Early in her career, Mary Beth Wiener, BSN, RN, CRRN, left her position as a rehabilitation nurse for a job in a pediatric intensive care unit (NICU/PICU). She very quickly realized that NICU/PICU nursing lacked an integral element that she loved about rehabilitation nursing: building relationships and connecting with patients and families.
“To say I missed acute rehabilitation would be an understatement!” Mary Beth — now a nurse manager at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab — said. “At the acute level of care, I found relationships with families to be somewhat peripheral. Your focus is critically managing your patient.”
Relationships are at the heart of Shirley Ryan AbilityLab's nursing care. Over days and weeks together, nurses get to know their patients very well — and revel in seeing all of their incredible progress!
Meanwhile, in inpatient rehabilitation hospitals, nurses not only deliver care through technical and complicated procedures, they also develop incredible relationships with patients and are empowered to act with autonomy to develop nursing care plans that allow patients meet their rehabilitation goals.
“Relationships are at the heart of Shirley Ryan AbilityLab's nursing care,” she said. “Over days and weeks together, nurses get to know their patients very well — and revel in seeing all of their incredible progress!”
The average length of stay for patients at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab is 21 days, versus 4.5 days in acute-care hospitals nationally.
“As an inpatient rehabilitation nurse, you not only are providing patient education, you also involve the family in that education process. The partnerships that nurses develop with families can provide glimpse into patients' lives, and address and honor their goals and concerns,” Mary Beth said. “It's a holistic approach that really is unique to rehabilitation nursing.”