Role of the stroke nurse
The duties of a stroke nurse vary and cover aspects of physical needs as well as mental challenges of the stroke patient. This care can be provided in a variety of settings such as hospital, rehab or home care.
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A stroke nurse who works in a hospital can expect to deal with stroke patients at an early level, when their health stability is still a main concern. Duties include medication administration, blood pressure and heart rate monitoring and nutrition. Patients at this level often need medical attention for basics, such as urinating, moving the bowels and washing.
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A stroke nurse in a rehabilitation setting is responsible for maintaining a strict medication regimen with the patient, monitoring nutrition intake, assisting with bathroom needs and bathing. The stroke nurse in the rehab setting works closely with the doctor in charge of the patient's care, as well as the therapists, and reports on the health status of the patient, allowing the best care plan possible.
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Once a stroke patient has returned home, a nurse is often present a few times per week depending on the level of support the patient has at home. In this setting, the nurse is required to check if medication is being taken appropriately, find out what challenges the patient is facing, react to them by reporting to the doctors and staff, and take care of any physical concerns including making sure any medication ports or catheter sites are clean and properly maintained. Bathing needs may also be met by the nurse during a home care visit.