The mental status assessment should be conducted ‘throughout the whole course of interaction with a patient’ (Meadows and Singh 2001, p. 230). It does not, and in the pre-hospital care environment, should not be used as a written assessment, but a guideline for gaining an understanding of the patient’s mental status.
The following are very basic MSA topics:
Assess appearance and behavior.
Assess speech. Speech must be examined with both the form and content in consideration. What is the rate of a patient’s speech? What is the quantity of his or her speech? Does it flow? The tone is quite loud or soft. What is the content of his or speech? Is he or she gloomy and his pessimistic views appear to dominate his speech.
Assess mood and affect.