A rehabilitation nurse works specifically in a rehabilitation facility – usually in an outpatient capacity. However, a rehabilitation nurse does not only provide assistance with rehab work – a person working at this position will also be responsible for the overall health and comfort of the patient he or she has been assigned. So basically, a rehabilitation nurse performs the duties of a regular nurse as well as those that are particular to the rehabilitation of the assigned patient.
To work as a rehabilitation nurse, one has to possess a bachelor’s degree in nursing, some experience as a registered nurse, and certification from the Rehabilitation Nursing Certificate Board. Rehabilitation is just one of the many genres that one can work in after acquiring the required nursing degree and experience. As a rehabilitation nurse, it will be your responsibility to ensure that the assigned patients is provided both medical and emotional care that he or she requires, in order to get back into the groove of things. Many rehabilitation nurses also provide care to terminally ill patients, aiming to make their last months, weeks or days easy.
As a rehabilitation nurse, you will need one basic attribute to succeed – empathy. Since you will be working with patients who are frustrated due to their inability to cope with their physical and / or mental conditions, you will need to be patient and understanding as well.
Rehabilitation Nurse Duties and Responsibilities
• Assess and evaluate patients to determine the cause and effects of illnesses, diseases and conditions
• Work with doctors and other rehabilitation team members to develop individualized care plans for all assigned patients
• Confer with patients’ families to determine any special circumstances and ensure that any significant information is included in the patients’ files
• Provide companionship to patients throughout the rehabilitation procedure in a bid to keep them comfortable and earn their trust
• Educate patients and families to help them adjust to the changes in their lives brought on by accidents or illnesses
• Teach life skills to patients who may have lost them due to injury or chronic illnesses
• Act as patient advocate by actively listening, reflecting and guiding them through grieving processes
• Ascertain that each patient thrives in a safe and comfortable environment by ensuring that any hazards or problems are kept at bay
• Intervene with other members of the rehabilitation program to ensure that optimal opportunity for recovery is made available to patients