If you work in the field of rehab, you already know… this is a whole specialty unto itself! In-patient physical rehabilitation comes with a very unique set of challenges, demands, and skills. Of course, it also comes with fantastic rewards- any clinician who works in rehab knows that amazing feeling of accomplishment that comes when a patient you saw come in at a dependent level progresses to being able to walk, talk, and look after themselves. Watching someone you cared for walk out the door independently is one of the best feelings any nurse can have!
I always feel like working in rehab is a well-kept secret. You get to work with a team of other rehab specialists- like the physiatrist, Occupational and Physical therapists, and Speech and Language Pathology; to see innovative and amazing equipment being used to help people become more independent in a million ways, from communication, to toileting, to taking their own meds.
The role of the nurse is critical in physical rehab. Rehab nurses are pivotal in working with a patient around the clock to help them implement the new skills they are learning, encourage and facilitate them in being as independent as possible, or helping them to adapt to an altered lifestyle. The nurse can see what many other professionals won’t- such as how the client is coping outside of therapy sessions, at night, or without guidance. Working closely with, and educating, the family and caregivers is also a key area for nursing.
The physical therapist may be assisting the client to get stronger; the occupational therapist facilitating more independence; and the speech therapist working on swallow and cognition issues- but the nurse will help bring it all together. The learning curve to be a nurse working in rehab is pretty steep!
Yet, many nurses find themselves working in rehab without any specialized or advanced training at all; and can quickly become overwhelmed or aggravated by the demands of the setting.
Becoming a Certified Rehab Registered Nurse (CRRN®) can be the perfect answer to some of these issues. Gaining your CRRN credential will show your dedication to working in the field of rehab, your commitment to the rehab model or wellness, and increase your marketability as a seasoned and experienced rehab professional!
Why become a CRRN?
1. Do it for your patient!
Taking the CRRN prep course and exam will make sure that you are completely up to date with the newest innovations and evidence in rehab nursing practice! It is hard to keep up with the current literature, but the course goes beyond just exam prep- it is 12 contact hours of continuing ed, and reviews performance areas across the spectrum, rehab-specific needs of practice and how to empower independence in your client.
The prep course covers many aspects of nursing process and theory, and how to apply these to functional health. Additionally, you will learn how to use your skills to promote community re-integration, and about the legislative, economic, ethical and legal issues involved in rehab.
2. Do it for your team!
Show your dedication to the team! Becoming a CRRN adds weight to your role as a rehab nurse. The insight and expertise that a rehab nurse brings to the table is unlike any other professional, and is invaluable to the working of the interdisciplinary team.
Your employer will value your credential- having specialized and upskilled staff on bard looks good for them! It helps to show the company’s ongoing commitment to providing the best care to the patient, and their support to the team. Having the most up-to-date, dedicated nurses on staff is a goal of any great organization!
3. Do it for yourself!
Invest in your career by attaining this credential. It will be helpful on a daily basis in your practice as a nurse in the rehab setting, but may also serve as a bridge to furthering your career in leadership, teaching, or management roles.
Becoming a CRRN® shows to the world that you are dedicated to the rehab philosophy of nursing- building clients and patients to become as independent and functional in their communities. It shows to your colleagues and team that you are serious in this role, and striving to continuously improve your practice!
Lastly, it validates your experience, the skills and knowledge that you have already built in your career in rehab thus far. You have worked hard- this is the recognition you deserve!
The CRRN credential is awarded through the Association of Rehab Nurses (ARN), and currently has more than 13,000 current certificants. If you want to learn more about the CRRN exam, make sure to visit the ARN website, and check out the exam process!
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