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Maureen Sullivan-Tevault
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Maureen has over 25 years in Emergency and Trauma nursing, including nursing positions as the Emergency Department Manager, Director of Staff Education, Trauma Coordinator, and Stroke Program Manager.


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Stroke: An Introduction

An online continuing education course for nurses, medical health care professionals, and other interested individuals. 

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States and the leading cause of serious, long-term disability. Few conditions can occur as rapidly and with as devastating consequences as stroke. Data from the American Stroke Association (ASA) indicate that over 700,000 people in the United States suffer a stroke each year. Immediate emergency treatment is critical to surviving a stroke with the least amount of damage to the brain and the ability to function. Every stroke or transient ischemic attack must be treated as a life-threatening emergency. Thus, it is important that all healthcare providers be educated on the early identification of stroke symptoms, emergency care options, and prevention of recurrent stroke. 

In 2003, The Joint Commission launched its Primary Stroke Center Certification Program. As of January, 2011, there are more than 800 certified primary stroke centers. The designation signifies that the hospitals meet requirements to provide emergency diagnostic and therapeutic services by a multidisciplinary team 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to patients with symptoms of acute stroke. Eight hours of annual stroke specific continuing education is REQUIRED for the staff who comprise the CORE stroke team. Additionally, at least 80% of the Emergency Department staff is required to have knowledge of the stroke pathophysiology, presentation, assessment, diagnosis and treatment including thrombolytic therapy. Finally, Nurses on non-stroke units, where stroke patients are not routinely cared for, and ancillary staff should receive education related to recognition of stroke signs and symptoms and activation of the organization’s emergency response processes. This course would be excellent for all healthcare providers, and assist hospitals seeking both initial and renewal of primary stroke center certification. 


Upon completion of this course, the participant will be able to 

  1. Identify signs and symptoms of a stroke, and appropriate emergency treatment 
  2. Differentiate the difference between a stroke and a transient ischemic attack (T.I.A.) 
  3. Describe the differences between modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors for stroke 
  4. Explain how lifestyle changes can reduce the risk of stroke 
  5. Calculate the appropriate dose of t-PA for treatment of ischemic stroke 
  6. List the appropriate members of a (stroke) rehabilitation team 
  7. Discuss the N.I.H. stroke scale and its use in evaluation of stroke severity 
  8. Describe measures to decrease the risk of a recurrent stroke (“secondary prevention”) 


Chapter 1
Risk Factors

  • Modifiable risk factors
  • Non-modifiable risk factors
  • Normal blood pressure parameters

Chapter 2
Signs and symptoms of a stroke
  • Ischemic versus Hemorrhagic stroke
  • Transient Ischemic Attack
  • Evaluation tools for stroke severity
  • Time parameters for treatment of stroke

Chapter 3
Acute Stroke Care
  • Certified Stroke Centers
  • NPO, IV therapy, preliminary lab work
  • Hypoglycemic “stroke”
  • Dysphagia screening
  • Aspirin therapy at onset of stroke

Chapter 4
t-PA therapy for stroke 
  • Infusion guidelines
  • Inclusion and Exclusion criteria
  • Administration of t-PA
  • Complication potential-Intracranial hemorrhage

Chapter 5
  • Types of stroke rehabilitation
  • Members of the Rehabilitation Team

Chapter 6
Secondary Stroke Prevention
  • Blood pressure control
  • Diet
  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco Cessation
  • Glycemic Control
  • Stress Reduction

Chapter 7
Post Stroke Complications
  • Constraint Induced Movement Therapy (CIMT)
  • Dysphagia
  • Post stroke vision changes

Chapter 8
Current research and advance in the treatment of strokes 
  • Desmoteplase (Bat vemon)
  • Viprinex (Malayan pit viper)
  • Caffeinol (caffeine and alcohol)
  • Merci Retriever

Chapter 9
Miscellaneous Stroke website links
  • NIHSS stroke scale certification
  • Glasgow Coma Scale
  • Hunt and Hess Scale
  • Modified Rankin Scale
  • Barthel ADL Scale
  • National Stroke Association 

Course Snapshot

Cost: $ 25.00
Contact Hours: 2.5


After successful completion the licensed nurse: RN, LPN/LVN will receive 2.5 contact hours. Provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider # CEP 15467 and by the Florida Board of Nursing and the Florida Council of Dietetics and Nutrition, CE Broker Tracking # is 20-363176
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