What Is Long-term Acute Care And What Does Registered Long Term Acute Care Nurses Do?

Shaun H. Ruff
5 FAQs About Long-Term Acute Care Hospitals

Nurses like other professions have different specializations. There are several classifications of nurses and this depends on their duties and responsibilities. Long-term acute care nurses are just one of the many who take care of patients with critical needs. Long term acute care nurse staffing at Gifted Healthcare is one of the agencies that offer jobs to nurses who specialize in LTAC. To know more about LTAC let’s talk about long-term acute care and what does registered nurse do?

What Is an LTAC RN?

Long-term acute care registered nurses are assigned to patients who need long term care. These patients have illnesses such as hypertension, chronic kidney problems, parkinson’s and other illnesses that have a long term medication have to be taken care of and their status should be monitored closely to see the development and changes in their condition.

How Long Can A Patient Stay In LTAC?

Most patients that are transferred to LTAC come from intensive care units. In LTAC, they can be taken care of while still recovering from their conditions. Patients can stay here for an average of 25 days, once their condition improves they can go home but still will undergo monitoring of their status. 

What Is A High Nurse To Patient Ratio?

A nurse to patient issue is the number of nurses assigned to a number of patients. The recommended high nurse to patient ratio is 1:1 for the sickest patient and 1:2 for the acutely ill patients. This is important to follow to avoid any untoward incidents in LTAC, that’s why LTAC nurses are in demand due to this nurse to patient ratio. 

What Are The Benefits Of LTAC ?

Legit Accreditation 

They have same license, accreditation and certification is that of a traditional hospital but have higher focus on their patients since they operate like  small hospital 

Lower Readmissions 

By the type of care the patients get, government data shows that readmissions have decreased by 26% to 44%. 

Lower Hospital Charges

LTAC hospitals charge patients 25% to 34% lower than traditional hospitals. The quality of care can be the same or better, but the good thing with LTAC hospitals is they change lower. 

What Types Of Patients Are Seen In LTAC?

  • Patients with respiratory failure who needs prolonged mechanical ventilation
  • Patients with chronic kidney failure who needs regular dialysis 
  • Those who needs pre or post-organ transplant care 
  • Patients who have multiple conditions that needs care management 
  • Patients who need post surgical acute care
  • Patients who need multiple IV medications 
  • Patients who need infection management
  • Patients who needs complex wound care

What Do LTAC RN Do?

They are responsible for monitoring the patient’s condition and assisting in giving medication and other   needs of the patients. It is also their responsibility to make the patients’ family members know the patient’s condition and are often involved in the emotional support they need. Basically they are in charge of intervention, planning, implementation and evaluation of the patient’s present situation. Duties of LTAC RN are challenging and take a lot of skills and knowledge to be able to perform the needed responsibilities that’s why they have to have at least 2 years experience before getting the job. 

How To Calculate Nursing Staffing?

They have several methods in calculating nursing staffing and here are some common methods:

  • Method 1: Number of rooms multiplied by number of hours per day multiplied by number of days per week = total hours to be staffed per week.
  • Method 2:: Total hours per week multiplied by number of people per room = total working hours per week.
  • Method 3:Total working hours/week divided by 40 hours worked/week = basic FTE(full type employees).

Now that you have knowledge on what is long-term acute care and what does registered nurse do? You can now determine whether you are qualified to  be one  if not earn that degree and explore LTAC RN job opportunities and help more patients to recover from their illnesses while earning the credentials you need to broaden your profession as a nurse. Work with nurse staffing agencies, and they will help you grow your profession and get more job opportunities. They can assist you in  attaining  the goal you always wanted which is to add skills and improve yourself as a nurse through experience. 

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