America's Nurses: Meet Rehabilitation Nurse Sue H.

NursingFebruary 24, 2014

"Being a rehabilitation nurse has been one of the most rewarding things in my life", states Sue H. At the beginning of her college career, she intended to become a physical therapist, but she soon realized that she wanted to be involved on a more personal level with patients and their day-to-day care. "Halfway through college, I changed my course of study to nursing. I was not sure what type of nursing I wanted to do, but I knew that I was meant to be a nurse," she said.

Sue finished with a bachelor's of science in nursing and went right to work in the dialysis unit of the hospital. "It was an interesting field of medicine, and I learned so much there, but my heart wanted something different. I was not sure what, but I knew that I would know exactly what I wanted to do when I saw it." A friend of hers suggested that, with her initial background in physical therapy, she may be interested in becoming a rehabilitation nurse. Sue knew even before she found a position that her friend was right.

A medical floor of a hospital offered Sue a position and she took it without question. She experienced taking care of a great deal of people who had diminished use or completely lost use of some part of their bodies. She enjoyed taking care of them and helping them to regain some of their strength, while teaching them new ways to do things to compensate for their loss. "Each day brought a new experience. Being a rehabilitation nurse, I see miracles every day. It is amazing." What one person would take for granted is a big deal for some of these people. "Seeing them try day after day to pick something up with their fingers and being unable to do so would be a very frustrating experience. These people never give up though, and then one day it happens. They are able to do it. To me, that is miraculous and something to be celebrated."

Sue went on to become a certified rehabilitation nurse. Shortly after this, she was offered a position in the hospital's rehab unit. Of course, she accepted right away and has been there ever since. "This is my niche, and I love it."

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