Spinal Injuries Unit Nursing Services
Of all the rehabilitation team members, the nursing team has the greatest contact time with patients of the Spinal Injuries Unit, providing service across three shifts of each 24 hour period. The Nurse Unit Manager (NUM), the Nurse Educator (NE) and Clinical Nurse Consultant (CNC) along with a group of Clinical Nurses (12 FTE) make up the nursing management team. This team together with a large group of Registered Nurses, Enrolled Nurses and Assistants in Nursing are responsible for facilitating the development of self care and independence within the patient group. Working in collaboration with the interdisciplinary team, nurses encourage the patient and their significant others to see possibilities, explore opportunities and assist patients to work towards their rehabilitation goals.
The nurses’ everyday role includes assisting patients with hygiene and personal cares; medication administration and education; positioning and skin care management as well as bladder and bowel management following a person’s injury.
To best assist the patient, nurses are divided into the four rehabilitation teams. Within these rehabilitation teams, smaller groups of nurses are allocated to assist with discharge planning and targeted education on managing the patient’s spinal cord injury.
The nursing team are the coordinators of “The Living with Spinal Cord Injuries” patient education series, which is offered on a weekly basis to inpatients and their families. Spinal Injuries Unit nurses promote self-determination and maximise education opportunities for patients. The Spinal Injuries Unit nurse enhances the patient’s potential for reintegration into roles in the community and assists the patient and their significant others with lifestyle adjustments.