Chapter 08: Geriatric Pharmacology Nursing School Test Banks

Chapter 08: Geriatric Pharmacology
Test Bank

MULTIPLE CHOICE

1. The nurse is caring for an older adult patient who is receiving multiple medications. When monitoring this patient for potential drug toxicity, the nurse should review which lab values closely?
a. Complete blood count and serum glucose levels
b. Pancreatic enzymes and urinalysis
c. Serum creatinine and liver function tests (LFTs)
d. Serum lipids and electrolytes
ANS: C
With liver and kidney dysfunction, the efficacy of drugs is generally increased and may cause toxicity. The nurse should review serum creatinine levels to monitor renal function and LFTs to monitor hepatic function. The other lab tests may be ordered for specific drugs if they affect those body systems.

DIF: COGNITIVE LEVEL: Understanding (Comprehension) REF: Pages 90-91
TOP: NURSING PROCESS: Assessment
MSC: NCLEX: Physiological Integrity: Pharmacological and Parenteral Therapies

2. An older patient who reports a 2- to 3-year history of upper gastrointestinal symptoms will begin taking ranitidine (Zantac) to treat this disorder. The patient has completed a health history form. The nurse notes that the patient answered no when asked if any medications were being taken. Which action will the nurse take next?
a. Ask whether the patient uses over-the-counter (OTC) medications.
b. Obtain a careful dietary history for the past two weeks.
c. Recommend that the patient take antacid tablets.
d. Suggest that the patient add high-potassium foods to the diet.
ANS: A
Many patients do not think of OTC products as medications and often do not list them when asked about medication use. A patient who takes ranitidine along with an OTC antacid could be duplicating medications. A dietary history is important as well but would not be the most important action in this case. The nurse should not recommend antacid tablets or high-potassium foods.

DIF: COGNITIVE LEVEL: Applying (Application) REF: Page 89
TOP: NURSING PROCESS: Assessment
MSC: NCLEX: Physiological Integrity: Pharmacological and Parenteral Therapies

3. To assist an older, confused patient to adhere to a multidrug regimen, the nurse will provide which recommendation?
a. Avoid the use of over-the-counter medications.
b. Bring all medications to each clinic visit.
c. Review the manufacturers information insert about each medication.
d. Save money by getting each drug at the pharmacy with the lowest price.
ANS: B
Patients who take multiple medications should be advised to bring medications to each clinic visit. Patients may take OTC medications as long as those are included in the list of medications reviewed by the provider. Manufacturers inserts provide an overwhelming amount of information. Patients should be advised to use only one pharmacy.

DIF: COGNITIVE LEVEL: Applying (Application) REF: Page 94
TOP: NURSING PROCESS: Nursing Intervention: Patient Teaching
MSC: NCLEX: Physiological Integrity: Pharmacological and Parenteral Therapies

4. The nurse is caring for an older patient who is taking 25 mg per day of hydrochlorothiazide. The nurse will closely monitor which lab value in this patient?
a. Coagulation studies
b. White blood count
c. Liver function tests
d. Serum potassium
ANS: D
Older patients who take doses of hydrochlorothiazide between 25 to 50 mg/day have increased risk of electrolyte imbalances, so potassium should be monitored closely.

DIF: COGNITIVE LEVEL: Understanding (Comprehension) REF: Page 95
TOP: NURSING PROCESS: Evaluation
MSC: NCLEX: Physiological Integrity: Pharmacological and Parenteral Therapies

5. The nurse is caring for an 82-year-old patient who takes digoxin to treat chronic atrial fibrillation. When caring for this patient, to monitor for drug side effects, what will the nurse will carefully assess?
a. Blood pressure
b. Heart rate
c. Oxygen saturation
d. Respiratory rate
ANS: B
Most of digoxin is eliminated by the kidneys, so a decline in kidney function can cause digoxin accumulation, which can cause bradycardia. Digoxin should not be given to any patient with a pulse less than 60 beats per minute.

DIF: COGNITIVE LEVEL: Understanding (Comprehension) REF: Page 95
TOP: NURSING PROCESS: Evaluation
MSC: NCLEX: Physiological Integrity: Pharmacological and Parenteral Therapies

6. The nurse is caring for an 80-year-old patient who is taking warfarin (Coumadin). Which action does the nurse understand is important when caring for this patient?
a. Encouraging the patient to rise slowly from a sitting position
b. Initiating a fall-risk protocol
c. Maintaining strict intake and output measures
d. Monitoring blood pressure frequently
ANS: B
Patients who take anticoagulants have an increased risk of hemorrhage. Older patients have an increased risk of falls that can lead to bleeding complications. Initiating a fall-risk protocol is important. Warfarin does not affect blood pressure and would not cause orthostatic hypotension. Warfarin does not alter urine output.

DIF: COGNITIVE LEVEL: Applying (Application) REF: Page 92
TOP: NURSING PROCESS: Nursing Intervention
MSC: NCLEX: Physiological Integrity: Pharmacological and Parenteral Therapies

7. An 80-year-old patient is being treated for an infection. An order for which type of antibiotic would cause concern for the nurse caring for this patient?
a. Aminoglycoside
b. Cephalosporin
c. Penicillin
d. Sulfonamide
ANS: A
Penicillins, cephalosporins, tetracyclines, and sulfonamides are normally considered safe for the older adult. Aminoglycosides are excreted in the urine and are not usually prescribed for patients older than 75 years.

DIF: COGNITIVE LEVEL: Understanding (Comprehension) REF: Page 92
TOP: NURSING PROCESS: Nursing Intervention
MSC: NCLEX: Physiological Integrity: Pharmacological and Parenteral Therapies

8. A 75-year-old patient will be discharged home with a prescription for an opioid analgesic. To help the patient minimize adverse effects, what will the nurse recommend for this patient?
a. Sucking on lozenges to moisten oral mucosa
b. Taking an antacid with each dose
c. Taking the medication on an empty stomach
d. Using a stool softener
ANS: D
Opioid analgesics can cause constipation. Stool softeners can help minimize this effect. Opioids do not cause dry mouth. Drug absorption may be decreased with an antacid. Opioid analgesics should be taken with food or milk to decrease gastrointestinal irritation.

DIF: COGNITIVE LEVEL: Applying (Application) REF: Page 93
TOP: NURSING PROCESS: Planning
MSC: NCLEX: Physiological Integrity: Pharmacological and Parenteral Therapies

9. A 75-year-old patient is readmitted to the hospital to treat recurrent pneumonia. The patient had been discharged home with a prescription for antibiotics 5 days prior. The nurse admitting this patient will take which initial action?
a. Ask the patient about over-the-counter drug use.
b. Ask the patient how many doses of the antibiotic have been taken.
c. Discuss increasing the antibiotic dose with the provider.
d. Obtain an order for a creatinine clearance test.
ANS: B
There are many reasons for non-adherence to a drug regimen in an older patient, so if a patient is readmitted, the nurse should first ascertain whether or not the medications have been used. Asking the patient how many doses have been taken will help to assess this. If it is determined that the patient is taking the drug as ordered, the other steps may be taken.

DIF: COGNITIVE LEVEL: Applying (Application) REF: Page 94
TOP: NURSING PROCESS: Evaluation
MSC: NCLEX: Physiological Integrity: Pharmacological and Parenteral Therapies

10. The nurse is performing an admission assessment on an 80-year-old patient who has frequent hospital admissions. The patient appears more disoriented and confused than usual. Which action by the nurse is correct?
a. Asking about medication doses
b. Asking for a neurologist consult
c. Requesting orders for liver function tests
d. Suspecting impaired renal function
ANS: A
An initial sign of drug toxicity in elderly patients may be confusion or changes in behavior. The nurse should ask about drug doses and notify the provider of the behaviors. The provider may order further evaluation based on examination of the patient.

DIF: COGNITIVE LEVEL: Applying (Application) REF: Page 95
TOP: NURSING PROCESS: Assessment
MSC: NCLEX: Physiological Integrity: Pharmacological and Parenteral Therapies

11. An older patient takes ibuprofen for arthritis pain. The patient tells the nurse that the ibuprofen causes gastrointestinal (GI) upset. Which action will the nurse take with this patient?
a. Ask the provider about having the patient take a different medication.
b. Instruct the patient to cut the ibuprofen dose in half to avoid GI upset.
c. Explain that all drugs have adverse effects.
d. Explore options to help decrease the drug side effects.
ANS: D
Older adults are more likely to experience drug side effects, and nurses should be aware of measures that may decrease these side effects and thus improve adherence.

DIF: COGNITIVE LEVEL: Applying (Application) REF: Page 94
TOP: NURSING PROCESS: Nursing Intervention
MSC: NCLEX: Physiological Integrity: Pharmacological and Parenteral Therapies

12. The nurse is caring for a 78-year-old patient who lives independently. The patient will begin a new drug regimen that requires taking multiple drugs at various times per day. Which intervention is appropriate for the nurse to implement with this patient?
a. Ask the patients family members to monitor the patients drug regimen.
b. Develop a log to record the times each drug will be taken.
c. Reinforce the need to take the drugs as scheduled.
d. Write the medication administration times on each prescription label.
ANS: B
The patient should be advised to keep a medication record of drugs and when they will be taken. The patient is independent, and this helps maintain independence. Family member support is essential when older patients are confused. Reinforcing information without providing a means to keep track of the medications does not necessarily improve compliance. Writing medication times on prescription labels does not help to organize the medication schedule.

DIF: COGNITIVE LEVEL: Applying (Application) REF: Page 96
TOP: NURSING PROCESS: Planning/Nursing Intervention
MSC: NCLEX: Physiological Integrity: Pharmacological and Parenteral Therapies

MULTIPLE RESPONSE

1. The nurse is preparing an 80-year-old patient for discharge home from the hospital. The patient will receive several new medications. The patient lives alone but has several family members who stop by every day. Which suggestions will the nurse make for this family? (Select all that apply.)
a. Ask the pharmacy for non-childproof medication bottles.
b. Ask the patient to record all medications and the times they are taken.
c. Place the pills in an organizer container.
d. Provide the patient with the drug manufacturer information sheets.
e. Put water bottles near pills for convenience.
ANS: A, C, E
To help older patients with compliance, medications should be convenient and easy to open. Asking the pharmacist for non-childproof containers will help make medications easier to get. Using an organizer container helps patients remember which drugs should be taken at what time. Placing water bottles nearby eliminates a step in the process and increases the likelihood that a medication will be taken on time.

DIF: COGNITIVE LEVEL: Applying (Application) REF: Page 94
TOP: NURSING PROCESS: Nursing Intervention
MSC: NCLEX: Physiological Integrity: Pharmacological and Parenteral Therapies

2. Which drug properties are problematic for older patients? (Select all that apply.)
a. Drugs with anticholinergic effects
b. Drugs that are highly protein-bound
c. Drugs with a short half-life
d. Drugs that undergo hepatic conjugation
e. Drugs with a narrow therapeutic range
ANS: A, B, E
Older patients are more susceptible to drug side effects, especially those that cause anticholinergic effects. Older patients have a loss of protein-binder sites for drugs, so those that are highly protein-bound will have higher than usual serum levels and can cause toxicity. Drugs with a narrow therapeutic range require closer monitoring in all patients, but especially in older patients. Drugs with a short half-life are preferred because older patients have a decreased ability to metabolize and excrete drugs. Hepatic conjugation is usually not influenced by older age, liver diseases, or drug interaction.

DIF: COGNITIVE LEVEL: Applying (Application) REF: Pages 89, 93
TOP: NURSING PROCESS: Nursing Intervention
MSC: NCLEX: Physiological Integrity: Pharmacological and Parenteral Therapies

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