Long Term Acute Care Nurses are bridging the transition from intensive care to home. LTAC patients typically transfer from an intensive care unit and are receiving ventilator assistance. Some patients have large open wounds or other acute problems. The patient may be on inotropic agents and require careful monitoring.
Most patients in these units, age 18 and up, have an average stay of 25 days or longer. LTAC RN’s state that one of the most challenging aspects of caring for these patients is managing multiple, long-term, complex medical conditions, multiple system failures, and the patient’s anxiety.
LTAC is the final stop when trying to wean patients off a respirator, and most patients in these units have been in the hospital for many months by the time they reach this phase. It is a long, hard road for them, and some are nearing wit’s end by the time they reach this point in their recovery.
The LTAC nurse must spend considerable time with family members in addition to caring for patients. Family members may be frustrated by their loved one’s perceived lack of progress. Some may also have traveled long distances to visit their loved one and can be unfamiliar with Long Term Acute Care.
Critical thinking skills and independence are essential in this setting. Unlike the Intensive Care Unit, the physician on call is not in the unit. Therefore the LTAC nurse may work more autonomously than typical in an acute care setting. RN LTAC must be able to manage stress appropriately, make decisions under pressure, and manage the anger/fear/hostility and violence of others appropriately. RN’s may be exposed to toxic/caustic chemicals and detergents and extreme hot and cold conditions. Exposure to infectious diseases, blood and body fluids, and exposure to dust/fumes and gases are also possibilities.
RN Registered Nurses take care of people who are sick, injured, convalescent, or disabled. They care for patients by assessing, planning, intervention, implementation, and evaluation, under general supervision, and by established practices and philosophy. One of the high quality LTAC nursing jobs in Georgia is to work with other professionals to ensure patient care is delivered effectively to achieve desired patient outcomes.
The RN must effectively interact with the patient and family members while maintaining the standard of professional nursing. There are many travel assignments and jobs available for the Registered Nurse as the Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that nursing is one of the top 10 occupations with the most massive job growth.
Long Term Acute Care Registered Nurse jobs may include:
- The appropriate response to an emergency.
- Staple/suture removal
- Chest tube care
- Accurate assessment, reassessment, development, and implementation of care plan in a safe, accurate and appropriate manner
- Knowledge of specific conditions, disease and treatment therapies for the specific population of the setting
- Tracheostomy care
- Accurately document records promptly
- IV Therapy
- Serve as an advocate for the patient and family members regarding decisions affecting the care plan
- Wound care and skin care protocols
- Ostomy care
- Identify the educational needs of the patient and family members and provide the necessary education to meet those needs
- Post of care of the patient
- Assess and evaluate the patient’s response to the care plan and prioritize and implement appropriate changes to plan
- Collaborate, assess and coordinate discharge planning needs and readiness for discharge with other health care team members on a timely basis
- Always show respect and awareness for the patient and family members as individuals and as a family unit
- Provide direct supervision and assistance in the evaluation of staff performance
- The RN in LTAC settings will stand, sit, walk, perform repetitive tasks and motions, have good manual dexterity, hear alarms/telephone/normal speaking voice, have clarity of vision, and distinguish colors.