Role of the Nurse in the Rehabilitation Team
It is the position of the Association of Rehabilitation Nurses (ARN) that the use of collaborative effort through a team delivery model offers the most comprehensive rehabilitation care. There is no other area of health care that exemplifies the concept of a team approach to health care more than rehabilitation. The rehabilitation nurse, easily accessible to individuals, families, team members and other concerned parties, and by virtue of specialized education, expertise, and interest in caring for individuals with chronic illness and disabilities, is considered the most qualified team leader and a key partner in a successful rehabilitation program. We believe that the outcome of rehabilitation is maximized when the rehabilitation nurse takes a leadership role and collaborates with rehabilitation team members.
Rehabilitation is a continuous process and clients rehabilitate themselves through the influence of the comprehensive approach to care provided by the rehabilitation nurse. Rehabilitation nurses are leaders who specialize in assisting individuals affected by chronic illness and disability to maximize their health through health restoration, maintenance and promotion. The rehabilitation nurse functions as a care coordinator as they partner with the client, caregiver and the other rehabilitation specialists to solve problems and promote clients' maximal independence. The function and role of team leader and care coordinator is reflected throughout all activities of the rehabilitation nurse. Rehabilitation nurses are particularly skilled at working with others to adapt ongoing care to the constant changes in healthcare and to resources available to achieve timely outcomes.
The collaborative rehabilitation team model facilitates care in a coordinated and cost-effective manner. The team is composed of professionals from various disciplines that differ in educational preparation, professional expectations, and responsibilities. Each team members bring a unique perspective and individual expertise, but works collaboratively balancing the physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual, social and vocational needs and preferences to achieve optimal outcomes. The rehabilitation team members involved depend on many factors, including client's need, resources, and insurance coverage for services. The team members may include, but is not limited to, the following members:
The Rehabilitation Team Meeting
A collaborative rehabilitation team success depends on effective communication which includes team meetings that may be held periodically depending on the setting and needs. Topics included at team meetings include such items as the following:
Nurses Role in the Rehabilitation Team
Approved March 2007
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