Chapter 16: Care of Postoperative Patients Nursing School Test Banks

Chapter 16: Care of Postoperative Patients
Ignatavicius: Medical-Surgical Nursing, 8th Edition

MULTIPLE CHOICE

1. A client has arrived in the postoperative unit. What action by the circulating nurse takes priority?
a. Assessing fluid and blood output
b. Checking the surgical dressings
c. Ensuring the client is warm
d. Participating in hand-off report
ANS: D
Hand-offs are a critical time in client care, and poor communication during this time can lead to serious errors. The postoperative nurse and circulating nurse participate in hand-off report as the priority. Assessing fluid losses and dressings can be done together as part of the report. Ensuring the client is warm is a lower priority.

DIF: Applying/Application REF: 257
KEY: Postoperative nursing| communication| hand-off communication| SBAR
MSC: Integrated Process: Communication and Documentation
NOT: Client Needs Category: Safe and Effective Care Environment: Management of Care

2. The postanesthesia care unit (PACU) charge nurse notes vital signs on four postoperative clients. Which client should the nurse assess first?
a. Client with a blood pressure of 100/50 mm Hg
b. Client with a pulse of 118 beats/min
c. Client with a respiratory rate of 6 breaths/min
d. Client with a temperature of 96 F (35.6 C)
ANS: C
The respiratory rate is the most critical vital sign for any client who has undergone general anesthesia or moderate sedation, or has received opioid analgesia. This respiratory rate is too low and indicates respiratory depression. The nurse should assess this client first. A blood pressure of 100/50 mm Hg is slightly low and may be within that clients baseline. A pulse of 118 beats/min is slightly fast, which could be due to several causes, including pain and anxiety. A temperature of 96 F is slightly low and the client needs to be warmed. But none of these other vital signs take priority over the respiratory rate.

DIF: Applying/Application REF: 258
KEY: Postoperative nursing| nursing assessment| sedation| respiratory system
MSC: Integrated Process: Nursing Process: Assessment
NOT: Client Needs Category: Safe and Effective Care Environment: Management of Care

3. A postoperative nurse is caring for a client whose oxygen saturation dropped from 98% to 95%. What action by the nurse is most appropriate?
a. Assess other indicators of oxygenation.
b. Call the Rapid Response Team.
c. Notify the anesthesia provider.
d. Prepare to intubate the client.
ANS: A
If a postoperative clients oxygen saturation (SaO2) drops below 95% (or the clients baseline), the nurse should notify the anesthesia provider. If the SaO2 drops by 10% or more, the nurse should call the Rapid Response Team. Since this is approximately a 3% drop, the nurse should further assess the client. Intubation (if the client is not intubated already) is not warranted.

DIF: Applying/Application REF: 259
KEY: Postoperative nursing| nursing assessment| respiratory assessment| oxygen saturation
MSC: Integrated Process: Nursing Process: Assessment
NOT: Client Needs Category: Physiological Integrity: Reduction of Risk Potential

4. Ten hours after surgery, a postoperative client reports that the antiembolism stockings and sequential compression devices itch and are too hot. The client asks the nurse to remove them. What response by the nurse is best?
a. Let me call the surgeon to see if you really need them.
b. No, you have to use those for 24 hours after surgery.
c. OK, we can remove them since you are stable now.
d. To prevent blood clots you need them a few more hours.
ANS: D
According to the Surgical Care Improvement Project (SCIP), any prophylactic measures to prevent thromboembolic events during surgery are continued for 24 hours afterward. The nurse should explain this to the client. Calling the surgeon is not warranted. Simply telling the client he or she has to wear the hose and compression devices does not educate the client. The nurse should not remove the devices.

DIF: Understanding/Comprehension REF: 260
KEY: Postoperative nursing| Surgical Care Improvement Project (SCIP)| venous thromboembolism prevention| thromboembolic events| core measures| quality improvement
MSC: Integrated Process: Teaching/Learning
NOT: Client Needs Category: Safe and Effective Care Environment: Management of Care

5. A client had a surgical procedure with spinal anesthesia. The nurse raises the head of the clients bed. The clients blood pressure changes from 122/78 mm Hg to 102/50 mm Hg. What action by the nurse is best?
a. Call the Rapid Response Team.
b. Increase the IV fluid rate.
c. Lower the head of the bed.
d. Nothing; this is expected.
ANS: C
A client who had epidural or spinal anesthesia may become hypotensive when the head of the bed is raised. If this occurs, the nurse should lower the head of the bed to its original position. The Rapid Response Team is not needed, nor is an increase in IV rate.

DIF: Applying/Application REF: 261
KEY: Postoperative nursing| neurologic system
MSC: Integrated Process: Nursing Process: Implementation
NOT: Client Needs Category: Physiological Integrity: Physiological Adaptation

6. A postoperative client vomited. After cleaning and comforting the client, which action by the nurse is most important?
a. Allow the client to rest.
b. Auscultate lung sounds.
c. Document the episode.
d. Encourage the client to eat dry toast.
ANS: B
Vomiting after surgery has several complications, including aspiration. The nurse should listen to the clients lung sounds. The client should be allowed to rest after an assessment. Documenting is important, but the nurse needs to be able to document fully, including an assessment. The client should not eat until nausea has subsided.

DIF: Applying/Application REF: 262
KEY: Postoperative nursing| nausea and vomiting| respiratory assessment| nursing assessment MSC: Integrated Process: Nursing Process: Assessment
NOT: Client Needs Category: Physiological Integrity: Reduction of Risk Potential

7. A postoperative client has just been admitted to the postanesthesia care unit (PACU). What assessment by the PACU nurse takes priority?
a. Airway
b. Bleeding
c. Breathing
d. Cardiac rhythm
ANS: A
Assessing the airway always takes priority, followed by breathing and circulation. Bleeding is part of the circulation assessment, as is cardiac rhythm.

DIF: Applying/Application REF: 266
KEY: Postoperative nursing| nursing assessment| respiratory assessment| respiratory system| postanesthesia care unit (PACU)| airway
MSC: Integrated Process: Nursing Process: Assessment
NOT: Client Needs Category: Safe and Effective Care Environment: Management of Care

8. A postoperative client has respiratory depression after receiving midazolam (Versed) for sedation. Which IV-push medication and dose does the nurse prepare to administer?
a. Flumazenil (Romazicon) 0.2 to 1 mg
b. Flumazenil (Romazicon) 2 to 10 mg
c. Naloxone (Narcan) 0.4 to 2 mg
d. Naloxone (Narcan) 4 to 20 mg
ANS: A
Flumazenil is a benzodiazepine antagonist and would be the correct drug to use in this situation. The correct dose is 0.2 to 1 mg. Naloxone is an opioid antagonist.

DIF: Remembering/Knowledge REF: 266
KEY: Postoperative nursing| nursing intervention| benzodiazepine antagonist| critical rescue MSC: Integrated Process: Nursing Process: Implementation
NOT: Client Needs Category: Physiological Integrity: Pharmacological and Parenteral Therapies

9. A nurse is caring for a postoperative client who reports discomfort, but denies serious pain and does not want medication. What action by the nurse is best to promote comfort?
a. Assess the clients pain on a 0-to-10 scale.
b. Assist the client into a position of comfort.
c. Have the client sit up in a recliner.
d. Tell the client when pain medication is due.
ANS: B
Several nonpharmacologic comfort measures can help postoperative clients with their pain, including distraction, music, massage, guided imagery, and positioning. The nurse should help this client into a position of comfort considering the surgical procedure and position of any tubes or drains. Assessing the clients pain is important but does not improve comfort. The client may be more uncomfortable in a recliner. Letting the client know when pain medication can be given next is important but does not improve comfort.

DIF: Applying/Application REF: 269
KEY: Postoperative nursing| pain| nonpharmacologic pain management
MSC: Integrated Process: Nursing Process: Implementation
NOT: Client Needs Category: Physiological Integrity: Basic Care and Comfort

10. A nurse is preparing a client for discharge after surgery. The client needs to change a large dressing and manage a drain at home. What instruction by the nurse is most important?
a. Be sure you keep all your postoperative appointments.
b. Call your surgeon if you have any questions at home.
c. Eat a diet high in protein, iron, zinc, and vitamin C.
d. Wash your hands before touching the drain or dressing.
ANS: D
All options are appropriate for the client being discharged after surgery. However, for this client who is changing a dressing and managing a drain, infection control is the priority. The nurse should instruct the client to wash hands often, including before and after touching the dressing or drain.

DIF: Applying/Application REF: 272
KEY: Postoperative nursing| discharge planning/teaching| client education| infection control| hand hygiene MSC: Integrated Process: Teaching/Learning
NOT: Client Needs Category: Safe and Effective Care Environment: Safety and Infection Control

11. An older adult has been transferred to the postoperative inpatient unit after surgery. The family is concerned that the client is not waking up quickly and states She needs to get back to her old self! What response by the nurse is best?
a. Everyone comes out of surgery differently.
b. Lets just give her some more time, okay?
c. She may have had a stroke during surgery.
d. Sometimes older people take longer to wake up.
ANS: D
Due to age-related changes, it may take longer for an older adult to metabolize anesthetic agents and pain medications, making it appear that they are taking too long to wake up and return to their normal baseline cognitive status. The nurse should educate the family on this possibility. While everyone does react differently, this does not give the family any objective information. Saying Lets just give her more time, okay? sounds patronizing and again does not provide information. While an intraoperative stroke is a possibility, the nurse should concentrate on the more common occurrence of older clients taking longer to fully arouse and awake.

DIF: Understanding/Comprehension REF: 261
KEY: Postoperative nursing| older adult| sedation| neurologic system
MSC: Integrated Process: Communication and Documentation
NOT: Client Needs Category: Health Promotion and Maintenance

12. A nurse answers a call light on the postoperative nursing unit. The client states there was a sudden gush of blood from the incision, and the nurse sees a blood spot on the sheet. What action should the nurse take first?
a. Assess the clients blood pressure.
b. Perform hand hygiene and apply gloves.
c. Reinforce the dressing with a clean one.
d. Remove the dressing to assess the wound.
ANS: B
Prior to assessing or treating the drainage from the wound, the nurse performs hand hygiene and dons gloves to protect both the client and nurse from infection.

DIF: Applying/Application REF: 268
KEY: Postoperative nursing| Standard Precautions| infection control
MSC: Integrated Process: Nursing Process: Implementation
NOT: Client Needs Category: Safe and Effective Care Environment: Safety and Infection Control

13. A client on the postoperative nursing unit has a blood pressure of 156/98 mm Hg, pulse 140 beats/min, and respirations of 24 breaths/min. The client denies pain, has normal hemoglobin, hematocrit, and oxygen saturation, and shows no signs of infection. What should the nurse assess next?
a. Cognitive status
b. Family stress
c. Nutrition status
d. Psychosocial status
ANS: D
After ensuring the clients physiologic status is stable, these manifestations should lead the nurse to assess the clients psychosocial status. Anxiety especially can be demonstrated with elevations in vital signs. Cognitive and nutrition status are not related. Family stress is a component of psychosocial status.

DIF: Remembering/Knowledge REF: 265
KEY: Postoperative nursing| support| psychosocial response| anxiety
MSC: Integrated Process: Nursing Process: Assessment
NOT: Client Needs Category: Psychosocial Integrity

14. A registered nurse (RN) is watching a nursing student change a dressing and perform care around a Penrose drain. What action by the student warrants intervention by the RN?
a. Cleaning around the drain per agency protocol
b. Placing a new sterile gauze under the drain
c. Securing the drains safety pin to the sheets
d. Using sterile technique to empty the drain
ANS: C
The safety pin that prevents the drain from slipping back into the clients body should be pinned to the clients gown, not the bedding. Pinning it to the sheets will cause it to pull out when the client turns. The other actions are appropriate.

DIF: Applying/Application REF: 268
KEY: Postoperative nursing| drains| infection control
MSC: Integrated Process: Nursing Process: Implementation
NOT: Client Needs Category: Safe and Effective Care Environment: Safety and Infection Control

MULTIPLE RESPONSE

1. A nurse orienting to the postoperative area learns which principles about the postoperative period? (Select all that apply.)
a. All phases require the client to be in the hospital.
b. Phase I care may last for several days in some clients.
c. Phase I requires intensive care unit monitoring.
d. Phase II ends when the client is stable and awake.
e. Vital signs may be taken only once a day in phase III.
ANS: B, D, E
There are three phases of postoperative care. Phase I is the most intense, with clients coming right from surgery until they are completely awake and hemodynamically stable. This may take hours or days and can occur in the intensive care unit or the postoperative care unit. Phase II ends when the client is at a presurgical level of consciousness and baseline oxygen saturation, and vital signs are stable. Phase III involves the extended care environment and may continue at home or in an extended care facility if needed.

DIF: Remembering/Knowledge REF: 256
KEY: Postoperative nursing| nursing assessment| surgical procedures
MSC: Integrated Process: Teaching/Learning
NOT: Client Needs Category: Physiological Integrity: Physiological Adaptation

2. A postanesthesia care unit (PACU) nurse is assessing a postoperative client with a nasogastric (NG) tube. What laboratory values would warrant intervention by the nurse? (Select all that apply.)
a. Blood glucose: 120 mg/dL
b. Hemoglobin: 7.8 mg/dL
c. pH: 7.68
d. Potassium: 2.9 mEq/L
e. Sodium: 142 mEq/L
ANS: B, C, D
Fluid and electrolyte balance are assessed carefully in the postoperative client because many imbalances can occur. The low hemoglobin may be from blood loss in surgery. The higher pH level indicates alkalosis, possibly from losses through the NG tube. The potassium is very low. The blood glucose is within normal limits for a postsurgical client who has been fasting. The sodium level is normal.

DIF: Applying/Application REF: 262
KEY: Postoperative nursing| nasogastric tube| fluid and electrolyte balance| nursing assessment| laboratory values
MSC: Integrated Process: Nursing Process: Assessment
NOT: Client Needs Category: Physiological Integrity: Reduction of Risk Potential

3. A nurse is admitting an older client for surgery to the inpatient surgical unit. The client relates a prior history of acute confusion after a previous operation. What interventions does the nurse include on the clients plan of care to minimize the potential for this occurring? (Select all that apply.)
a. Allow family and friends to visit as the client desires.
b. Ask the client about coping techniques frequently used.
c. Instruct the nursing assistant to ensure the client is bathed.
d. Place the client in a room secluded at the end of the hall.
e. Provide the client with uninterrupted periods of sleep.
ANS: A, B, C, E
Older clients may have difficulty adjusting to the stress of the hospital environment and illness or surgery. Techniques that are helpful include allowing liberal visitation, assisting the client to use successful coping techniques, and keeping the client bathed and groomed. Sleep deprivation can contribute to confusion, so the nurse ensures the client receives adequate sleep. Secluding the client at the end of the hall may lead to sensory deprivation and loneliness.

DIF: Remembering/Knowledge REF: 267
KEY: Postoperative nursing| coping| psychosocial response| older adult
MSC: Integrated Process: Nursing Process: Implementation
NOT: Client Needs Category: Health Promotion and Maintenance

4. A postoperative client is being discharged with a prescription for oxycodone hydrochloride with acetaminophen (Percocet). What instructions does the nurse give the client? (Select all that apply.)
a. Check all over-the-counter medications for acetaminophen.
b. Do not take more pills each day than you are prescribed.
c. Eat a diet that is high in fiber and drink lots of water.
d. If this gives you diarrhea, loperamide (Imodium) can help.
e. You shouldnt drive while you are taking this medication.
ANS: A, B, C, E
Percocet is a common opioid analgesic that contains acetaminophen. The client should be taught to check all over-the-counter medications for acetaminophen and to not take more than the prescribed amount of Percocet, as the maximum daily dose of acetaminophen is 3000 mg. Percocet, like all opioid analgesics, can cause constipation, and the client can minimize this by eating a high-fiber diet and drinking plenty of water. Since Percocet can cause drowsiness, the client taking it should not drive or operate machinery. The medication is more likely to cause constipation than diarrhea.

DIF: Applying/Application REF: 269
KEY: Postoperative nursing| discharge planning/teaching| opioid analgesics| acetaminophen| constipation MSC: Integrated Process: Teaching/Learning
NOT: Client Needs Category: Physiological Integrity: Pharmacological and Parenteral Therapies

5. A client is experiencing pain after leg surgery but cannot yet have more pain medication. What comfort interventions can the nurse provide? (Select all that apply.)
a. Apply stimulation to the contralateral leg.
b. Assess the clients willingness to try meditation.
c. Elevate the clients operative leg and apply ice.
d. Reduce the noise level in the clients environment.
e. Turn the TV on loudly to distract the client.
ANS: A, B, C, D
There are many nonpharmacologic comfort measures for pain, including applying stimulation to the opposite leg, providing opportunities for meditation, elevation of the leg, applying ice, and reducing noxious stimuli in the environment. Participating in diversional activities is another approach, but simply turning the TV on loudly does not provide a good diversion.

DIF: Remembering/Knowledge REF: 271
KEY: Postoperative nursing| pain| nonpharmacologic pain management| nursing intervention| physical modalities| ice
MSC: Integrated Process: Nursing Process: Implementation
NOT: Client Needs Category: Physiological Integrity: Basic Care and Comfort

6. A nurse on the postoperative nursing unit provides care to reduce the incidence of surgical wound infection. What actions are best to achieve this goal? (Select all that apply.)
a. Administering antibiotics for 72 hours
b. Disposing of dressings properly
c. Leaving draining wounds open to air
d. Performing proper hand hygiene
e. Removing and replacing wet dressings
ANS: B, D, E
Interventions necessary to prevent surgical wound infection include proper disposal of soiled dressings, performing proper hand hygiene, and removing wet dressings as they can be a source of infection. Prophylactic antibiotics are given to clients at risk for infection, but are discontinued after 24 hours if no infection is apparent. Draining wounds should always be covered.

DIF: Applying/Application REF: 267
KEY: Postoperative nursing care| infection control| hand hygiene| Surgical Care Improvement Project (SCIP)| wound infection
MSC: Integrated Process: Nursing Process: Implementation
NOT: Client Needs Category: Safe and Effective Care Environment: Safety and Infection Control

COMPLETION

1. A postoperative client has the following orders:
IV lactated Ringers 125 mL/hr
NG tube to low continuous suction
Replace NG output every 4 hours with normal saline over 4 hours
Morphine sulfate 2 mg IV push every hour as needed for pain
NPO
Up in chair tonight
At 1600 (4:00 PM), the nurse measures the nasogastric (NG) output from noon to be 200 mL. What is the clients total IV rate for the next 4 hours? (Record your answer using a whole number.) _____ mL/hr

ANS:
175 mL/hr
200 mL of NG output 4 hours = 50 mL/hr.
125 mL/hr + 50 mL/hr = 175 mL/hr.

DIF: Applying/Application REF: 263
KEY: Postoperative nursing| nasogastric tube| IV fluids
MSC: Integrated Process: Nursing Process: Analysis
NOT: Client Needs Category: Physiological Integrity: Pharmacological and Parenteral Therapies

Leave a Reply