There are often courses, which are a little more specialized than the norm, that are included in the training of healthcare careers. Some of these include training such as Rehabilitation and Restorative Nursing. Even though we can set the two parts separate in that we would say that it is rehabilitation vs. restorative nursing, the two can in reality not be pitted against each other. The two parts of this aspect would complement each other as the one often leads into the other. As a result in most instances the one cannot exist with the other. They do however, have different skill requirements.
A quick definition for restorative nursing is that it is in place to assist the resident or patient to maintain the functional ability that they have achieved in short-term rehabilitation. Thus, preventing them from slipping back and losing the ability achieved through the assistance of rehabilitation. Rehabilitation nursing assists with long-term physical disabilities, chronic illnesses and are able to deal with limitations of individual patients. The Rehabilitation nurse would also assist the persons to reach their full potential through various means of training skills.
While you are doing your CNA training, you could look into this particular field and do some volunteer work to find out whether this is what you would like to do. It is definitely a niche and it would assure that you are always in need.
The Skills Requirements For Rehabilitation Nursing
The Training of a Rehabilitation Nurse
It is required of the Rehabilitation Nurse to attend nursing school and obtain at least an associate degree or a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing. This is where you would specialize in rehabilitation nursing by taking the extra classes and doing more in depth study on what you would be dealing with.
Rehabilitation is a skilled discipline that can only be administered by staff members that are licensed to administer therapy and who have the necessary certification or qualification. They are often assisted by skilled assistants. It would therefore not be a part of the treatment administered by the restorative trained nurses. This is one way therefore, in which one could make a distinction such as rehabilitation vs. restorative nursing.
The Application Of The Skills
With rehabilitation, you would need more than nursing skills and have more specialized training as this involves assessment of injuries as well. They would apply their knowledge and clinical skills for which they have been trained to assist the person to complete the rehabilitation process.
The Tasks Of The Rehabilitation Nurse
It is also a matter of establishing and setting in place a program for the individual to follow with the guidance and assistance of either the therapist or the assistant. The program can be applied in an inpatient or outpatient setting. The program could include the following:
- A wide range of motion exercises that would increase the mobility of the person
- It might be similar to that of the restorative nurse, but would have a more invasive action to address a muscle, for example.
- There is need for the mobility to include exercises of ambulation especially if the person is learning to walk again.
- It is important that, in severe cases the person might need to re-learn activities of daily living.
- It is important that the rehabilitation addresses alignment and positioning as well.
- In many instances the persons have to relearn bowel and bladder actions.
- It is important that while the rehabilitation as well as the restorative nursing is being administered that the weekly and monthly height and weight monitoring continuous.
- Eating or swallowing training is also an essential task in this instance
- They would also take care of a patience amputation and prosthesis training care
- Communication training – The person might need to relearn how to speak and communicate again.
- There is also the definite need of assisting the patient with a splint or a brace assist
It takes much longer to go through a session with a patient than you would when applying restorative nursing. This is also a tougher program that the patient has to go through in that:
- It depends entirely on how much can be done for the patient.
- This is a question of how much potential there is for the patient to have his or her mobility restored.
- It is important that the patient is treated in a safe way. This means also that it is safe only if administered by a trained therapist and his or her assistant.
The best ways in which the rehabilitation is administered, is through individual programs for each patient. This is because injuries and ailments are not the same for all and hence, whatever the person is going through and experiencing, has to be individualized.
The programs are highly specialized as it would address any loss of independence and abilities, which could include memory loss, physical disabilities, or chronic illnesses, which could also be long-term issues. It is for this reason that a highly skilled and qualified therapist would also include the family in the process. In the end it would still require the restorative nursing to take it further. Thus, again it is not a question of rehabilitation vs. restorative nursing. These two aspects work together as a team program to send someone on their way to full recovery.
The Skills Required For Restorative Nursing
The Training Of A Restorative Nurse
Once you have trained as a Certified Nursing Assistant and worked for at least one year in this field, it is just a matter of adding thirty-five to sixty hours of additional training before you can become a restorative nurse. It is thus, an additional training for you if you are a CNA and this could assist you in furthering your career in this way.
The Application Of The Skills
Again, it is important to note that it is not a matter of rehabilitation vs. restorative nursing, but how these complement each other. Restorative nursing is a skill (but not a specialized skill) that can be administered by nursing staff and this includes the Certified Nursing Assistants as it does not require specialized skills. This also means that restorative nursing can be applied by a licensed or an unlicensed healthcare worker.
Any patient in any healthcare facility can benefit from restorative nursing as this is not dependent on rehabilitation. There is no need for safety precautions as it is a matter of getting the persons to show:
- An improvement in whatever condition they might have
- A forward moving restoration of their health as opposed to it getting worse
- Further assistance if they are undergoing therapy
- Show them how to be safe (especially in new found mobility, for example) in their own home and on the street as well.
- Curb any development of new ailments or added difficulties to what they are already experiencing
- Adjust or adapt to a situation with which they are not familiar
- Improve the quality of their lives
The Tasks Performed By The Restorative Nurse
The focus of restorative nursing is on getting the patient or resident at a healthcare facility to maintain the improvement experienced and achieved in therapy. Thus, it is not really a matter of rehabilitation vs. restorative nursing. It is taking the rehabilitation further into assisting the person to be on his or her way home after the rehabilitation program. This is done through everyday stimulating experiences to make sure that the patient would be able to cope with daily life again. This deals with simple matters such as learning to:
- Walk again
- Transferring from a bed or chair into a wheelchair
- Eating by holding their own utensils
- Bathe themselves
- Use the toilet
- Get dressed by themselves again
The aim is to facilitate the process to independence and self-sufficiency.
It is important that they make sure that the patients do stretching exercises as well as motion activities in order for them to regain their mobility. It is important that they report to the therapist or to the therapist assistance if the patient experiences any pain or discomfort while they interact with the patient.
The Application For Rehabilitation vs. Restorative Nursing
It is important that the statement is again reiterated that these two aspects are not in competition, but in light of the statement:
- It would mean that you would have a choice between the two depending on where you are in your healing process.
- It would mean that you would be directed into either the rehabilitation program or the restorative program.
- Even though this is the case, there are many similar aspects that you would find in the two programs.
- The only difference would be in the intensity of the program.
- For example, the therapy program would be more intense and invasive than the restorative program.
- Both the nursing assistance form part of a team that would allow the individual to restore full mobility or as much as is possible.
- They can also be a part of the team that would counsel patients on physical therapy exercises, proper nutrition, the right amount of sleep and any medications that can help. The medication aspect would be reserved for the Rehabilitation Nurses
Where These Nurses Will Find Jobs
The Rehabilitation And Restorative Nurses
The fact that the training includes nursing means that you are able to become part of any health care facility. Some of these places could be more specialized than other places. You would be able to work at:
- Hospitals with rehabilitation facilities
- Physical Rehabilitation facilities
- Substance Abuse Rehabilitation facilities
- Healthcare Centers
- Travel to homes of patients
Long-term care facilities such as:
- Nursing Homes
- Veterans’ hospitals
It is also to take care of:
- stroke victims and
- those with head injuries
Within these facilities there are also a variety of different places and spaces where you might feel more comfortable in using your skills. There places such as:
- The Cardiovascular Department in the hospital: This is where you will work solely with the rehabilitation of those who have suffered cardiac arrest and are in the process of recovering.
- You could assist Diabetics to manage their disease as best they can
- You could also become part of a mental health center
- There is the Neurological Rehabilitation Unit where your interest might be in assisting these patients in their needs. This is known as neuro-rehabilitation.
Furthermore you are able to improve your qualifications all the time and hence, you would be able to participate in any of the following as:
- Administrators – this could be at a hospital, a private clinic or any other health care facility.
- Case Managers
- Researchers and
You must also take note of the fact that there is a difference in salary for making your services available to a hospital and if you are going to work in home health care.
This means that rehabilitation vs. restorative nursing is just a question of what your need would be as a patient and in what your training would be for you to slot in where you would like to be. Most people would want to earn more money, but you must take into consideration that there is also the factor of job satisfaction.
It is vital that rehabilitation vs. restorative nursing is taken into consideration when a patient is admitted to any facility. The various injuries and its intensity would determine who would take responsibility at the start. None of the two nursing areas would be excluded as the first step would be assessment. If the injury falls under acute therapy, the rehabilitative nurses would be assisting. After the process of rehabilitation is complete, it becomes the turn of the restorative nurse to complete the patients’ journey to health.