Discuss Characteristic Findings for a Stroke

Stroke, Related Effects and Nursing Management

Stroke is a sudden loss of brain function caused by a disruption in the blood supply to the brain due to either rupture or obstruction (as by a clot) of a blood vessel supplying the brain (Ojaghihaghighi et al., 2017). The clinical signs associated with stroke include abrupt onset of cognitive, motor, and/or sensory deficits, dysphasia, dysarthria, disturbances in coordination, facial droop, and loss of consciousness (Ojaghihaghighi et al., 2017).

Discuss Characteristic Findings for a Stroke

In addition, patients with acute hemorrhagic stroke may present with symptoms such as sudden severe headache, sudden decline in the level of consciousness and rapid onset of nausea and vomiting. On the other hand, patients suffering from ischemic stroke may present with symptoms that indicate loss of function of the cranial nerves, such as sudden numbness or weakness of the face, confusion, difficulty communicating, visual loss or disturbances in one or both eyes, and loss of balance and coordination, including limb ataxia (Ojaghihaghighi et al., 2017). Other symptoms such as paresis or paraplegia indicate loss of function of higher brain centers.

Stroke is a life-changing event for victims and families. Survivors may endure long-term repercussions such as physical impairment, chronic pain, communication and swallowing difficulty, flattened affect, anxiety, and depression, depending on the nature and extent of their impairment (Wan-Fei et al., 2017). They may be unable to care of themselves or partake in work, hobbies, or social activities, making them dependent on others for personal and social support.

Further, it can lead to feelings of shock, worry or even guilt in friends and family members especially during the first few days or weeks as they try to deal with the shock of the event and as a result may end up developing depression and other types of emotional distress (Wan-Fei et al., 2017). Family members of the patient may also experience disruption to their social, economic, and leisure activities as they take the responsibility of taking care of the affected individual.

Nurses play critical part in fulfilling the psychological and emotional needs of patients with stroke. Specifically, they provide emotional support to stroke patients by empathizing with them, comforting those who are afraid, and instilling hope in all of them (Clare, 2020). Compassion, acceptance, and treating patients as people are all aspects of emotional care. For example, it is sometimes difficult for stroke patients to get used to the hospital life when they are transferred to a rehabilitation facility once the acute phase of the illness is resolved (Clare, 2020).

By welcoming these patients to such facilities, explaining to them the kind of environment they are going to be in, creating a comfortable place for them, preparing them for various treatment regimens, and explaining to them how to deal with the illnesses through talk therapy, improves the healing process and helps patients feel safe and more empowered to manage their own recovery (Harrison et al., 2017).

Discuss Characteristic Findings for a Stroke References

  • Clare, C. S. (2020). Role of the nurse in acute stroke care. Nursing Standard (Royal College of Nursing (Great Britain): 1987)35(4), 68–75. https://doi.org/10.7748/ns.2020.e11482
  • Harrison, M., Ryan, T., Gardiner, C., & Jones, A. (2017). Psychological and emotional needs, assessment, and support post-stroke: a multi-perspective qualitative study. Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation24(2), 119–125. https://doi.org/10.1080/10749357.2016.1196908
  • Ojaghihaghighi, S., Vahdati, S. S., Mikaeilpour, A., & Ramouz, A. (2017). Comparison of neurological clinical manifestation in patients with hemorrhagic and ischemic stroke. World Journal of Emergency Medicine8(1), 34–38. https://doi.org/10.5847/wjem.j.1920-8642.2017.01.006
  • Wan-Fei, K., Hassan, S. T. S., Sann, L. M., Ismail, S. I. F., Raman, R. A., & Ibrahim, F. (2017). Depression, anxiety and quality of life in stroke survivors and their family caregivers: A pilot study using an actor/partner interdependence model. Electronic Physician9(8), 4924–4933. https://doi.org/10.19082/4924