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Worried About Getting Stuck in Subacute

Nurse Beth   (138 Views 1 Comments)
by Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Advice Column) Writer Innovator Expert

Nurse Beth has 30 years experience as a MSN and works as a Nursing Professional Development Specialist.

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Dear Nurse Beth,
I am a New Grad who is relocating out of state. I am interested in working in pediatrics, and have a potential opportunity in what the company refers to as a long-term PICU.

I have reservations about taking this position, as I am concerned that it will make any future transition to a traditional hospital setting challenging. 

Do hospitals consider nursing experience in LTAC/Pediatric Special Care to be sub-acute, even if the facility calls itself an acute care or critical care facility? I think it would be an awesome job, but I worry about getting "stuck" there. 

Thanks for your help!

Dear Worried About Getting Stuck,

 To me, describing a facility as both "long-term care" with an "intensive care unit" is a contradiction in terms. The term "intensive care" as in "intensive care unit" or "PICU" is reserved for acute care facilities.

However, there is such a thing as "long term acute care". It's confusing because they are also called "transitional care" facilities.

Long term acute care and subacute care are a step down from an acute care hospital and a step up from a conventional skilled nursing facility intensity of services. 

But linguistics aside, it sounds like you are going to be working in a high acuity, subacute pediatric facility. There is alot for you to learn and many of the skills you acquire are transferable to acute care.

Depending on the market where you live, you should be able to qualify for a position in acute care.

Best wishes, 

Nurse BethAuthor, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!

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