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Assessing the Twelve Cranial Nerves
Review of the Twelve Cranial Nerves and How to Test Them
12
Health Care
12/10/2009

Additional Health Care Flashcards

 


 

Cards

Term

 

 

 

How do you assess the Olfactory Nerve?

Definition

 

Occlude one nostril and ask patient to inhale through other nostril. Repeat with other nostril.

 

Ask patient to smell and identify familiar smells (coffee, vanilla, peppermint).

Term

 

 

 

 

How do you assess the Optic Nerve?

Definition

 

 

Snellen Test (for far sight) and Rosenbaum Test (for near sight).

 

Also test for pupil constriction using your pen light.

Term

 

 

 

 

How do you assess the Oculomotor Nerve?

Definition

 

 

Test pupil constriction using your pen light.

 

Ask patient to raise and lower eyelids

(open and close eyes).

Term

 

 

 

 

How do you assess the Trochlear Nerve?

Definition

 

 

Administer the Convergence Test.

 

(Ask patient to follow your pen with their eyes as you move it toward their nose and then down.)

Term

 

 

 

 

How do you assess the Trigeminal Nerve?

Definition

 

 

Ask patient to clench jaw.

Use fingertip or penlight to lightly stroke forehead and cheeks and ask patient to identify where on their face they are being touched.

Term

 

 

 

 

How do you assess the Abducens Nerve?

Definition

 

 

 

Administer the Six Cardinal Gazes.



(Ask patient to follow your pen light as you move it vertically up and then down, then diagonally from upper left to lower right and upper right to lower left.)

Term

 

 

 

 

How do you assess the Facial Nerve?

Definition

 

 

Ask patient to do the following:

 

Smile
Frown
Show Teeth
Raise Eyebrows

Puff Out Cheeks

Term

 

 

 

 

How do you assess the Auditory Nerve?

Definition

 

 

Whisper Test: Ask patient to cover left ear. Stand to right of patient, out of view, about a foot away, and whisper. Have patient repeat what you said. Same for other ear.

 

Administer Weber and Rinne tests.

Term

 

 

 

 

How do you assess the Glossopharyngeal Nerve?

Definition

 

 

 

Ask patient to open their mouth and say, "Ahh," and use the depressor to test their gag reflex by stroking the posterior 2/3 of their tongue.

 

Note the ability to swallow.

Term

 

 

 

 

How do you assess the Vagus Nerve?

Definition

 

 

 

 

Note patient's ability to speak and swallow.

(Often can be observed throughout interview and when assessing the Glossopharyngeal Nerve.)

Term

 

 

 

 

How do you assess the Spinal Accessory Nerve?

Definition

 

 

Ask the patient to shrug their shoulders. Then push down on their shoulders and have them shrug against resistance.

 

Ask the patient to turn their head to the left and to the right. Then push against their cheek while they turn against resistance.

Term

 

 

 

 

How do you assess the Hypoglossal Nerve?

Definition

 

 

Ask the patient to stick out their tongue. Then ask them to move it to the right and the left.

 

With your hand against the patient's cheek, ask them to push against the inside of each cheek with their tongue.