Chapter 60: Nursing Management: Alzheimers Disease, Dementia, and Delirium Nursing School Test Banks

Chapter 60: Nursing Management: Alzheimers Disease, Dementia, and Delirium

Test Bank

MULTIPLE CHOICE

1. A 68-year-old patient who is hospitalized with pneumonia is disoriented and confused 3 days after admission. Which information indicates that the patient is experiencing delirium rather than dementia?

a.

The patient was oriented and alert when admitted.

b.

The patients speech is fragmented and incoherent.

c.

The patient is oriented to person but disoriented to place and time.

d.

The patient has a history of increasing confusion over several years.

ANS: A

The onset of delirium occurs acutely. The degree of disorientation does not differentiate between delirium and dementia. Increasing confusion for several years is consistent with dementia. Fragmented and incoherent speech may occur with either delirium or dementia.

DIF: Cognitive Level: Understand (comprehension) REF: 1459

TOP: Nursing Process: Assessment MSC: NCLEX: Physiological Integrity

2. Which intervention will the nurse include in the plan of care for a patient with moderate dementia who had an appendectomy 2 days ago?

a.

Provide complete personal hygiene care for the patient.

b.

Remind the patient frequently about being in the hospital.

c.

Reposition the patient frequently to avoid skin breakdown.

d.

Place suction at the bedside to decrease the risk for aspiration.

ANS: B

The patient with moderate dementia will have problems with short- and long-term memory and will need reminding about the hospitalization. The other interventions would be used for a patient with severe dementia, who would have difficulty with swallowing, self-care, and immobility.

DIF: Cognitive Level: Apply (application) REF: 1453

TOP: Nursing Process: Planning MSC: NCLEX: Physiological Integrity

3. When administering a mental status examination to a patient with delirium, the nurse should

a.

wait until the patient is well-rested.

b.

administer an anxiolytic medication.

c.

choose a place without distracting stimuli.

d.

reorient the patient during the examination.

ANS: C

Because overstimulation by environmental factors can distract the patient from the task of answering the nurses questions, these stimuli should be avoided. The nurse will not wait to give the examination because action to correct the delirium should occur as soon as possible. Reorienting the patient is not appropriate during the examination. Antianxiety medications may increase the patients delirium.

DIF: Cognitive Level: Apply (application) REF: 1460

TOP: Nursing Process: Implementation MSC: NCLEX: Psychosocial Integrity

4. The nurse is concerned about a postoperative patients risk for injury during an episode of delirium. The most appropriate action by the nurse is to

a.

secure the patient in bed using a soft chest restraint.

b.

ask the health care provider to order an antipsychotic drug.

c.

instruct family members to remain with the patient and prevent injury.

d.

assign unlicensed assistive personnel (UAP) to stay with the patient and offer reorientation.

ANS: D

The priority goal is to protect the patient from harm. Having a UAP stay with the patient will ensure the patients safety. Visits by family members are helpful in reorienting the patient, but families should not be responsible for protecting patients from injury. Antipsychotic medications may be ordered, but only if other measures are not effective because these medications have many side effects. Restraints are not recommended because they can increase the patients agitation and disorientation.

DIF: Cognitive Level: Apply (application) REF: 1460

TOP: Nursing Process: Implementation MSC: NCLEX: Safe and Effective Care Environment

5. A 56-year-old patient in the outpatient clinic is diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment (MCI).Which action will the nurse include in the plan of care?

a.

Suggest a move into an assisted living facility.

b.

Schedule the patient for more frequent appointments.

c.

Ask family members to supervise the patients daily activities.

d.

Discuss the preventive use of acetylcholinesterase medications.

ANS: B

Ongoing monitoring is recommended for patients with MCI. MCI does not interfere with activities of daily living, acetylcholinesterase drugs are not used for MCI, and an assisted living facility is not indicated for MCI.

DIF: Cognitive Level: Apply (application) REF: 1450

TOP: Nursing Process: Planning MSC: NCLEX: Psychosocial Integrity

6. The nurse is administering a mental status examination to a 48-year-old patient who has hypertension. The nurse suspects depression when the patient responds to the nurses questions with

a.

Is that right?

b.

I dont know.

c.

Wait, let me think about that.

d.

Who are those people over there?

ANS: B

Answers such as I dont know are more typical of depression than dementia. The response Who are those people over there? is more typical of the distraction seen in a patient with delirium. The remaining two answers are more typical of a patient with mild to moderate dementia.

DIF: Cognitive Level: Apply (application) REF: 1445

TOP: Nursing Process: Assessment MSC: NCLEX: Psychosocial Integrity

7. A 68-year-old patient is diagnosed with moderate dementia after multiple strokes. During assessment of the patient, the nurse would expect to find

a.

excessive nighttime sleepiness.

b.

difficulty eating and swallowing.

c.

loss of recent and long-term memory.

d.

fluctuating ability to perform simple tasks.

ANS: C

Loss of both recent and long-term memory is characteristic of moderate dementia. Patients with dementia have frequent nighttime awakening. Dementia is progressive, and the patients ability to perform tasks would not have periods of improvement. Difficulty eating and swallowing is characteristic of severe dementia.

DIF: Cognitive Level: Understand (comprehension) REF: 1453

TOP: Nursing Process: Assessment MSC: NCLEX: Psychosocial Integrity

8. Which action will help the nurse determine whether a new patients confusion is caused by dementia or delirium?

a.

Administer the Mini-Mental Status Exam.

b.

Use the Confusion Assessment Method tool.

c.

Determine whether there is a family history of dementia.

d.

Obtain a list of the medications that the patient usually takes.

ANS: B

The Confusion Assessment Method tool has been extensively tested in assessing delirium. The other actions will be helpful in determining cognitive function or risk factors for dementia or delirium, but they will not be useful in differentiating between dementia and delirium.

DIF: Cognitive Level: Apply (application) REF: 1459

TOP: Nursing Process: Assessment MSC: NCLEX: Psychosocial Integrity

9. A 72-year-old female patient is brought to the clinic by the patients spouse, who reports that she is unable to solve common problems around the house. To obtain information about the patients current mental status, which question should the nurse ask the patient?

a.

Are you sad?

b.

How is your self-image?

c.

Where were you were born?

d.

What did you eat for breakfast?

ANS: D

This question tests the patients short-term memory, which is decreased in the mild stage of Alzheimers disease or dementia. Asking the patient about her birthplace tests for remote memory, which is intact in the early stages. Questions about the patients emotions and self-image are helpful in assessing emotional status, but they are not as helpful in assessing mental state.

DIF: Cognitive Level: Apply (application) REF: 1453

TOP: Nursing Process: Assessment MSC: NCLEX: Psychosocial Integrity

10. A patient is being evaluated for Alzheimers disease (AD). The nurse explains to the patients adult children that

a.

the most important risk factor for AD is a family history of the disorder.

b.

new drugs have been shown to reverse AD dramatically in some patients.

c.

a diagnosis of AD is made only after other causes of dementia are ruled out.

d.

the presence of brain atrophy detected by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) will confirm the diagnosis of AD.

ANS: C

The diagnosis of AD is usually one of exclusion. Age is the most important risk factor for development of AD. Drugs may slow the deterioration but do not reverse the effects of AD. Brain atrophy is a common finding in AD, but it can occur in other diseases as well and does not confirm a diagnosis of AD.

DIF: Cognitive Level: Understand (comprehension) REF: 1450

TOP: Nursing Process: Implementation MSC: NCLEX: Psychosocial Integrity

11. Which nursing action will be most effective in ensuring daily medication compliance for a patient with mild dementia?

a.

Setting the medications up monthly in a medication box

b.

Having the patients family member administer the medication

c.

Posting reminders to take the medications in the patients house

d.

Calling the patient weekly with a reminder to take the medication

ANS: B

Because the patient with mild dementia will have difficulty with learning new skills and forgetfulness, the most appropriate nursing action is to have someone else administer the drug. The other nursing actions will not be as effective in ensuring that the patient takes the medications.

DIF: Cognitive Level: Apply (application) REF: eNCP 60-1

TOP: Nursing Process: Implementation MSC: NCLEX: Physiological Integrity

12. A patient who has severe Alzheimers disease (AD) is being admitted to the hospital for surgery. Which intervention will the nurse include in the plan of care?

a.

Encourage the patient to discuss events from the past.

b.

Maintain a consistent daily routine for the patients care.

c.

Reorient the patient to the date and time every 2 to 3 hours.

d.

Provide the patient with current newspapers and magazines.

ANS: B

Providing a consistent routine will decrease anxiety and confusion for the patient. Reorientation to time and place will not be helpful to the patient with severe AD, and the patient will not be able to read. The patient with severe AD will probably not be able to remember events from the past.

DIF: Cognitive Level: Apply (application) REF: 1456

TOP: Nursing Process: Planning MSC: NCLEX: Psychosocial Integrity

13. A 71-year-old patient with Alzheimers disease (AD) who is being admitted to a long-term care facility has had several episodes of wandering away from home. Which action will the nurse include in the plan of care?

a.

Reorient the patient several times daily.

b.

Have the family bring in familiar items.

c.

Place the patient in a room close to the nurses station.

d.

Ask the patient why the wandering episodes have occurred.

ANS: C

Patients at risk for problems with safety require close supervision. Placing the patient near the nurses station will allow nursing staff to observe the patient more closely. The use of why questions can be frustrating for patients with AD because they are unable to understand clearly or verbalize the reason for wandering behaviors. Because of the patients short-term memory loss, reorientation will not help prevent wandering behavior. Because the patient had wandering behavior at home, familiar objects will not prevent wandering.

DIF: Cognitive Level: Apply (application) REF: 1454

TOP: Nursing Process: Planning MSC: NCLEX: Safe and Effective Care Environment

14. The day shift nurse at the long-term care facility learns that a patient with dementia experienced sundowning late in the afternoon on the previous two days. Which action should the nurse take?

a.

Keep blinds open during the daytime hours.

b.

Provide hourly orientation to time and place.

c.

Have the patient take a brief mid-morning nap.

d.

Move the patient to a quieter room late in the afternoon.

ANS: A

A likely cause of sundowning is a disruption in circadian rhythms and keeping the patient active and in daylight will help reestablish a more normal circadian pattern. Moving the patient to a different room might increase confusion. Taking a nap will interfere with nighttime sleep. Hourly orientation will not be helpful in a patient with dementia.

DIF: Cognitive Level: Apply (application) REF: 1454

TOP: Nursing Process: Implementation MSC: NCLEX: Psychosocial Integrity

15. The nurses initial action for a patient with moderate dementia who develops increased restlessness and agitation should be to

a.

reorient the patient to time, place, and person.

b.

administer a PRN dose of lorazepam (Ativan).

c.

assess for factors that might be causing discomfort.

d.

assign unlicensed assistive personnel (UAP) to stay in the patients room.

ANS: C

Increased motor activity in a patient with dementia is frequently the patients only way of responding to factors like pain, so the nurses initial action should be to assess the patient for any precipitating factors. Administration of sedative drugs may be indicated, but this should not be done until assessment for precipitating factors has been completed and any of these factors have been addressed. Reorientation is unlikely to be helpful for the patient with moderate dementia. Assigning UAP to stay with the patient may also be necessary, but any physical changes that may be causing the agitation should be addressed first.

DIF: Cognitive Level: Apply (application) REF: 1455

OBJ: Special Questions: Prioritization TOP: Nursing Process: Implementation

MSC: NCLEX: Physiological Integrity

16. When administering the Mini-Cog exam to a patient with possible Alzheimers disease, which action will the nurse take?

a.

Check the patients orientation to time and date.

b.

Obtain a list of the patients prescribed medications.

c.

Ask the person to use a clock drawing to indicate a specific time.

d.

Determine the patients ability to recognize a common object such as a pen.

ANS: C

In the Mini-Cog, patients illustrate a specific time stated by the examiner by drawing the time on a clock face. The other actions may be included in assessment for Alzheimers disease, but are not part of the Mini-Cog exam.

DIF: Cognitive Level: Understand (comprehension) REF: 1451

TOP: Nursing Process: Assessment MSC: NCLEX: Physiological Integrity

17. Which hospitalized patient will the nurse assign to the room closest to the nurses station?

a.

Patient with Alzheimers disease who has long-term memory deficit

b.

Patient with vascular dementia who takes medications for depression

c.

Patient with new-onset confusion, restlessness, and irritability after surgery

d.

Patient with dementia who has an abnormal Mini-Mental State Examination

ANS: C

This patients history and clinical manifestations are consistent with delirium. The patient is at risk for safety problems and should be placed near the nurses station for ongoing observation. The other patients have chronic symptoms that are consistent with their diagnoses but are not at immediate risk for safety issues.

DIF: Cognitive Level: Analyze (analysis) REF: 1460

OBJ: Special Questions: Multiple Patients TOP: Nursing Process: Planning

MSC: NCLEX: Safe and Effective Care Environment

18. After change-of-shift report on the Alzheimers disease/dementia unit, which patient will the nurse assess first?

a.

Patient who has not had a bowel movement for 5 days

b.

Patient who has a stage II pressure ulcer on the coccyx

c.

Patient who is refusing to take the prescribed medications

d.

Patient who developed a new cough after eating breakfast

ANS: D

A new cough after a meal in a patient with dementia suggests possible aspiration and the patient should be assessed immediately. The other patients also require assessment and intervention, but not as urgently as a patient with possible aspiration or pneumonia.

DIF: Cognitive Level: Apply (application) REF: 1455

OBJ: Special Questions: Prioritization; Multiple Patients

TOP: Nursing Process: Assessment MSC: NCLEX: Safe and Effective Care Environment

19. After reviewing the health record shown in the accompanying figure for a patient who has multiple risk factors for Alzheimers disease, which topic will be most important for the nurse to discuss with the patient?

a.

Tobacco use

b.

Family history

c.

Head injury history

d.

Total cholesterol level

ANS: A

Tobacco use is a modifiable risk factor for Alzheimers disease. The patient will not be able to modify the increased risk associated with family history of Alzheimers disease and past head injury. While the total cholesterol is borderline high, the high HDL indicates that no change is needed in cholesterol management.

DIF: Cognitive Level: Apply (application) REF: 1444

OBJ: Special Questions: Prioritization TOP: Nursing Process: Assessment

MSC: NCLEX: Health Promotion and Maintenance

MULTIPLE RESPONSE

1. The spouse of a 67-year-old male patient with early stage Alzheimers disease (AD) tells the nurse, I am exhausted from worrying all the time. I dont know what to do. Which actions are best for the nurse to take next (select all that apply)?

a.

Suggest that a long-term care facility be considered.

b.

Offer ideas for ways to distract or redirect the patient.

c.

Teach the spouse about adult day care as a possible respite.

d.

Suggest that the spouse consult with the physician for antianxiety drugs.

e.

Ask the spouse what she knows and has considered about dementia care options.

ANS: B, C, E

The stress of being a caregiver can be managed with a multicomponent approach. This includes respite care, learning ways to manage challenging behaviors, and further assessment of what the spouse may already have considered for care options. The patient is in the early stages and does not need long-term placement. Antianxiety medications may be appropriate, but other measures should be tried first.

DIF: Cognitive Level: Apply (application) REF: 1454 | 1456

TOP: Nursing Process: Implementation MSC: NCLEX: Psychosocial Integrity

2. Which nursing actions could the nurse delegate to a licensed practical/vocational nurse (LPN/LVN) who is part of the team caring for a patient with Alzheimers disease (select all that apply)?

a.

Develop a plan to minimize difficult behavior.

b.

Administer the prescribed memantine (Namenda).

c.

Remove potential safety hazards from the patients environment.

d.

Refer the patient and caregivers to appropriate community resources.

e.

Help the patient and caregivers choose memory enhancement methods.

f.

Evaluate the effectiveness of the prescribed enteral feedings on patient nutrition.

ANS: B, C

LPN/LVN education and scope of practice includes medication administration and monitoring for environmental safety in stable patients. Planning of interventions such as ways to manage behavior or improve memory, referrals, and evaluation of the effectiveness of interventions require registered nurse (RN)level education and scope of practice.

DIF: Cognitive Level: Apply (application) REF: 1455

OBJ: Special Questions: Delegation TOP: Nursing Process: Planning

MSC: NCLEX: Safe and Effective Care Environment

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