Nursing Career Profile: Assertive Community Treatment Nursing

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Where the jobs are:

Nurses who work on assertive community treatment teams are engaged in psych mental health nursing care within the community. They may be employed by local health departments, including the office of mental health or they may contract through a visiting nurses’ association or a case management company. Some assertive community treatment team nurses work for more specialized agencies that provide care to populations with co-occuring disorders or diseases such as substance abuse or HIV/AIDS. ACT team nurses sometimes work within the homeless shelter system, especially in large urban areas.

Job characteristics and specialized responsibilities:

Assertive community treatment teams work with clients in the community to achieve clients’ highest functioning level within any limits imposed by their mental health symptoms. Nurses perform initial and ongoing physical and psychosocial assessments, may recommend changes in meds in consultation with a nurse practitioner or physician and monitor vital signs, labs, and symptoms of other health problems such as high blood pressure or symptoms caused by drug side effects. Assertive community treatment nurses also work with clients to provide support for their general activities of daily living and help clients problem solve around difficulties with housing, employment and health care access.

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