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11: Neurological Assessment

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    • 11.1: Neurological Assessment Introduction
      The neurological system is a complex and intricate system that affects all body functions, and includes both the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system.
    • 11.2: Basic Neurological Concepts
      When completing a neurological assessment, it is important to understand the functions performed by different parts of the nervous system while analyzing findings. For example, damage to specific areas of the brain, such as that caused by a head injury or cerebrovascular accidents (i.e., strokes), can cause specific deficits in speech, facial movements, or use of the extremities.
    • 11.3: Neurological Assessment
      The neurological assessment is a clinical assessment of the functioning of the central nervous system (CNS) and peripheral nervous system (PNS). Several tests are available when performing a neurological assessment; the tests included in the assessment are selected based on the patient’s medical condition and the neurological symptoms they are experiencing.
    • 11.4: Assessing Mental Status
      Routine assessment of a patient’s mental status by registered nurses includes evaluating their level of consciousness, as well as their overall appearance, general behavior, affect and mood, general speech, and cognitive performance.
    • 11.5: Assessing Cranial Nerves
      When performing a comprehensive neurological exam, examiner assess the functioning of the cranial nerves. This section describes the assessment of each cranial nerve.
    • 11.6: Assessing Sensory Function
      The sensory function exam tests the somatic senses, meaning those senses that are consciously perceived. Assessing sensory function includes two components, the sensory response and the cortical processing of the brain.
    • 11.7: Assessing Motor Strength
      A brief musculoskeletal assessment is performed as part of the neurological assessment to determine the neurological stimulation of bilateral strength.
    • 11.8: Assessing Cerebellar Function
      The neurological aspect of motor function is based on the activities of the cerebellum. The cerebellum is responsible for equilibrium, coordination, and the smoothness of movement.
    • 11.9: Assessing Reflexes
      Assessment of reflexes is not typically performed by registered nurses as part of a routine nursing neurological assessment of adult patients, but it is used in nursing specialty units and in advanced practice.
    • 11.10: Neurological Assessment
      This section reviews the components of a routine neurological assessment typically performed by registered nurses.
    • 11.11: Sample Documentation
    • 11.12: Checklist for Neurological Assessment
    • 11.13: Learning Activities
    • 11.14: XI Glossary

    Thumbnail: Neuro Exam by Meredith Pomietlo for Chippewa Valley Technical College are licensed under CC BY 4.0

    This page titled 11: Neurological Assessment is shared under a CC BY-SA license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Valerie J. Bugosh, Leisa E. McAlicher, & Katherine Zaharchuk.