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Assessment: Neurological Nursing

  • : Perth WA 6839


Mental Status Examination, Cranial Nerves, Motor System, Reflexes, Senses, Coordination-Stance and Gait, Documentation



Neurological assessment is a complex skill to master, yet vital to the health outcomes of patients with a neurological injury. Knowledge of the underlying anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology of the central and peripheral nervous systems is necessary to perform a systematic neurological assessment. By attending this seminar, the learner will have an opportunity to:

  • Refresh their knowledge of the nervous system
  • Gain practical skills on how to perform a neurological assessment
  • Immediately translate these skills into their practice
  • Help your patients with a neurological injury to benefit from improved health outcomes

Gain knowledge and update your skills now!


Need for Program

Nurses and other health professionals such as physiotherapists, speech pathologists and occupational therapists are often the frontline carers of people with brain injury. 

New evidence emerges daily about the importance of early intervention for the management of preventable brain cell death following a brain trauma or insult. Correctly assessing a person’s neurological status, followed by the appropriate actions, can make the difference between profound or moderate disability and, in some cases, life or death. 

However, effective neurological assessment is complicated and requires thoroughness, attention to detail and an understanding of the significance of the findings.

An illustrated seminar that systematically demonstrates and refreshes knowledge on how to assess the different parts of the nervous system in detail will enhance all nurses' awareness and skills, building on their ability to improve health outcomes in patients with a neurological injury.

Purpose of Program

The purpose of this seminar is offer nurses and other health professionals, including physiotherapists, occupational therapists and speech pathologists, an opportunity to improve their knowledge and skills when conducting a neurological assessment. After gaining this information, the learner will be able to appropriately translate findings of a neurological assessment to improved health outcomes in patients with a neurological injury.

Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of this program it is expected that the participants will be able to:

  • Describe the key anatomy and physiology of the nervous system pertinent to a neurological assessment
  • Perform a systematic neurological assessment and differentiate between normal and abnormal findings
  • Apply knowledge and skills to practice by localising a lesion based on assessment findings
  • Document findings in a structured, systematic way, and initiate appropriate actions
  • Schedule Day One

    8:30am - Registration and Refreshments


    Neurological Assessment - Introduction to Program

    An overview of the two days of the program with a special reminder on the psychosocial aspects of neurological assessment.


    Anatomy and Physiology of the Nervous System - Revisited

    All assessment starts with a thorough understanding of underlying functionality. This interesting session will revise the anatomy and physiology of this complex system and help blow the cobwebs off certain forgotten information.

    10:15am - Morning Tea and Coffee


    The 7 Components of a Neurological Examination

    This first session will set the scene for this special assessment program. It will review the neurological system and refresh your knowledge of key aspects of assessment. Includes:

    • What are the 7 components of a neurological assessment?
    • Equipment needed
    • Introduction to the case studies


    The Level of Consciousness

    Assessment of level of consciousness is a vital nursing skill. This session will enhance your knowledge of:

    • The assessment of level of consciousness, including the use of the AVPU scale and the Glasgow Coma Scale
    • Alterations in level of consciousness


    Performing a Mental Status Examination (MSE)

    This session will take you step-by-step through the process of taking a mental status examination. Includes:

    • The assessment of level of consciousness, including the use of the AVPU scale and the Glasgow Coma Scale
    • Alterations in level of consciousness
    • Assessment of the mental state, including appearance, behaviour, mood, affect, thought processes, thought content, attention, concentration, abstract thinking, insight, judgement, language, speech and memory
    • Documentation

    12:30pm - Lunch Break and Networking


    The Cranial Nerve Assessment

    The cranial nerves are direct pathways to the brain and deficits on cranial nerve assessment can suggest a lesion in the central or peripheral nervous system. Cranial nerve assessment can appear a daunting task, but using a systematic approach makes it a relatively straight forward process. This illustrated session will give you a structured understanding of each cranial nerve and how it is assessed. Includes:

    • Overview of the cranial nerves
    • Assessment of the cranial nerves
    • Documentation

    3:00pm - Afternoon Tea and Coffee


    Assessment of Reflexes

    Reflexes are an automatic and rapid response to a particular stimulation. However, the command system for each reflex can be located in the brain or spinal cord. By performing an assessment of reflexes the health of the nervous system can be thoroughly tested. This session will systematically go through the process of assessment of reflexes and includes:

    • Overview of the reflexes
    • Assessment of the reflexes, including superficial, deep and pathological reflexes
    • Grading of reflexes
    • Documentation

    4:45pm - Close of Day One of Program

    Day Two

    9:00am - Commencement of Day Two


    Performing an Examination of the Motor System

    In order to perform a specific action muscles are required to move in a focused and precise manner. This involves sensing and feeling what the muscle is actually doing during the action. When a person has a motor function disorder they are unable to move in such a manner. Assessment of motor function is a crucial nursing assessment as it assists in prevention of injury, such as those caused by falls. Includes:

    • Overview of the motor system
    • Assessment of the motor system, including muscle size, tone and strength and involuntary movement
    • Grading of muscle strength
    • Documentation

    10:30am - Morning Tea and Coffee


    Sensory Assessment and Examination

    The sensory assessment is critical in helping you to localise the location of a spinal cord lesion or to identify peripheral neuropathy. The most common causes of peripheral neuropathy include diabetes mellitus and vitamin B12 deficiency. This session will enhance your knowledge of this important nursing assessment. Includes:

    • Overview of the sensory system
    • Assessment of the motor system, including superficial, deep and discriminative sensation
    • Grading of sensation
    • Documentation

    12:15pm - Lunch Break and Networking


    Assessment of the Cerebellar System

    The cerebellar and stance/gait assessments provide you with information about a person’s balance, strength and coordination. Based on your findings from this assessment concern for stroke, tumours, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington's disease, hereditary ataxia, diabetic neuropathy and other conditions can be raised. This interesting session will sharpen your skills in this often overlooked aspect of assessment. Includes:

    • Overview of the cerebellar system
    • Assessment of the cerebellar system, including posture, coordination, balance, and gait
    • Documentation

    2:15pm - Afternoon Tea and Coffee


    Neuroimaging - The Window into the Soul?

    This session will provide an overview of neuroimaging and assist with your interpretation of neuroimaging.


    Localising the Lesions from the Case Studies

    This final session reviews the case studies from the first session of this seminar and will enable you to consolidate your learning. Includes:

    • Review of medical history
    • Review of neurologic method of assessment

    4:00pm - Close of Seminar and Evaluations



    Skye Coote

    Skye Coote is a Stroke Nurse Consultant at a Melbourne metropolitan hospital. She has an extensive background in Critical Care Nursing, and holds a Master’s Degree in Nursing. She has won international awards for stroke nursing and currently is co-chair of the Australian Stroke Nurses Education Network. She has a passion for improving patient outcomes post stroke, stroke research, and improving stroke education and knowledge for both nurses and the community.

Assessment: Neurological Nursing
Speciality Classification
Provider Type
11 hours
Start Date
End Date
11 hours
Price Details
Perth WA 6839
Hotel IBIS Perth, 334 Murray Street
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