From September 21 to 27, we celebrate National Rehabilitation Awareness Week by promoting the value of rehabilitation, highlighting the opportunities for the nearly 50 million Americans with disabilities, and recognizing the contributions of the professionals who provide service to them.
A high-touch nursing profession
Based on rehabilitative and restorative principles, rehabilitation nursing is a philosophy of care that takes a holistic approach to meeting patients’ medical, vocational, educational, environmental, and spiritual needs. It’s also a high-touch profession in which nurses get to know their patients and interact with them and their families throughout the healing journey.
Rehabilitation nurses work with patients who have disabling injuries or chronic illnesses by helping them adapt to their disabilities, live to their maximum potential, and attain optimal health. Through rehabilitation, patients are able to overcome injury or illness.
Rehabilitation nurses have excellent functional assessment skills and take a comprehensive approach to care. They act as multisystem integrators and team leaders, working with physicians, therapists, and others to solve challenges and help their patients achieve their personal-best levels of functioning and independence. Nurses accomplish these goals by:
• managing complex medical issues
• collaborating with other healthcare specialists
• setting goals for maximal independence
• providing ongoing patient, family, and caregiver education
• establishing plans of care to maintain optimal wellness.
Association of Rehabilitation Nurses
The Association of Rehabilitation Nurses (ARN), an ANA organizational affiliate, is the national membership organization for rehabilitation nurses. The ARN promotes and advances professional rehabilitation nursing through education, advocacy, collaboration, and research to enhance the quality of life for those affected by physical disability and chronic illness.
The ARN holds it educational conference in October of each year. To learn more about the ARN or the conference, visit www.rehabnurse.org.