I’m working on completely finishing my clinical rotation (13 weeks total… woo!) but before I’m done, I wanted to share my opinions about short-term acute care vs. long-term acute care. If you remember from my earlier posts, STAC is like the regular hospital and LTAC is where someone goes when they need prolonged hospitalization. So here are my thoughts on both:
- There seemed to be more educations and less assessments compared to STAC
- Lots of different types of patients- you get a little bit of everything!
- Usually only see patients a few times before they are discharged
- Occasionally an MD may ask for the dietitian’s opinion but it generally seemed like the RDs were doing their own thing (this is from my personal experience in my IPC rotation- not sure if all hospitals are like this)
- Average stay is 21 days so you get a chance to really follow a patient’s progress
- Patients are admitted in serious condition… so if being around serious wounds and even death bothers you then LTAC may not be the best a good fit
- Lots of nutrition support, especially enteral nutrition (tube feedings)
- It seemed like most patients were either in renal failure, respiratory failure or had pretty bad wounds
- The RDs definitely seemed to be more a part of the ‘medical team’
- From what I gather, LTAC hospitals are generally pretty small
I personally preferred LTAC because I liked being able to follow patients and watch their progress. I’m so glad I got to experience an LTAC hospital because I never even knew they existed prior to my internship.