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Patients with PCA may be nursed in the Critical Care Unit, Post Anaesthetic Care Units (PACU/Recovery), Surgical and Orthopaedic Wards, Surgical Assessment Unit (SAU)*, the Imaging Department at St Peter’s Hospital, and Ash ward (Paediatrics). Nursing staff within these areas have received training to enable them to care for patients receiving PCA.

Patients with PCA should not leave the ward unless going for tests or procedures and accompanied by an appropriate healthcare professional (registered nurse or doctor)

This policy covers both adult and paediatric PCA analgesia. There are differences in how PCA is prescribed and documented for these groups. This is reflected throughout the policy and summarised in Appendix 2.

Patients who have PCA following surgery must not be sent to SAU. If a patient is transferred from the Emergency Department and they require a PCA, then this is permissible but the patient must be prioritised for moving to a ward as soon as possible. The Recovery Staff will set up PCA pumps for patients in SAU.


Policy Details

Download: N/A
Compiled by: Harriet Barker, Lead Nurse Pain Services
Ratified by: Drugs and Therapeutics Committee
Date Ratified: March 2019
Date Issued: April 2019
Review Date: March 2022
Target Audience: All clinical staff caring for patients with PCA analgesia
Contact name: Harriet Barker, Lead Nurse Pain Services


See also:

  • Administration of Injectable Medicines via Intravenous Route Policy and Procedures
  • Medicines Management Policy
  • Procedure for administration and wastage disposal of controlled drugs on wards and departments
  • Blue Patient Controlled Analgesia Observation Guide (Adults)
  • Purple pain Assessment Chart (Paediatrics)
  • Oxygen Policy
  • Care of a Child with PCA Analgesia Competency
  • Care of a Patient with PCA Analgesia Competency
  • Management of patient’s undergoing uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) guidelines