Nursing 3 Minute Physical Assessment
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Chapter 8: Neurological System
The nervous system consists of the central nervous system (CNS), the peripheral nervous system, and the autonomic nervous system. Together these three components integrate all physical, emotional, and intellectual activities. The CNS includes the brain and spinal cord. These two structures collect and interpret voluntary and involuntary sensory and motor signals. A brief overview of the anatomy and physiology of the CNS is provided.
Brain: The brain collects, integrates, and interprets all stimuli. It also initiates voluntary and involuntary motor activity. The brain is composed of three areas: the cerebrum, brain stem, and cerebellum.
Cerebrum: Divided into right and left hemispheres. Each hemisphere has four lobes: parietal, occipital, temporal, and frontal. The cerebral lobes control complex problem-solving; value judgements; language; emotions; interpretation of visual images; and interpretation of touch, pressure, temperature, and position sense.
Brain Stem: Composed of the midbrain, pons, and medulla. Is a major sensory and motor pathway for impulses running to and from the cerebrum. Regulates body functions such as respiration, auditory and visual reflexes, swallowing, and coughing.
Cerebellum: Lies in the posterior portion of the skull and contains the major motor and sensory pathways. It controls smooth, coordinated muscle movements and helps to maintain equilibrium.
Spinal Cord: The spinal cord is the primary pathway for messages traveling between the peripheral areas of the body and the brain. It also houses the reflex arc for actions such as the knee-jerk reflex.
The manner in which you progress with your neurological assessment depends upon the patient’s level of consciousness. To perform a complete neurological exam on the patient, he/she must be able to cooperate.
Health History Assessment
A neurological health history can be obtained if the patient is alert enough and oriented to person, place, and time. If the person appears to be disoriented or confused upon questioning, ask family members and friends to confirm the information.
Medical Trust Hospital, a 700-bed multi-specialty acute-cum-critical care referral hospital, is one of the hospitals in South India.
Founded by Dr. P. A. Verghese in 1973.
The hospital runs training in Nursing, Physiotherapy, Paramedical Sciences and...
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