Long-Term Care

Trainer's tip: Restorative nursing versus rehabilitation

LTC Nursing Assistant Trainer, November 18, 2010

Rehabilitation (therapy) and restorative nursing complement each other. They do not compete. Restorative programs are often essential for ensuring the residents retain the skills they worked on in therapy and do not lose ground.

Rehabilitation is skilled care given by licensed therapy staff members and their assistants. The care and assessments are much more complex and specialized than nursing. Rehabilitation services are given from one to four hours daily. Residents participate in rehabilitation programs five days per week. In some facilities, rehabilitation is available six or seven days per week. The residents’ rehabilitation potential, ability to make progress, and safety are important considerations in this type of program.

Restorative nursing care is given by nursing personnel, who may be licensed or unlicensed. All residents will benefit from some type of restorative care, and their rehabilitation potential is not considered. Restorative nursing is offered for many reasons, including to:

  • Improve the residents’ conditions
  • Prevent further deterioration of condition
  • Complement a concurrent therapy program
  • Teach safety
  • Prevent new or additional complications
  • Help a resident adjust to new problems or limitations
  • Improve quality of life

This is an excerpt from the HCPro book, The Long-Term Care Nursing Desk Reference, Second Edition, by Barbara Acello, MS, RN.

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