, etc.
The ASU is located on the north side of the hospital and patient parking spots are available outside the entrance. Family members may wait for their loved ones in the newly upgraded waiting room, equipped with comfortable furniture, flat panel TVs, tea and coffee cart, vending machines with drinks and snacks and a consultation room where they can meet with and speak to physicians and nurses in private. The ASU hours of operation are are Monday through Friday 6:00a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Immediately after surgery, patients are moved to the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) where nurses with expertise in post anesthesia assessment and airway management, neuro assessment, pain management and invasive pressure line and cardiac monitoring, provide one-on-one care until patients are ready to be moved to their room or return to ASU before going home. Post-op care includes monitoring of vital signs, discharge instructions, return appointments, and follow up discharge phone calls.