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The Complex Neuro Patient: Strategies to Take Your Practice to the Next Level

Sean G. Smith, MSc, FP-C, CEN, CFRN, CPEN, CCRN-CMC (Adult), CCRN-K (Neonatal), CCRN-K (Pediatric)
Full Day
Jun 07, 2017
PESI Publishing
Product Code:
Media Type:
DVD - Also available: Digital Seminar


  • Assessments that Identify the RED Flags
  • Neuro Pharmacology Updates
  • Latest Management Strategies for: Neuro Trauma, Stroke, Seizures, Neuromuscular & Neurodegenerative Diseases

Does this sound familiar?

78-year-old Joe presents to the ER reporting he has a headache that just doesn’t go away, today his vision seems a bit blurry and he is experiencing more dizziness. His wife tells you something is “not right” and he seems more confused. Joes tells you it’s just the “flu”; everybody gets that this time of year and he doesn’t know why his wife made him come in.

What Joe left out of the story:

The fall he took on the ice two days ago; he didn’t want his wife to worry so he hadn’t told her. Instead he’s been taking aspirin hoping his headache will just go away.

Patients may present with or develop neurological symptoms at any time, making it essential that healthcare providers possess the ability—and confidence—to quickly assess these changes and intervene appropriately. Without the key piece of information that Joe left out of the story, are you sure you have all the skills necessary to spot the subtle changes? Are you prepared for the emergency that is happening right in front of you?

Join nationally-known speaker and neurological nursing expert, Sean Smith, RN, BSN, NREMT-P, C-NPT, CCRN, CMC, CFRN, FP-C, CPEN, for this in-depth look at the complex neuro patient. Every nurse needs to know these critical concepts in order to provide the best and most up-to-date care to patients and their families. Sean is well known for his ability to make complex concepts understandable and useful. Register today and be prepared to make the difference between a good and bad outcome when faced with your next neurological emergency.



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**Materials that are included in this course may include interventions and modalities that are beyond the authorized practice of mental health professionals. As a licensed professional, you are responsible for reviewing the scope of practice, including activities that are defined in law as beyond the boundaries of practice in accordance with and in compliance with your profession's standards.  All members of the PESI, Inc. planning committee have provided disclosures of financial relationships with ineligible organizations and any relevant non-financial relationships prior to planning content for this activity. None of the committee members had relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies or other potentially biasing relationships to disclose to learners.  For speaker disclosures, please see the faculty biography.

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This self-study activity qualifies for 6.25 continuing education clock hours as required by many national, state and local licensing boards and professional organizations. Save your activity advertisement and certificate of completion, and contact your own board or organization for specific requirements.



Sean G. Smith, MSc, FP-C, CEN, CFRN, CPEN, CCRN-CMC (Adult), CCRN-K (Neonatal), CCRN-K (Pediatric)'s Profile

Sean G. Smith, MSc, FP-C, CEN, CFRN, CPEN, CCRN-CMC (Adult), CCRN-K (Neonatal), CCRN-K (Pediatric) Related seminars and products

Sean G. Smith,  MSc, FP-C, CEN, CFRN, CPEN, CCRN-CMC (Adult), CCRN-K (Neonatal), CCRN-K (Pediatric), is a flight nurse-paramedic who has practiced and taught Trauma Care, Tactical Medicine, Emergency/Critical Care and Prehospital Emergency Medical Services, both in the military and the civilian world. He holds degrees in nursing and molecular biology, is a graduate of Duke University’s Legal Nurse Consulting program and is currently pursuing a master’s degree through the University of Florida College of Pharmacy. He holds multiple advanced specialty certifications as well as extensive instructor qualifications in critical care and emergency medicine.

Career highlights include numerous author/co-author credits, including: a best-selling Laboratory Medicine textbook, a chapter on Shock in Trauma Nursing Core Curriculum, and a section in the newly released Resuscitation Crisis Manual. Sean consults on clinical, legal and certification prep for numerous high-profile hospital systems (Yale, Mayo…). He routinely lectures at national/international conferences, has completed 50 + medical missions (Dominican Republic, Honduras, Morocco, Liberia, and Haiti), and provided medical support to the NASA Space Shuttle Program.


Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Sean Smith is an independent contractor. He receives a speaking honorarium and recording royalties from PESI, Inc. He has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Sean Smith is a member of the American Association of Critical Care Nurses.

Additional Info

Access for Self-Study (Non-Interactive)

Access never expires for this product.


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Neuro Assessments: Identifying the RED Flags

  • Challenging Mental Status Exams
    • The Patient with Existing Dementia
  • The Down-n-Dirty Cranial Nerve Assessment
  • Glasgow Coma Scale
  • Identifying Red Flags
  • Effectively Communicating Changes

Neuro Trauma: The Latest Evidence-Based Strategies

  • Blunt & Penetrating Injuries
  • Symptom Management for:
    • Hypoxemia
    • Hypotension
    • Prophylactic Hypothermia
    • Nutrition Replacement
    • Normoglycemia
    • Hyperventilation
  • Surgical Emergencies & Post-op Care
    • Craniotomy & Craniectomy
  • Associated Mental Status & Cognitive Changes

Managing Increased Intracranial Pressure

  • Early & Late Symptoms
  • Non-invasive vs. Invasive Monitoring
  • ICP Waveform Analysis Made Easy

Neuro Pharmacology: New Thoughts on Old Therapies

  • Steroids
  • Osmotic Diuretics
  • Hypertonic Saline
  • Anti-Seizure Prophylaxis
  • DVT Prophylaxis
  • Thrombolytics & Anticoagulation
  • Reversal Agents
  • Infection Prophylaxis
  • Anesthetics, Analgesics & Sedatives

Timely Recognition and Treatment Recommendations for Stroke Syndromes

  • Acute Ischemic Stroke
  • Intracerebral Hemorrhagic Stroke
  • Hemispheric Findings
  • NIH Stroke Scale
  • Clinical Presentation & Management of Seizures
  • Differentiation of Seizure Type
  • Psychogenic Non-Epileptic Seizures (PNES’s)
  • Sudden Unexplained Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP)

Neurodegenerative & Neuromuscular Disease

  • The Patient with Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Assessing Altered Mental Status
  • The Patient with Pre-Existing Dementia
  • Tips to Spot Subtle Clues
  • Differentiating Diagnosis by Symptom Onset

The Patient with Multiple Sclerosis

  • Physical Assessment Challenges
  • The Patient with Muscle Weakness & Wasting
  • Key Criteria for Assessing Baseline

The Patient with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

  • Anticipating Complications
  • Early Recognition of Life-threatening Symptoms
  • What equipment is a MUST have at the bedside?
  • Difficult Airway Management

The Patient with Parkinson’s Disease

  • Symptom Management Challenges
  • Interventions for the Agitated Patient
  • Strategies for Effective Patient Compliance
  • Team Approach: Role of the Interdisciplinary Team & Family



  1. Assess neuroanatomy as applicable to complex neurologic patients.
  2. Breakdown neurologic assessment strategies and changes associated with pathologic conditions.
  3. Choose between head injury types, associated mental status, and cognitive changes.
  4. Communicate the latest strategies for timely recognition and treatment of stroke syndromes.
  5. Specify the clinical presentation and treatment recommendations for seizure types.
  6. Correlate increased intracranial pressures with expected causes and critical care management.
  7. Evaluate post-op management of neurosurgical patients.
  8. Breakdown essential management strategies for patients with neurodegenerative and neuromuscular disorders. 

Target Audience

Nurses, Physician Assistants.


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