Nearly 75% of persons with brain injury experience a mild injury. These people do not often enter the healthcare system by traditional means, nor do they always present with visible signs and symptoms of injury. In fact, people who experienced brain trauma are likely to seek help in primary care settings and from advanced practice nurses (APNs). Because the symptom experience can be complicated by impaired perception or mood, delays in seeking help, and faulty explanations for their symptoms, APNs need to rule out competing diagnoses, offer brief psychoeducational treatment, and refer the person to an appropriate specialist for therapy when needed.
Questions or comments about this article may be directed to Esther Bay, PhD APRN BC CCRN, firstname.lastname@example.org. She is an assistant professor at the College of Nursing at Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI.
Samuel A. McLean, MD MPH, is from the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Michigan and director of the TRYUMPH Research Program (Trauma recovery: Understanding Mechanisms & Promoting Healing).