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What is an acute care setting?

Updated July 19, 2017

In an acute care setting, patients receive short-term medical treatment for acute illnesses or injury, or to recover from surgery. In this setting, medical and nursing personnel will administer the critical care required to help restore a patient back to health.

Short-Term Acute Care Setting

Short-term acute care is usually administered in a hospital, which has all the medical care personnel, staff, and facilities needed to diagnose, treat and care for patients with acute conditions like short-term injuries.

Acute Care Hospital

Unlike hospitals that administer health care for chronic disease, hospice treatment, mental illness or other conditions, acute care hospitals are designed for short-term stays, helping to stabilise patients from a variety of conditions.

Facilities

Facilities available in an acute care setting typically include an operating room, emergency room, blood bank, radiology department, pathology department, pharmacy and clinical laboratory.

Long-Term Acute Care

Long-term acute care is administered to patients after their acute care treatment. This is necessary for patients who have medically complex needs and need specialised care.

Long-Term Acute Care Setting

Long-term acute care can be given in hospitals, hospices, inpatient rehabilitation centres, skilled nursing facilities, in the home and other settings.

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About the Author

Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Nee Lorenzo has been a freelance writer and editor since 1999. Her work has appeared in various local and national publications, including the SF Bay Guardian, "Oakland Magazine," "Parents' Press," and "Filipinas Magazine." Lorenzo has a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing.