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Providing Compassionate Care in Rehabilitation Nursing

presented by Gail Sims

Accrediting Body:

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial: Gail Sims receives compensation from MedBridge for this course. Gail Sims is an employee of Kaiser Permanente , California Board of Nursing, and the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. There is no financial interest beyond the production of this course.


 Non-Financial: Gail Sims is a member of the Association of Rehabilitation Nursing and has no competing non-financial interests or relationships with regard to the content presented in this course.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

MedBridge is committed to accessibility for all of our subscribers. If you are in need of a disability-related accommodation, please contact support@medbridgeed.com. We will process requests for reasonable accommodation and will provide reasonable accommodations where appropriate, in a prompt and efficient manner.

Accreditation Check:
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, during the next several decades, the population of the United States that is older than 65 years is predicted to grow from 46 million to a projected 98 million by 2060. As a result, we are now caring for more medically complex, ethnically diverse patients in a fee-for-service environment. Compassionate care is at the very heart of high-quality, person-centered care. The increasing need for compassion as well as competence is evident as the literature reveals a strong correlation between empathy and patient outcomes, and well-being and disease management, as well as overall satisfaction. Compassionate care and empathy are important catalysts for healing, which involves recognition, understanding, emotional resonance and empathetic concern for another person’s distress, pain and suffering. During this presentation, the concepts of compassionate connection and methods of communicating with compassion will be shared with examples to promote increased awareness and delivery of compassionate care in the rehabilitation setting. Compassionate care can only be provided after first knowing and appreciating cultural and spiritual differences among patients.

Meet Your Instructor

Gail Sims, MSN, RN, CRRN

Gail Sims serves as a Patient Care Coordinator at Kaiser Permanente in Roseville, CA. She served as the Director of Nursing at Kaiser Foundation Rehabilitation Center in Vallejo, CA for 8 years. She has also been a nurse surveyor for the Commission on the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities for the past 11 years. During the…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. A Case in Support of Compassionate Care

In the first chapter of this course, definitions of compassionate connection, empathy, compassion fatigue, and burnout are provided. The need to use self-exploration in discovering one’s own degree of compassion is discussed along with difficulties faced in today’s health care environment that pose challenges to delivery of compassionate care. Case study examples from clinical practice will demonstrate these concepts in the rehabilitation setting.

2. Revealing Barriers to the Provision of Compassionate Care

In this second chapter, three common barriers will be discussed which limit the ability of the rehabilitation nurse to establish and maintain compassion connections with patients in rehabilitation. Themes from the literature that limit the nurse’s ability to show empathy and compassion for the pain, suffering and stress experienced by patients during acute and chronic illness and injury are presented.

3. Tools for Engagement

In this chapter, ways to demonstrate compassion and empathy to create and sustain an emotional bond between the nurse and his/her patients/families and caregivers will be described. Methods of increasing compassion satisfaction in daily interactions with others is explained. By applying at least one of these techniques, the nurse will increase skills in purposefully engaging in deep, meaningful conversations, and develop greater professional quality of life.

4. The Invitation to be Fully Present

This final chapter includes a call to action for rehabilitation nurses to apply compassionate care strategies into a practical approach to patient/family/caregiver interactions. By identification and removal of common barriers, the nurse will be able to incorporate greater degrees of empathy and compassionate care which are supportive of healing and restoration of well-being. As a result of completing this course, the rehabilitation nurse will gain awareness and increase confidence in delivering, modeling and promoting compassionate connections in order to improve patient outcomes and promote wellbeing, disease management and satisfaction.

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