Rehab Nursing advice please...not a real nurse?

  1. I just accepted a position on an acute rehab unit as a new grad. Now Im very excited and happy to be starting however Im feeling a bit discouraged. Im hearing from some people that nurses whom work in rehab (physical med) are not real nurses. Real nurses work in the ER,ICU and medsurg floors.. some people want to know why Im wasting time there and they are also saying I will lose all my assessment skills or so on. They also think Im just going to be passing out meds and lifting people all day. Im sure these are the same people that disagree with psych nursing as well. Ughhh I just need some advice
    Thank you!
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    About leolomb

    Joined: Apr '10; Posts: 5; Likes: 1
    Specialty: Rehabilitation


  3. by   JerseyBSN
    Do not pay attention to those people. If you have a license you are a real nurse. If the rehab floor requires a licensed nurse work on their floor then you are a real nurse. There are many different areas where nurses work and they are all real nurses. Different strokes for different folks. I can work OB, psych, med/surg but I could not work hospice or pediatrics.

    Celebrate your new job!
  4. by   RedWeasel
    hAHA -not a real nurse! oKAY First of all....other units often call our unit for help when they get old SCI patients to their units. Re autonomic dysreflexia how to transfer them, how to do a bladder scan. How to transfer difficult patients. So don't let anyone tell you different. WE DO: Spinal Cord Injuries, Traumatic Brain Injuries---many with bone flaps missing, on tube feedings, with trachs (other RNs who float to us, some of them, aren't given these trach patients because they don't know how to work with them---true story), they don't know how to hook up a tube feeding. We do amputation dressings, packing wounds, helping with fresh ostomy dressings, pressure ulcers to the bone. Oh and we do it all doing it with 7 patients each. We do IVs everyday, IV fluids everyday, TPN and lipids, WE ARE a medical floor! We just have them longer than other units! We do foleys. We have acute patients go bad too. We have codes on our floor, we have people who start to bleed out---we get it ALL. GO FOR IT!!!!
    Last edit by RedWeasel on May 23, '11
  5. by   RedWeasel
  6. by   RedWeasel
    Oh and it IS a SPECIALTY. I just got my CRRN.
  7. by   Boog'sCRRN246
    Sigh...I get so tired of hearing people's opinions on who is a REAL nurse and where REAL nurses work. If you're a RN (or LPN) and the word 'nurse' is part of your title, then doesn't that constitute being a REAL nurse? Are you just pretending to be a nurse if you don't work in the ER or ICU? I'm pretty sure that's illegal.

    Anyway, now that I've gotten that off my chest...I also work in acute rehab. I'll be honest - you do pass a lot of meds and do a LOT of lifting. You also do a ton of assessments, so don't worry about losing your assessment skills. As a matter of fact, your assessment skills need to be rather astute. If your rehab unit is anything like mine, the patients will be recovering from strokes and cardiac surgeries, as well as post-op orthos. Conditions can change very quickly. Our acuity is actually pretty high, a lot higher than most realize.

    It's some of the hardest, yet most rewarding work I've ever done. Nothing is better than having a patient who, on admission, is unable to walk or talk or do much for themselves and discharge them either walking off the unit or at least being able to feed themselves or say a complete sentence.
  8. by   Anna Flaxis
    It's a crock. Rehab nurses are real nurses. Don't let anyone tell you different. Good luck in your new job!
  9. by   RedWeasel
    As for your assessment skills, you have to be on your toes in rehab. Like I said you have traumatic brain injuries who have their bone flaps missing to accomodate for swelling in the brain. However, some brain injuries they don't remove bone flaps and you have to watch pupils, vitals, labs, decreased levels of consciousness. Many of these people when they first come aren't able to talk and can't tell you they are going bad---restroking or rebleeding. You will NOT lose your assessment skills. They will be honed. And these brain bleeds or brain surgeries often aren't allowed to be on blood thinners due to risk of rebleeding, so they are in the end at high risk for PE and DVT. that is why those patients must wear their intermittent pneumatic compression devices (leg pumps). So you can have a head bleed, who can't talk, smile, eat, swallow who is at high risk for stroke-or PE and you have to watch and assess to see if this begins. you learn to detect the slightest change in those patients in time to get intervention. Again---remember, not on blood thinners? Need your leg pumps!
  10. by   Teleflurry
    Ive been both and worked here's my advice to you.

    First off, are you an LPN or RN?

    As an RN I would of told you the same...go to the hospital, not rehab. If your an LPN go to rehab, as your choices may be limied due to LPN's being phased out the hospital. As a new nurse...ANYWHERE you start will teach you something...time management, priorities, etc. BUT in the rehab it will become redundant, cliche, and youll hit that proverbial road block and find yourself asking, "is that it?" The mystique of the rehab wears off QUICKLY.

    In the hospital you will see a change in patients, known as a higher turn-over, that will challenge you daily. More acute problems, requiring more speed and accuracy.

    A job is a job, a nurse is a nurse...but Ill be honest with is redundant; but if your an LPN you may be limited to that, or home health. As an RN...honey...go to the hospital .
  11. by   RedWeasel
    I disagree. Our patients are more acute than ever. We have alot of turn around too as we transfer patients off often who go bad.
  12. by   RedWeasel
    I have to say of course, we are an inpatient rehab facility IN the hospital. Our rehab IS IN the hospital.
    Last edit by RedWeasel on May 23, '11
  13. by   Five&Two Will Do
    We have a rehab unit here at this hospital. As has already been stated, those nurses really do have to work hard and know their stuff. They have all kinds of patients with resistant infections that require hardcore ABX infusions via central line. They teach people how to use prosthetics after helping them heal their amputations. They help people post CVA to learn to speak and write and restore as much function as possible. Rehab nursing may not require you to run vents and various titratable gtt's, but it is "real" nursing you bet your butt
  14. by   GreyGull
    You'll actually have to be sharper than some of the other specialties. You may be getting some patients straight from an ICU or Stepdown on a ventilator who may be a "push" and not fully ready for the transition. You will be assessing these patients without all the gadgets the ICU RNs had and you may have 4 - 6 other patients to care for. Yes if it is an Acute Rehab, you may have your share of ventilator and trach patients along with different access ports. You may or may not have RTs available. So, learn everything you can and if you ever decide to transfer to an ICU or ED, you may be light years ahead of the rest in many areas especially when it comes to some of the indepth assessments, special needs, equipment and paperwork.

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