Considering Rehab.

  1. Hello.

    I am getting burnt out on ER nursing so I am going to work part time there and get a PRN job somewhere else. I am considering a free standing rehab hospital that has a lot of TBI, vent. weening, medically complex, things like that. I just had a few questions, I realize every hospital is different but...Is rehab nursing a lot like floor nursing? What are the big differences? What do you love about rehab nursing? What do you hate?

    Also do you think there will be a huge learning curve in going from ER to rehab or do you think my ER skills will serve me well.

    Thanks!
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  2. 2 Comments

  3. by   takenbyjoy
    Wow! What a change. Your ER skills will more than suffice in acute rehab. Because patients are being discharged from acute care earlier, they are sicker in rehab, BUT they have to be able to participate in 3 hours of therapy a day to qualify for in-patient rehab. To some degree it is like "floor nursing." You have meds to give, treatments to do, IVs to hang, etc. The difference is that your patients are in therapy at least 3 hours per day (if you work 7-3 or 7-7). The other difference I've seen over the years is the amount of patient/family teaching that we do. When patients have experienced TBIs, CVAs, or SCIs, they are embarking on totally life-changing experiences, not of their own choosing. We are teaching them skills that will hopefully make them successful once they leave rehab. We get to see them progress from vent dependent to being able to manage their own secretions. We get to see them progress from lying in the bed doing nothing for themselves, to either knowledgeably directing their own care, their families comfortable with taking care of them, or the patient doing his own care. I love rehab nursing because I get to be creative: how can I help this patient learn to do this task? What can I use to help a patient do this task, when they don't have the funding to buy some fancy gadget to do it. What I hate: the funding changes we've seen over the years. When I first started in rehab (EONS ago....... ) we were keeping SCI patients 3, sometimes 6, months. Now we only get to keep them 3-4 weeks at the most. Some of them need more than that and we can only send them home with bare minimum equipment. But the good things far out-weigh the bad. After 20+ years, I guess I'm in it for the long haul....lol. Hope this helps.
  4. by   Happy-ER-RN
    Thanks!

    I think educating patients will be difficult for me, I never know what happens after people leave, long term is not something I ever think about in the ED, it's always someone elses problem, it will be a huge role change to try to teach someone those things, especially when I have no idea how to manage these things...

    Thank you for the insight!

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