presented by Gail Sims
Effective coping strategies and stress management are essential survival skills for patients and their caregivers. The rehabilitation nurse must assess each individual’s ability to cope with catastrophic changes, access resources to facilitate effective coping strategies, and evaluate the impact of accessing resources. The pathophysiology of the stress response, strategies theories of coping, adjustment and self-management, and stages of grief and loss will be reviewed. Strategies for stress reduction and positive coping in rehabilitation situations will be evaluated using the nursing process.
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 past thirty-nine years, nursing leadership and clinical management have been the main focus of her professional practice. She has been an Infection Control Nurse in long term and acute care settings on two separate occasions and served as adjunct faculty at two universities in their BSN programs. She has also served on the national board for the professional specialty organization of the Association of Rehabilitation Nurses and has advocated for health care reform in Washington DC with the ARN Board on three annual Hill visits. She has presented rehabilitation nursing topics at ARN national conferences and annual symposiums throughout her career. She has contributed to three rehabilitation nursing textbooks as well as two professional nursing journals.
The first chapter will examine the physiology of the stress response. Ways in which people cope with stress during catastrophic illness and injury will also be discussed.
In this chapter, theories of coping, adjustment to change, and stages of grief and loss are explored as they relate to rehabilitation nursing. Various change theories will be explained using examples in clinical practice. Coping theories will be explored, as well as a brief overview of grief and loss as they help to clarify the relevance of the process patients navigate through on the road to recovery.
This chapter will outline methods to assess coping skills and stress management abilities in patients recovering from catastrophic events in their lives, and in the caregivers who are supporting their recovery. Techniques will be illustrated for effectively assessing a patient’s coping and stress management skills. These examples will be presented in relation to culturally sensitive care provided to a very diverse population.
By providing education and encouragement, rehabilitation nurses will be strong advocates and effective change agents in facilitating positive coping and stress management in the lives of persons they serve. In this chapter, a variety of strategies to reduce stress and incorporate healthy coping mechanisms into the routine care of persons with disabilities and their caregivers will be presented.