Transitioning to acute care

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    I am feeling a little frustrated. I graduated in Dec. 2010 and obtained my RN in February 2011. My first nursing job was in a long term care and a subacute facility. I worked in both of these areas before working for a larger healthcare system in a Transitional Unit. This unit isn't in a hospital, but I do almost everything that a Med-Surg nurse would do (PCA, TPN, wound vac, etc.)

    I had an interview at a hospital this week (my first one!) and was really disappointed in how it went. The very first question that they asked me was how I was planning to help myself acclimate to the acute care setting. I had never even thought of this and had to answer exactly so. Since then I have been thinking about this and doing some research with no luck. Is there anyone out there that has made the transition from subacute to acute hospital care? If so, did you take online courses or anything? I would love to do some continuing education or anything to improve my chances! I still haven't heard about this position but definitely not counting on it after a question like that. Any advice would be helpful!
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    There are a lot of success stories on these forums about people who transition from LTC to acute care. I am in similar shoes. I started my nursing career in subacute/LTC, moved to a LTAC hospital which I think is essentially med/surg. And I'm starting my new job in an acute care hospital next month! So I can't detail what the transition will be like because I haven't done it yet. But if I were asked that question, I would suggest you highlight how you made the transition from subacute to TCU. I'm sure you attended inservices for things you weren't familiar with, or maybe obtained ACLS certification. It will be a similar process for TCU to acute care.

    Interviewing is hard and takes a lot of practice. This is my fourth interview for an acute care job and I finally got offered a position. Make a list of hard interview questions and practice them from time to time so you'll get better at answering them. I also keep a list of patients who have had a significant impact on me, so when I need to pull up an example on the spot, I have a short mental list of patients to choose from.


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