Would a neuro nurse be willing to answer these ten quesitons?


  1. I'm a sixth semester BSN student and I was just given an assignment in week 1 to interview a neuro nurse by the end of the week. Since I don't know any neuro nurses and don't rotate to Neurology until next semester I was hoping one of you may be willing to provide brief responses to these ten questions. My other option is to wander onto the neuro unit with coffee and cake or something.

    At this point I know very little about neuro nursing so any information you can share with me would be helpful and very much appreciated.




    Question #1:
    Describe your current nursing role and the types of neurological patients you care for.


    Question #2:
    How long have you worked with neurological patients?

    Question #3:
    What would you describe as the most rewarding aspects of working with neurological patients? Why?


    Question #4:
    What are the greatest opportunities/challenges associated with working with neurological patients? Why?


    Question #5:
    Name a neurological scale or tool you have used or seen used neurological patients.
    Tool Name:

    Discuss the tools use:

    • What are the key features of this tool?,
    • How does it serve it purpose?
    • Are there areas in the tool which may be improved?
    • What other tools have you found helpful to assess neurological patients?


    I am most familiar with the Glasgow Coma Scale to assess arousal and awareness through eye movements, verbalization, a motor responses. But what is the best way to conduct this assessment for different types of patients?

    Question #6:
    Discuss a medication or class of medications that you have administered for a neurological purpose.

    • Medication Name/Class of Medication:
    • What was it for?
    • What information is important for the nurse to know about it?
    • What information is important for the patient to know about the medication?

    For instance I know that sumatriptan can be useful for treating migraine headaches but I don't know much about how it works, how to administer it most effectively, or what patient education is important. Many drugs have a long list of potential side effects but which are most common, potentially dangerous, or disconcerting to the patient?

    I've heard the term 'serotonin syndrome' but don't know how you'd identify it or what steps you'd take.
    Question #7:
    Describe one of the single most important aspects of working with neurological patients?

    Question #8:
    Describe key interdisciplinary healthcare team members to include in the care of the neurological patient? Why are they important?

    Question #9:
    Describe a nursing value (i.e. compassion, knowledge, respect, integrity) that you think is particularly important in caring fr neuro patients? Why?

    My first thought is that neuro patients may benefit most from a nurse who is very knowledgeable about their particular type of ailment and treatments.
    Question #10:
    What additional information do you feel is important to know about neurological nursing roles?
    •  
  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   Rose_Queen
    Hi, there, futuremurse. I understand that you don't personally know any neuro nurses, but that doesn't mean you can't find one to talk to. There are a few down sides to trying to conduct an interview this way: you have no way of verifying that anyone responding is truly who they claim to be (there have been imposters here in the past); it's a rigid format that doesn't allow you the opportunity to further explore answers; and it's a hefty burden on someone you're asking to help you complete an assignment that is your responsibility because they'd have to type out some pretty lengthy answers.

    Generally, the better way to get people to consent to an interview is to make it as easy on them as possible. That would mean you taking notes while they talk. Why not call a facility that has neuro nurses and see if you can make an appointment with a nurse manager or if they can refer you to someone who would be willing to meet with you over coffee (your treat) to help you complete your assignment.
  4. by   futuremurse1
    Good points. Although I've found that nursing school sometimes requires a bit of triage. Particularly with an assignment that requires securing another parties participation in a weeks time. That being said I've reached out to a half dozen nurses in hopes of gaining some headway and have yet to hear back from any.

    If any nurse that see's this is willing to provide some input it would be much appreciated and at least be of more help than the lack of replies I've received locally. Muchas gracias.
  5. by   OrganizedChaos
    I hope you realize that this is an online forum & there is no way to verify our identity. Our screen name or credentials could say nurse but how can you prove it? I could really be a truck driver or English teacher.
    I'm going out on a limb here & going to assume that your professor did not want you to interview random strangers on a forum.
    Also, instead of placing phone calls, why don't you go over to the hospital with food? I'm sure then someone will be more willing to talk to you then.
    Good luck!
  6. by   Mavrick
    Seriously?

    There is a current thread that is none too complimentary of nursing students. Reading a thread like this I can see where the criticism is coming from.
  7. by   nktxo
    Hi, I am a neuro nurse and would be willing to answer your questions. I saw this forum late so I don't know if it is still relevant for you but just message me
  8. by   lelafin
    Wow, those are a LOT of questions. I would suggest you head over to your nearest hospital's ICU with the aforesaid snacks and see if anyone is available to answer. You'd get way better exposure that way, see some things and patients hands on, and maybe even meet some people you could network with. I'm a neuro ICU nurse, but honestly I would be much more receptive to talk about these things face to face instead of typing them up. That's a lonnnnngggg list!
  9. by   Whispera
    ...banging head on keyboard here...
  10. by   idletalk
    I've been working on a neuro unit for about a year now (and was a home health aide for a client with Parkinson's and dementia a year before that), so hopefully I can offer some insight. Hopefully you guys don't mind reading a nursing assistant's perspective too. I sincerely love my neuro patients.

    To me, the most rewarding part of caring for neuro patients is meeting them at whatever "level" they're on at the moment and just being a person they can communicate with in their own way at that time. The look in a dementia patient's eyes when she finally remembered her favorite poem from when she was a girl and recited it to me perfectly, proud of herself for exercising her mind. Or sitting with them while they tell you stories of when they were young and their minds were still full of color.
    But sometimes it's just as simple as having a cva patient with expressive aphasia speak up for the first time all shift to ask "will I see you again tonight?" as you're making your final rounds. Then you have the larger than life spontaneous type of confusion where you can never guess what's going to come out of their mouth next, but you're sure it's either going to hurt your feelings a little or make you want to laugh (Like the patient who literally thought I was Lyndon B. Johnson) . I could go on forever, but the point is I'm truly never bored at work.

    With all of that being said, they can be an immense challenge too. Sometimes communication barriers can end in tears. Confused patients don't tend to call for help when they have to pee (god help them if they have a UTI), so we have a lot of bed alarms. We get a lot of patients who need sitters to be in the room with them 24/7 for a variety of reasons, which takes our staff off of the floor. We see a lot of very sad cases in my opinion – strokes, brain tumors, brain bleeds, etc all make for very heavy family moments. There's nothing like seeing a child try to communicate with their unresponsive parent after a massive stroke. It also doesn't help that my facility is lacking a psych unit, so neuro absorbs the majority of that and our confused patients definitely feed off of that energy.



    That's my two cents
    Last edit by idletalk on Jan 19, '16

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