I am too smart for Rehab Nursing.
This is what I hear whenever I tell people that I enjoy working in acute rehab and that when I am done with nursing school this Fall I think I am going to stick around on the rehab floor. I am a Nurse Tech who has worked on this floor for about a year. I am an A student who gets rave reviews from my clinical instructors. "Work in cardiac!" I hear often, "Go to progressive care!" "Rehab?!? You're too smart for rehab, you'll get BORED"
Bored?!? Have these people ever been on a rehab floor? They seem to think all we do is give pain meds and take teetering old ladies to the bathroom. Rehab combines med/surg nursing with a great deal of psych nursing and ortho nursing AND neuro nursing AND oncology nursing! We get all sorts of people on this floor! You have to be ready for anything.
Also, I enjoy the patients. I like getting to know them and their families and there is no greater joy than watching the patient that was not able to even move his/her legs on arrival finally stand up and take a few steps for the first time. Rehab nursing is about being a cheerleader some days and a drill sergeant the next. You have to use tough love sometimes. . .but also know when to just hug a patient and let them cry. We also laugh a lot on my floor.
Yes, there is a TON of paperwork for the nurses (I hear them cursing FIMs every day). Yes, it is physically hard. Yes, there are a lot of pain meds. No, there isn't the constant excitement of Trauma nursing or ICU. But there is magic and fulfillment and some days you truly do feel like a guardian angel.
Does anyone else love working in rehab and hate the comments about how boring it is and how a "smart nurse" shouldn't work there? Because some days I start to doubt myself and I start to think that maybe I should go to a med/surg or tele floor when I graduate -- I am afraid of being pigeon-holed forever as a "rehab nurse" But would that be the worst thing in the world?