Surviving Stroke: The Role of Healthcare Workers

By: Suzan Miller-Hoover DNP, RN, CCNS, CCRN-K

Surviving StrokeStroke is among the leading causes of serious long-term disability in the United States and the second leading cause of death in the world. In the United States more than 795,000 people suffer a stroke each year, 610,000 of these are first strokes, and 185,000 are recurrent strokes (American Stroke Association (ASA), 2018).

Helping stroke victims become as independent as possible is the ultimate goal of rehabilitation. Rehabilitation helps stroke survivors relearn skills that are lost when part of the brain is damaged. Depending on many factors, including the extent of the initial injury, patients may progress from sitting up and being moved between the bed and a chair to standing, bearing their own weight, and walking with or without assistance.

Stroke rehabilitation is not limited to inpatient facilities, but can be performed at home, in skilled nursing facilities and as an outpatient. This variety of facilities is essential to treating the patient where he/she is most comfortable.

It is important to begin rehabilitation as soon as the patient is stable, usually within the first two days after the stroke. Stroke rehabilitation is a multidisciplinary program allowing the patient to benefit from a full range of therapists, nurses, and physicians specializing in stroke treatment.

This team of specialists will assess the patient and develop a plan of rehabilitation based on the patient’s condition and expected outcomes. This assessment does not end with the patient, but involves family needs also.

Stroke rehabilitation requires commitment from the patient, family, and caregivers.

Do you have what it takes to make a stroke victim as independent as he/she can be? Not sure? The RN.com course The Road to Recovery: Post Stroke Rehabilitation can help you decide.


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