Patient Transfer to Rehabilitation: Just Another Move?


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Although relocation stress syndrome (RSS) is not a diagnosis that is unique to rehabilitation patients, it is important for nurses practicing in rehabilitation environments to be knowledgeable about this phenomenon. Rehabilitation patients are at high risk for RSS. Nursing care planning should incorporate interventions that aim to prevent or reduce RSS. While various relocations are inherent in the rehabilitation process, emphasis should be placed on predictability of care and on patients and families having as much control over decision making as possible. The authors describe how appropriate assessment and management of RSS can facilitate smoother transitions throughout the rehabilitation process and permit a stronger focus on rehabilitation therapies and on patient and family teaching.