Acute care covers patients who develop sudden, life-threatening illnesses or diseases that require immediate attention. This can cover broken legs sustained from high drops, car crash victims, individuals injured by natural disasters and more. Since time is of the essence in these situations, these patients cannot just be placed on a waiting list. This is why acute care HCPs provide immediate, short-term treatment to get their condition stable enough for a swift recovery, or more long-term care.
Where Do Acute Care HCPs Work?
Acute care HCPs work in a variety of different departments and locations. This includes, but is not limited to:
● Intensive Care Unit
● Urgent Care Center
● Inpatient and Outpatient Medical/Surgical
● Neonatal Intensive Care
● Accident and Emergency Department
● And more.
Acute care HCPs can also work in nursing homes, long-term care centres, and other kinds of facilities.
What Do Acute Care HCPs Do?
The duties of an acute care HCP will depend on their role, unit, and specialization. That being said, HCPs in acute care often carry out the following tasks:
● Monitoring vital signs and symptoms to identify their status
● Running diagnostic tests
● Providing medications
● Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support
● Providing urgent treatment under strict time constraints
● And more
Is There a Material Difference Between Acute HCPs and Regular HCPs?
Compared to regular RNs or LPNs, working in acute care requires more training, and sometimes specialized certifications. Most facilities want at least two years of relevant experience in an acute care setting. It only makes sense, considering they want experienced and proven HCPs who can thrive under pressure, and solve problems with critical thinking, and on severe time constraints.
While additional qualifications are not necessary in most instances, it may provide the extra edge you need. Some facilities may prioritize applicants with Certified Critical Care Nurse (CCRN) qualifications. The advantage may be marginal, but it points to a commitment towards continuous improvement and self-study.
Should I Become an Acute Care HCP?
Acute care is not for everyone. HCPs are constantly working fast, and it is the most stressful part of an already demanding line of work. If the pace of work is not for you, or you are worried about burning out or overexerting yourself, then you want to reconsider this role. If you thrive under pressure, however, then acute care is the perfect role for you. It will push you to think critically and efficiently in as short a time as possible. Because of the demands of labor, acute care HCPs are also compensated more than their counterparts. If all this appeals to you, then becoming an acute care HCP is highly recommended.