Home Health & Hospice

What observations are critical when caring for a stroke patient?

Homecare Insider, January 11, 2016

When working with stroke patients, you are responsible for several types of observations. First, you need to observe for stroke-related problems, which can include skin breakdown, bleeding caused by anticoagulant medication; safety issues; depression; decreased mobility; and a lack of understanding of the care plan.

Next, you will need to observe for progress. This makes your job more interesting and makes it possible for you to support and encourage your patient. When a patient is making good progress, each visit can be an exciting and happy time. Noting progress and talking with the nurse and therapists can help them determine when to make changes in the plan of care.

Finally, and most importantly, keep the symptoms of stroke in mind. Review the questions to ask a patient, watch for sudden changes in mental status and movement, and be prepared to contact your supervisor and emergency services if needed.

Always document when you notify your supervisor, noting the time, whom you spoke with, any instructions that were given, and document the actions you took.