Foundation of Nursing – Comprehensive Test Part 2 Answers and Rationale

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  1. B. When a patient develops dyspnea and shortness of breath, the orthopneic position encourages maximum chest expansion and keeps the abdominal organs from pressing against the diaphragm, thus improving ventilation. Bed rest and oxygen by Venturi mask at 24% would improve oxygenation of the tissues and cells but must be ordered by a physician. Allowing for rest periods decreases the possibility of hypoxia.
  2. C. Orthopnea is difficulty of breathing except in the upright position. Tachypnea is rapid respiration characterized by quick, shallow breaths. Eupnea is normal respiration – quiet, rhythmic, and without effort.
  3. C. A platelet count evaluates the number of platelets in the circulating blood volume. The nurse is responsible for giving the patient breakfast at the scheduled time. The physician is responsible for instructing the patient about the test and for writing the order for the test.
  4. B. Mashed potatoes and broiled chicken are low in natural sodium chloride. Ham, olives, and chicken bouillon contain large amounts of sodium and are contraindicated on a low sodium diet.
  5. D. All of the identified nursing responsibilities are pertinent when a patient is receiving heparin. The normal activated partial thromboplastin time is 16 to 25 seconds and the normal prothrombin time is 12 to 15 seconds; these levels must remain within two to two and one half the normal levels. All patients receiving anticoagulant therapy must be observed for signs and symptoms of frank and occult bleeding (including hemorrhage, hypotension, tachycardia, tachypnea, restlessness, pallor, cold and clammy skin, thirst and confusion); blood pressure should be measured every 4 hours and the patient should be instructed to report promptly any bleeding that occurs with tooth brushing, bowel movements, urination or heavy prolonged menstruation.
  6. D. The focus concepts that have been accepted by all theorists as the focus of nursing practice from the time of Florence Nightingale include the person receiving nursing care, his environment, his health on the health illness continuum, and the nursing actions necessary to meet his needs.
  7. D. Maslow, who defined a need as a satisfaction whose absence causes illness, considered oxygen to be the most important physiologic need; without it, human life could not exist. According to this theory, other physiologic needs (including food, water, elimination, shelter, rest and sleep, activity and temperature regulation) must be met before proceeding to the next hierarchical levels on psychosocial needs.
  8. B. The brain-dead patient’s family needs support and reassurance in making a decision about organ donation. Because transplants are done within hours of death, decisions about organ donation must be made as soon as possible. However, the family’s concerns must be addressed before members are asked to sign a consent form. The body of an organ donor is available for burial.
  9. C. Although a new head nurse should initially spend time observing the unit for its strengths and weakness, she should take action if a problem threatens patient safety. In this case, the supervisor is the resource person to approach.
  10. D. Studies have shown that patients and nurses both respond well to primary nursing care units. Patients feel less anxious and isolated and more secure because they are allowed to participate in planning their own care. Nurses feel personal satisfaction, much of it related to positive feedback from the patients. They also seem to gain a greater sense of achievement and esprit de corps.
  11. A. Assault is the unjustifiable attempt or threat to touch or injure another person. Battery is the unlawful touching of another person or the carrying out of threatened physical harm. Thus, any act that a nurse performs on the patient against his will is considered assault and battery.
  12. A. Oral communication that injures an individual’s reputation is considered slander. Written communication that does the same is considered libel.
  13. D. Malpractice is defined as injurious or unprofessional actions that harm another. It involves professional misconduct, such as omission or commission of an act that a reasonable and prudent nurse would or would not do. In this example, the standard of care was breached; a 3-month-old infant should never be left unattended on a scale.
  14. A. The three elements necessary to establish a nursing malpractice are nursing error (administering penicillin to a patient with a documented allergy to the drug), injury (cerebral damage), and proximal cause (administering the penicillin caused the cerebral damage). Applying a hot water bottle or heating pad to a patient without a physician’s order does not include the three required components. Assisting a patient out of bed with the bed locked in position is the correct nursing practice; therefore, the fracture was not the result of malpractice. Administering an incorrect medication is a nursing error; however, if such action resulted in a serious illness or chronic problem, the nurse could be sued for malpractice.
  15. C. An Asian patient is likely to hide his pain. Consequently, the nurse must observe for objective signs. In an abdominal surgery patient, these might include immobility, diaphoresis, and avoidance of deep breathing or coughing, as well as increased heart rate, shallow respirations (stemming from pain upon moving the diaphragm and respiratory muscles), and guarding or rigidity of the abdominal wall. Such a patient is unlikely to display emotion, such as crying.
  16. B. To assess for GI tract bleeding when frank blood is absent, the nurse has two options: She can test for occult blood in vomitus, if present, or in stool – through guaiac (Hemoccult) test. A complete blood count does not provide immediate results and does not always immediately reflect blood loss. Changes in vital signs may be cause by factors other than blood loss. Abdominal girth is unrelated to blood loss.
  17. D. Because percussion and palpation can affect bowel motility and thus bowel sounds, they should follow auscultation in abdominal assessment. Tympanic percussion, measurement of abdominal girth, and inspection are methods of assessing the abdomen. Assessing for distention, tenderness and discoloration around the umbilicus can indicate various bowel-related conditions, such as cholecystitis, appendicitis and peritonitis.
  18. C. Hyperactive sounds indicate increased bowel motility; two or three sounds per minute indicate decreased bowel motility. Abdominal cramping with hyperactive, high pitched tinkling bowel sounds can indicate a bowel obstruction.
  19. C. The supine position (also called the dorsal position), in which the patient lies on his back with his face upward, allows for easy access to the abdomen. In the prone position, the patient lies on his abdomen with his face turned to the side. In the Trendelenburg position, the head of the bed is tilted downward to 30 to 40 degrees so that the upper body is lower than the legs. In the lateral position, the patient lies on his side.
  20. D. All of these positions are appropriate for a rectal examination. In the genupectoral (knee-chest) position, the patient kneels and rests his chest on the table, forming a 90 degree angle between the torso and upper legs. In Sims’ position, the patient lies on his left side with the left arm behind the body and his right leg flexed. In the horizontal recumbent position, the patient lies on his back with legs extended and hips rotated outward.
  21. B. During a Romberg test, which evaluates for sensory or cerebellar ataxia, the patient must stand with feet together and arms resting at the sides—first with eyes open, then with eyes closed. The need to move the feet apart to maintain this stance is an abnormal finding.
  22. A. The pulse pressure is the difference between the systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings – in this case, 54.
  23. D. A slightly elevated temperature in the immediate preoperative or post operative period may result from the lack of fluids before surgery rather than from infection. Anxiety will not cause an elevated temperature. Hypothermia is an abnormally low body temperature.
  24. D. The quality and efficiency of the respiratory process can be determined by appraising the rate, rhythm, depth, ease, sound, and symmetry of respirations.
  25. D. Under normal conditions, a healthy adult breathes in a smooth uninterrupted pattern 12 to 20 times a minute. Thus, a respiratory rate of 30 would be abnormal. A normal adult body temperature, as measured on an oral thermometer, ranges between 97° and 100°F (36.1° and 37.8°C); an axillary temperature is approximately one degree lower and a rectal temperature, one degree higher. Thus, an axillary temperature of 99.6°F (37.6°C) would be considered abnormal. The resting pulse rate in an adult ranges from 60 to 100 beats/minute, so a rate of 88 is normal.
  26. D. Parasympathetic nervous system stimulation of the heart decreases the heart rate as well as the force of contraction, rate of impulse conduction and blood flow through the coronary vessels. Fever, exercise, and sympathetic stimulation all increase the heart rate.
  27. D. The apical pulse (the pulse at the apex of the heart) is located on the midclavicular line at the fourth, fifth, or sixth intercostal space. Base line vital signs include pulse rate, temperature, respiratory rate, and blood pressure. Blood pressure is typically assessed at the antecubital fossa, and respiratory rate is assessed best by observing chest movement with each inspiration and expiration.
  28. C. Because the pedal pulse cannot be detected in 10% to 20% of the population, its absence is not necessarily a significant finding. However, the presence or absence of the pedal pulse should be documented upon admission so that changes can be identified during the hospital stay. Absence of the apical, radial, or femoral pulse is abnormal and should be investigated.
  29. B. Pressure ulcers are most likely to develop in patients with impaired mental status, mobility, activity level, nutrition, circulation and bladder or bowel control. Age is also a factor. Thus, the 88-year old incontinent patient who has impaired nutrition (from gastric cancer) and is confined to bed is at greater risk.
  30. A. Adequate hydration thins and loosens pulmonary secretions and also helps to replace fluids lost from elevated temperature, diaphoresis, dehydration and dyspnea. High- humidity air and chest physiotherapy help liquefy and mobilize secretions.
  31. A. Chronic alcoholism commonly results in thiamine deficiency and other symptoms of malnutrition.
  32. C. A patient with dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) requires assistance with feeding. Feeding himself is a long-range expected outcome. Soft foods, Fowler’s or semi-Fowler’s position, and oral hygiene before eating should be part of the feeding regimen.
  33. A. A urine output of less than 30ml/hour indicates hypovolemia or oliguria, which is related to kidney function and inadequate fluid intake.
  34. A. Fluids containing caffeine have a diuretic effect. Beets and urinary analgesics, such as pyridium, can color urine red. Kaopectate is an anti diarrheal medication.
  35. C. A hospitalized surgical patient leaving his room for the first time fears rejection and others staring at him, so he should not walk alone. Accompanying him will offer moral support, enabling him to face the rest of the world. Patients should begin ambulation as soon as possible after surgery to decrease complications and to regain strength and confidence. Waiting to consult a physical therapist is unnecessary.
  36. A. Thick, tenacious secretions, a dry, hacking cough, orthopnea, and shortness of breath are signs of ineffective airway clearance. Ineffective airway clearance related to dry, hacking cough is incorrect because the cough is not the reason for the ineffective airway clearance. Ineffective individual coping related to COPD is wrong because the etiology for a nursing diagnosis should not be a medical diagnosis (COPD) and because no data indicate that the patient is coping ineffectively. Pain related to immobilization of affected leg would be an appropriate nursing diagnosis for a patient with a leg fracture.
  37. D. “I know this will be difficult” acknowledges the problem and suggests a resolution to it. “Don’t worry..” offers some relief but doesn’t  recognize the patient’s feelings. “..I didn’t get to the bad news yet” would be inappropriate at any time. “Your hair is really pretty” offers no consolation or alternatives to the patient.
  38. B. Additional Vitamin C is needed in growth periods, such as infancy and childhood, and during pregnancy to supply demands for fetal growth and maternal tissues. Other conditions requiring extra vitamin C include wound healing, fever, infection and stress.
  39. D. Delivery of more than 2 liters of oxygen per minute to a patient with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), who is usually in a state of compensated respiratory acidosis (retaining carbon dioxide (CO2)), can inhibit the hypoxic stimulus for respiration. An increased partial pressure of carbon dioxide in arterial blood (PACO2) would not initially result in cardiac arrest. Circulatory overload and respiratory excitement have no relevance to the question.
  40. C. Presenting symptoms of hypokalemia ( a serum potassium level below 3.5 mEq/liter) include muscle weakness, chronic fatigue, and cardiac dysrhythmias. The combined effects of inadequate food intake and prolonged diarrhea can deplete the potassium stores of a patient with GI problems.
  41. D. Assisting a patient with ambulation and transfer from a bed to a chair allows the nurse to evaluate the patient’s ability to carry out these functions safely. Demonstrating the signal system and providing an opportunity for a return demonstration ensures that the patient knows how to operate the equipment and encourages him to call for assistance when needed. Checking the patient’s identification band verifies the patient’s identity and prevents identification mistakes in drug administration.
  42. D. Since about 40% of patients fall out of bed despite the use of side rails, side rails cannot be said to prevent falls; however, they do serve as a reminder that the patient should not get out of bed. The other answers are incorrect interpretations of the statistical data.
  43. C. A patient who cannot care for himself at home does not necessarily have impaired awareness; he may simply have some degree of immobility.
  44. D. Hip fracture, the most common injury among elderly persons, usually results from osteoporosis. The other answers are diseases that can occur in the elderly from physiologic changes.
  45. A. Sleep disturbances, inability to concentrate and decreased appetite are symptoms of depression, the most common psychogenic disorder among elderly persons. Other symptoms include diminished memory, apathy, disinterest in appearance, withdrawal, and irritability. Depression typically begins before the onset of old age and usually is caused by psychosocial, genetic, or biochemical factors
  46. D. Aging decreases elasticity of the blood vessels, which leads to increased peripheral resistance and decreased blood flow. These changes, in turn, increase the work load of the left ventricle.
  47. D. Alzheimer;s disease, sometimes known as senile dementia of the Alzheimer’s type or primary degenerative dementia, is an insidious; progressive, irreversible, and degenerative disease of the brain whose etiology is still unknown. Parkinson’s disease is a neurologic disorder caused by lesions in the extrapyramidial system and manifested by tremors, muscle rigidity, hypokinesis, dysphagia, and dysphonia. Multiple sclerosis, a progressive, degenerative disease involving demyelination of the nerve fibers, usually begins in young adulthood and is marked by periods of remission and exacerbation. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a disease marked by progressive degeneration of the neurons, eventually results in atrophy of all the muscles; including those necessary for respiration.
  48. C. The nurse is legally responsible for labeling the corpse when death occurs in the hospital. She may be involved in obtaining consent for an autopsy or notifying the coroner or medical examiner of a patient’s death; however, she is not legally responsible for performing these functions. The attending physician may need information from the nurse to complete the death certificate, but he is responsible for issuing it.
  49. B. The nurse must place a pillow under the decreased person’s head and shoulders to prevent blood from settling in the face and discoloring it. She is required to bathe only soiled areas of the body since the mortician will wash the entire body. Before wrapping the body in a shroud, the nurse places a clean gown on the body and closes the eyes and mouth.
  50. A. Ensuring the patient’s safety is the most essential action at this time. The other nursing actions may be necessary but are not a major priority.

Daisy Jane Antipuesto RN MN

Currently a Nursing Local Board Examination Reviewer. Subjects handled are Pediatric, Obstetric and Psychiatric Nursing. Previous work experiences include: Clinical instructor/lecturer, clinical coordinator (Level II), caregiver instructor/lecturer, NC2 examination reviewer and staff/clinic nurse. Areas of specialization: Emergency room, Orthopedic Ward and Delivery Room. Also an IELTS passer.

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