Chapter 44 Nursing School Test Banks

 

1.

A nurse is caring for a patient who is scheduled for a colonoscopy and whose bowel preparation will include polyethylene glycol electrolyte lavage prior to the procedure. The presence of what health problem would contraindicate the use of this form of bowel preparation?

A)

Inflammatory bowel disease

B)

Intestinal polyps

C)

Diverticulitis

D)

Colon cancer

Ans:

A

Feedback:

The use of a lavage solution is contraindicated in patients with intestinal obstruction or inflammatory bowel disease. It can safely be used with patients who have polyps, colon cancer, or diverticulitis.

2.

A nurse is promoting increased protein intake to enhance a patients wound healing. The nurse knows that enzymes are essential in the digestion of nutrients such as protein. What is the enzyme that initiates the digestion of protein?

A)

Pepsin

B)

Intrinsic factor

C)

Lipase

D)

Amylase

Ans:

A

Feedback:

The enzyme that initiates the digestion of protein is pepsin. Intrinsic factor combines with vitamin B12 for absorption by the ileum. Lipase aids in the digestion of fats and amylase aids in the digestion of starch.

3.

A patient has been brought to the emergency department with abdominal pain and is subsequently diagnosed with appendicitis. The patient is scheduled for an appendectomy but questions the nurse about how his health will be affected by the absence of an appendix. How should the nurse best respond?

A)

Your appendix doesnt play a major role, so you wont notice any difference after you recovery from surgery.

B)

The surgeon will encourage you to limit your fat intake for a few weeks after the surgery, but your body will then begin to compensate.

C)

Your body will absorb slightly fewer nutrients from the food you eat, but you wont be aware of this.

D)

Your large intestine will adapt over time to the absence of your appendix.

Ans:

A

Feedback:

The appendix is an appendage of the cecum (not the large intestine) that has little or no physiologic function. Its absence does not affect digestion or absorption.

4.

A patient asks the nursing assistant for a bedpan. When the patient is finished, the nursing assistant notifies the nurse that the patient has bright red streaking of blood in the stool. What is this most likely a result of?

A)

Diet high in red meat

B)

Upper GI bleed

C)

Hemorrhoids

D)

Use of iron supplements

Ans:

C

Feedback:

Lower rectal or anal bleeding is suspected if there is streaking of blood on the surface of the stool. Hemorrhoids are often a cause of anal bleeding since they occur in the rectum. Blood from an upper GI bleed would be dark rather than frank. Iron supplements make the stool dark, but not bloody and red meat consumption would not cause frank blood.

5.

An adult patient is scheduled for an upper GI series that will use a barium swallow. What teaching should the nurse include when the patient has completed the test?

A)

Stool will be yellow for the first 24 hours postprocedure.

B)

The barium may cause diarrhea for the next 24 hours.

C)

Fluids must be increased to facilitate the evacuation of the stool.

D)

Slight anal bleeding may be noted as the barium is passed.

Ans:

C

Feedback:

Postprocedural patient education includes information about increasing fluid intake; evaluating bowel movements for evacuation of barium; and noting increased number of bowel movements, because barium, due to its high osmolarity, may draw fluid into the bowel, thus increasing the intraluminal contents and resulting in greater output. Yellow stool, diarrhea, and anal bleeding are not expected.

6.

A patient has come to the outpatient radiology department for diagnostic testing. Which of the following diagnostic procedures will allow the care team to evaluate and remove polyps?

A)

Colonoscopy

B)

Barium enema

C)

ERCP

D)

Upper gastrointestinal fibroscopy

Ans:

A

Feedback:

During colonoscopy, tissue biopsies can be obtained as needed, and polyps can be removed and evaluated. This is not possible during a barium enema, ERCP, or gastroscopy.

7.

A nurse is caring for a patient with recurrent hematemesis who is scheduled for upper gastrointestinal fibroscopy (UGF). How should the nurse in the radiology department prepare this patient?

A)

Insert a nasogastric tube.

B)

Administer a micro Fleet enema at least 3 hours before the procedure.

C)

Have the patient lie in a supine position for the procedure.

D)

Apply local anesthetic to the back of the patients throat.

Ans:

D

Feedback:

Preparation for UGF includes spraying or gargling with a local anesthetic. A nasogastric tube or a micro Fleet enema is not required for this procedure. The patient should be positioned in a side-lying position in case of emesis.

8.

The nurse is providing health education to a patient scheduled for a colonoscopy. The nurse should explain that she will be placed in what position during this diagnostic test?

A)

In a knee-chest position (lithotomy position)

B)

Lying prone with legs drawn toward the chest

C)

Lying on the left side with legs drawn toward the chest

D)

In a prone position with two pillows elevating the buttocks

Ans:

C

Feedback:

For best visualization, colonoscopy is performed while the patient is lying on the left side with the legs drawn up toward the chest. A kneechest position, lying on the stomach with legs drawn to the chest, and a prone position with two pillows elevating the legs do not allow for the best visualization.

9.

A patient has sought care because of recent dark-colored stools. As a result, a fecal occult blood test has been ordered. The nurse should instruct the patient to avoid which of the following prior to collecting a stool sample?

A)

NSAIDs

B)

Acetaminophen

C)

OTC vitamin D supplements

D)

Fiber supplements

Ans:

A

Feedback:

NSAIDs can cause a false-positive fecal occult blood test. Acetaminophen, vitamin D supplements, and fiber supplements do not have this effect.

10.

The nurse is preparing to perform a patients abdominal assessment. What examination sequence should the nurse follow?

A)

Inspection, auscultation, percussion, and palpation

B)

Inspection, palpation, auscultation, and percussion

C)

Inspection, percussion, palpation, and auscultation

D)

Inspection, palpation, percussion, and auscultation

Ans:

A

Feedback:

When performing a focused assessment of the patients abdomen, auscultation should always precede percussion and palpation because they may alter bowel sounds. The traditional sequence for all other focused assessments is inspection, palpation, percussion, and auscultation.

11.

A patient who has been experiencing changes in his bowel function is scheduled for a barium enema. What instruction should the nurse provide for postprocedure recovery?

A)

Remain NPO for 6 hours postprocedure.

B)

Administer a Fleet enema to cleanse the bowel of the barium.

C)

Increase fluid intake to evacuate the barium.

D)

Avoid dairy products for 24 hours postprocedure.

Ans:

C

Feedback:

Adequate fluid intake is necessary to rid the GI tract of barium. The patient must not remain NPO after the test and enemas are not used to cleanse the bowel of barium. There is no need to avoid dairy products.

12.

A nurse is caring for a newly admitted patient with a suspected GI bleed. The nurse assesses the patients stool after a bowel movement and notes it to be a tarry-black color. This finding is suggestive of bleeding from what location?

A)

Sigmoid colon

B)

Upper GI tract

C)

Large intestine

D)

Anus or rectum

Ans:

B

Feedback:

Blood shed in sufficient quantities in the upper GI tract will produce a tarry-black color (melena). Blood entering the lower portion of the GI tract or passing rapidly through it will appear bright or dark red. Lower rectal or anal bleeding is suspected if there is streaking of blood on the surface of the stool or if blood is noted on toilet tissue.

13.

A nursing student has auscultated a patients abdomen and noted one or two bowel sounds in a 2-minute period of time. How would you tell the student to document the patients bowel sounds?

A)

Normal

B)

Hypoactive

C)

Hyperactive

D)

Paralytic ileus

Ans:

B

Feedback:

Documenting bowel sounds is based on assessment findings. The terms normal (sounds heard about every 5 to 20 seconds), hypoactive (one or two sounds in 2 minutes), hyperactive (5 to 6 sounds heard in less than 30 seconds), or absent (no sounds in 3 to 5 minutes) are frequently used in documentation. Paralytic ileus is a medical diagnosis that may cause absent or hypoactive bowel sounds, but the nurse would not independently document this diagnosis.

14.

An advanced practice nurse is assessing the size and density of a patients abdominal organs. If the results of palpation are unclear to the nurse, what assessment technique should be implemented?

A)

Percussion

B)

Auscultation

C)

Inspection

D)

Rectal examination

Ans:

A

Feedback:

Percussion is used to assess the size and density of the abdominal organs and to detect the presence of air-filled, fluid-filled, or solid masses. Percussion is used either independently or concurrently with palpation because it can validate palpation findings.

15.

A nurse is caring for a patient with biliary colic and is aware that the patient may experience referred abdominal pain. Where would the nurse most likely expect this patient to experience referred pain?

A)

Midline near the umbilicus

B)

Below the right nipple

C)

Left groin area

D)

Right lower abdominal quadrant

Ans:

B

Feedback:

Patients with referred abdominal pain associated with biliary colic complain of pain below the right nipple. Referred pain above the left nipple may be associated with the heart. Groin pain may be referred pain from ureteral colic.

16.

An inpatient has returned to the medical unit after a barium enema. When assessing the patients subsequent bowel patterns and stools, what finding should the nurse report to the physician?

A)

Large, wide stools

B)

Milky white stools

C)

Three stools during an 8-hour period of time

D)

Streaks of blood present in the stool

Ans:

D

Feedback:

Barium has a high osmolarity and may draw fluid into the bowel, thus increasing the intraluminal contents and resulting in greater output (large stools). The barium will give the stools a milky white appearance, and it is not uncommon for the patient to experience an increase in the number of bowel movements. Blood in fecal matter is not an expected finding and the nurse should notify the physician.

17.

A nurse in a stroke rehabilitation facility recognizes that the brain regulates swallowing. Damage to what area of the brain will most affect the patients ability to swallow?

A)

Temporal lobe

B)

Medulla oblongata

C)

Cerebellum

D)

Pons

Ans:

B

Feedback:

Swallowing is a voluntary act that is regulated by a swallowing center in the medulla oblongata of the central nervous system. Swallowing is not regulated by the temporal lobe, cerebellum, or pons.

18.

A patient is being assessed for a suspected deficit in intrinsic factor synthesis. What diagnostic or assessment finding is the most likely rationale for this examination of intrinsic factor production?

A)

Muscle wasting

B)

Chronic jaundice in the absence of liver disease

C)

The presence of fat in the patients stool

D)

Persistently low hemoglobin and hematocrit

Ans:

D

Feedback:

In the absence of intrinsic factor, vitamin B12 cannot be absorbed, and pernicious anemia results. This would result in a marked reduction in hemoglobin and hematocrit.

19.

A patient with a recent history of intermittent bleeding is undergoing capsule endoscopy to determine the source of the bleeding. When explaining this diagnostic test to the patient, what advantage should the nurse describe?

A)

The test allows visualization of the entire peritoneal cavity.

B)

The test allows for painless biopsy collection.

C)

The test does not require fasting.

D)

The test is noninvasive.

Ans:

D

Feedback:

Capsule endoscopy allows the noninvasive visualization of the mucosa throughout the entire small intestine. Bowel preparation is necessary and biopsies cannot be collected. This procedure allows visualization of the entire GI tract, but not the peritoneal cavity.

20.

A nurse is caring for a patient admitted with a suspected malabsorption disorder. The nurse knows that one of the accessory organs of the digestive system is the pancreas. What digestive enzymes does the pancreas secrete? Select all that apply.

A)

Pepsin

B)

Lipase

C)

Amylase

D)

Trypsin

E)

Ptyalin

Ans:

B, C, D

Feedback:

Digestive enzymes secreted by the pancreas include trypsin, which aids in digesting protein; amylase, which aids in digesting starch; and lipase, which aids in digesting fats. Pepsin is secreted by the stomach and ptyalin is secreted in the saliva.

21.

The nurse is caring for a patient with a duodenal ulcer and is relating the patients symptoms to the physiologic functions of the small intestine. What do these functions include? Select all that apply.

A)

Secretion of hydrochloric acid (HCl)

B)

Reabsorption of water

C)

Secretion of mucus

D)

Absorption of nutrients

E)

Movement of nutrients into the bloodstream

Ans:

C, D, E

Feedback:

The small intestine folds back and forth on itself, providing approximately 7000 cm2 (70 m2) of surface area for secretion and absorption, the process by which nutrients enter the bloodstream through the intestinal walls. Water reabsorption primarily takes place in the large bowel. HCl is secreted by the stomach.

22.

A nurse is performing an abdominal assessment of an older adult patient. When collecting and analyzing data, the nurse should be cognizant of what age-related change in gastrointestinal structure and function?

A)

Increased gastric motility

B)

Decreased gastric pH

C)

Increased gag reflex

D)

Decreased mucus secretion

Ans:

D

Feedback:

Older adults tend to secrete less mucus than younger adults. Gastric motility slows with age and gastric pH rises due to decreased secretion of gastric acids. Older adults tend to have a blunted gag reflex compared to younger adults.

23.

The nurse educator is reviewing the blood supply of the GI tract with a group of medical nurses. The nurse is explaining the fact that the veins that return blood from the digestive organs and the spleen form the portal venous system. What large veins will the nurse list when describing this system? Select all that apply.

A)

Splenic vein

B)

Inferior mesenteric vein

C)

Gastric vein

D)

Inferior vena cava

E)

Saphenous vein

Ans:

A, B, C

Feedback:

This portal venous system is composed of five large veins: the superior mesenteric, inferior mesenteric, gastric, splenic, and cystic veins, which eventually form the vena portae that enters the liver. The inferior vena cava is not part of the portal system. The saphenous vein is located in the leg.

24.

The physiology instructor is discussing the GI system with the pre-nursing class. What should the instructor describe as a major function of the GI tract?

A)

The breakdown of food particles into cell form for digestion

B)

The maintenance of fluid and acid-base balance

C)

The absorption into the bloodstream of nutrient molecules produced by digestion

D)

The control of absorption and elimination of electrolytes

Ans:

C

Feedback:

Primary functions of the GI tract include the breakdown of food particles into molecular form for digestion; the absorption into the bloodstream of small nutrient molecules produced by digestion; and the elimination of undigested unabsorbed food stuffs and other waste products. Nutrients must be broken down into molecular form, not cell form. Fluid, electrolyte, and acid-base balance are primarily under the control of the kidneys.

25.

A nurse is providing preprocedure education for a patient who will undergo a lower GI tract study the following week. What should the nurse teach the patient about bowel preparation?

A)

Youll need to fast for at least 18 hours prior to your test.

B)

Starting today, take over-the-counter stool softeners twice daily.

C)

Youll need to have enemas the day before the test.

D)

For 24 hours before the test, insert a glycerin suppository every 4 hours.

Ans:

C

Feedback:

Preparation of the patient includes emptying and cleansing the lower bowel. This often necessitates a low-residue diet 1 to 2 days before the test; a clear liquid diet and a laxative the evening before; NPO after midnight; and cleansing enemas until returns are clear the following morning.

26.

A patient presents at the walk-in clinic complaining of recurrent sharp stomach pain that is relieved by eating. The nurse suspects that the patient may have an ulcer. How would the nurse explain the formation and role of acid in the stomach to the patient?

A)

Hydrochloric acid is secreted by glands in the stomach in response to the actual or anticipated presence of food.

B)

As digestion occurs in the stomach, the stomach combines free hydrogen ions from the food to form acid.

C)

The body requires an acidic environment in order to synthesize pancreatic digestive enzymes; the stomach provides this environment.

D)

The acidic environment in the stomach exists to buffer the highly alkaline environment in the esophagus.

Ans:

A

Feedback:

The stomach, which stores and mixes food with secretions, secretes a highly acidic fluid in response to the presence or anticipated ingestion of food. The stomach does not turn food directly into acid and the esophagus is not highly alkaline. Pancreatic enzymes are not synthesized in a highly acidic environment.

27.

Results of a patients preliminary assessment prompted an examination of the patients carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) levels, which have come back positive. What is the nurses most appropriate response to this finding?

A)

Perform a focused abdominal assessment.

B)

Prepare to meet the patients psychosocial needs.

C)

Liaise with the nurse practitioner to perform an anorectal examination.

D)

Encourage the patient to adhere to recommended screening protocols.

Ans:

B

Feedback:

CEA is a protein that is normally not detected in the blood of a healthy person; therefore, when detected it indicates that cancer is present, but not what type of cancer is present. The patient would likely be learning that he or she has cancer, so the nurse must prioritize the patients immediate psychosocial needs, not abdominal assessment. Future screening is not a high priority in the short term.

28.

A clinic patient has described recent dark-colored stools;the nurse recognizes the need for fecal occult blood testing (FOBT). What aspect of the patients current health status would contraindicate FOBT?

A)

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

B)

Peptic ulcers

C)

Hemorrhoids

D)

Recurrent nausea and vomiting

Ans:

C

Feedback:

FOBT should not be performed when there is hemorrhoidal bleeding. GERD, peptic ulcers and nausea and vomiting do not contraindicate the use of FOBT as a diagnostic tool.

29.

A patient will be undergoing abdominal computed tomography (CT) with contrast. The nurse has administered IV sodium bicarbonate and oral acetylcysteine (Mucomyst) before the study as ordered. What would indicate that these medications have had the desired therapeutic effect?

A)

The patients BUN and creatinine levels are within reference range following the CT.

B)

The CT yields high-quality images.

C)

The patients electrolytes are stable in the 48 hours following the CT.

D)

The patients intake and output are in balance on the day after the CT.

Ans:

A

Feedback:

Both sodium bicarbonate and Mucomyst are free radical scavengers that sequester the contrast byproducts that are destructive to renal cells. Kidney damage would be evident by increased BUN and creatinine levels. These medications are unrelated to electrolyte or fluid balance and they play no role in the results of the CT.

30.

A medical patients CA 19-9 levels have become available and they are significantly elevated. How should the nurse best interpret this diagnostic finding?

A)

The patient may have cancer, but other GI disease must be ruled out.

B)

The patient most likely has early-stage colorectal cancer.

C)

The patient has a genetic predisposition to gastric cancer.

D)

The patient has cancer, but the site is unknown.

Ans:

A

Feedback:

CA 19-9 levels are elevated in most patients with advanced pancreatic cancer, but they may also be elevated in other conditions such as colorectal, lung, and gallbladder cancers; gallstones; pancreatitis; cystic fibrosis; and liver disease. A cancer diagnosis cannot be made solely on CA 19-9 results.

31.

A patient has come to the clinic complaining of blood in his stool. A FOBT test is performed but is negative. Based on the patients history, the physician suggests a colonoscopy, but the patient refuses, citing a strong aversion to the invasive nature of the test. What other test might the physician order to check for blood in the stool?

A)

A laparoscopic intestinal mucosa biopsy

B)

A quantitative fecal immunochemical test

C)

Computed tomography (CT)

D)

Magnetic resonance imagery (MRI)

Ans:

B

Feedback:

Quantitative fecal immunochemical tests may be more accurate than guaiac testing and useful for patients who refuse invasive testing. CT or MRI cannot detect blood in stool. Laparoscopic intestinal mucosa biopsy is not performed.

32.

A nurse is assessing the abdomen of a patient just admitted to the unit with a suspected GI disease. Inspection reveals several diverse lesions on the patients abdomen. How should the nurse best interpret this assessment finding?

A)

Abdominal lesions are usually due to age-related skin changes.

B)

Integumentary diseases often cause GI disorders.

C)

GI diseases often produce skin changes.

D)

The patient needs to be assessed for self-harm.

Ans:

C

Feedback:

Abdominal lesions are of particular importance, because GI diseases often produce skin changes. Skin problems do not normally cause GI disorders. Age-related skin changes do not have a pronounced effect on the skin of the abdomen when compared to other skin surfaces. Self-harm is a less likely explanation for skin lesions on the abdomen.

33.

Probably the most widely used in-office or at-home occult blood test is the Hemoccult II. The patient has come to the clinic because he thinks there is blood in his stool. When you reviewed his medications, you noted he is on antihypertensive drugs and NSAIDs for early arthritic pain. You are sending the patient home with the supplies necessary to perform 2 hemoccult tests on his stool and mail the samples back to the clinic. What instruction would you give this patient?

A)

Take all your medications as usual.

B)

Take all your medications except the antihypertensive medications.

C)

Dont eat highly acidic foods 72 hours before you start the test.

D)

Avoid vitamin C for 72 hours before you start the test.

Ans:

D

Feedback:

Red meats, aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, turnips, and horseradish should be avoided for 72 hours prior to the study, because they may cause a false-positive result. Also, ingestion of vitamin C from supplements or foods can cause a false-negative result. Acidic foods do not need to be avoided.

34.

A patients sigmoidoscopy has been successfully completed and the patient is preparing to return home. Which of the following teaching points should the nurse include in the patients discharge education?

A)

The patient should drink at least 2 liters of fluid in the next 12 hours.

B)

The patient can resume a normal routine immediately.

C)

The patient should expect fecal urgency for several hours.

D)

The patient can expect some scant rectal bleeding.

Ans:

B

Feedback:

Following sigmoidoscopy, patients can resume their regular activities and diet. There is no need to push fluids and neither fecal urgency nor rectal bleeding is expected.

35.

A nurse is caring for an 83-year-old patient who is being assessed for recurrent and intractable nausea. What age-related change to the GI system may be a contributor to the patients health complaint?

A)

Stomach emptying takes place more slowly.

B)

The villi and epithelium of the small intestine become thinner.

C)

The esophageal sphincter becomes incompetent.

D)

Saliva production decreases.

Ans:

A

Feedback:

Delayed gastric emptying occurs in older adults and may contribute to nausea. Changes to the small intestine and decreased saliva production would be less likely to contribute to nausea. Loss of esophageal sphincter function is pathologic and is not considered an age-related change.

36.

A patient has been experiencing significant psychosocial stress in recent weeks. The nurse is aware of the hormonal effects of stress, including norepinephrine release. Release of this substance would have what effect on the patients gastrointestinal function? Select all that apply.

A)

Decreased motility

B)

Increased sphincter tone

C)

Increased enzyme release

D)

Inhibition of secretions

E)

Increased peristalsis

Ans:

A

Feedback:

Norepinephrine generally decreases GI motility and secretions, but increases muscle tone of sphincters. Norepinephrine does not increase the release of enzymes.

37.

A patient with cystic fibrosis takes pancreatic enzyme replacements on a regular basis. The patients intake of trypsin facilitates what aspect of GI function?

A)

Vitamin D synthesis

B)

Digestion of fats

C)

Maintenance of peristalsis

D)

Digestion of proteins

Ans:

D

Feedback:

Trypsin facilitates the digestion of proteins. It does not influence vitamin D synthesis, the digestion of fats, or peristalsis.

38.

The nurse is caring for a patient who has a diagnosis of AIDS. Inspection of the patients mouth reveals the new presence of white lesions on the patients oral mucosa. What is the nurses most appropriate response?

A)

Encourage the patient to gargle with salt water twice daily.

B)

Attempt to remove the lesions with a tongue depressor.

C)

Make a referral to the units dietitian.

D)

Inform the primary care provider of this finding.

Ans:

D

Feedback:

The nurse should inform the primary care provider of this abnormal finding in the patients oral cavity, since it necessitates medical treatment. It would be inappropriate to try to remove skin lesions from a patients mouth and salt water will not resolve this problem, which is likely due to candidiasis. A dietitian referral is unnecessary.

39.

A patient has been scheduled for a urea breath test in one months time. What nursing diagnosis most likely prompted this diagnostic test?

A)

Impaired Dentition Related to Gingivitis

B)

Risk For Impaired Skin Integrity Related to Peptic Ulcers

C)

Imbalanced Nutrition: Less Than Body Requirements Related to Enzyme Deficiency

D)

Diarrhea Related to Clostridium Difficile Infection

Ans:

B

Feedback:

Urea breath tests detect the presence of Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria that can live in the mucosal lining of the stomach and cause peptic ulcer disease. This test does not address fluid volume, nutritional status, or dentition.

40.

A female patient has presented to the emergency department with right upper quadrant pain; the physician has ordered abdominal ultrasound to rule out cholecystitis (gallbladder infection). The patient expresses concern to the nurse about the safety of this diagnostic procedure. How should the nurse best respond?

A)

Abdominal ultrasound is very safe, but it cant be performed if youre pregnant.

B)

Abdominal ultrasound poses no known safety risks of any kind.

C)

Current guidelines state that a person can have up to 3 ultrasounds per year.

D)

Current guidelines state that a person can have up to 6 ultrasounds per year.

Ans:

B

Feedback:

An ultrasound produces no ill effects and there are not specific limits on its use, even during pregnancy.

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