Mapstone statesthat sports-related concussions in children are a major health concern, with50% of these injuries going undiagnosed.
This is partially due to a lack ofadequate education and training provided to nurses and other health careproviders regarding sports-related concussions. Mapstone aims to present acurriculum to be implemented in educating the health care team. In thiscurriculum, the author presents key points that must be emphasized to thecollaborative care team that includes health care providers, family, thepatient, coaches, and school administrators. The distinction is made betweenthe functional and structural nature of the injury to demonstrate how this cancause physical, psychosocial, and cognitive symptoms without anatomicpathology. Diagnosis should be made through a comprehensive history, detailedneurologic exams, and assessments of symptoms, cognitive function, and balance.
Management should be through cognitive and physical rest while interacting withfamily and friends, as tolerated. Gradual return to school and sports isadvised and should be implemented in stages. The danger of chronic traumaticencephalopathy is raised to highlight the importance of full recovery beforereturning an athlete to play. The complexity of treating pediatric patientswith sports-related concussions is stressed as their brains are still developing, and they are undergoing many internal changes and external pressures.
Furthermore, children are likely to be less compliant than adults withrecommendations for physical and cognitive rest. This article isrelevant to the presentation on sports-related concussions in pediatricpatients because it emphasizes the importance of teaching this topic to apediatric population. Due to the possibility of chronic traumaticencephalopathy and the fact that there is currently no diagnosis or cure forthe condition, it is crucial that children, families, and coaches understandthe risk of multiple concussions and importance of full recovery beforereturning to a sport.
This article also raises important teaching points to beused in educating the family, and, in particular, the pediatric patient. Mapstonestates that children are less compliant with recommendations for physical andcognitive rest. Therefore, it is integral to use specific methods for educatingthe child to ensure that they understand the importance of rest and returningto school and play in gradual stages as they recover. Methods such as videos, games, and workbooks will be shown in the presentation as materials that can beused effectively with school-aged children.
This article isrelevant to my future nursing praxis, as it focuses on the role of the nurse inassessing, diagnosing, and managing sports-related concussions in pediatricpatients. The author also places particular emphasis on the importance ofeducating the health care team, the family, the patient, school administrators, and coaches. Therefore, in my future nursing praxis, I could use this educationin the assessment and diagnosis of concussions in the emergency department. Thiswould include assessing for early and delayed symptoms of concussion and takingan accurate history, including predisposing factors that could prolongrecovery. Such predisposing factors include previous concussions, mooddisorders, and psychiatric disorders. Additionally, as a nurse and a member ofthe child’s health care team, it may be necessary to advocate for adjustmentsand accommodations to their education and activities once they return to schooland sports following a sports-related concussion. This article is furtherrelevant to my nursing praxis because I could be educating others in communitycentres or schools in the future.
For example, it could become necessary that teachersat schools and parents that enroll their children in contact sports attend aneducation session that could be facilitated by a nurse with advanced knowledgein pediatric sports-related concussions.