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When counseling an older patient about ways to prevent fractures, which information will the nurse include?
a.
Tacking down scatter rugs in the home is recommended.
b.
Occasional weight-bearing exercise will improve muscle and bone strength.
c.
Most falls happen outside the home.
d.
Buying shoes that provide good support and are comfortable to wear is recommended.

Correct Answer: D
Rationale: Comfortable shoes with good support will help to decrease the risk for falls. Scatter rugs should be eliminated, not just tacked down. Regular weight-bearing exercise will improve strength, but occasional exercise is not helpful in improving strength. Falls inside the home are responsible for many injuries.

Cognitive Level: Application Text Reference: p. 1630
Nursing Process: Implementation
NCLEX: Health Promotion and Maintenance

A patient is seen at the urgent care center after falling on the right arm and shoulder. It will be most important for the nurse to determine
a.
whether there is bruising at the shoulder area.
b.
whether the right arm is shorter than the left.
c.
the amount of pain the patient is experiencing.
d.
how much range of motion (ROM) is present.

Correct Answer: B
Rationale: A shorter limb after a fall indicates a possible dislocation, which is an orthopedic emergency. The nurse will expect bruising and pain at the area, even without an injury that requires surgery. The shoulder should be immobilized until it is evaluated by the health care provider.

3. A checkout clerk in a grocery store has muscle and tendon tears that have become inflamed, causing pain and weakness in the left hand and elbow. The nurse identifies these symptoms as related to
a.
muscle spasms.
b.
meniscus injury.
c.
repetitive strain injury.
d.
carpal tunnel syndrome.

Correct Answer: C
Rationale: The patient's occupation and the inflammation, pain, and weakness in the elbow and hand suggest a repetitive strain injury. Muscle spasms would be characterized by a palpable, firm muscle mass during the spasm. Meniscus injury would affect the knee. Carpal tunnel syndrome is characterized by weakness and numbness of the hand.

4. When working with a patient whose job involves many hours of word processing, the nurse will teach the patient about the need to
a.
do stretching and warm-up exercises before starting work.
b.
wrap the wrists with a compression bandage every morning.
c.
use acetaminophen (Tylenol) instead of NSAIDs for wrist pain.
d.
obtain a keyboard pad to support the wrist while word processing.

Correct Answer: D
Rationale: Repetitive strain injuries caused by prolonged times working at a keyboard can be prevented by the use of a pad that will keep the wrists in a straight position. Stretching exercises during the day may be helpful, but these would not be needed before starting. Use of a compression bandage is not needed, although a splint may be used for carpal tunnel syndrome. NSAIDs are appropriate to use to decrease swelling.

Cognitive Level: Application Text Reference: p. 1633
Nursing Process: Implementation
NCLEX: Health Promotion and Maintenance

A patient arrives in the emergency department with ankle swelling and severe pain after twisting the ankle playing soccer. All of the following orders are written by the health care provider. Which one will the nurse act on first?
a.
Administer naproxen (Naprosyn) 500 mg PO.
b.
Wrap the ankle and apply an ice pack.
c.
Give acetaminophen with codeine (Tylenol #3).
d.
Take the patient to the radiology department for x-rays.

Correct Answer: B
Rationale: Immediate care after a sprain or strain injury includes the application of cold and compression to the injury to minimize swelling. The other actions should be taken after the ankle is wrapped with a compression bandage and ice is applied.

Cognitive Level: Application Text Reference: p. 1631
Nursing Process: Implementation NCLEX: Physiological Integrity

Following x-rays of an injured wrist, the patient is informed that it is badly sprained. In teaching the patient to care for the injury, the nurse tells the patient to
a.
apply a heating pad to reduce muscle spasms.
b.
wear an elastic compression bandage continuously.
c.
use pillows to keep the arm elevated above the heart.
d.
gently exercise the joint to prevent muscle shortening.

Correct Answer: C
Rationale: Elevation of the arm will reduce the amount of swelling and pain. For the first 24 to 48 hours, cold packs are used to reduce swelling. Compression bandages are not left on continuously. The wrist should be rested and kept immobile to prevent further swelling or injury.

7. A 22-year-old patient started an exercise regimen 2 months ago that includes running 3 to 4 miles a day. The patient tells the nurse, "I enjoy my daily runs, but now I have shin splints." Which response by the nurse is appropriate?
a.
"You may be increasing your running time too quickly and need to cut back a little bit."
b.
"You need to have x-rays of your lower legs to be sure you do not have stress fractures."
c.
"You should expect some leg pain while running."
d.
"You should try speed-walking rather than running."

Correct Answer: A
Rationale: The patient's information about running 3 to 4 miles daily after starting an exercise program only 2 months previously suggests that the shin splints are caused by overuse. Radiographs are not indicated for the type of injury described by the patient. Shin splints are not a normal or expected response to running. Because the patient expresses enjoyment of running, it would not be appropriate for the nurse to suggest a different sport.

Cognitive Level: Application Text Reference: p. 1630
Nursing Process: Implementation NCLEX: Physiological Integrity

A 20-year-old baseball pitcher has an arthroscopic repair of a rotator cuff injury performed in same-day surgery. When the nurse plans postoperative teaching for the patient, which information will be included?
a.
"You have an appointment with a physical therapist for tomorrow."
b.
"Leave the shoulder immobilizer on for the first few days to minimize pain."
c.
"The doctor will use the drop-arm test to determine the success of the procedure."
d.
"You should try to find a different position to play on the baseball team."

Correct Answer: A
Rationale: Physical therapy after a rotator cuff repair begins on the first postoperative day to prevent "frozen shoulder." A shoulder immobilizer is used immediately after the surgery, but leaving the arm immobilized for several days would lead to loss of ROM. The drop-arm test is used to test for rotator cuff injury, but not after surgery. The patient may be able to return to pitching after rehabilitation.

9. A patient with a fractured radius asks when the cast can be removed. The nurse will instruct the patient that the cast can be removed only after the bone
a.
is strong enough to stand mild stress.
b.
union is complete on the x-ray.
c.
fragments are fully fused.
d.
healing has started.

Correct Answer: A
Rationale: The cast may be removed when callus ossification has occurred. It is not necessary to wait until radiologic union or complete bone fusion occurs. Bone healing starts immediately after the injury, but the cast will need to be worn at least 3 weeks.

10. A patient with a comminuted fracture of the right femur has Buck's traction in place while waiting for surgery. To assess for pressure areas on the patient's back and sacral area and to provide skin care, the nurse should
a.
have the patient lift the buttocks by bending and pushing with the left leg.
b.
turn the patient partially to each side with the assistance of another nurse.
c.
place a pillow between the patient's legs and turn gently to each side.
d.
loosen the traction and have the patient turn onto the unaffected side.

Correct Answer: A
Rationale: The patient can lift the buttocks off the bed by using the left leg without changing the right-leg alignment. Turning the patient will tend to move the leg out of alignment. Disconnecting the traction will interrupt the weight needed to immobilize and align the fracture.

11. A patient in the emergency department is diagnosed with a patellar dislocation. The initial patient teaching by the nurse will focus on the need for
a.
conscious sedation.
b.
a knee immobilizer.
c.
gentle knee flexion.
d.
cast application.

Correct Answer: A
Rationale: The first goal of collaborative management is realignment of the knee to its original anatomic position, which will require anesthesia or conscious sedation. Immobilization of the joint will be done after realignment. Later, gentle ROM exercises may be started if the joint is stable. Casting is not usually required for dislocations.

Cognitive Level: Application Text Reference: p. 1632
Nursing Process: Implementation NCLEX: Physiological Integrity

12. Following a motor-vehicle accident, a patient arrives in the emergency department with massive right lower-leg swelling. Which action will the nurse take first?
a.
Elevate the leg on pillows.
b.
Apply a compression bandage.
c.
Place ice packs on the lower leg.
d.
Check leg pulses and sensation.

Correct Answer: D
Rationale: The initial action by the nurse will be to assess the circulation to the leg and to observe for any evidence of injury such as fractures or dislocations. After the initial assessment, the other actions may be appropriate based on what is observed during the assessment.

13. Following the application of a hip spica cast for a patient with a fracture of the proximal third of the left femur, an appropriate nursing intervention is to
a.
use the cast support bar to reposition the patient every 2 to 3 hours.
b.
ask the patient about any abdominal discomfort or nausea.
c.
discuss the reasons for remaining on bed rest for several weeks.
d.
promote drying of the cast by placing the patient in a prone position every 4 hours.

Correct Answer: B
Rationale: Assessment of bowel tones, abdominal pain, and nausea and vomiting will detect the development of cast syndrome. To avoid breakage, the support bar should not be used for repositioning. After the cast dries, the patient can begin ambulating with the assistance of physical therapy personnel. The patient should not be placed in the prone position until the cast has dried to avoid breaking the cast.

Cognitive Level: Application Text Reference: p. 1640
Nursing Process: Implementation NCLEX: Physiological Integrity

A patient is admitted to the emergency department with possible fractures of the bones of the left lower extremity. The initial action by the nurse should be to
a.
splint the lower leg.
b.
elevate the left leg.
c.
check the popliteal, dorsalis pedis, and posterior tibial pulses.
d.
obtain information about the patient's tetanus immunization status.

Correct Answer: C
Rationale: The initial nursing action should be assessment of the neurovascular status of the injured leg. After assessment, the nurse may need to splint and elevate the leg, based on the assessment data. Information about tetanus immunizations should be done if there is an open wound.

Cognitive Level: Application Text Reference: p. 1642
Nursing Process: Assessment NCLEX: Physiological Integrity

in developing a care plan for a patient with an open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) of an open, displaced fracture of the tibia, the priority nursing diagnosis is
a.
risk for constipation related to prolonged bed rest.
b.
activity intolerance related to deconditioning.
c.
risk for infection related to disruption of skin integrity.
d.
risk for impaired skin integrity related to immobility.

Correct Answer: C
Rationale: A patient having an ORIF is at risk for problems such as wound infection and osteomyelitis. After an ORIF, patients typically are mobilized starting the first postoperative day, so problems caused by immobility are not as likely.

Cognitive Level: Application Text Reference: p. 1638
Nursing Process: Diagnosis NCLEX: Physiological Integrity

A patient hospitalized with multiple fractures has a long-arm plaster cast applied for immobilization of a fractured left radius. Until the cast has completely dried, the nurse should
a.
keep the left arm in a dependent position.
b.
handle the cast with the palms of the hands.
c.
place gauze around the cast edge to pad any roughness.
d.
cover the cast with a small blanket to absorb the dampness.

Correct Answer: B
Rationale: Until a plaster cast has dried, placing pressure on the cast should be avoided to prevent creating areas inside the cast that could place pressure on the arm. The left arm should be elevated to prevent swelling. The edges of the cast may be petaled once the cast is dry, but padding the edges before that may cause the cast to be misshapen. The cast should not be covered until it is dry because heat builds up during drying.

A patient has a short-arm plaster cast applied at the outpatient center for a wrist fracture. An understanding of discharge teaching is apparent when the patient says,
a.
"I can get the cast wet as long as I dry it right away with a hair dryer."
b.
"I should avoid moving my fingers and elbow until the cast is removed."
c.
"I will apply an ice pack to the cast over the fracture site for the next 24 hours."
d.
"I can rub lotion on any itching areas under the cast with a cotton-tipped applicator."

Correct Answer: C
Rationale: Ice application for the first 24 hours after a fracture will help to reduce swelling and can be placed over the cast. Plaster casts should not get wet. The patient should be encouraged to move the joints above and below the cast. Patients should not insert objects inside the cast.

When evaluating the crutch-walking technique of a patient with a right-leg long-leg cast and no weight bearing on the right leg, the nurse determines that the patient is prepared to ambulate independently with the crutches on observing that the patient
a.
uses the bedside chair to assist in balance as needed when ambulating in the room.
b.
keeps the padded area of the crutch firmly in the axillary area when ambulating.
c.
advances the right leg and both crutches together and then advances the left leg.
d.
moves the left crutch with the left leg and then the right crutch with the right leg.

Correct Answer: C
Rationale: When using crutches, patients are usually taught to move the assistive device and the injured leg forward at the same time and then to move the unaffected leg. Patients are discouraged from using furniture to assist with ambulation. The patient is taught to place weight on the hands, not in the axilla, to avoid nerve damage. If the 2- or 4-point gaits are to be used, the crutch and leg on opposite sides move forward, not the crutch and same-side leg.

Cognitive Level: Application Text Reference: p. 1648
Nursing Process: Evaluation
NCLEX: Safe and Effective Care Environment

A patient with comminuted fractures of the tibia and fibula is treated with open reduction and application of an external fixator. The next day, the patient complains of severe pain in the leg, which is unrelieved by ordered analgesics. The patient's toes are pink, but the patient complains of numbness and tingling. The most appropriate action by the nurse is to
a.
notify the patient's health care provider.
b.
check the patient's blood pressure.
c.
assess the external fixator pins for redness or drainage.
d.
elevate the extremity and apply ice over the wound site.

Correct Answer: A
Rationale: The patient's clinical manifestations point to compartment syndrome and delay in diagnosis, and treatment may lead to severe functional impairment. There is no reason to suspect that patient's symptoms are caused by hypotension or hypertension or by infection at the pin sites. Elevation of or ice application to the leg will decrease arterial flow and further reduce perfusion.

Cognitive Level: Application Text Reference: pp. 1650-1651
Nursing Process: Implementation NCLEX: Physiological Integrity

A patient with a fractured pelvis is initially treated with bed rest with no turning from side to side permitted. The second day after admission, the patient develops chest pain, tachypnea, and tachycardia. The nurse determines that the patient's symptoms are most likely related to fat embolism when assessment of the patient reveals
a.
a blood pressure of 100/65 mm Hg.
b.
anxiety, restlessness, and confusion.
c.
warm, reddened areas in the calf.
d.
pinpoint red areas on the upper chest.

Correct Answer: D
Rationale: The presence of petechiae helps distinguish fat embolism from other problems. The other symptoms might occur with fat embolism but could also occur with other postoperative complications such as bleeding, myocardial infarction, venous thrombosis, or hypoxemia.

The health care provider initially orders bed rest for a patient with an open-book pelvic fracture. Which assessment data obtained by the nurse are most important to report to the health care provider?
a.
The bowel tones are absent.
b.
There is an unusual amount of pelvic movement.
c.
The patient complains of level 4 abdominal pain on a 10-point pain scale.
d.
There is bruising of the abdomen.

Correct Answer: A
Rationale: Absent bowel tones may be due to complications of pelvic fractures such as paralytic ileus, hemorrhage, or trauma to the bladder, urethra, or colon. Unusual pelvic movement, abdominal pain, and abdominal bruising would be expected with this type of injury.

22. After falling at home, a patient is admitted to the emergency department, where x-rays confirm the presence of an extracapsular fracture of the femur. When assessing the patient, the nurse would expect to find
a.
bruising of the left hip and thigh.
b.
numbness in the left leg and hip.
c.
outward pointing toes on the left leg.
d.
weak or nonpalpable left leg pulses.

Correct Answer: C
Rationale: External rotation of the leg is a classic sign associated with a hip fracture. Bruising does not always appear rapidly, and bruising extending to the thigh might indicate hemorrhage. Numbness and decreased pulses are not typical of a hip fracture unless there is associated tissue swelling and trauma to blood vessels.

A patient with an intracapsular fracture of the left femur is placed in Buck's traction before surgery for a hip replacement. The patient asks why traction is necessary when surgery is planned. The nurse's response to the patient is based on the knowledge that traction
a.
will help prevent flexion contractures of the affected hip.
b.
is necessary to prevent displacement of the fracture.
c.
will decrease the incidence of painful muscle spasms
d.
is used to maintain the leg in the external rotation position.

Correct Answer: C
Rationale: Buck's traction keeps the leg immobilized and reduces muscle spasm. Flexion contractures are not likely to occur during the short time before surgery. Displacement of the hip is prevented by keeping the patient on bed rest before surgery. The leg is externally rotated because of the hip fracture, not because of traction.

Cognitive Level: Comprehension Text Reference: p. 1653
Nursing Process: Implementation NCLEX: Physiological Integrity

A patient with lower-leg fractures has an external fixation device in place and is scheduled for discharge. Which information will the nurse include in the discharge teaching?
a.
"You will need to remain on bed rest until bone healing is complete."
b.
"The external fixator can be removed during the bath or shower."
c.
"Prophylactic antibiotics are needed until the external fixator is removed."
d.
"You will need to assess and clean the pin insertion sites daily."

Correct Answer: D
Rationale: Pin insertion sites should be cleaned daily to decrease the risk for infection at the site. An external fixator allows the patient to be out of bed and avoid the risks of prolonged immobility. The device is surgically placed and is not removed until the bone is stable. Prophylactic antibiotics are not routinely given when an external fixator is used.

Cognitive Level: Application Text Reference: p. 1641
Nursing Process: Implementation NCLEX: Physiological Integrity

When getting a patient from the bed into the chair for the first time since having an ORIF of a hip fracture, the nurse should
a.
use a mechanical lift to transfer the patient from the bed to the chair.
b.
assist the patient to use a walker with partial weight bearing to assist in transfer to the chair.
c.
have the patient use crutches with a swing-through gait to transfer.
d.
ask a nursing assistant to help the patient to stand at the bedside and pivot to the chair.

Correct Answer: B
Rationale: The patient will use an assistive device such as a walker to help with the initial transfers and ambulation. A mechanical lift is not needed. Crutch walking is taught before discharge but would not be used for the initial transfer. The RN, not a nursing assistant, should supervise the patient during the initial transfer to evaluate how well the patient is able to accomplish this skill.

A patient is admitted with facial injuries after a bicycle accident and has a repair of a fractured mandible. When doing postoperative teaching, the nurse will include information about
a.
the use of sterile technique for dressing changes.
b.
the importance of including high-fiber foods in the diet.
c.
when the patient may need to cut the immobilizing wires.
d.
self-administration of nasogastric tube feedings.

Correct Answer: C
Rationale: The jaw will be wired for stabilization, and the patient should know what emergency situations require that the wires be cut to protect the airway. There are no dressing changes for this procedure. The diet is liquid, and patients are not able to chew high-fiber foods. Initially, the patient may receive nasogastric tube feedings, but by discharge the patient will swallow liquid through a straw.

Cognitive Level: Application Text Reference: p. 1657
Nursing Process: Implementation NCLEX: Physiological Integrity

A patient who has severe peripheral arterial disease and ischemic foot ulcers is upset with the health care provider's recommendation to have an above-the-knee amputation. The patient tells the nurse, "If they want to cut off my leg, they should just shoot me instead." The most appropriate response to the patient's statement is,
a.
"Let's talk about how you feel this surgery will affect you."
b.
"If you do not want the surgery, you do not have to have it."
c.
"I understand why you are upset, but there really is no choice because your leg is so badly diseased."
d.
"Many people are able to function normally with a prosthesis after amputation, and you can too."

Correct Answer: A
Rationale: The initial nursing action should be to assess how the patient feels about the amputation and what the patient knows about the procedure and rehabilitation process. Discussion about the patient's option to not have the procedure, the reason the procedure is needed, or rehabilitation after the procedure may be appropriate after the nurse knows more about the patient's current level of knowledge and emotional state.

Cognitive Level: Application Text Reference: p. 1659
Nursing Process: Implementation NCLEX: Psychosocial Integrity

On the first postoperative day, a patient with a below-the-knee amputation complains of pain in the amputated limb. An appropriate action by the nurse is to
a.
administer prescribed opioids to relieve the pain.
b.
explain the reasons for phantom limb pain.
c.
loosen the compression bandage to decrease incisional pressure.
d.
remind the patient that this phantom pain will diminish over time.

Correct Answer: A
Rationale: Phantom limb pain is treated like any other type of postoperative pain would be treated. Explanations of the reason for the pain may be given, but the nurse should still medicate the patient. The compression bandage is left in place except during physical therapy or bathing. Although the pain may decrease over time, it still requires treatment now.

Cognitive Level: Comprehension Text Reference: pp. 1660-1661
Nursing Process: Implementation NCLEX: Physiological Integrity

A patient undergoes a right below-the-knee amputation with an immediate prosthetic fitting. When the patient is returned to the nursing unit, the nurse should
a.
check the surgical site for hemorrhage.
b.
take the patient's vital signs frequently.
c.
keep the residual leg elevated on a pillow.
d.
place the patient in a prone position.

Correct Answer: B
Rationale: The vital signs should be monitored frequently to assess for hemorrhage because the nurse will not be able to visualize the surgical site. Flexion contracture of the hip would be encouraged by elevating the residual limb on a pillow. The patient is placed in a prone position after amputation to prevent hip flexion, but this would not be done during the immediate postoperative period.

Cognitive Level: Application Text Reference: p. 1660
Nursing Process: Implementation NCLEX: Physiological Integrity

The nurse provides discharge instructions to a patient with an above-the-knee amputation who will be fitted with a prosthesis when healing is complete and the residual limb is well molded. The nurse determines that teaching has been effective when the patient says,
a.
"I should change the limb sock when it becomes soiled or stretched out."
b.
"I should use lotion on the stump to prevent drying and cracking of the skin."
c.
"I should elevate my residual limb on a pillow 2 or 3 times a day."
d.
"I should lay on my abdomen for 30 minutes 3 or 4 times a day."

Correct Answer: D
Rationale: The patient lies in the prone position several times daily to prevent flexion contractures of the hip. The limp sock should be changed daily. Lotion should not be used on the stump. The residual limb should not be elevated because this would encourage flexion contracture.

Cognitive Level: Application Text Reference: p. 1661
Nursing Process: Evaluation NCLEX: Physiological Integrity

31. When preparing a patient to ambulate the day after an ORIF for a hip fracture, which action is most important for the nurse to take?
a.
Administering the ordered oral opioid pain medication
b.
Instructing the patient about the benefits of ambulation
c.
Ensuring that the incisional drain has been discontinued
d.
Changing the hip dressing and document the appearance of the site

Correct Answer: A
Rationale: The patient should be adequately medicated for pain before any attempt to ambulate. Instructions about the benefits of ambulation may increase the patient's willingness to ambulate, but decreasing pain with ambulation is more important. The presence of an incisional drain or timing of dressing change will not impact on ambulation.

Cognitive Level: Application Text Reference: pp. 1654, 1647
Nursing Process: Implementation NCLEX: Physiological Integrity

A patient is to be discharged from the hospital 4 days after undergoing a total hip arthroplasty. A statement by the patient that indicates a need for additional discharge instructions is
a.
"I should not cross my legs while sitting."
b.
"I can sleep in any position that is comfortable for me."
c.
"I will use a toilet elevator on the toilet seat."
d.
"I will have someone else put on my shoes and socks."

Correct Answer: B
Rationale: The patient needs to sleep in a position that allows excessive internal rotation or flexion of the hip. The other patient statements indicate that the patient has understood the teaching.

Cognitive Level: Application Text Reference: p. 1654
Nursing Process: Evaluation NCLEX: Physiological Integrity

A patient with severe osteoarthritis of the left knee has undergone left-knee arthroplasty with replacement of the total knee joint with a plastic prosthesis. Postoperatively, the nurse expects care of the leg to include
a.
bed rest for 3 days with the left leg immobilized in an extended position.
b.
use of a compression bandage to hold the left knee in a flexed position.
c.
progressive leg exercises to obtain 90-degree flexion.
d.
early ambulation with full weight bearing on the left leg.

Correct Answer: C
Rationale: After knee arthroplasty, active or passive flexion exercises are used to obtain a 90-degree flexion of the knee. The patient is ambulated the first postoperative day. A compression bandage is used to hold the knee in an extended position after surgery. Full weight bearing is expected before discharge, but it is not started early after surgery.

Cognitive Level: Application Text Reference: p. 1664
Nursing Process: Planning NCLEX: Physiological Integrity

A patient with severe ulnar drift caused by rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is scheduled for an arthroplasty of the right hand and fingers. The nurse determines that the patient has realistic expectations of the outcome of surgery when the patient says,
a.
"I will be able to use my fingers to grasp objects better."
b.
"My fingers will appear normal in size and shape after this surgery."
c.
"This procedure will prevent further deformity in my hands and fingers."
d.
"I will not have to do as many hand exercises after the surgery."

Correct Answer: A
Rationale: The goal of hand surgery in RA is to restore function, not to correct for cosmetic deformity or treat the underlying process.

Cognitive Level: Application Text Reference: p. 1664
Nursing Process: Evaluation NCLEX: Physiological Integrity

35. When giving home-care instructions to a patient who has multiple forearm fractures and a long-arm cast on the right arm, which information should the nurse include?
a.
Keep the hand immobile to prevent soft tissue swelling.
b.
Call the health care provider for increased swelling or numbness.
c.
Keep the right shoulder elevated on a pillow or cushion.
d.
Avoid the use of NSAIDs for the first 48 hours after the injury.

Correct Answer: B
Rationale: Increased swelling or numbness may indicate increased pressure at the injury, and the health care provider should be notified immediately to avoid damage to nerves and other tissues. The patient should be encouraged to move the joints above and below the cast to avoid stiffness. There is no need to elevate the shoulder, although the forearm should be elevated to reduce swelling. NSAIDs are appropriate to treat pain after a fracture.

Cognitive Level: Application Text Reference: p. 1646
Nursing Process: Implementation NCLEX: Physiological Integrity

A patient who has a proximal humerus fracture that is immobilized with a left-sided long-arm cast, and a sling is admitted to the medical-surgical unit. Which nursing intervention will be included in the plan of care?
a.
Use surgical net dressing to hang the arm from an IV pole.
b.
Immobilize the fingers on the left hand with gauze dressings.
c.
Assess the left axilla and change absorbent dressings as needed.
d.
Assist the patient in passive range of motion (ROM) for the right arm.

Correct Answer: C
Rationale: The axilla can become excoriated when a sling is used to support the arm, and the nurse should check the axilla and apply absorbent dressings to prevent this. A patient with a sling would not have traction applied by hanging. The patient will be encouraged to move the fingers on the injured arm to maintain function and to help decrease swelling. The patient will do active ROM on the uninjured side.

Cognitive Level: Application Text Reference: p. 1640
Nursing Process: Planning NCLEX: Physiological Integrity

A patient who has been hospitalized for 3 days with a hip fracture and Buck's traction has sudden onset shortness of breath and tachypnea. The patient tells the nurse, "I feel like I am going to die!" Which action should the nurse take first?
a.
Stay with the patient and offer reassurance.
b.
Administer oxygen at 4 L/min by a nasal cannula.
c.
Notify the health care provider about the patient's symptoms.
d.
Check the patient's legs for swelling or tenderness.

Correct Answer: B
Rationale: The patient's clinical manifestations and history are consistent with a pulmonary embolus, and the nurse's first action should be to ensure adequate oxygenation. The nurse should offer reassurance to the patient, but meeting the physiologic need for oxygen is a higher priority. The health care provider should be notified after the oxygen is started and pulse oximetry and assessment for deep vein thrombosis (DVT) are obtained.

Cognitive Level: Application Text Reference: p. 1646
Nursing Process: Implementation NCLEX: Physiological Integrity

All these medications are ordered at 9:00 AM for a patient who has had a right-hip replacement the previous day and is scheduled to ambulate with the physical therapist for the first time at 9:45. Which medication should be given first?
a.
Oxycodone (Roxicodone) 5 mg PO
b.
Ceftriaxone (Rocephin) 500 mg IV
c.
Enoxaparin (Lovenox) 30 mg SC
d.
Psyllium (Metamucil) 1 tsp PO

Correct Answer: A
Rationale: The pain medication should be given so that it has time to take effect before the patient is ambulated. The other medications will not affect whether the patient can ambulate or not, although the antibiotic and anticoagulant medications should be given as soon as possible in order to maintain therapeutic blood levels.

Cognitive Level: Application Text Reference: p. 1647
Nursing Process: Implementation NCLEX: Physiological Integrity

The nurse observes a patient doing all these activities after having a hip-replacement surgery. Which patient action requires that the nurse intervene immediately?
a.
The patient sits straight up on the edge of the bed.
b.
The patient leans over to pull shoes and socks on.
c.
The patient bends over the sink while brushing the teeth.
d.
The patient uses crutches with a swing-to gait.

Correct Answer: B
Rationale: Leaning over would flex the hip at greater than 90 degrees and predispose the patient to hip dislocation. The other patient actions are appropriate and do not require any immediate action by the nurse to protect the patient.

Cognitive Level: Application Text Reference: p. 1654
Nursing Process: Assessment NCLEX: Physiological Integrity

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