New Grad in LTAC

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    Just wondering if anyone out there can let me know what to expect. I've heard that if you can last here for at least a year, you can go anywhere. I don't know how I should prepare or anything!
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  3. 10 Comments so far...

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    Well I haven't had the chance to experience LTAC on a nursing level but as a student I actually can't wait. My experience as a respiratory therapist in LTAC was fun. I'll say there wasnt a dull moment so put your skates on. Nurses in LTAC have the same experience of always being on the move. Rounds seem to fall into each other. With wound care, trach care, vents, charting, consults with MDs, Psych, Speech, Physical Therapy, family education, team meetings etc etc it can be a bit overwhelming but the time goes by so fast. Its totally different then care in other institutions because you're dealing with medicare and the 30 or 60 day politics of getting pts out and getting new pts in. You have to be on your game because you are kinda on a time schedule of getting the pt back to a status of being able to function at home. I was at select medical specialties and it was fun and you will learn a lot. Its for someone that wants to learn and learn fast. Good Luck and I hope you like it!!!
    JulieL likes this.
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    You're going to have the most difficult acute care cases. In the hospital you would only get one high acuity patient. In an LTAC you will have 4-5 high acuity patients with limited resources and corner-cutting management with poor ethics. May not be the case everywhere but that's what I've experienced and heard of about LTAC 's across the country.
    Good luck!
    tyvin, DizzyLizzyNurse, and Selene006 like this.
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    Wonder if where you were was associated with where I am? I'm working for Select Specialty Hospital
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    Thanks for the well wishes. The faster the pace, the better I work, so I think it's gonna be a good fit for me. I've been in healthcare for a long time and sort of know the ropes.
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    Quote from DookieMeisterRN
    You're going to have the most difficult acute care cases. In the hospital you would only get one high acuity patient. In an LTAC you will have 4-5 high acuity patients with limited resources and corner-cutting management with poor ethics. May not be the case everywhere but that's what I've experienced and heard of about LTAC 's across the country.
    Good luck!

    DookieMeisterRN had a very accurate assessment of what it is like to work in an LTAC. I went into LTAC as a new grad. It was not easy. Minimal resources w/ very difficult patient cases that almost always had some underlying psych issues and wacky family members.

    On the plus side, you will learn tons, you will see things that you would never normally experience on a med-surg floor. Vents, trachs, tele, g-tubes, flexiseals, tons of IV's because they need to be changed Q4 days. You will learn to be resourceful and deal with challenging pts and situations. It will help your confidence and critical thinking skills later on.

    I moved into med-surge at a well-known teaching hospital after 8 months at an LTAC. I can tell you I have probably done more wound care and had more tele, and vented pt's than most of the staff put together. I was able to walk into my interview with confidence and had lots of examples when asked situational questions. I am very happy and thankful to have been hired at my present job but the LTAC experience was a very good foundation.

    I wish you luck and if you have any questions feel free to PM me!
    gotlib and tyvin like this.
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    I have had heart palpitations since I started for them. Has not gotten any better.
    Ramonas1 likes this.
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    My first RN job was an LTACH. I worked there as an STNA for a year first. I only lasted about six months as an RN full-time and stayed on contingent for another six but eventually just decided it wasn't worth it. It wasn't my cup of tea. Some LOVE it. The other responses summed it up well. The experience you would gain is wonderful, but I had many near panic attacks about work. My place was a mess though...I ended up with 8-10 patients most nights and staff turnover was horrendous. If you're going to do it, know the most common meds you'll give. Remember many will be on heart meds. Ask questions and be hands on. Study rhythms and take ACLS. Make good relationships with your LPNs and STNAs because you won't survive without them. Good luck!
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    OP, how is it going?
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    I have been working at an LTACH for almost 2 years now. I love this job!!! I cannot wait to go to work every day, and love how fast the pace is. We have a lot of codes and rapid responses because our patients are the sickest of the sick, our wounds are very complex, we have several on vents, plenty on tele...there is never a dull moment. It can be overwhelming at times, but I work with a wonderful team of nurses, doctors, respiratory therapists, and other departments that are just fabulous. The experience has taught me so much and really sharpened my critical thinking skills as a nurse.


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