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Nursing in Sub Acute

Hi there, I am Meagan.

I am a Registered Nurse working in the Sub Acute stream of Peninsula Health. I first began my nursing career with Peninsula Health in 2012 when I was accepted into the Graduate Nurse Program. I had opted for Sub Acute for my rotations and found my passion for Stroke/Neuro rehab at Golf Links Road – Unit 1.

On my ward, we admit patients from Frankston Hospital and sometimes The Alfred or Peninsula Private for fast stream (short term) rehabilitation. The majority of patients we get through our doors have suffered from a stroke and need intense rehabilitation to get back to pre-morbid (pre-illness) function to be able to get back to their normal, daily tasks. This includes physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and input from our dieticians. In Sub Acute, Nurses and the Allied Health teams work very close together in order to provide the best outcome for our patients. We have weekly team meetings to discuss the patients and their progress and create weekly, intermediate and long term goals for discharge.

My ward also sees patients who need rehab for neurological disorders, chronic pain, amputees and prosthetic training and we also get our fair share of orthopaedic (broken bones or torn ligaments/muscles) rehab patients.

Working is Sub-Acute is challenging but rewarding. We have a patient ratio of 1:5, work extremely close with our patients, their families and the allied health teams. We don’t have doctors on site 24/7, so when there’s an emergency and it’s after hours or the weekend, the nursing team you are on with for the shift are it, until extra help comes along ie; the On Call doctor or the Paramedics. Some days or weeks are heavy and leave you questioning the profession but majority of the time, you leave the ward smiling and happy with your hard work and the outcomes your patients have achieved.

Imagine admitting a patient who had suffered a stroke and in their first few weeks you go from transferring them with a lifting machine to them using a specialised wheel chair, then they regain their balance and you can transfer them with a standing machine into a non-modified wheel chair. Another week or two pass and you can help them step from bed to wheel chair and wheel chair to bed. Another few weeks and you see them walking down the corridor with the physiotherapist.

Or imagine when you see an amputee patient walking with their brand new prosthetic leg. That feeling, especially for the first few times, is amazing and reminds me why I have a passion for Sub Acute Nursing.

For the next 12 months I have been asked to blog about Sub Acute Nursing, please feel free to leave me questions or any topics you would like to learn more about – which hopefully I can assist with.



  1. Carol Mar 02 2016

    Thanks Meagan! You are doing a great job 🙂

  2. Princess Munoz Aug 25 2017

    Hi I’m a level 2 Enrolled nurse, I just like to know what skills do you have as a sub acute nurse. I’m a fresh grad and I have an interview in a subacute care unit and Im hoping to get a job in that ward thanks

    • Corporate Relations Jan 09 2018

      The most comprehensive list of skills that sub acute nurses require will be found in the Position Description of the advertised role. Please get in touch if you have any further questions.

  3. Maddy Jan 07 2018

    Hi, i commence my grad year this year in the sub-acute stream at Peninsula Health and i was wondering if we need an employment working with childrens check or if thats only for acute. Thankyou

    • Corporate Relations Jan 09 2018

      Hello Maddy,
      Thanks for your query – some graduate nurses require a WWCC depending on where their rotations are. However this would have been requested by HR prior to a contract being released, so if you haven’t been asked to provide proof of a WWCC, you currently do not require one to commence employment.

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