Clinical Tips

Do neuro assessment with oncoming nurse

If you're the off-going nurse "handing off" a stroke patient, take the oncoming nurse to the bedside for a brief neurological exam, advises Tia Moore, RN, CEN, clinical nurse educator for the ED at University of California — San Diego Medical Center.

"People have many interpretations over what a 'firm hand grasp' feels like. It is important that the patient gives me a firm hand grasp, then gives you the same firm hand grasp," she says.

Doing this task together sets the baseline exam for the oncoming nurse, and any deviation of strength can be used as a change in the patient's status. "It is much easier to establish the baseline with the person that has been caring for the patient," says Moore.