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SCI: Musculoskeletal & Functional Changes, ADLs, & Mobility

presented by Anne Leclaire, RN, MSN, CRRN

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial: Anne Leclaire receives compensation from MedBridge for this course. There is no financial interest beyond the production of this course.

Non-Financial: Anne Leclaire 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.

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Functional outcomes differ for persons with spinal cord injury depending on the level and completeness of the insult to the spinal cord. Many patients with spinal cord injuries struggle with deficits in self-care and mobility, which can have a significant effect on their ability to be independent and potentially limit their quality of life. Rehabilitation nurses often partner with other disciplines within the interprofessional team to address these deficits and foster improved functional outcomes. In this course, participants will learn how to use knowledge about spine stabilization, motor changes, and musculoskeletal conditions to develop interventions that address expected functional deficits in ADLs and mobility to improve patient outcomes.

Meet Your Instructor

Anne Leclaire, RN, MSN, CRRN

Anne graduated with a Master of Science-Nursing from the University of Phoenix and has worked in the field of rehabilitation nursing for most of her career. She started as a staff nurse in inpatient rehabilitation at Weldon Center for Rehabilitation in Springfield, Massachusetts and then moved to Madison, Wisconsin, at University of Wisconsin Hospitals and…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Musculoskeletal Manifestations

After a spinal cord injury, one of the most important issues to address is spine stabilization and motor changes affecting muscle strength. Several other musculoskeletal concerns, such as spasticity, need to be addressed by the interprofessional team early to minimize problems later in life and improve functional outcomes. This chapter addresses the rehabilitation nurse’s role in the management of these musculoskeletal issues.

2. Neurological Levels and Functional Potential

Clinicians familiar with spinal cord injuries use their knowledge of neurological levels to predict the person’s probable functional impairments. Rehabilitation nurses partner with other members of the interprofessional team to design a plan of care to address the impairments associated with that neurological level. This chapter reviews the associated deficits related to each neurological level of the spinal cord.

3. Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)

Individuals with a spinal cord injury are likely to have some functional deficits related to self-care, especially those with damage to the cervical spine. The ability to perform self-care is an important quality of life indicator. Rehabilitation nurses partner with other members of the interprofessional team to design a plan of care to address these needs. This chapter addresses the rehabilitation nurse’s role in promoting independence in bathing, dressing, grooming, feeding, and toileting.

4. Mobility

The degree to which a spinal cord injury affects a person’s mobility depends on the level and completeness of the insult. Rehabilitation nurses partner with other members of the interprofessional team to design a plan of care to address these needs. This chapter addresses the rehabilitation nurse’s role in promoting bed mobility, transfers, wheelchair mobility, and ambulation.

5. Assistive Technologies

Assistive technologies can improve the quality of life for some individuals with spinal cord injuries. These technologies range from devices that can assist a patient to ambulate to devices that can control the environment. This chapter explores the rehabilitation nurse’s role in promoting the use of these devices in collaboration with other disciplines within the interprofessional team.

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