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Rehabilitation Nursing


Rehabilitation is a specialty practice that was organized as a rehabilitation nursing specialty in 1964. Rehabilitation nursing has been stated as “the diagnosis and treatment of human responses of individuals and groups to actual or potential health problems stemming from altered functional ability and altered lifestyle”. The person with disabilities is viewed holistically as an interactive open system with the inherent capacity for self-regulation.

The rehabilitation nurse provides care, education, and support to the client and family. Care is focused on assisting disabled clients, their families, and their communities, in the development of the client's self-care skills.

Role of Rehabilitation Nurses

The rehabilitation nurse employs education and supportive strategies based on rehabilitation philosophy, goals, and concepts. Rehabilitation is a meritorious process of functional improvement that involves client, family, community, and health care provider. Optimal function is achieved when the uniqueness and wholeness of the individual is recognized. Goals of rehabilitation nursing include maximizing:

  1. potential learning
  2. ability to serve and care
  3. Improve quality of life
  4. family-centered caring
  5. wellness benefits
  6. culturally competent care
  7. community reintegration

Ingredients of a Rehabilitation Nursing Program

  1. Memory improvement techniques
  2. Communication with aphasic patients
  3. Safety awareness and fall prevention
  4. Continence training
  5. Cognitive/linguistic treatment
  6. Behavior management
  7. Crisis prevention and intervention
  8. Health maintenance Transfer skills
  9. Ambulation
  10. Application of splints, pylons, and CPM machines
  11. Bed mobility
  12. Daily living activities
  13. Dysphagia eating techniques