Medical Surgical Nursing Assessment Skills
A nurse’s proper neurologic assessment skills are vital in medical surgical. The nurse needs to know how to correctly assess and evaluate the patient’s neurological state in the acute care setting. In the article, Neurologic Assessment Skills for the Acute Medical Surgical Nurse, of Orthopaedic Nursing, Janet T. Crimlisk, and Margaret M. Grande (2004), explain the proper nursing assessment skills for the acute medical surgical setting. This includes bedside assessment skills, supplemental physician tests, and a complete neurologic assessment (Crimlisk & Grande, 2004, p. 4-7). Having the knowledge and skills to properly assess a patient can alert the nurse of any negative neurological changes, and can help the nurse to care for the patient to make sure he or she has the best outcome from their care. Review of Article
Crimlisk and Grande (2004) first talk about a basic bedside assessment. They stated that, “Changes in mental status may be the earliest indication of a neurologic event and require immediate attention and intervention” (Crimlisk & Grande, 2004, p. 4). The nurse can identify neurologic changes by performing a bedside assessment. A proper bedside assessment includes: vital signs, pupillary responses, posturing response, hand grasp, muscle strength and symmetry, sensory evaluation, and an evaluation of the cranial nerves (Crimlisk & Grande, 2004).
A registered nurse may also be asked to help a physician perform neurologic tests. These include superficial cutaneous reflexes, deep tendon reflexes, and vestibular reflexes (Crimlisk & Grande, 2004). Superficial cutaneous reflexes include the gag reflex, the plantar reflex, and the anal wink reflex (Crimlisk & Grande, 2004). The deep tendon reflexes include checking the reflexes of the “biceps, triceps, brachioradialis, patellar, and Achilles tendon” (Crimlisk & Grande, 2004, p. 7). And the vestibular reflexes include the...
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