Nursing Care Plan for Head Injury
Head injuries can range from mild concussions to severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), and require careful assessment, management, and support. As a nurse, your role is crucial in providing immediate and ongoing care to patients with head injuries. This nursing care plan aims to outline evidence-based interventions to assess, manage, and support patients with head injuries.
- Name: [Patient’s Name]
- Age: [Patient’s Age]
- Gender: [Patient’s Gender]
- Mechanism of Injury: [Brief description of how the head injury occurred] Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) Score: [Initial GCS score upon admission]
- Medical Diagnosis: Head Injury
- Date of Admission: [Date of Admission]
- Date of Care Plan: [Date of Care Plan]
- The patient may report symptoms such as headache, dizziness, or confusion.
- The patient may describe the circumstances of the head injury, including the mechanism of injury and any loss of consciousness.
- Patients may express concerns about the potential long-term effects of the head injury.
- Physical examination findings may include visible signs of trauma, such as bruising or swelling on the head.
- Neurological assessment may reveal changes in the level of consciousness, motor function, or sensation.
- Imaging studies such as CT scans or MRIs may show evidence of intracranial bleeding, skull fracture, or brain injury.
Nursing Diagnosis for Head Injury:
- Risk for Ineffective Cerebral Tissue Perfusion related to head trauma and potential increased intracranial pressure (ICP).
- Impaired Physical Mobility related to limitations imposed by the head injury and associated symptoms.
- Risk for Impaired Verbal Communication related to cognitive and language impairments.
- Risk for Disturbed Sensory Perception related to altered sensory processing and sensory deficits.
- Risk for Impaired Neurological Function related to head injury and potential intracranial complications as evidenced by changes in the level of consciousness, motor deficits, or abnormal neurological findings.
- Acute Pain related to the head injury and associated trauma as evidenced by the patient’s report of headache or discomfort.
- Risk for Ineffective Cerebral Tissue Perfusion related to potential intracranial bleeding or swelling as evidenced by changes in neurological status and imaging findings.
Nursing Interventions for Head Injury:
Risk for Impaired Neurological Function:
- Monitor the patient’s level of consciousness, pupillary response, and vital signs regularly.
- Assess motor function and sensation on all extremities and document any changes or deficits.
- Implement seizure precautions, such as ensuring a safe environment and having emergency medications readily available if indicated.
- Collaborate with the healthcare team to determine the need for neurosurgical intervention or further diagnostic tests.
- Provide emotional support and reassurance to the patient and family/caregivers, addressing their concerns and providing information about the patient’s condition and treatment plan.
Risk for Ineffective Cerebral Tissue Perfusion:
- Monitor vital signs, including blood pressure, heart rate, and respiratory rate, frequently to assess for changes that may indicate increased ICP.
- Elevate the head of the bed to promote venous drainage and reduce ICP.
- Administer prescribed medications, such as osmotic diuretics or anticonvulsants, to manage ICP and prevent seizures.
- Collaborate with the healthcare team to ensure prompt diagnostic imaging, such as a CT scan, to assess for brain injury and guide treatment.
- Monitor the patient’s vital signs, particularly blood pressure, and assess for signs of increased intracranial pressure (ICP), such as changes in level of consciousness, severe headache, or vomiting.
- Elevate the head of the bed to 30 degrees, if not contraindicated, to promote venous drainage and reduce ICP.
- Administer prescribed medications, such as osmotic diuretics or corticosteroids, as ordered to reduce cerebral edema and promote cerebral perfusion.
- Collaborate with the healthcare team to ensure prompt treatment of any emergent or worsening intracranial complications.
- Provide education to the patient and family/caregivers about signs and symptoms of increased ICP and the importance of seeking immediate medical attention if these occur.
Impaired Physical Mobility:
- Assess the patient’s mobility and range of motion regularly.
- Encourage early mobilization and ambulation as tolerated to prevent complications such as muscle weakness, joint contractures, and deep vein thrombosis.
- Provide assistive devices, such as walkers or handrails, to support safe ambulation.
- Collaborate with physical therapy to develop a customized rehabilitation plan for the patient’s specific needs and limitations.
Risk for Impaired Verbal Communication:
- Assess the patient’s ability to communicate verbally and provide alternative means of communication, such as using a communication board or picture cards.
- Use clear and simple language when communicating with the patient, allowing them ample time to process information and respond.
- Collaborate with speech therapy to assess and manage any speech or language impairments and provide appropriate interventions.
Risk for Disturbed Sensory Perception:
- Assess the patient’s sensory responses, including vision, hearing, and touch, and document any deficits or abnormalities.
- Create a safe and quiet environment to minimize sensory overload and promote a calm atmosphere.
- Provide appropriate sensory stimulation, such as touch or soothing music, to enhance sensory perception and promote relaxation.
- Collaborate with occupational therapy to assess and manage sensory deficits and provide guidance on adaptive strategies.
- Assess the patient’s pain level using a pain scale and ask about the location, intensity, and quality of the pain.
- Administer prescribed pain medication, such as analgesics or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), as ordered to relieve pain.
- Implement non-pharmacological pain management techniques, such as positioning, relaxation exercises, or distraction techniques.
- Monitor the patient’s response to pain medication and reassess pain levels regularly.
- Provide a calm and quiet environment to minimize external stimuli that may exacerbate pain or discomfort.
Nursing Evaluation for Head Injury:
- Adequate cerebral tissue perfusion was maintained with stable vital signs and the absence of signs of increased ICP.
- Improved physical mobility as evidenced by an increased range of motion, independence in activities of daily living, and safe ambulation.
- Effective communication is established through alternative means or improved verbal communication skills.
- Enhanced sensory perception is demonstrated by appropriate responses to sensory stimuli and an improved ability to interpret sensory information.
- The patient’s neurological function remains stable or shows signs of improvement, with no new deficits observed.
- The patient experiences a reduction in pain and reports improved comfort.
- The patient’s cerebral tissue perfusion is maintained within acceptable parameters.
- The patient and family/caregivers actively engage in the care plan and demonstrate an understanding of the patient’s condition and treatment.
Documentation: Regularly document the patient’s vital signs, neurologic assessments, mobility status, communication assessments, sensory responses, educational interventions, and the patient’s response to treatment. Collaborate with the interdisciplinary healthcare team to review and update the care plan based on the patient’s condition and evolving needs.
Note: This nursing care plan is a general guideline and should be individualized based on the patient’s specific needs, the severity of the head injury, the treatment plan, and the healthcare provider’s recommendations.