"Acute" Care v. "Critical" Care

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    Just a quick question: I understand that "Critical" care means ICU, PICU, SICU, MICU, etc., but does "Acute" care simply mean any non-ICU hospital work as opposed to e.g., a nursing home, ambulatory surgery, health clinic? I have this question due to a job listing that states "Medical-Surgical Floor: One year ACUTE care experience REQUIRED and CRITICAL care experience PREFERRED." What type of position is this??? If it's a "true" med-surg floor, it makes no sense to look for CRITICAL CARE experience...perhaps this is a "Step-Down" Floor?? OR: is the market for RNs so difficult for nurses that hospitals can start demanding--and getting---a CRITICAL care RN for a med-surg position?? Thanks for helping me figure this out!
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  4. 5
    acute care is basically the hospital settings... med/surg, telemetry, oncology, ortho, ICU... we treat acute problems in the hospital... chronic issues get sent to a long term care facility...

    for example, an 88 y/o F pt with hx of dementia, COPD and is a complete care pt from a skilled nursing facility presents to the ED with SOB and dx w/ pneumonia then admitted... the patient is admitted to the hospital wether it be ICU, telemetry, or med/surg... the patient is receiving acute care services... pneumonia is the acute event happening in the chronic patient... once the pneumonia is treated, she can go back to long term care...

    hope this clears things up!
    lyns, NiTQue2011, nyforlove, and 2 others like this.
  5. 1
    In our hospital (Australia)- my badge says 'acute care' and I work in Emergency. When I worked in ICU it said 'ICU', the other wards say the ward, i.e: medical, surgical, maternity- etc...
    nyforlove likes this.
  6. 1
    Acute is the patient with new problems that needs to be treated... like pneumonia, UTI etc... once those things are settled and the patient is healed but still has her dementia that she's had for a long time,, then she can go to LTC.... however, if she's going to have pneumonia or a uti for a while and will need abx for a month or so, she will go to a long term acute care facility,,, and THEN once those are resolved, she''ll go home or to the ltc
    nyforlove likes this.
  7. 0
    Thank you so much! Surprised that a generic "med surg" floor would think they could get an RN with Critical care experience...is the economy that bad??

    Quote from SteffersRN87
    acute care is basically the hospital settings... med/surg, telemetry, oncology, ortho, ICU... we treat acute problems in the hospital... chronic issues get sent to a long term care facility...

    for example, an 88 y/o F pt with hx of dementia, COPD and is a complete care pt from a skilled nursing facility presents to the ED with SOB and dx w/ pneumonia then admitted... the patient is admitted to the hospital wether it be ICU, telemetry, or med/surg... the patient is receiving acute care services... pneumonia is the acute event happening in the chronic patient... once the pneumonia is treated, she can go back to long term care...

    hope this clears things up!
  8. 1
    There are a lot of nurses with critical care experience that work the acute floors. That job posting simply means that critical care experience may be what makes the difference between hiring one nurse over the other. It is not a requirement, just a plus.
    nyforlove likes this.
  9. 0
    Is ER considered critical care? Our ETD is lvl 2 trauma.
  10. 0
    Quote from whykiki0103
    Is ER considered critical care? Our ETD is lvl 2 trauma.
    To my knowledge: "No," ED RNs are not considered Critical Care RNs...I believe that the different competencies involved are the use of central lines, arterial lines, titrating drips, e.g., vasoative, heparin, antiarrhythmic, insulin...does this sound right??
  11. 1
    Not sure --many of the RNs when I worked for a short time in med ED were CCRNs, there they didn't take trauma. Where I am now in psych ER....a larger hospital they have tauma ER seperate from general ER and I think the Trauma ER nurses all are CCRNs and in general they can be but don't have to be....
    and yes acute is considered hospital care......course that isn't 100% true I guess as I have been to smaller hospital that have their LTC units--units as part of the hospital and those are not acute care patients but generally yes in the hospital means acute and All ICUs are critical care-- ED--that may vary per hospital or who knows maybe a category all their own!! lol But I would say if you worked on a med/surg floor you are qualified for that job minimally. My guess is they may want you comfortable with tele and vents... central lines....maybe as those are higher level of care not always on every floor but....so you may just have to learn if you don't know. Just a guess.
    nyforlove likes this.


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