Chapter 66 Nursing School Test Banks

 

1.

A patient is being admitted to the neurologic ICU following an acute head injury that has resulted in cerebral edema. When planning this patients care, the nurse would expect to administer what priority medication?

A)

Hydrochlorothiazide (HydroDIURIL)

B)

Furosemide (Lasix)

C)

Mannitol (Osmitrol)

D)

Spirolactone (Aldactone)

Ans:

C

Feedback:

The osmotic diuretic mannitol is given to dehydrate the brain tissue and reduce cerebral edema. This drug acts by reducing the volume of brain and extracellular fluid. Spirolactone, furosemide, and hydrochlorothiazide are diuretics that are not typically used in the treatment of increased ICP resulting from cerebral edema.

2.

The nurse is providing care for a patient who is unconscious. What nursing intervention takes highest priority?

A)

Maintaining accurate records of intake and output

B)

Maintaining a patent airway

C)

Inserting a nasogastric (NG) tube as ordered

D)

Providing appropriate pain control

Ans:

B

Feedback:

Maintaining a patent airway always takes top priority, even though each of the other listed actions is necessary and appropriate.

3.

The nurse is caring for a patient in the ICU who has a brain stem herniation and who is exhibiting an altered level of consciousness. Monitoring reveals that the patients mean arterial pressure (MAP) is 60 mm Hg with an intracranial pressure (ICP) reading of 5 mm Hg. What is the nurses most appropriate action?

A)

Position the patient in the high Fowlers position as tolerated.

B)

Administer osmotic diuretics as ordered.

C)

Participate in interventions to increase cerebral perfusion pressure.

D)

Prepare the patient for craniotomy.

Ans:

C

Feedback:

The cerebral perfusion pressure (CPP) is 55 mm Hg, which is considered low. The normal CPP is 70 to 100 mm Hg. Patients with a CPP of less than 50 mm Hg experience irreversible neurologic damage. As a result, interventions are necessary. A craniotomy is not directly indicated. Diuretics and increased height of bed would exacerbate the patients condition.

4.

The nurse is caring for a patient who is postoperative following a craniotomy. When writing the plan of care, the nurse identifies a diagnosis of deficient fluid volume related to fluid restriction and osmotic diuretic use. What would be an appropriate intervention for this diagnosis?

A)

Change the patients position as indicated.

B)

Monitor serum electrolytes.

C)

Maintain NPO status.

D)

Monitor arterial blood gas (ABG) values.

Ans:

B

Feedback:

The postoperative fluid regimen depends on the type of neurosurgical procedure and is determined on an individual basis. The volume and composition of fluids are adjusted based on daily serum electrolyte values, along with fluid intake and output. Fluids may have to be restricted in patients with cerebral edema. Changing the patients position, maintaining an NPO status, and monitoring ABG values do not relate to the nursing diagnosis of deficient fluid volume.

5.

A patient with a documented history of seizure disorder experiences a generalized seizure. What nursing action is most appropriate?

A)

Restrain the patient to prevent injury.

B)

Open the patients jaws to insert an oral airway.

C)

Place patient in high Fowlers position.

D)

Loosen the patients restrictive clothing.

Ans:

D

Feedback:

An appropriate nursing intervention would include loosening any restrictive clothing on the patient. No attempt should be made to restrain the patient during the seizure because muscular contractions are strong and restraint can produce injury. Do not attempt to pry open jaws that are clenched in a spasm to insert anything. Broken teeth and injury to the lips and tongue may result from such an action. If possible, place the patient on one side with head flexed forward, which allows the tongue to fall forward and facilitates drainage of saliva and mucus.

6.

A patient who has been on long-term phenytoin (Dilantin) therapy is admitted to the unit. In light of the adverse of effects of this medication, the nurse should prioritize which of the following in the patients plan of care?

A)

Monitoring of pulse oximetry

B)

Administration of a low-protein diet

C)

Administration of thorough oral hygiene

D)

Fluid restriction as ordered

Ans:

C

Feedback:

Gingival hyperplasia (swollen and tender gums) can be associated with long-term phenytoin (Dilantin) use. Thorough oral hygiene should be provided consistently and encouraged after discharge. Fluid and protein restriction are contraindicated and there is no particular need for constant oxygen saturation monitoring.

7.

A nurse is admitting a patient with a severe migraine headache and a history of acute coronary syndrome. What migraine medication would the nurse question for this patient?

A)

Rizatriptan (Maxalt)

B)

Naratriptan (Amerge)

C)

Sumatriptan succinate (Imitrex)

D)

Zolmitriptan (Zomig)

Ans:

C

Feedback:

Triptans can cause chest pain and are contraindicated in patients with ischemic heart disease. Maxalt, Amerge, and Zomig are triptans used in routine clinical use for the treatment of migraine headaches.

8.

The nurse is caring for a patient with increased intracranial pressure (ICP). The patient has a nursing diagnosis of ineffective cerebral tissue perfusion. What would be an expected outcome that the nurse would document for this diagnosis?

A)

Copes with sensory deprivation.

B)

Registers normal body temperature.

C)

Pays attention to grooming.

D)

Obeys commands with appropriate motor responses.

Ans:

D

Feedback:

An expected outcome of the diagnosis of ineffective cerebral tissue perfusion in a patient with increased intracranial pressure (ICP) would include obeying commands with appropriate motor responses. Vitals signs and neurologic status are assessed every 15 minutes to every hour. Coping with sensory deprivation would relate to the nursing diagnosis of disturbed sensory perception. The outcome of registers normal body temperature relates to the diagnosis of potential for ineffective thermoregulation. Body image disturbance would have a potential outcome of pays attention to grooming.

9.

A patient exhibiting an altered level of consciousness (LOC) due to blunt-force trauma to the head is admitted to the ED. The physician determines the patients injury is causing increased intracranial pressure (ICP). The nurse should gauge the patients LOC on the results of what diagnostic tool?

A)

Monro-Kellie hypothesis

B)

Glasgow Coma Scale

C)

Cranial nerve function

D)

Mental status examination

Ans:

B

Feedback:

LOC, a sensitive indicator of neurologic function, is assessed based on the criteria in the Glasgow Coma Scale: eye opening, verbal response, and motor response. The Monro-Kellie hypothesis states that because of the limited space for expansion within the skull, an increase in any one of the components (blood, brain tissue, cerebrospinal fluid) causes a change in the volume of the others. Cranial nerve function and the mental status examination would be part of the neurologic examination for this patient, but would not be the priority in evaluating LOC.

10.

While completing a health history on a patient who has recently experienced a seizure, the nurse would assess for what characteristic associated with the postictal state?

A)

Epileptic cry

B)

Confusion

C)

Urinary incontinence

D)

Body rigidity

Ans:

B

Feedback:

In the postictal state (after the seizure), the patient is often confused and hard to arouse and may sleep for hours. The epileptic cry occurs from the simultaneous contractions of the diaphragm and chest muscles that occur during the seizure. Urinary incontinence and intense rigidity of the entire body are followed by alternating muscle relaxation and contraction (generalized tonicclonic contraction) during the seizure.

11.

A patient with increased ICP has a ventriculostomy for monitoring ICP. The nurses most recent assessment reveals that the patient is now exhibiting nuchal rigidity and photophobia. The nurse would be correct in suspecting the presence of what complication?

A)

Encephalitis

B)

CSF leak

C)

Meningitis

D)

Catheter occlusion

Ans:

C

Feedback:

Complications of a ventriculostomy include ventricular infectious meningitis and problems with the monitoring system. Nuchal rigidity and photophobia are clinical manifestations of meningitis, but are not suggestive of encephalitis, a CSF leak, or an occluded catheter.

12.

The nurse is participating in the care of a patient with increased ICP. What diagnostic test is contraindicated in this patients treatment?

A)

Computed tomography (CT) scan

B)

Lumbar puncture

C)

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

D)

Venous Doppler studies

Ans:

B

Feedback:

A lumbar puncture in a patient with increased ICP may cause the brain to herniate from the withdrawal of fluid and change in pressure during the lumbar puncture. Herniation of the brain is a dire and frequently fatal event. CT, MRI, and venous Doppler are considered noninvasive procedures and they would not affect the ICP itself.

13.

The nurse is caring for a patient who is in status epilepticus. What medication does the nurse know may be given to halt the seizure immediately?

A)

Intravenous phenobarbital (Luminal)

B)

Intravenous diazepam (Valium)

C)

Oral lorazepam (Ativan)

D)

Oral phenytoin (Dilantin)

Ans:

B

Feedback:

Medical management of status epilepticus includes IV diazepam (Valium) and IV lorazepam (Ativan) given slowly in an attempt to halt seizures immediately. Other medications (phenytoin, phenobarbital) are given later to maintain a seizure-free state. Oral medications are not given during status epilepticus.

14.

The nurse has created a plan of care for a patient who is at risk for increased ICP. The patients care plan should specify monitoring for what early sign of increased ICP?

A)

Disorientation and restlessness

B)

Decreased pulse and respirations

C)

Projectile vomiting

D)

Loss of corneal reflex

Ans:

A

Feedback:

Early indicators of ICP include disorientation and restlessness. Later signs include decreased pulse and respirations, projectile vomiting, and loss of brain stem reflexes, such as the corneal reflex.

15.

The neurologic ICU nurse is admitting a patient following a craniotomy using the supratentorial approach. How should the nurse best position the patient?

A)

Position the patient supine.

B)

Maintain head of bed (HOB) elevated at 30 to 45 degrees.

C)

Position patient in prone position.

D)

Maintain bed in Trendelenberg position.

Ans:

B

Feedback:

The patient undergoing a craniotomy with a supratentorial (above the tentorium) approach should be placed with the HOB elevated 30 to 45 degrees, with the neck in neutral alignment. Each of the other listed positions would cause a dangerous elevation in ICP.

16.

A clinic nurse is caring for a patient diagnosed with migraine headaches. During the patient teaching session, the patient questions the nurse regarding alcohol consumption. What would the nurse be correct in telling the patient about the effects of alcohol?

A)

Alcohol causes hormone fluctuations.

B)

Alcohol causes vasodilation of the blood vessels.

C)

Alcohol has an excitatory effect on the CNS.

D)

Alcohol diminishes endorphins in the brain.

Ans:

B

Feedback:

Alcohol causes vasodilation of the blood vessels and may exacerbate migraine headaches. Alcohol has a depressant effect on the CNS. Alcohol does not cause hormone fluctuations, nor does it decrease endorphins (morphine-like substances produced by the body) in the brain.

17.

A patient has developed diabetes insipidus after having increased ICP following head trauma. What nursing assessment best addresses this complication?

A)

Vigilant monitoring of fluid balance

B)

Continuous BP monitoring

C)

Serial arterial blood gases (ABGs)

D)

Monitoring of the patients airway for patency

Ans:

A

Feedback:

Diabetes insipidus requires fluid and electrolyte replacement, along with the administration of vasopressin, to replace and slow the urine output. Because of these alterations in fluid balance, careful monitoring is necessary. None of the other listed assessments directly addresses the major manifestations of diabetes insipidus.

18.

What should the nurse suspect when hourly assessment of urine output on a patient postcraniotomy exhibits a urine output from a catheter of 1,500 mL for two consecutive hours?

A)

Cushing syndrome

B)

Syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone (SIADH)

C)

Adrenal crisis

D)

Diabetes insipidus

Ans:

D

Feedback:

Diabetes insipidus is an abrupt onset of extreme polyuria that commonly occurs in patients after brain surgery. Cushing syndrome is excessive glucocorticoid secretion resulting in sodium and water retention. SIADH is the result of increased secretion of ADH; the patient becomes volume-overloaded, urine output diminishes, and serum sodium concentration becomes dilute. Adrenal crisis is undersecretion of glucocorticoids resulting in profound hypoglycemia, hypovolemia, and hypotension.

19.

During the examination of an unconscious patient, the nurse observes that the patients pupils are fixed and dilated. What is the most plausible clinical significance of the nurses finding?

A)

It suggests onset of metabolic problems.

B)

It indicates paralysis on the right side of the body.

C)

It indicates paralysis of cranial nerve X.

D)

It indicates an injury at the midbrain level.

Ans:

D

Feedback:

Pupils that are fixed and dilated indicate injury at the midbrain level. This finding is not suggestive of unilateral paralysis, metabolic deficits, or damage to CN X.

20.

Following a traumatic brain injury, a patient has been in a coma for several days. Which of the following statements is true of this patients current LOC?

A)

The patient occasionally makes incomprehensible sounds.

B)

The patients current LOC will likely become a permanent state.

C)

The patient may occasionally make nonpurposeful movements.

D)

The patient is incapable of spontaneous respirations.

Ans:

C

Feedback:

Coma is a clinical state of unarousable unresponsiveness in which no purposeful responses to internal or external stimuli occur, although nonpurposeful responses to painful stimuli and brain stem reflexes may be present. Verbal sounds, however, are atypical. Ventilator support may or may not be necessary. Comas are not permanent states.

21.

The nurse is caring for a patient with permanent neurologic impairments resulting from a traumatic head injury. When working with this patient and family, what mutual goal should be prioritized?

A)

Achieve as high a level of function as possible.

B)

Enhance the quantity of the patients life.

C)

Teach the family proper care of the patient.

D)

Provide community assistance.

Ans:

A

Feedback:

The overarching goals of care are to achieve as high a level of function as possible and to enhance the quality of life for the patient with neurologic impairment and his or her family. This goal encompasses family and community participation.

22.

The nurse is providing care for a patient who is withdrawing from heavy alcohol use. The nurse and other members of the care team are present at the bedside when the patient has a seizure. In preparation for documenting this clinical event, the nurse should note which of the following?

A)

The ability of the patient to follow instructions during the seizure.

B)

The success or failure of the care team to physically restrain the patient.

C)

The patients ability to explain his seizure during the postictal period.

D)

The patients activities immediately prior to the seizure.

Ans:

D

Feedback:

Before and during a seizure, the nurse observes the circumstances before the seizure, including visual, auditory, or olfactory stimuli; tactile stimuli; emotional or psychological disturbances; sleep; and hyperventilation. Communication with the patient is not possible during a seizure and physical restraint is not attempted. The patients ability to explain the seizure is not clinically relevant.

23.

The nurse is caring for a patient whose recent health history includes an altered LOC. What should be the nurses first action when assessing this patient?

A)

Assessing the patients verbal response

B)

Assessing the patients ability to follow complex commands

C)

Assessing the patients judgment

D)

Assessing the patients response to pain

Ans:

A

Feedback:

Assessment of the patient with an altered LOC often starts with assessing the verbal response through determining the patients orientation to time, person, and place. In most cases, this assessment will precede each of the other listed assessments, even though each may be indicated.

24.

The nurse caring for a patient in a persistent vegetative state is regularly assessing for potential complications. Complications of neurologic dysfunction for which the nurse should assess include which of the following? Select all that apply.

A)

Contractures

B)

Hemorrhage

C)

Pressure ulcers

D)

Venous thromboembolism

E)

Pneumonia

Ans:

A, C, D, E

Feedback:

Based on the assessment data, potential complications may include respiratory distress or failure, pneumonia, aspiration, pressure ulcer, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and contractures. The pathophysiology of decreased LOC does not normally create a heightened risk for hemorrhage.

25.

The nurse is caring for a patient with a brain tumor. What drug would the nurse expect to be ordered to reduce the edema surrounding the tumor?

A)

Solumedrol

B)

Dextromethorphan

C)

Dexamethasone

D)

Furosemide

Ans:

C

Feedback:

If a brain tumor is the cause of the increased ICP, corticosteroids (e.g., dexamethasone) help reduce the edema surrounding the tumor. Solumedrol, a steroid, and furosemide, a loop diuretic, are not the drugs of choice in this instance. Dextromethorphan is used in cough medicines.

26.

The nurse is caring for a patient who sustained a moderate head injury following a bicycle accident. The nurses most recent assessment reveals that the patients respiratory effort has increased. What is the nurses most appropriate response?

A)

Inform the care team and assess for further signs of possible increased ICP.

B)

Administer bronchodilators as ordered and monitor the patients LOC.

C)

Increase the patients bed height and reassess in 30 minutes.

D)

Administer a bolus of normal saline as ordered.

Ans:

A

Feedback:

Increased respiratory effort can be suggestive of increasing ICP, and the care team should be promptly informed. A bolus of IV fluid will not address the problem. Repositioning the patient and administering bronchodilators are insufficient responses, even though these actions may later be ordered.

27.

A patient has a poor prognosis after being involved in a motor vehicle accident resulting in a head injury. As the patients ICP increases and condition worsens, the nurse knows to assess for indications of approaching death. These indications include which of the following?

A)

Hemiplegia

B)

Dry mucous membranes

C)

Signs of internal bleeding

D)

Loss of brain stem reflexes

Ans:

D

Feedback:

Loss of brain stem reflexes, including pupillary, corneal, gag, and swallowing reflexes, is an ominous sign of approaching death. Dry mucous membranes, hemiplegia, and bleeding must be promptly addressed, but none of these is a common sign of impending death.

28.

A patient has experienced a seizure in which she became rigid and then experienced alternating muscle relaxation and contraction. What type of seizure does the nurse recognize?

A)

Unclassified seizure

B)

Absence seizure

C)

Generalized seizure

D)

Focal seizure

Ans:

C

Feedback:

Generalized seizures often involve both hemispheres of the brain, causing both sides of the body to react. Intense rigidity of the entire body may occur, followed by alternating muscle relaxation and contraction (generalized tonicclonic contraction). This pattern of rigidity does not occur in patients who experience unclassified, absence, or focal seizures.

29.

When caring for a patient with increased ICP the nurse knows the importance of monitoring for possible secondary complications, including syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone (SIADH). What nursing interventions would the nurse most likely initiate if the patient developed SIADH?

A)

Fluid restriction

B)

Transfusion of platelets

C)

Transfusion of fresh frozen plasma (FFP)

D)

Electrolyte restriction

Ans:

A

Feedback:

The nurse also assesses for complications of increased ICP, including diabetes insipidus, and SIADH. SIADH requires fluid restriction and monitoring of serum electrolyte levels. Transfusions are unnecessary.

30.

The nurse is admitting a patient to the unit who is scheduled for removal of an intracranial mass. What diagnostic procedures might be included in this patients admission orders? Select all that apply.

A)

Transcranial Doppler flow study

B)

Cerebral angiography

C)

MRI

D)

Cranial radiography

E)

Electromyelography (EMG)

Ans:

A, B, C

Feedback:

Preoperative diagnostic procedures may include a CT scan to demonstrate the lesion and show the degree of surrounding brain edema, the ventricular size, and the displacement. An MRI scan provides information similar to that of a CT scan with improved tissue contrast, resolution, and anatomic definition. Cerebral angiography may be used to study a tumors blood supply or to obtain information about vascular lesions. Transcranial Doppler flow studies are used to evaluate the blood flow within intracranial blood vessels. Regular x-rays of the skull would not be diagnostic for an intracranial mass. An EMG would not be ordered prior to intracranial surgery to remove a mass.

31.

A patient is recovering from intracranial surgery performed approximately 24 hours ago and is complaining of a headache that the patient rates at 8 on a 10-point pain scale. What nursing action is most appropriate?

A)

Administer morphine sulfate as ordered.

B)

Reposition the patient in a prone position.

C)

Apply a hot pack to the patients scalp.

D)

Implement distraction techniques.

Ans:

A

Feedback:

The patient usually has a headache after a craniotomy as a result of stretching and irritation of nerves in the scalp during surgery. Morphine sulfate may also be used in the management of postoperative pain in patients who have undergone a craniotomy. Prone positioning is contraindicated due to the consequent increase in ICP. Distraction would likely be inadequate to reduce pain and a hot pack may cause vasodilation and increased pain.

32.

A patient is recovering from intracranial surgery that was performed using the transsphenoidal approach. The nurse should be aware that the patient may have required surgery on what neurologic structure?

A)

Cerebellum

B)

Hypothalamus

C)

Pituitary gland

D)

Pineal gland

Ans:

C

Feedback:

The transsphenoidal approach (through the mouth and nasal sinuses) is often used to gain access to the pituitary gland. This surgical approach would not allow for access to the pineal gland, cerebellum, or hypothalamus.

33.

A patient is postoperative day 1 following intracranial surgery. The nurses assessment reveals that the patients LOC is slightly decreased compared with the day of surgery. What is the nurses best response to this assessment finding?

A)

Recognize that this may represent the peak of post-surgical cerebral edema.

B)

Alert the surgeon to the possibility of an intracranial hemorrhage.

C)

Understand that the surgery may have been unsuccessful.

D)

Recognize the need to refer the patient to the palliative care team.

Ans:

A

Feedback:

Some degree of cerebral edema occurs after brain surgery; it tends to peak 24 to 36 hours after surgery, producing decreased responsiveness on the second postoperative day. As such, there is not necessarily any need to deem the surgery unsuccessful or to refer the patient to palliative care. A decrease in LOC is not evidence of an intracranial hemorrhage.

34.

A school nurse is called to the playground where a 6-year-old girl has been found unresponsive and staring into space, according to the playground supervisor. How would the nurse document the girls activity in her chart at school?

A)

Generalized seizure

B)

Absence seizure

C)

Focal seizure

D)

Unclassified seizure

Ans:

B

Feedback:

Staring episodes characterize an absence seizure, whereas focal seizures, generalized seizures, and unclassified seizures involve uncontrolled motor activity.

35.

A neurologic nurse is reviewing seizures with a group of staff nurses. How should this nurse best describe the cause of a seizure?

A)

Sudden electrolyte changes throughout the brain

B)

A dysrhythmia in the peripheral nervous system

C)

A dysrhythmia in the nerve cells in one section of the brain

D)

Sudden disruptions in the blood flow throughout the brain

Ans:

C

Feedback:

The underlying cause of a seizure is an electrical disturbance (dysrhythmia) in the nerve cells in one section of the brain; these cells emit abnormal, recurring, uncontrolled electrical discharges. Seizures are not caused by changes in blood flow or electrolytes.

36.

The nurse is caring for a patient who has undergone supratentorial removal of a pituitary mass. What medication would the nurse expect to administer prophylactically to prevent seizures in this patient?

A)

Prednisone

B)

Dexamethasone

C)

Cafergot

D)

Phenytoin

Ans:

D

Feedback:

Antiseizure medication (phenytoin, diazepam) is often prescribed prophylactically for patients who have undergone supratentorial craniotomy because of the high risk of seizures after this procedure. Prednisone and dexamethasone are steroids and do not prevent seizures. Cafergot is used in the treatment of migraines.

37.

A hospital patient has experienced a seizure. In the immediate recovery period, what action best protects the patients safety?

A)

Place the patient in a side-lying position.

B)

Pad the patients bed rails.

C)

Administer antianxiety medications as ordered.

D)

Reassure the patient and family members.

Ans:

A

Feedback:

To prevent complications, the patient is placed in the side-lying position to facilitate drainage of oral secretions. Suctioning is performed, if needed, to maintain a patent airway and prevent aspiration. None of the other listed actions promotes safety during the immediate recovery period.

38.

A nurse is caring for a patient who experiences debilitating cluster headaches. The patient should be taught to take appropriate medications at what point in the course of the onset of a new headache?

A)

As soon as the patients pain becomes unbearable

B)

As soon as the patient senses the onset of symptoms

C)

Twenty to 30 minutes after the onset of symptoms

D)

When the patient senses his or her symptoms peaking

Ans:

B

Feedback:

A migraine or a cluster headache in the early phase requires abortive medication therapy instituted as soon as possible. Delaying medication administration would lead to unnecessary pain.

39.

A nurse is collaborating with the interdisciplinary team to help manage a patients recurrent headaches. What aspect of the patients health history should the nurse identify as a potential contributor to the patients headaches?

A)

The patient leads a sedentary lifestyle.

B)

The patient takes vitamin D and calcium supplements.

C)

The patient takes vasodilators for the treatment of angina.

D)

The patient has a pattern of weight loss followed by weight gain.

Ans:

C

Feedback:

Vasodilators are known to contribute to headaches. Weight fluctuations, sedentary lifestyle, and vitamin supplements are not known to have this effect.

40.

An adult patient has sought care for the treatment of headaches that have become increasingly severe and frequent over the past several months. Which of the following questions addresses potential etiological factors? Select all that apply?

A)

Are you exposed to any toxins or chemicals at work?

B)

How would you describe your ability to cope with stress?

C)

What medications are you currently taking?

D)

When was the last time you were hospitalized?

E)

Does anyone else in your family struggle with headaches?

Ans:

A, B, C, E

Feedback:

Headaches are multifactorial, and may involve medications, exposure to toxins, family history, and stress. Hospitalization is an unlikely contributor to headaches.

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