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Brain Injury: Behavior and Safety

presented by Anne Leclaire, RN, MSN, CRRN

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial: Anne Leclaire receives compensation from MedBridge for this course. There is no financial interest beyond the production of this course.


 Non-Financial:  Anne Leclaire has no competing non-financial interests or relationships with regard to the content presented in 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.

Accreditation Check:

Patients with brain injuries often exhibit changes in behavior. Some changes may be transient while others may be more profound and permanent. Occasionally these behavior changes, such as agitation, can pose safety concerns for the patient, family, and the nursing staff. Nurses must be able to recognize all changes in behavior and understand the implications for patient care and safety. In this course, participants will learn how to identify and address changes in behavior and propose interventions to promote improved cognitive function. Additionally, the characteristics and management of agitation and other potential challenges to patient safety will be addressed.

Meet Your Instructor

Anne Leclaire, RN, MSN, CRRN

Anne graduated with a Master of Science-Nursing from the University of Phoenix and has worked in the field of rehabilitation nursing for most of her career. She started as a staff nurse in inpatient rehabilitation at Weldon Center for Rehabilitation in Springfield, Massachusetts and then moved to Madison, Wisconsin, at University of Wisconsin Hospitals and…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Cognition

All patients with brain injury sustain some level of cognitive impairment. The extent of these deficits depends on the location and severity of the brain damage. This chapter addresses typical cognitive impairments and identifies interventions that the rehabilitation nurse can use to improve patient functional outcomes.

2. Behavior Changes

Behavior changes are commonly seen in individuals with brain injury. Some behaviors are linked to the phases of brain recovery while others are static and possibly permanent. This chapter focuses on addressing the behavior changes commonly seen and identifying strategies for use by the rehabilitation nurse to improve functional outcomes and promote patient safety.

3. Agitation

Periods of agitation challenge even the most experienced rehabilitation nurses. Agitation can be categorized into four different classifications. This chapter will review the characteristics of agitation and identify strategies that the rehabilitation nurse can implement to address agitation to promote patient and staff safety.

4. Safety Concerns

Behaviors resulting from a brain injury often raise safety concerns as they place the patient at risk for additional injury. Rehabilitation nurses are challenged to identify measures to keep them and others safe from injury. This chapter discusses how elopement, impulsivity, and aggression can test the creativity of the nurse to promote activity yet minimize the risks of injury to the patient and staff.

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