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Acute Care

When a person has an injury or episode of illness that requires quick action, they may be taken to the hospital for treatment. This type of care is called “acute” because it focuses on addressing symptoms quickly and efficiently with minimal attention paid towards diagnosis thus far down road – this can mean things like giving pain relief drugs immediately rather than trying other measures later if more complex issues are involved.

Acute Care Nurse Practitioners (ACNPs) are advanced practice registered nurses that provide care to patients in acute care and/or hospital settings. They are different from a Primary Care Nurse Practitioner. Acute Care NPs see patients when they are sick, admitted to the hospital, or after a surgical procedure and/or trauma.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is considered acute care nurse?
Acute care, may refer to the medical specialty which deals with the care and assessment of patients in the emergency department, intensive care unit and critical care units of a hospital. Acute care provides specialized treatment and is generally provided by a team of health professionals including physicians, nurses, physical therapists, diagnostic and laboratory specialists, respiratory therapists, social workers and occupational therapists. This type of treatment usually requires a stay in a hospital emergency room or other acute hospital setting such as an intensive care unit or cardiac catheterization lab; it may include a stay in a wards or hospice area as well. Acute care services are generally delivered by teams of health care professionals from a range of medical and surgical specialties. Acute care may require a stay in a hospital emergency department, ambulatory surgery center, urgent care centre or other short-term stay facility, along with the assistance of diagnostic services, surgery, or follow-up outpatient care in the community. Hospital-based acute inpatient care typically has the goal of discharging patients as soon as they are deemed healthy and stable.

What are examples of acute care?
In the modern health care system, Acute care departments provide initial stabilization of acutely ill or injured patients in less intensive care settings in order to give medical staff greater time to direct and attend to critically ill patients. Acute care hospitals provide the most intensive and immediate form of patient care available. These units often work with a team comprising a physician and a nurse, both of whom usually hold specialist qualifications. Although there are many situations where an Acute Care department is used, it is most commonly found within an Emergency Department (ED), Intensive Care Unit (ICU), Hospital-based Cardiac Care Unit (CCU), Hospital and General Surgeons' Pre-hospital Ward (PARW) or Surgical Maternity Unit (SMU).

Is acute care the same as ICU?
Intensive care is for patients in need of special, complex care. Such nurses and doctors are specially trained to assess and treat patients in these units. They can also provide long-term, intermediate or short-term care following a patient's discharge from hospital.

Acute Care unit is for someone who needs medical care due to a common medical condition or disease. Intensive Care is for patients who require special and complex medical care.

How long does it take to be an acute nurse?
In the acute care field, professional prioritization is vital. National staffing shortages require a solution for nurses that can focus on patient care and provide continuity of care. APRN programs are designed to effectively meet this need by providing the rigor of an undergraduate degree in nursing with the clinical knowledge gained during a 4-year Registered Nurse or Bachelor of Science degree from an accredited college. The APRN program provides students with the graduate-level core curriculum, specialized clinical aspects of the program, practice-based learning opportunities, and graduate-level clinical preceptorship required for the National Board for Certified Nursing Assistants (NBCNA) Certification Exam. Acute Care NP Programs typically take 2-3 years depending on the specifics of the program and if they are full-time or part-time. Students can complete a program in as life as two years if they follow the full-time progression plan and can obtain clinical placements without delay.

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