Sub-Acute Care Team – The Rehabilitation Nurse

Let’s meet a very special person – the rehabilitation nurse. A patient in an in-patient setting or an out-patient setting will interact with the nurse on a regular basis.


There are different types of nurses

Contrary to what we thought as children, nurses do not all look the same or do the same task. Nursing is quite a wide field and a person can specialize in different aspects of nursing.

The different types of degrees and certification that a nurse attains, will influence where they settle in their career plans. A rehabilitation nurse needs to study for 2-4 years, in order to become a registered nurse, and use the letters CRRN after their name.


One Nurse, Many Hats

The rehabilitation nurse is in a position to help patients in a multifaceted approach. His or her* job includes caring for many different types of patients in the rehabilitation environment:

  • People who have, or acquired a disability
  • Stroke survivors
  • People with a chronic illness or condition such as diabetes, high blood pressure, a heart condition, arthritis
  • Patients with sports injuries

There is a great demand for nursing with senior patients, since there are an increasing number of seniors, and longer life expectancy.

Nurses who work with seniors will have pleasant natures. You hope to meet a nurse who is patient, merciful, detail-oriented, creative and reliable. It’s not for nothing that we said that nurse are special….


The varied Jobs of the Rehabilitation Nurse

The rehabilitation nurse can function in their role to:

  • Do semi-clerical aspects of rehab, such as making sure patients have appointments booked or know what appointments to book
  • Help patients to adjust to an “altered lifestyle” after a medical event, by managing the health issues that became a part of the patient’s life
  • Support patients emotionally as they learn to function as best as possible with their circumstances
  • Assist the patient’s family with learning how to adapt
  • In general to help the patient improve their functioning physically, mentally and socially
  • Explain to patients and their families or loved ones, details of self-care and self-management.
  • Coordinate their role, with the role of the other team members, especially the physical or occupational therapist. The nurse also has to liaise between higher and lower level staff.
  • Help a patient exercise to maintain mobility.
  • Make sure that a mobility-challenged patient does not lie in one place for too long, to avoid skin breakdown and sores or lesions

Sometimes the most important role that the nurse plays, is supervising the activities of the support staff. The coordination has to be smooth so that complications are avoided.



From hands-on care, to communicating with senior medical staff, the rehabilitation nurse uses their vast knowledge to help patients. The rehabilitation process is often long and complicated. It is so good to have a nurse supporting the patient all the way, until they achieve the best recovery that they can.


The rehabilitation nurse is a special part of the sub-acute care team

* The rehabilitation nurse is a special part of the sub-acute care team. The U.S. Census Bureau provides the statistic that 91% of nurses are female. While more men are choosing nursing as a career, only around 9% of nurses are men.



Image by Gerald Oswald from Pixabay