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Rehabilitation Nursing for Brain Injury

presented by Cheryl Lehman, PhD, RN, CRRN

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Disclosure Statement:

Cheryl Lehman receives compensation from MedBridge for this course. There is no financial interest beyond the production of this course.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

MedBridge is committed to accessibility for all of our subscribers. If you are in need of a disability-related accommodation, please contact [email protected]. We will process requests for reasonable accommodation and will provide reasonable accommodations where appropriate, in a prompt and efficient manner.

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This course is part of our CRRN(R) Prep-Program. Learn more about the full prep-program here: MedBridge CRRN(R) Prep-Program.

Care of the person with a brain injury can be challenging, and rehabilitation may be short or long-term, in-patient or out-patient. With a new recognition of concussion as brain injury, numbers of recognized brain injuries have increased, and research and treatment continue to evolve. This course presents an overview of brain injury rehabilitation, beginning with the changes in physiology, and including information on key assessment parameters, rehabilitation nursing interventions, ideal educational objectives, and anticipated functional outcomes depending upon the type of injury and its effects.

CRRN(R) is a registered trademark of the Association of Rehabilitation Nurses.

Meet Your Instructor

Cheryl Lehman, PhD, RN, CRRN

Dr. Cheryl Lehman has been a registered nurse since graduating from the Decatur Memorial Hospital School of Nursing in 1978. Since that time, she earned a BSN from Maryville University-St. Louis in 1990; an MSN in Adult Health Nursing from the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) at Galveston in the Clinical Nurse Specialist role…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. The Numbers

This chapter introduces the history of brain injury rehabilitation in the United States. The statistics related to brain injury will be addressed, including demographics, causes, types of injury, recovery, and causes of morbidity and mortality. Primary and secondary injuries will be compared, and “severity” defined.

2. Assessment Tools in TBI

This chapter provides a quick review of the assessment tools used for persons with traumatic brain injury (TBI). The Agitated Behavior Scale, Coma/Near Coma Scale, JFK Coma Recovery Scale, Disability Rating Scale, Rancho Los Amigos Scale, and others, will be described and compared.

3. The Pathophysiology of Brain Injury

This chapter examines the biological changes that a person experiences due to a brain injury. Focal and diffuse injuries will be defined and compared. Functional correlates of injury pathology will be introduced, and deficits associated with site of injury will be reviewed. Concussion care will be discussed.

4. Assessment and Treatment by Body System

This chapter will review, by body system, appropriate nursing assessment parameters and interventions for the person with brain injury. The neurologic, respiratory, cardiovascular, sensory/perceptual, elimination, nutritional, musculoskeletal, and integumentary systems will be discussed in relation to the injured brain.

5. Assessment Parameters for Communication and Behavior

This chapter will review appropriate nursing assessment parameters and interventions for issues often seen in the person with brain injury. These include the aspects of communication, behavior, safety, psychosocial responses, sexual issues, and education. Patient goals and discharge planning will be discussed in relation to the injured brain.

6. Potential Medical Complications and Challenges During Rehabilitation

Brain injury may set the stage for unique medical complications that may emerge in the acute rehabilitation period for the person with brain injury. This chapter will focus on medical complications in patients with brain injury that may occur during acute rehabilitation. Challenges discussed include medications, ongoing cognitive issues, attention and concentration, new learning, and ongoing behavioral issues. The concept of TBI as a chronic disease will be introduced.

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