Topic 2: Neurological, Perceptual, And Cognitive Complexities


1. Evaluate functions of the neurological, perceptual, and cognitive systems based on findings.
2. Propose an intervention for a patient with a cognitive complexity.

Assignment 1

Identify a common perceptual, neurological, or cognitive issue and discuss contributing factors. Outline steps for prevention or health promotion for the patient and family.

Assignment 2

Discuss characteristic findings for a stroke and how it affects the lives of patients and their families. Discuss the nurse’s role in supporting the patient’s psychological, emotional, and spiritual needs. Provide an example integrating concepts from the “Statement on the Integration of Faith and Work” located in Class Resources.

Assignment 3-A

Evidence-Based Practice Project: Intervention Presentation on Diabetes
Identify a research or evidence-based article published within the last 5 years that focuses comprehensively on a specific intervention or new treatment tool for the management of diabetes in adults or children. The article must be relevant to nursing practice. 
Submit a reference and a working link to the article as a word document. 

Assignment 3-B

Case Study: Mr. M.

It is necessary for an RN-BSN-prepared nurse to demonstrate an enhanced understanding of the pathophysiological processes of disease, the clinical manifestations and treatment protocols, and how they affect clients across the life span.
Evaluate the Health History and Medical Information for Mr. M., presented below.
Based on this information, formulate a conclusion based on your evaluation, and complete the Critical Thinking Essay assignment, as instructed below.

Health History and Medical Information

Health History

Mr. M., a 70-year-old male, has been living at the assisted living facility where you work. He has no known allergies. He is a nonsmoker and does not use alcohol. Limited physical activity related to difficulty ambulating and unsteady gait. Medical history includes hypertension controlled with ACE inhibitors, hypercholesterolemia, status post appendectomy, and tibial fracture status postsurgical repair with no obvious signs of complications. Current medications include Lisinopril 20mg daily, Lipitor 40mg daily, Ambien 10mg PRN, Xanax 0.5 mg PRN, and ibuprofen 400mg PRN.

Case Scenario

Over the past 2 months, Mr. M. seems to be deteriorating quickly. He is having trouble recalling the names of his family members, remembering his room number, and even repeating what he has just read. He is becoming agitated and aggressive quickly. He appears to be afraid and fearful when he gets aggressive. He has been found wandering at night and will frequently become lost, needing help to get back to his room. Mr. M has become dependent with many ADLs, whereas a few months ago he was fully able to dress, bathe, and feed himself. The assisted living facility is concerned with his rapid decline and has decided to orNeurological, Perceptual, and Cognitive ComplexitiesBy Angel Falkner and Sue Z. Green
Essential Questions
· What are the pathophysiological changes and abnormal findings associated with neurological, perceptual, and cognitive dysfunctions?
· Which neurological health conditions are most prevalent?
· How does the nurse manage these health conditions to restore the patient to optimal health?
· What measures can a nurse use to transition patients toward independence in managing their own care?


Diseases of the neurologic system are multifaceted, often affecting every aspect of a patient’s life. Insult or injury to the brain can leave a patient with lifelong effects requiring psychosocial and physical adjustments that necessitate a great deal of support. While the nurse should be knowledgeable regarding the details of neurologic diseases, it is equally imperative for the nurse to anticipate the varying needs of neuro patients and provide resources and education to manage their care.

Neurological, Perceptual, and Cognitive Complexities


The brain controls the ability to think, enables awareness of and movement within the surrounding environment, and makes interaction with others possible. The brain’s cognitive abilities depend on sensory nerve input from the body. The various parts of the brain must be able to learn new information, recognize familiar persons and objects, recall past experiences, and apply all of these to current thoughts and actions. The spinal nerves must be intact to receive and send sensory and motor messages within the body and brain. Understanding the complexities of the organ, nerves, and various functions helps the nurse in determining care for a person experiencing altered health in this area. Awareness of normal function triggers the notation of changes in expected neurological activity. Diagnostic testing may lead to diagnosis of a neurological condition, demonstrate response to treatment, or reveal progression of a disorder.


Normal Function

The nervous system (NS) is responsible for the complex network of communication in the body through transmission of nerve impulses, an electrical stimulus. The various portions of the system have a variety of functions. The nervous system is divided into the

 central nervous system (CNS)

 and the 

peripheral nervous system (PNS)

 (see Figure 2.1). Both the CNS and PNS contain 


, the smallest component of the NS (see Figure 2.2). The neuron has two extensions: 




. Dendrites receive the electrical stimuli and transfer the impulses to the body of the neuron. Axons conduct the impulse away from the neuron body to other cells.

Figure 2.1

Components of the Nervous System

Figure 2.2

Anatomy of a Neuron

The following are examples of NS components with specific corresponding parts and functions:

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