Older people and those who have had accidents or conditions that have affected their functional abilities may need restorative care. This type of nursing provides occupational, physical and emotional support to help people regain or adapt skills. Many who train in this field are certified nursing assistants. You may want to gain skills in this area of care or to work in a specialized restorative nursing aide role. Some licensed nurses also attend training, especially if they're in charge of a restorative program.
Overview of Restorative Care
Most training programs introduce you to restorative nursing care and the medical and other information behind it. For example, you may learn about legal requirements, such as the role of nursing and therapy staff, the rights of patients and how to complete charts and documentation. Expect your training to cover the common illnesses and conditions that lead to the need for restorative nursing. You should also learn about the problems that these illnesses and conditions typically cause and how to manage them.
Daily Living Activities
Restorative care training teaches you how to help patients manage everyday tasks, including bathing, dressing, grooming, getting in and out of bed and toileting. Some patients may not be able to complete these tasks independently, and you'll help them. In other cases, you'll encourage and motivate patients to try to do these activities themselves. You may need to help them relearn required skills or find different ways to manage tasks using adaptive equipment.
Eating and Drinking
Part of your job is to make sure that your patients eat and drink enough. Some patients may have conditions, such as dysphagia, that make it difficult to eat; others may not have any interest in eating or drinking, or may refuse to do so. Your training will show you how use monitoring measures such as weight loss to spot eating problems. It will also teach you how to use adaptive devices, how to help patients eat and drink and how to manage patients who don't want to eat.
Mobility and Range of Motion
Many patients you work with will have problems with mobility and range of motion. They may have trouble walking or may have limited movement in their joints and limbs. Your training will teach you techniques to motivate people to increase their mobility. For example, you may encourage patients to take regular walks. You'll also learn about active and passive range-of-motion exercises, equipment and assistive devices. The aim of restorative care in this context is to prevent patients from losing more mobility or motion skills and to encourage them to improve them wherever possible.
Restorative Care Training Programs
No set state or federal requirements govern restorative care; however, some states do require training to specific levels. Typically, you must be at least a certified nursing assistant to get a place in a program. Some states also require you to have some work experience, especially if you wish to become a restorative aide. Training typically takes place in schools or vocational or community colleges. Some health care facilities run their own training, which may have to meet state standards. Program length may vary -- some courses take one or two full days; others have one class a week. Expect your training to mix classroom learning and clinical experience.
- Illinois General Assembly: Section 300.1210 -- General Requirements for Nursing and Personal Care
- Oklahoma Association of Health Care Providers: 2014 Restorative Nursing Training
- Care2Learn.com: Restorative Nursing Programs -- Now More Than Ever
- Oregon State Board of Nursing: Curriculum Content for Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) 2 Restorative Care Training Programs
- Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services: Restorative Nurse Assistant (RNA)
- Healthcare Inservices: Restorative Nursing Assistant
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