The Role of the Rehabilitation Nurse in Life Care Planning
Qualified life care planners present with a variety of backgrounds and experiences, as well as various medical, psychological, and nursing licensures and certifications. These professionals include, but are not limited to, nurses, physiatrists, psychologists, rehabilitation counselors, and physical, occupational, and speech therapists. This chapter outlines the advantages and expected roles of involving the rehabilitation nurse in consultation and/or the development of a life care plan. Nurses from every field of health care delivery share the basic tenets of the nursing process. They are the foundation for patient-focused care, and they include: assessment, nursing diagnoses, outcomes/planning, implementation, and evaluation. The rehabilitation nurse is a nurse who has procured special expertise in maximizing and maintaining function and quality of life in patients with various disabilities or chronic illnesses that have limited their ability to function in their daily lives. The roles of the rehabilitation nurse include: educator, caregiver, collaborator, client advocate, and consultant.