Glasgow Coma Scale: Generating Clinical Standards

Catherine M. Enriquez, Karen H. Chisholm, Lori Kennedy Madden, Amy D. Larsen, Tuesday De Longpré, Daphne Stannard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: The Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) is a tool used to aid in objectively measuring the neurological status of a patient. This study aimed to evaluate the limitations and discrepancies in GCS use among nurses in an academic medical center neurological intensive care unit and compile evidence for development of a standardized GCS educational program. Methods: Twenty nurse participants completed a survey before attending an educational intervention. Participants then attended a 90-minute educational intervention. In follow-up, participants were asked to complete a postsurvey. Results: The standardized GCS educational program significantly improved nurse knowledge of the GCS as measured by presurvey and postsurvey general GCS question scores. Educational programming improved application of the GCS as measured by presurvey and postsurvey GCS verbal component, motor component, and sum scores. GCS motor score performance was the least accurate component. Conclusion: Participants reported that the education has informed the unit culture and emboldened clinical nurses to speak to their practice with more authority. Educational interventions should be aimed toward applied transfer of knowledge to the case-based scenarios in the clinical setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)142-146
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Nursing
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019


  • assessment
  • education
  • Glasgow Coma Scale
  • neurocritical care
  • standardization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Medical–Surgical


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