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Assessment of the neurological system

Assessment of the neurological system- Shadow health project

Now that we have reviewed tests included in a neurological exam, let’s review components of a routine neurological assessment typically performed by registered nurses. The neurological assessment begins by collecting subjective data followed by a physical examination.

Assessment of the neurological system- Shadow health project

Subjective Assessment

Subjective data collection guides the focus of the physical examination. Collect data from the patient using effective communication and pay particular attention to what the patient is reporting, including current symptoms and any history of neurological illness. Ask follow-up questions related to symptoms such as confusion, headache, vertigo, seizures, recent injury or fall, weakness, numbness, tingling, difficulty swallowing (called ) or speaking (called ), or lack of coordination of body movements.

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See Table 6.10a for sample interview questions to use during the subjective assessment

Table 6.10a Interview Questions Related to Subjective Assessment of Neurological System

Interview Questions Follow-up
Are you experiencing any current neurological concerns such as headache, dizziness, weakness, numbness, tingling, tremors, loss of balance, or decreased coordination?Have you experienced any difficulty swallowing or speaking?

Have you experienced any recent falls?

If the patient is seeking care for an acute neurological problem, use the PQRSTU method to further evaluate their chief complaint. The PQRSTU method is described in the “Health History” chapter.Note: If critical findings of an acute neurological event are actively occurring, such as signs of a stroke, obtain emergency assistance according to agency policy.
Have you ever experienced a neurological condition such as a stroke, transient ischemic attack, seizures, or head injury? Describe the condition(s), date(s), and treatment(s).
Are you currently taking any medications, herbs, or supplements for a neurological condition? Please describe.

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