Neurosurgical nursing is a specialty within the field of medical-surgical nursing. Medical-surgical nursing focuses on adult health and is the oldest form of nursing. Neurosurgical patients are those in need of neurosurgery, which helps patients with dysfunctions of the nervous system. These dysfunctions include problems with consciousness, communication, cognition, mobility, and sensation. Many neurosurgical nursing patients are admitted to the hospital following an accident. Some conditions that can result in the need for neurosurgery are brain or spinal cord neoplasm, head or spinal cord trauma, brain hemorrhages, cerebral vascular accidents, and seizures.
Nurses working on the neurosurgical ward of a hospital will encounter a wide range of patients. Some common duties of the neurosurgical nurse include medication and pain management, wound care, documentation, education of the patient and family, and patient advocate. Other roles of the neurosurgical nurse include assessment, diagnosis, and administration of care for the patient, research and communication with the family and other health care professionals. One capacity where a neurosurgical nurse may serve is caring for a post-operative recovering patient and teaching them how to retain their independence and self-care after discharge.
The neurosurgical patient is cared for in a wide variety of settings. These include the traditional hospital setting, ambulatory care units, long-term care facilities, urgent care centers, clinics, universities, home health care and outpatient surgical centers, among others. The neurosurgical nurse is often part of a team that provides multidisciplinary care for the patient.
With technology evolving and large advances always occurring in hospital health care, it is crucial for the neurosurgical nurse to stay up-to-date on the latest changes. Their high-tech knowledge and skills relating to equipment and procedures constantly needs updating.
To become involved in neurosurgical nursing, you will need an advanced nursing degree. The University of Phoenix offers the following online nursing degree programs:
» Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Click for more info)
» Master of Science in Nursing (Click for more info)
» Or see online LPN to BSN, RN to BSN, or general nursing programs