Chapter 43: Care of Patients with Problems of the Central Nervous System: The Nursing School Test Banks

Chapter 43: Care of Patients with Problems of the Central Nervous System: The Spinal Cord
Ignatavicius: Medical-Surgical Nursing, 8th Edition

MULTIPLE CHOICE

1. A nurse promotes the prevention of lower back pain by teaching clients at a community center. Which instruction should the nurse include in this education?
a. Participate in an exercise program to strengthen muscles.
b. Purchase a mattress that allows you to adjust the firmness.
c. Wear flat instead of high-heeled shoes to work each day.
d. Keep your weight within 20% of your ideal body weight.
ANS: A
Exercise can strengthen back muscles, reducing the incidence of low back pain. The other options will not prevent low back pain.

DIF: Applying/Application REF: 886
KEY: Pain| spinal cord/back injury MSC: Integrated Process: Teaching/Learning
NOT: Client Needs Category: Health Promotion and Maintenance

2. A nurse plans care for a client with lower back pain from a work-related injury. Which intervention should the nurse include in this clients plan of care?
a. Encourage the client to stretch the back by reaching toward the toes.
b. Massage the affected area with ice twice a day.
c. Apply a heating pad for 20 minutes at least four times daily.
d. Advise the client to avoid warm baths or showers.
ANS: C
Heat increases blood flow to the affected area and promotes healing of injured nerves. Stretching and ice will not promote healing, and there is no need to avoid warm baths or showers.

DIF: Understanding/Comprehension REF: 887
KEY: Spinal cord/back injury| nonpharmacologic pain management
MSC: Integrated Process: Nursing Process: Implementation
NOT: Client Needs Category: Physiological Integrity: Physiological Adaptation

3. A nurse assesses a client who is recovering from a diskectomy 6 hours ago. Which assessment finding should the nurse address first?
a. Sleepy but arouses to voice
b. Dry and cracked oral mucosa
c. Pain present in lower back
d. Bladder palpated above pubis
ANS: D
A distended bladder may indicate damage to the sacral spinal nerves. The other findings require the nurse to provide care but are not the priority or a complication of the procedure.

DIF: Applying/Application REF: 889
KEY: Back surgery| spinal cord/back injury
MSC: Integrated Process: Nursing Process: Analysis
NOT: Client Needs Category: Physiological Integrity: Reduction of Risk Potential

4. A nurse assesses clients at a community center. Which client is at greatest risk for lower back pain?
a. A 24-year-old female who is 25 weeks pregnant
b. A 36-year-old male who uses ergonomic techniques
c. A 45-year-old male with osteoarthritis
d. A 53-year-old female who uses a walker
ANS: C
Osteoarthritis causes changes to support structures, increasing the clients risk for low back pain. The other clients are not at high risk.

DIF: Remembering/Knowledge REF: 886
KEY: Spinal cord/back injury| pain
MSC: Integrated Process: Nursing Process: Assessment
NOT: Client Needs Category: Physiological Integrity: Physiological Adaptation

5. A nurse teaches a client who is recovering from a spinal fusion. Which statement should the nurse include in this clients postoperative instructions?
a. Only lift items that are 10 pounds or less.
b. Wear your brace whenever you are out of bed.
c. You must remain in bed for 3 weeks after surgery.
d. You are prescribed medications to prevent rejection.
ANS: B
Clients who undergo spinal fusion are fitted with a brace that they must wear throughout the healing process (usually 3 to 6 months) whenever they are out of bed. The client should not lift anything. The client does not need to remain in bed. Medications for rejection prevention are not necessary for this procedure.

DIF: Applying/Application REF: 888
KEY: Back surgery| spinal cord/back injury
MSC: Integrated Process: Teaching/Learning
NOT: Client Needs Category: Physiological Integrity: Reduction of Risk Potential

6. A nurse assesses a client who is recovering from anterior cervical diskectomy and fusion. Which complication should alert the nurse to urgently communicate with the health care provider?
a. Auscultated stridor
b. Weak pedal pulses
c. Difficulty swallowing
d. Inability to shrug shoulders
ANS: A
Postoperative swelling can narrow the trachea, cause a partial airway obstruction, and manifest as stridor. The client may also have trouble swallowing, but maintaining an airway takes priority. Weak pedal pulses and an inability to shrug the shoulders are not complications of this surgery.

DIF: Applying/Application REF: 896
KEY: Back surgery| spinal cord/back injury
MSC: Integrated Process: Nursing Process: Assessment
NOT: Client Needs Category: Physiological Integrity: Reduction of Risk Potential

7. A nurse assesses a client with a spinal cord injury at level T5. The clients blood pressure is 184/95 mm Hg, and the client presents with a flushed face and blurred vision. Which action should the nurse take first?
a. Initiate oxygen via a nasal cannula.
b. Place the client in a supine position.
c. Palpate the bladder for distention.
d. Administer a prescribed beta blocker.
ANS: C
The client is manifesting symptoms of autonomic dysreflexia. Common causes include bladder distention, tight clothing, increased room temperature, and fecal impaction. If persistent, the client could experience neurologic injury. Precipitating conditions should be eliminated and the physician notified. The other actions would not be appropriate.

DIF: Applying/Application REF: 899
KEY: Spinal cord/back injury
MSC: Integrated Process: Nursing Process: Implementation
NOT: Client Needs Category: Safe and Effective Care Environment: Management of Care

8. An emergency room nurse initiates care for a client with a cervical spinal cord injury who arrives via emergency medical services. Which action should the nurse take first?
a. Assess level of consciousness.
b. Obtain vital signs.
c. Administer oxygen therapy.
d. Evaluate respiratory status.
ANS: D
The first priority for a client with a spinal cord injury is assessment of respiratory status and airway patency. Clients with cervical spine injuries are particularly prone to respiratory compromise and may even require intubation. The other assessments should be performed after airway and breathing are assessed.

DIF: Applying/Application REF: 894
KEY: Spinal cord/back injury
MSC: Integrated Process: Nursing Process: Assessment
NOT: Client Needs Category: Safe and Effective Care Environment: Management of Care

9. An emergency department nurse cares for a client who experienced a spinal cord injury 1 hour ago. Which prescribed medication should the nurse prepare to administer?
a. Intrathecal baclofen (Lioresal)
b. Methylprednisolone (Medrol)
c. Atropine sulfate
d. Epinephrine (Adrenalin)
ANS: B
Methylprednisolone (Medrol) should be given within 8 hours of the injury. Clients who receive this therapy usually show improvement in motor and sensory function. The other medications are inappropriate for this client.

DIF: Applying/Application REF: 908
KEY: Medication safety| spinal cord/back injury| steroid
MSC: Integrated Process: Nursing Process: Implementation
NOT: Client Needs Category: Physiological Integrity: Pharmacological and Parenteral Therapies

10. A nurse teaches a client with a lower motor neuron lesion who wants to achieve bladder control. Which statement should the nurse include in this clients teaching?
a. Stroke the inner aspect of your thigh to initiate voiding.
b. Use a clean technique for intermittent catheterization.
c. Implement digital anal stimulation when your bladder is full.
d. Tighten your abdominal muscles to stimulate urine flow.
ANS: D
In clients with lower motor neuron problems such as spinal cord injury, performing a Valsalva maneuver or tightening the abdominal muscles are interventions that can initiate voiding. Stroking the inner aspect of the thigh may initiate voiding in a client who has an upper motor neuron problem. Intermittent catheterization and digital anal stimulation do not initiate voiding or bladder control.

DIF: Applying/Application REF: 900
KEY: Spinal cord/back injury| elimination| patient education
MSC: Integrated Process: Nursing Process: Implementation
NOT: Client Needs Category: Physiological Integrity: Basic Care and Comfort

11. A nurse is caring for a client with paraplegia who is scheduled to participate in a rehabilitation program. The client states, I do not understand the need for rehabilitation; the paralysis will not go away and it will not get better. How should the nurse respond?
a. If you dont want to participate in the rehabilitation program, Ill let the provider know.
b. Rehabilitation programs have helped many clients with your injury. You should give it a chance.
c. The rehabilitation program will teach you how to maintain the functional ability you have and prevent further disability.
d. When new discoveries are made regarding paraplegia, people in rehabilitation programs will benefit first.
ANS: C
Participation in rehabilitation programs has many purposes, including prevention of disability, maintenance of functional ability, and restoration of function. The other responses do not meet this clients needs.

DIF: Applying/Application REF: 900
KEY: Spinal cord/back injury
MSC: Integrated Process: Nursing Process: Implementation
NOT: Client Needs Category: Psychosocial Integrity

12. After teaching a client with a spinal cord injury, the nurse assesses the clients understanding. Which client statement indicates a correct understanding of how to prevent respiratory problems at home?
a. Ill use my incentive spirometer every 2 hours while Im awake.
b. Ill drink thinned fluids to prevent choking.
c. Ill take cough medicine to prevent excessive coughing.
d. Ill position myself on my right side so I dont aspirate.
ANS: A
Often, the person with a spinal cord injury will have weak intercostal muscles and is at higher risk for developing atelectasis and stasis pneumonia. Using an incentive spirometer every 2 hours helps the client expand the lungs more fully and prevents atelectasis. Clients should drink fluids that they can tolerate; usually thick fluids are easier to tolerate. The client should be encouraged to cough and clear secretions. Clients should be placed in high-Fowlers position to prevent aspiration.

DIF: Applying/Application REF: 896
KEY: Spinal cord/back injury
MSC: Integrated Process: Nursing Process: Evaluation
NOT: Client Needs Category: Physiological Integrity: Reduction of Risk Potential

13. A nurse assesses a client with early-onset multiple sclerosis (MS). Which clinical manifestation should the nurse expect to find?
a. Hyperresponsive reflexes
b. Excessive somnolence
c. Nystagmus
d. Heat intolerance
ANS: C
Early signs and symptoms of MS include changes in motor skills, vision, and sensation. Hyperresponsive reflexes, excessive somnolence, and heat intolerance are later manifestations of MS.

DIF: Understanding/Comprehension REF: 905
KEY: Multiple sclerosis| assessment/diagnostic examination
MSC: Integrated Process: Nursing Process: Assessment
NOT: Client Needs Category: Physiological Integrity: Physiological Adaptation

14. A nurse cares for a client who presents with an acute exacerbation of multiple sclerosis (MS). Which prescribed medication should the nurse prepare to administer?
a. Baclofen (Lioresal)
b. Interferon beta-1b (Betaseron)
c. Dantrolene sodium (Dantrium)
d. Methylprednisolone (Medrol)
ANS: D
Methylprednisolone is the drug of choice for acute exacerbations of the disease. The other drugs are not used to treat acute exacerbations of MS. Interferon beta-1b is used to treat and control MS, decrease specific symptoms, and slow the progression of the disease. Baclofen and dantrolene sodium are prescribed to lessen muscle spasticity associated with MS.

DIF: Applying/Application REF: 908
KEY: Multiple sclerosis| medication administration
MSC: Integrated Process: Nursing Process: Implementation
NOT: Client Needs Category: Physiological Integrity: Pharmacological and Parenteral Therapies

15. A nurse assesses a client with multiple sclerosis after administering prescribed fingolimod (Gilenya). For which adverse effect should the nurse monitor?
a. Peripheral edema
b. Black tarry stools
c. Bradycardia
d. Nausea and vomiting
ANS: C
Fingolimod (Gilenya) is an antineoplastic agent that can cause bradycardia, especially within the first 6 hours after administration. Peripheral edema, black and tarry stools, and nausea and vomiting are not adverse effects of fingolimod.

DIF: Applying/Application REF: 908
KEY: Multiple sclerosis| medication safety
MSC: Integrated Process: Nursing Process: Evaluation
NOT: Client Needs Category: Physiological Integrity: Pharmacological and Parenteral Therapies

16. A nurse is teaching a client with multiple sclerosis who is prescribed cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan) and methylprednisolone (Medrol). Which statement should the nurse include in this clients discharge teaching?
a. Take warm baths to promote muscle relaxation.
b. Avoid crowds and people with colds.
c. Relying on a walker will weaken your gait.
d. Take prescribed medications when symptoms occur.
ANS: B
The client should be taught to avoid people with any type of upper respiratory illness because these medications are immunosuppressive. Warm baths will exacerbate the clients symptoms. Assistive devices may be required for safe ambulation. Medication should be taken at all times and should not be stopped.

DIF: Applying/Application REF: 908
KEY: Multiple sclerosis| medication safety| patient education
MSC: Integrated Process: Teaching/Learning
NOT: Client Needs Category: Health Promotion and Maintenance

17. A nurse assesses a client with a neurologic disorder. Which assessment finding should the nurse identify as a late manifestation of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)?
a. Dysarthria
b. Dysphagia
c. Muscle weakness
d. Impairment of respiratory muscles
ANS: D
In ALS, progressive muscle atrophy occurs until a flaccid quadriplegia develops. Eventually, the respiratory muscles are involved, which leads to respiratory compromise. Dysarthria, dysphagia, and muscle weakness are early clinical manifestations of ALS.

DIF: Understanding/Comprehension REF: 910
KEY: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis| assessment/diagnostic examination
MSC: Integrated Process: Nursing Process: Assessment
NOT: Client Needs Category: Physiological Integrity: Physiological Adaptation

18. A nurse cares for several clients on a neurologic unit. Which prescription for a client should direct the nurse to ensure that an informed consent has been obtained before the test or procedure?
a. Sensation measurement via the pinprick method
b. Computed tomography of the cranial vault
c. Lumbar puncture for cerebrospinal fluid sampling
d. Venipuncture for autoantibody analysis
ANS: C
A lumbar puncture is an invasive procedure with many potentially serious complications. The other assessments or tests are considered noninvasive and do not require an informed consent.

DIF: Applying/Application REF: 888
KEY: Assessment/diagnostic examination| informed consent
MSC: Integrated Process: Nursing Process: Implementation
NOT: Client Needs Category: Safe and Effective Care Environment: Management of Care

19. A nurse prepares a client for prescribed magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Which action should the nurse implement prior to the test?
a. Implement nothing by mouth (NPO) status for 8 hours.
b. Withhold all daily medications until after the examination.
c. Administer morphine sulfate to prevent claustrophobia during the test.
d. Place the client in a gown that has cloth ties instead of metal snaps.
ANS: D
Metal objects are a hazard because of the magnetic field used in the MRI procedure. Morphine sulfate is not administered to prevent claustrophobia; lorazepam (Ativan) or diazepam (Valium) may be used instead. The client does not need to be NPO, and daily medications do not need to be withheld prior to MRI.

DIF: Applying/Application REF: 895
KEY: Assessment/diagnostic examination
MSC: Integrated Process: Nursing Process: Implementation
NOT: Client Needs Category: Safe and Effective Care Environment: Safety and Infection Control

20. A nurse cares for a client with a spinal cord injury. With which interdisciplinary team member should the nurse consult to assist the client with activities of daily living?
a. Social worker
b. Physical therapist
c. Occupational therapist
d. Case manager
ANS: C
The occupational therapist instructs the client in the correct use of all adaptive equipment. In collaboration with the therapist, the nurse instructs family members or the caregiver about transfer skills, feeding, bathing, dressing, positioning, and skin care. The other team members are consulted to assist the client with unrelated issues.

DIF: Applying/Application REF: 901
KEY: Spinal cord/back injury| interdisciplinary team
MSC: Integrated Process: Nursing Process: Planning
NOT: Client Needs Category: Safe and Effective Care Environment: Safety and Infection Control

21. A nurse cares for a client with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The client states, I do not want to be placed on a mechanical ventilator. How should the nurse respond?
a. You should discuss this with your family and health care provider.
b. Why are you afraid of being placed on a breathing machine?
c. Using the incentive spirometer each hour will delay the need for a ventilator.
d. What would you like to be done if you begin to have difficulty breathing?
ANS: D
ALS is an adult-onset upper and lower motor neuron disease characterized by progressive weakness, muscle wasting, and spasticity, eventually leading to paralysis. Once muscles of breathing are involved, the client must indicate in the advance directive what is to be done when breathing is no longer possible without intervention. The other statements do not address the clients needs.

DIF: Applying/Application REF: 911
KEY: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis| advocacy
MSC: Integrated Process: Communication and Documentation
NOT: Client Needs Category: Safe and Effective Care Environment: Management of Care

22. A nurse assesses the health history of a client who is prescribed ziconotide (Prialt) for chronic back pain. Which assessment question should the nurse ask?
a. Are you taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug?
b. Do you have a mental health disorder?
c. Are you able to swallow medications?
d. Do you smoke cigarettes or any illegal drugs?
ANS: B
Clients who have a mental health or behavioral health problem should not take ziconotide. The other questions do not identify a contraindication for this medication.

DIF: Applying/Application REF: 891
KEY: Spinal cord/back injury| medication safety
MSC: Integrated Process: Nursing Process: Assessment
NOT: Client Needs Category: Physiological Integrity: Pharmacological and Parenteral Therapies

MULTIPLE RESPONSE

1. A nurse assesses a client who recently experienced a traumatic spinal cord injury. Which assessment data should the nurse obtain to assess the clients coping strategies? (Select all that apply.)
a. Spiritual beliefs
b. Level of pain
c. Family support
d. Level of independence
e. Annual income
f. Previous coping strategies
ANS: A, C, D, F
Information about the clients preinjury psychosocial status, usual methods of coping with illness, difficult situations, and disappointments should be obtained. Determine the clients level of independence or dependence and his or her comfort level in discussing feelings and emotions with family members or close friends. Clients who are emotionally secure and have a positive self-image, a supportive family, and financial and job security often adapt to their injury. Information about the clients spiritual and religious beliefs or cultural background also assists the nurse in developing the plan of care. The other options do not supply as much information about coping.

DIF: Applying/Application REF: 894
KEY: Spinal cord/back injury| coping MSC: Integrated Process: Caring
NOT: Client Needs Category: Psychosocial Integrity

2. After teaching a client with a spinal cord tumor, the nurse assesses the clients understanding. Which statements by the client indicate a correct understanding of the teaching? (Select all that apply.)
a. Even though turning hurts, I will remind you to turn me every 2 hours.
b. Radiation therapy can shrink the tumor but also can cause more problems.
c. Surgery will be scheduled to remove the tumor and reverse my symptoms.
d. I put my affairs in order because this type of cancer is almost always fatal.
e. My family is moving my bedroom downstairs for when I am discharged home.
ANS: A, B, E
Although surgery may relieve symptoms by reducing pressure on the spine and debulking the tumor, some motor and sensory deficits may remain. Spinal tumors usually cause disability but are not usually fatal. Radiation therapy is often used to shrink spinal tumors but can cause progressive spinal cord degeneration and neurologic deficits. The client should be turned every 2 hours to prevent skin breakdown and arrangements should be made at home so that the client can complete activities of daily living without needing to go up and down stairs.

DIF: Applying/Application REF: 903
KEY: Spinal cord/back injury| patient education
MSC: Integrated Process: Teaching/Learning
NOT: Client Needs Category: Physiological Integrity: Physiological Adaptation

3. After teaching a male client with a spinal cord injury at the T4 level, the nurse assesses the clients understanding. Which client statements indicate a correct understanding of the teaching related to sexual effects of this injury? (Select all that apply.)
a. I will explore other ways besides intercourse to please my partner.
b. I will not be able to have an erection because of my injury.
c. Ejaculation may not be as predictable as before.
d. I may urinate with ejaculation but this will not cause infection.
e. I should be able to have an erection with stimulation.
ANS: C, D, E
Men with injuries above T6 often are able to have erections by stimulating reflex activity. For example, stroking the penis will cause an erection. Ejaculation is less predictable and may be mixed with urine. However, urine is sterile, so the clients partner will not get an infection.

DIF: Applying/Application REF: 901
KEY: Spinal cord/back injury| patient education
MSC: Integrated Process: Teaching/Learning
NOT: Client Needs Category: Health Promotion and Maintenance

4. A nurse cares for a client with a lower motor neuron injury who is experiencing a flaccid bowel elimination pattern. Which actions should the nurse take to assist in relieving this clients constipation? (Select all that apply.)
a. Pour warm water over the perineum.
b. Provide a diet high in fluids and fiber.
c. Administer daily tap water enemas.
d. Implement a consistent daily time for elimination.
e. Massage the abdomen from left to right.
f. Perform manual disimpaction.
ANS: B, D, F
For the client with a lower motor neuron injury, the resulting flaccid bowel may require a bowel program for the client that includes stool softeners, increased fluid intake, a high-fiber diet, and a consistent elimination time. If the client becomes impacted, the nurse would need to perform manual disimpaction. Pouring warm water over the perineum, administering daily enemas, and massaging the abdomen would not assist this client.

DIF: Applying/Application REF: 900
KEY: Spinal cord/back injury| elimination
MSC: Integrated Process: Nursing Process: Implementation
NOT: Client Needs Category: Physiological Integrity: Basic Care and Comfort

5. A nurse assesses a client who is recovering from a lumbar laminectomy. Which complications should alert the nurse to urgently communicate with the health care provider? (Select all that apply.)
a. Surgical discomfort
b. Redness and itching at the incision site
c. Incisional bulging
d. Clear drainage on the dressing
e. Sudden and severe headache
ANS: C, D, E
Bulging at the incision site or clear fluid on the dressing after a laminectomy strongly suggests a cerebrospinal fluid leak, which constitutes an emergency. Loss of cerebral spinal fluid may cause a sudden and severe headache, which is also an emergency situation. Pain, redness, and itching at the site are normal.

DIF: Applying/Application REF: 889
KEY: Assessment/diagnostic examination
MSC: Integrated Process: Teaching/Learning
NOT: Client Needs Category: Physiological Integrity: Reduction of Risk Potential

6. A nurse assesses a client with paraplegia from a spinal cord injury and notes reddened areas over the clients hips and sacrum. Which actions should the nurse take? (Select all that apply.)
a. Apply a barrier cream to protect the skin from excoriation.
b. Perform range-of-motion (ROM) exercises for the hip joint.
c. Re-position the client off of the reddened areas.
d. Get the client out of bed and into a chair once a day.
e. Obtain a low-air-loss mattress to minimize pressure.
ANS: C, E
Appropriate interventions to relieve pressure on these areas include frequent re-positioning and a low-air-loss mattress. Reddened areas should not be rubbed because this action could cause more extensive damage to the already fragile capillary system. Barrier cream will not protect the skin from pressure wounds. ROM exercises are used to prevent contractures. Sitting the client in a chair once a day will decrease the clients risk of respiratory complications but will not decrease pressure on the clients hips and sacrum.

DIF: Applying/Application REF: 898
KEY: Spinal cord/back injury| skin lesions/wounds
MSC: Integrated Process: Nursing Process: Implementation
NOT: Client Needs Category: Physiological Integrity: Basic Care and Comfort

7. A nurse assesses a client who experienced a spinal cord injury at the T5 level 12 hours ago. Which manifestations should the nurse correlate with neurogenic shock? (Select all that apply.)
a. Heart rate of 34 beats/min
b. Blood pressure of 185/65 mm Hg
c. Urine output less than 30 mL/hr
d. Decreased level of consciousness
e. Increased oxygen saturation
ANS: A, C, D
Neurogenic shock with acute spinal cord injury manifests with decreased oxygen saturation, symptomatic bradycardia, decreased level of consciousness, decreased urine output, and hypotension.

DIF: Applying/Application REF: 896
KEY: Spinal cord/back injury| shock
MSC: Integrated Process: Nursing Process: Implementation
NOT: Client Needs Category: Physiological Integrity: Physiological Adaptation

8. A nurse plans care for a client with a halo fixator. Which interventions should the nurse include in this clients plan of care? (Select all that apply.)
a. Tape a halo wrench to the clients vest.
b. Assess the pin sites for signs of infection.
c. Loosen the pins when sleeping.
d. Decrease the clients oral fluid intake.
e. Assess the chest and back for skin breakdown.
ANS: A, B, E
A special halo wrench should be taped to the clients vest in case of a cardiopulmonary emergency. The nurse should assess the pin sites for signs of infection or loose pins and for complications from the halo. The nurse should also increase fluids and fiber to decrease bowel straining and assess the clients chest and back for skin breakdown from the halo vest.

DIF: Applying/Application REF: 897
KEY: Spinal cord/back injury
MSC: Integrated Process: Nursing Process: Implementation
NOT: Client Needs Category: Safe and Effective Care Environment: Safety and Infection Control

Leave a Reply