I worked on a subacute unit at a nursing home as an LVN, but it was structured much like a free-standing rehabilitation hospital. I typically cared for 15 patients by myself, or sometimes 30 patients with a medication aide. On this particular unit, we dealt with many central lines, IV antibiotics, CPM machines, feeding tubes, suture removal, surgical staple removal, complicated wound care, ostomy appliances, diabetic management, casts, braces, splints, cervical halos, and so forth.
Most of my patients had recently underwent surgical procedures such as laminectomies, knee and hip arthroplasties (joint replacements), kyphoplasties, CABGs, hysterectomies, limb amputations, colectomies, thromboembolectomies, and abdominal aortic aneurysm repairs.
The non-surgical patients were typically admitted to our unit for recovery from CVAs, motor vehicle accidents, acute MIs, debility, various cancers, fractures, status post pneumonia, deconditioned states, failure to thrive, status post falls, generalized weakness, and other afflictions.
Subacute nursing is a physical and emotional challenge if you're doing it in a nursing home setting with too many patients. However, 1 nurse to 7 or 8 patients sounds great.