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Goals and Learning Outcomes

According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), there are about 300,000 people living with a spinal cord injury in the U.S. ( NSCISC, 2020). There are about 17,800 new cases of spinal cord injury each year (NSCISC, 2020). Emergency responders and nurses are the first to encounter these patients in the moments after an injury. First responders, such as paramedics and emergency medical technicians, are responsible for extricating patients from the scene of an accident. Nurses in acute care settings, such as the emergency department (ED) and inpatient units, play a significant role in managing patients with spinal cord injuries. Healthcare workers must know how to properly care for patients with spinal cord injuries. This course will provide healthcare professionals with the information they need to manage emergency care and acute care for spinal cord injuries. This course explains basic spinal cord anatomy, reviews common mechanisms of spinal cord injury, explains the level of spinal cord injury and how to find it, and describes complications of spinal cord injury. The goal of this course is to review spinal cord injury care for emergency personnel in the field and nurses in the ED and acute care units of the hospital.

After taking this course, you should be able to:

  • Describe basic spinal cord anatomy and common mechanisms of SCI.
  • Identify changes in bodily functions after SCI.
  • Discuss 13 high-risk nursing diagnoses that affect people with SCI in the acute phase of treatment.
  • Recognize spinal cord anatomy and mechanisms of spinal cord injury.
  • Recall assessment, interventions, and complications related to spinal cord injury.
  • Describe basic spinal cord anatomy and common mechanisms of spinal cord injury
  • Identify changes in bodily functions after spinal cord injury
  • Discuss nine high-risk nursing diagnoses that affect people with spinal cord injury in the acute phase of treatment

Course Termination Date: Not yet determined

Content Expiration Date: 12/31/24

Course Originally Released On: 11/05/22

Course Authors

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Course Reviews

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Accreditation Information


In support of improving patient care, Relias LLC is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.

Provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, CEP#13791

Disclaimer: Not all courses will provide California Board of Registered Nursing approval. Per California Assembly Bill No. 241, continuing education courses related to direct patient care shall address at least one or a combination of the following:(1) Examples of how implicit bias affects perceptions and treatment decisions of licensees, leading to disparities in health outcomes; or (2) Strategies to address how unintended biases in decision-making may contribute to health care disparities by shaping behavior and producing differences in medical treatment along lines of race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, socioeconomic status, or other characteristics.



Relias LLC reports to CEBroker for the following boards (Provider # 50-1489): Arkansas State Board Of Nursing, District Of Columbia Board Of Nursing, Florida Board Of Nursing, Georgia Board Of Nursing, New Mexico Board Of Nursing, South Carolina Board Of Nursing and  West Virginia Board Of Examiners For Registered Professional Nurses


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None of the planners/faculty, unless otherwise noted, for this educational activity have relevant financial relationship(s) to disclose with ineligible companies whose primary business is producing, marketing, selling, re-selling, or distributing healthcare products used by or on patients.