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introduction to rehabilitation & rehabilitation nursing


Level: Beginner

Contact Hours: Contact hours are no longer offered for this course.






Intro Course Cover Graphic

Course Description

Rehab Nursing Series Course 1

Focus: Introducing the Specialty of Rehabilitation

This first course in the Rehab Nursing Series is an excellent tool for introducing the novice rehab nurse to rehabilitation and its standards and scope of practice. More experienced rehab nurses find the course to be a positive reminder of why they entered this specialty field and a refresher on the forces driving and changing rehabilitation care.

While each course can be used independently, this course lays the foundation for the rest of the courses in the Rehab Nursing Series, introducing key components of the specialty practice of rehabilitation and rehabilitation nursing and emphasizing safety, teamwork, regulatory impacts, and patient populations.


Course Chapters

Chapter 1 Overview
This brief description and overview forms the foundation of what this specialty is all about, emphasizing that each rehab nurse, as an individual, makes a difference.

  • What do patients and caregivers want and need from a rehab nurse?

Chapter 2 What is Rehab?

Defining and describing this specialty practice, this chapter reviews the place for rehab in the continuum of care and reminds learners of the purpose of identifying functional and self-care problems and developing meaningful goals with patients and their caregivers. Practice developing goals is provided.

  • What is the definition of rehabilitation?

  • Where does rehab fit into the continuum of care?

  • How does the patient's problem list define the need for rehabilitation?

  • What does a meaningful functional goal look like?

Chapter 3 The Rehab Nurse

The chapter introduces the nurse to the specialty of rehabilitation nursing and provides an opportunity to learn rehab jargon to facilitate communication with fellow team members.

  • What are the standards and scope of practice for rehab nurses?

  • What competencies are expected in this specialty?

  • What is the jargon used by the rehab team when discussing rehab patients?

Chapter 4 The Rehab Team
Working with your fellow team members is much easier when you understand what each discipline is all about. Here each discipline gets a chance to tell nurses what they would like them to know about their specialty area and how to work with them.

  • Who are your teammates and what do they do?

  • What is the team's job?

  • What makes a good team work well together?

Chapter 5 Rehab Populations
It is important that the new rehab nurse learn the basic about the types of patients commonly found in rehab settings.This chapter introduces patient types and warns of risk, listing practices the rehab nurse typically needs to follow in order to keep patients safe.

  • What risks are associated with particular diagnoses?

  • What patient problems are most common?

Chapter 6 The Therapeutic Milieu
One thing that makes a rehab setting unique is its ability to create an environment or milieu that is therapeutic around the clock and each day of the week through teamwork, communication, and the creation of expectations. This chapter addresses the physical, attitudinal, and philosophical aspects of the environment that create a therapeutic milieu.

  • How does the rehab team maintain a focus on community reintegration?

Chapter 7 Regulatory Issues
This chapter summarizes the expectations and impacts of various regulatory bodies on the practice of rehabilitation including a brief orientation to quality improvement and program evaluation. Medicare regulations for post acute services are introduced.

  • Are there different regulatory requirements for rehabilitation care than for acute care?

Chapter 8 Posttest


Learning Outcomes:

As a result of participating in this activity, the learner will be able to pass the posttest with a score of 80% or better, demonstrating knowledge of:

  • The key characteristics and behaviors of the specialty practice of rehabilitation and rehabilitation nursing.

  • The key characteristics and needs of typical patient populations receiving rehabilitation care including types of patients and some of the safety precautions that will need to be applied to them.

  • The roles of fellow team members and strategies for learning about their therapeutic interventions and how to incorporate them into care of the patient.

  • A therapeutic milieu and how to support and facilitate it in the care environment.

  • The impact of regulatory agencies on the care of patients in rehabilitation settings.

Contact hours no longer will be provided for this course after October 1, 2019. If you would like to provide contact hours for this course at your site, contact us at for the details of the Mergener formula.

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