What Are Acute Care Services?

Acute care services are short-term treatments given to patients who need them urgently. They are distinct from long-term services such that long period services aim to assist individuals in carrying on with their everyday lives. While long-term care services can be performed in the client’s house, a nursing centre, or a group home for an uncertain period, acute care services are held at hospitals, doctors’ offices, or patients’ homes for immediate and critical treatments under duress.

The Aim of Acute Care Services

Acute care services aim to quickly save the life of patients and stabilise them for further treatments or discharge.

Individuals Who Need Acute Care

Acute care can also be referred to as secondary health care that gives health services for a short while. Many of these handled conditions can be life-threatening. Individuals who need acute care are listed below.

  • Individuals who are injured severely

  • Individuals who have medical conditions that require urgent attention.

  • Those who need urgent surgery
  • Those who are recovering from surgery.
  • Those who are broken down due to illness.

Types of Acute Care Services

There are different types of acute care services, and their variations are due to the different environments in which they are done. They are explained below.

Trauma and Surgical Acute Care Services

This kind of acute care service is given to individuals with immediate acute surgical necessities like strangulated hernias, near-death injuries, or appendicitis.

Emergency Care Services

This care is given to individuals who need urgent surgical attention, like heart attacks, strokes, or abdominal pains. Emergency care is often offered in emergency compartments to suit every emergency.

Emergency Care Services

Urgent Care Services

Urgent care is offered to patients who might not be in near-death situations but require urgent medical attention to avoid escalating their conditions. It is usually not administered in emergency wards. Patients can easily walk into the facility and receive treatments. A situation can be a cut on the knee.

Timely Stabilisation Services

Some individuals need to be stabilised before being adequately treated. An example of this service is intravenous therapy to handle dehydration before undergoing a surgical operation.

Primary Acute Care Services

This kind of acute care is for patients that need a primary health service before proper hospital treatment. Examples of this care are in-ambulance treatments and diagnosis of health problems by local health staff.

Intensive Acute Care Services

Intensive acute care services are rendered to near-death patients who need regular checks and special care. They are often administered in Intensive Care Units, also known as ICUs. Patients in intensive care units can have unstable health conditions that require active medical experts at all times. Examples of these conditions are deadly cerebral malaria or terrible respiratory difficulties.

Distinction Between Acute Care And Chronic Care

Sometimes, acute care and chronic care are confused with each other. These services may seem similar; however, they have striking differences. These differences are explained below.

  • In terms of patient health services, acute care happens before chronic care.
  • Acute care is an urgent service, while chronic care is served long.
  • While acute care is rendered with a lot of time consciousness, chronic care might not have time pressures due to how long it will last.
  • Acute care involves the active services of almost every medical practitioner, but on the other hand, chronic care might involve fewer staff members, depending on the situation.
  • During acute care, the aim is to quickly intervene in the individual’s life and make them feel better within a limited time. However, chronic care aims to slowly get individuals to their everyday lives and live perfectly without the condition.

Significance of Acute Care

Significance of Acute Care

  • Acute care is the thin line between life and death, as well as wholesomeness and lifetime trauma.

  • Acute care renders urgent safety to lives.

  • Acute care is instrumental in places where hospitals are far away.
  • Acute care helps individuals to understand their health competently.
  • Acute care prevents the escalation of hazardous health situations.
  • Acute care maintains tailored approaches to all health conditions.

Individuals Who Administer Acute Care Services

Acute care is an urgent service; therefore, it needs several health practitioners on standby. The personnel who administer acute care services are listed below.

  • Authorised nurses for assessing, monitoring, and educating the individual.
  • Medical students under training in medical institutions and training hospitals.
  • Advanced registered nurses who can perform diagnoses and prescriptions.
  • Chaplains for spiritual assistance.

  • Diagnostic personnel for handling physician-prescribed diagnoses.

  • Therapists like physical therapists, occupational therapists, and use of speech therapists.
  • Attending physicians who offer medication schedules for patients.
  • Unlicensed assistive personnel who aid registered nurses in recording patients’ health information, feeding patients, supporting patients, taking blood samples, and performing some minor tests.

  • Physician assistants for working alongside physicians.
  • Geriatric care managers who assist the medical team in meeting patients’ necessities.
  • Transport personnel to help patients with mobility to their medication, therapy, or test venues.

Settings For Administration of Acute Care Services

Acute care services are rendered in environments that suit whatever purpose that needs to be met. They may not be done in actual hospitals, but the environments in which they are done are modified or simulated to medical standards. Settings for the administration of acute care services include:

  • Emergency units

  • Coronary care units
  • Patients’ homes

  • Neonatal intensive unit

  • Hospitals
  • Dialysis centres
  • Hospices

Special Aids Offered In Acute Care Services

Some aids offered during acute care services include:

  • Psychiatric aids

  • Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support
  • Support services
  • Heart Attack Emergency Care
  • Respite care
  • Diagnostic cardiology
  • Respiratory therapy

  • Dietary education
  • Radiology

  • Blood transfusion
  • Ultrasound

  • Computed Tomography scans
  • Special patient assessments and observations
  • Diagnoses
  • Administrative plans