A patient has been admitted to the neurologic ICU with a diagnosis of a brain tumor. The patient is scheduled to have a tumor resection/removal in the morning. Which of the following assessment parameters should the nurse include in the initial assessment?

Answer Explanation: Preoperatively, the gag reflex and ability to swallow are evaluated. In patients with diminished gag response, care includes teaching the patient to direct food and fluids toward the unaffected side, having the patient sit upright to eat, offering a semisoft diet, and having suction readily available. Deep tendon reflexes, abdominal girth, and hearing acuity are less commonly affected by brain tumors and do not affect the risk for aspiration.

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