RN Physiatrist ?

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    Anyone know of this speciality of medicine. Its a sub field of physical medicine and rehabilitation. I have a bachelor of science in exercise physiology and will be getting my RN soon. Any input appreciated. Thank you !
  2. 8 Comments so far...

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    I'm aware of physiatrists, but not sure what you mean, in your title, by "RN Physiatrist." As you note, physiatry is a branch of medicine, and physiatrists are MDs. You can certainly work and specialize in physical rehab in nursing (but you won't be an "RN physiatrist," any more than OB nurses are "RN obstetricians" or psychiatric nurses are "RN psychiatrists").

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    Best wishes for your journey!
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    Do you know how to get into the field ?
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    Quote from twinner05
    Do you know how to get into the field ?
    You start with medical school, then do your graduate medical training in physical medicine.
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    Right but I heard you can work as a rn under a physiatrist
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    Well, you can look for jobs for RNs in rehab and physical medicine just like you can look for a job in any other field, but you have to realize that you'll be functioning as a nurse not a practitioner.
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    To become a physiatrist, you must go to medical school first and then specialize in physical medicine. The other way to work in a rehabilitation setting, and do rehab with patients, is to become a Physical Therapist. That means, at the minimum going back for a Masters degree in Physical Therapy. To develop the requisite knowledge as a nurse would take too long otherwise. Your background in Exercise Science would give you a very good understanding as to why and how the body accomplishes what it does under exercise conditions. It does not get into injury physiology to the same depth that you would get in a Sports Medicine program or a Physical Therapy program.

    As an exercise physiologist, at least at a bachelors level, you should have a better understanding of normal physiology than most nurses.

    From everything that I have seen up to this point, nothing in nursing teaches you how to be a rehab nurse. There really isn't any background information/knowledge provided to the new grad nurse that would allow that nurse to function in a rehab setting, providing rehabilitative services, and being able to safely implement the rehab plan, let alone design a rehab plan, for each individual patient. An orientation to that setting would be fairly long because the new grad would have to learn all of that background knowledge, some of which you should have already obtained.

    In my case, I would have that ability as I already have a Sports Medicine Bachelors, and 2 1/2 years of experience working as an assistant athletic trainer at the collegiate level, division three. So have a pretty good idea what is needed, although I have not worked in the clinical setting in the role of a rehab specialist, whatever specific title that may have such as physical therapist, occupational therapist, physiatrist, whatever.
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    Quote from twinner05
    Do you know how to get into the field ?
    The link I included in my previous response is to the national rehab nurses organization. Did you take a look? Lots of info there. RNs work in lots of different rehab settings.
  10. 0
    Thank you !! What area would you recommend with having both degrees !! The biggest one is cardiac rehab.


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