01.17 Electroencephalography (EEG)

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  1. Electroencephalography (EEG)
    1. Electrode to record brainwaves
    2. Diagnose brain issues

Nursing Points


  1. Procedure
    1. Scalp measured and marked by tech
    2. Sticky jelly on electrodes -> attach to scalp
    3. Records brainwaves
  2. Purpose
    1. Determine brain damage or death
    2. Diagnose dementia
    3. Diagnose stroke
  3. Indications
    1. Unconsious
    2. Seizures
    3. Confusion
    4. Tremors
    5. Memory loss
    6. Sleep disturbances


  1. Before
    1. Explain procedure
    2. Avoid caffeine prior (may affect results)
    3. Give anxiety medications if needed

Therapeutic Management

  1. During
    1. Ask patient to stay still
    2. Attach electrodes to scalp with jelly on measured marks
  2. After
    1. Remove electrodes
    2. Wash jelly out of hair
    3. Results interpreted by neurologist

Nursing Concepts

  1. Cognition -> indication for EEG
  2. Intracranial Regulation -> EEG reads brainwaves

Patient Education

  1. Procedure can take an hour
  2. Doctor may choose to hold certain medications before EEG
  3. Avoid hair creams or sprays day of test


Hey guys! Welcome to the lesson about the electroencephalography or EEG!

The EEG records brainwaves to help diagnose brain damage or death, dementia, or strokes. Here is a picture of an EEG recording showing seizure activity. Next let’s discuss the indications for an EEG.

The doctor may order an EEG on a patient that has altered mental status like confusion, loss of consciousness, or memory loss. Seizures may indicate an EEG along with tremors or sleep disturbances. Let’s talk about the procedure. 

So first the scalp is measured by the EEG tech. Jelly is used to attach the electrodes to the scalp like in this picture. The machine then is able to record the brainwaves. Let’s discuss the nurse’s role. 

If the doctor orders an EEG, you will explain the procedure to the patient. They should avoid caffeine before the procedure so that it doesn’t interfere at all. Some patients may need anxiety meds before because it does last an hour. 

During the procedure, ask the patient to stay still. After it’s over, you can remove the electrodes and help the patient wash the jelly out of their hair. The neurologist will interpret the EEG results. Next we’ll talk about patient education. 

Let your patient know that the procedure takes about an hour. The doctor may hold certain medications before to get  clear reading that may be resumed after. Tell the patient to avoid all hair creams and sprays before the procedure so that it doesn’t interfere. 

The priority nursing concepts for the patient with an EEG are cognition and intracranial regulation. 

Alright guys, let’s review the key points. The EEG is where electrodes are attached to the scalp to record brain waves to diagnose brain disease or death. The doctor might order an EEG if the patient has seizures or altered mental status. You will explain the procedure to the patient and ask them to avoid caffeine before to avoid interference. During, ask the patient to stay still. After the recording, help them clean the jelly out of their hair. The neurologist will interpret the results. 

Okay guys, that’s it on the EEG! Now go out and be your best self today, and as always, happy nursing!