Newswise — Brain Injury patients and their families spend the majority of their rehabilitation time with rehabilitation nurses and yet, not once has the role of the rehabilitation nurse been noted in all the recent media features about recovery. Most likely this is because only those people who have been through this experience truly understand the unique role and very close relationship patients and their families develop with their rehabilitation nurse during this very difficult time.

Why is this relationship so special? Soon after the onset of a disabling injury or chronic illness, the rehabilitation nurse steps into to navigate recovery from a holistic perspective. Rehabilitation nurses act as multisystem integrators and team leaders, working with physicians, therapists, and others to solve problems and promote patients’ maximal independence. The goal -- to help patients and families achieve their greatest potential, adapt to their disabilities, and work toward productive, independent lives.

Rehabilitation/restoration nursing principles are more important to the healthcare system than ever before because it has measurable, functional outcome goals for patients, which rehabilitation nurses use in planning and evaluating the effectiveness of patient care. Rehabilitation Nurses practice in all settings including: freestanding rehabilitation facilities, hospitals (inpatient rehabilitation units), long-term subacute care facilities/skilled nursing facilities, long-term acute care facilities, comprehensive outpatient rehabilitation facilities, private practice, home healthcare agencies, clinics and day rehabilitation programs, and community and government agencies including the Veterans Administration and the Department of Defense.

The Association of Rehabilitation Nurses (ARN) has more than 5600 rehabilitation nursing experts from a variety of settings who are not only passionate about the care they give, but also experts on the unique perspective and philosophy of care rehabilitation nursing provides its patients. Please feel free to contact me should you like to speak with a credentialed, expert rehabilitation nurse for your next feature.

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