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What is Acute Care and why work within it?

by Craig Boyle
Posted: February 03, 2019

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Being involved in healthcare is a demanding, but rewarding profession. If you’re a caring and compassionate person, it may be the ideal way for you to turn that empathy into a job. If you’d like to help people, there are few ways to accomplish this by working in Acute Care.

What is Acute Care?

In a hospital or other medical environment, Acute Care is the opposite of chronic care and refers to care where there is time pressure. Where chronic care deals with patients that have long-term illnesses, Acute Care instead involves patients who have suffered an injury such as a broken bone, have an urgent medical condition or are recovering from surgery.

Acute Care involves the full range of medical services, and as a worker in Acute Care you will likely be at the forefront of care in order to help a patient recover. Acute Care’s purpose is to improve health with rapid intervention and under time-sensitive conditions to prevent acute cases from becoming chronic ones.

Who will you help within Acute Care?

Because of the urgent nature of Acute Care, you’ll help a huge variety of patients. Whether it’s someone who has suffered their first heart attack or someone recovering following a stroke, a Nurse or Nursing Assistant in Acute Care will deal with a wide variety of people and situations. As such, it’s a variable and challenging role that will keep you interested.

Why work in Acute Care?

In Acute Care, you will often be the first person to notice if a patient begins to deteriorate. Subsequently, that also makes you the person who can react the fastest and save lives. That makes the field important not only to patients but to the healthcare system as a whole. Without good Acute Care, healthcare facilities would become overburdened.

From a personal point of view, your role in Acute Care will make an immediate difference to the lives of patients. Often acute patients are scared, nervous and in pain – and good care at this stage will help alleviate these emotions and set their minds at ease.

The varied nature of Acute Care will also appeal to people who want each day to be different. You will be working in a largely autonomous role where you’ll be helping different patients directly, performing diagnostics one day and doing something entirely different the next. The challenges, rewards, variety and personal nature of the work make Acute Care a compelling career path.

Get started

If you’re interested in working in Acute Care, you can become a Nursing Assistant through Open Colleges. Our HLT33115 ?Certificate III in Health Services Assistance enables you to become a Nursing Assistant in an Acute Care facility. Learn more now.


Craig Boyle

Originally from Newcastle upon Tyne in the UK, Craig worked for Open Colleges as a Copywriter. Craig's career passions include marketing, small business, tech, start-ups and leadership.

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