Hope: The Fuel for Our Future

I am on my yearly pilgrimage to the Association of Rehabilitation Nurses education conference. It’s a homecoming that I look forward to every year.

The Association of Rehabilitation Nurses (ARN) includes 12,000 certified rehabilitation nurses from around the country.

I see old friends and make new friends year after year. They have become part of my extended family and a vast professional network. These rehabilitation nurses inspire me to build the best home health services Health Calls can provide.

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Friday night we bowled to support rehabilitation nursing research. The initials on my socks “CRRN” provides credentialing recognition for rehabilitation nurses who have attained a documented level of knowledge in the specialty of rehabilitation nursing.

At this year’s conference I have had the pleasure to meet 2 rehab nurses who traveled all the way from Oslo Norway to learn and share rehabilitation nursing knowledge with us. On Thursday, John Hockenberry of public radio’s The Takeaway spoke eloquently of the role rehabilitation nurses have had in his life, transcending the short hospital and ER experience. As John stated, “Rehabilitation is the rest of the story. Not the brief moments of emergency room or hospital”.
Health care reform, the Affordable Care
Act, helping patients transition successfully from hospital to rehab to home and the community, are our topics of discussion as we brainstorm, share experiences and case studies
together.
We recognize that we are from the most trusted profession and we accept the awesome responsibility and privilege to support and advocate for our patients and their families as they transition each care setting. After a surgery, injury, or medical crisis, it requires dedication, knowledge, compassion, and passion to provide the support that is needed to help a person return to full function. We recognize that every person has that bucket list in life to fulfill and we provide hope to fulfill those goals.

Hope is our patients’ and their families’ future. They entrust us to provide not just competent care, but to provide hope at a time when all that may seem apparent is little more than despair. Our healing touch transcends hope not just for patients but also their families, their communities, and the world.

Hope is also Rehabilitation Nursing’s future. At a time of government shutdown due to apparently irreconcilable political differences, there is hope among my fellow rehabilitation nurses that evidence-based improvements make a difference in the way we deliver care. Ultimately, we will help our patients improve in health and physical function so that they can achieve their goals of living a quality life.

As we part after another reinvigorating educational conference, I do not say good-bye but Godspeed. We remain united in our mission. Thank you, ARN, for filling me with hope, the fuel for our future.

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