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Keywords:

  • health services research;
  • nursing role;
  • professional development;
  • stroke rehabilitation;
  • reflective enquiry

A description of the nursing role in stroke rehabilitation

A theoretical description of the nursing role in stroke rehabilitation remains elusive in the literature. The United Kingdom strategy for health service development will increasingly require nurses from all clinical specialities to collaborate with other health care professionals and stakeholders to evaluate the services they provide. In stroke rehabilitation, an understanding of the contribution that nursing makes is essential, if that collaboration is to be effective. This paper details a study undertaken to describe the nature of the nursing role in stroke rehabilitation, and the factors that shape this role. A reflective enquiry was used to enable the collection of data grounded in the realities of clinical practice. Study participants were qualified nursing staff (n=13) working in a rehabilitation unit in the north-west of England. A total of 35 in-depth reflections were obtained for analysis. Three role categories were identified in the data: the nurse as care giver, facilitator of personal recovery and care manager. Sub-categories of nursing intervention were identified within each category, together with anticipated outcomes and contextual features that shaped the category. The results of the study were verified by a purposive sample of nursing staff from the rehabilitation unit.