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Typical findings of a stroke include weakness on one side of the body typically an arm, slurred speech or difficulty completing their sentences, vision problems, lack of coordination and balance and can be accompanied by a headache (Falkner & Green, 2018). A stroke can have long lasting effects on the individual and their support systems. Depending on which side of the brain the stroke occurs on contributes to the lasting effects that it can cause. Left brain will affect the right side and right brain will affect the left side. There can be affects such as paralysis, speech and vision problems, behavioral changes and memory loss (American Stroke Association, 2020). Individuals may suffer with day to day activities such as swallowing or walking. These changes can affect the entire support system because the individual may not be as independent as they used to be and may never be or will have to go through rehab to regain their normalcy again.
Nurses play an important role in providing support to the patient and their family during this time. Nurses must always take the time to listen and empathize with the patient and their current needs. Physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy can all be draining on the patient so being willing to listen, assist and guide throughout this time is important. Explanations on the importance of participating and working towards regaining strength or being present when they voice their concerns on how their life will forever be changed. Often times, their support systems are so overwhelmed with the changes that they forget that the individual needs to assistance emotionally and psychologically and they feel helpless in assisting their loves one because they don’t know the right thing to do; which is where a nurse can listen and give insight to assisting them through this time.
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