Date of Award

Spring 1958

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Nursing

Abstract

Because rehabilitation is an ares of growing importance in total patient care and because nurses commonly make the misjudgment that rehabilitation includes only vocational aspects, the purpose of this paper is to show the true concept of rehabilitation and the responsibility of the nurse in a general hospital to include this concept in all her nursing care.

The last half-century has been called the age of preventive medicine. Medical science, in improving and broadening the field of curative medicine, has realised the importance of controlling what precedes the actual advent of the disease process, in fighting the disease itself. Naturally, a glance before will tend to produce a glance after, and that is where the third phase of medicine, rehabilitation, begins. Rehabilitation deals with the patient after the acute stage of the disease until he has resumed a normal, or as near normal as possible, role in society. With prevention, cure, and rehabilitation, we move into the age of total medicine.1

The aging population and the upsurge of chronic disease are problems which have become increasingly apparent in the last half-century. New therapies have done much to conquer acute disease and thus lengthen the life span, but little has been accomplished to alleviate chronic disease or to make desirable the life of our aged people. Handicaps and disabilities brought about by wars and the accidents of our technological way of life hare increased. Along with the growth of hospitals and elective hospitalisation has come the change in the role of medical personnel, both of doctors and nurses. Formerly, medical care was family-centered, personalized, and naturally concerned with the total needs of the patient because of its intimacy and limited scope. Today, care is specialized and institutionalized, and since its scope is broad and highly technical, a conscious effort must be made to meet total patient needs.2 All these factors have highlighted the need for and progress in rehabilitation.

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