Skip Navigation LinksHome > April 2014 - Volume 46 - Issue 2 > Standardizing Neurological Assessments
Journal of Neuroscience Nursing:
doi: 10.1097/JNN.0000000000000035
Article

Standardizing Neurological Assessments

Iacono, Laura A.; Wells, Celia; Mann-Finnerty, Kathy

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Abstract

Evaluation of neurological status is imperative to patient assessment. Multiple assessment tools are readily available for clinicians to diagnose and report changes in neurological condition. Some of these tools include the Glasgow Coma Scale, the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale, the Canadian Neurological Scale, and the Four Score. Although assessment tools are beneficial to help standardize the assessment and communication of findings, they are at times cumbersome, leaving bedside clinicians with questions concerning which tool is appropriate for a given patient population. This initiative began as a means to standardize assessments and communication for neuroscience patients. As success was met, the project was moved forward locally at our hospital campus and later extended to the entire health system. With the support of the chief of neurology, the neuroscience patient care services director, the stroke coordinator, and the neuroscience clinical educator, three different neurological examinations were developed. They were defined as the Basic Neurological Check, the Coma Neurological Check, and the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale/Stroke Neurological Check. The neurological examinations would address the assessment needs of patients with acute stroke, general neurosurgery/neurology patients, and patients in coma.

Copyright © 2014 American Association of Neuroscience Nurses

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