Serial, consistent, and well-documented neurological assessments are the most important aspect of nursing care for the pediatric neurosurgical patient. Subtle changes in the neurological assessment may first be noted by a bedside nurse. Keen observation skills and the ability to extract information about a patient’s baseline level of neurological function from the parents or primary caregivers are essential. The nurse’s response to assessment changes is essential to the prevention of secondary neurological sequelae and other complications associated with neurological disorders. These potential complications include, among others, inability to protect the airway, immobility, endocrine disorders related to central hormonal dysregulation, impaired communication, and behavioral issues.
It is understood that children are not always under the care and custody of their parents.