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Ch 38 Assessment of GI
Terms in this set (17)
1. Which information about an 80-yr-old male patient at the senior center is of most concern to the nurse?
a. Decreased appetite
b. Unintended weight loss
c. Difficulty chewing food
d. Complaints of indigestion
Unintentional weight loss is not a normal finding and may indicate a problem such as cancer or depression. Poor appetite, difficulty in chewing, and complaints of indigestion are common in older patients. These will need to be addressed but are not of as much concern as the weight loss
2. An older patient reports chronic constipation. To promote bowel evacuation, the nurse will suggest that the patient attempt defecation
a. in the mid-afternoon.
b. after eating breakfast.
c. right after getting up in the morning.
d. immediately before the first daily meal
The gastrocolic reflex is most active after the first daily meal. Arising in the morning, the anticipation of eating, and physical exercise do not stimulate these reflexes.
3. When caring for a patient with a history of a total gastrectomy, the nurse will monitor for
c. elevated total serum cholesterol.
d. cobalamin (vitamin B12) deficiency.
The patient with a total gastrectomy does not secrete intrinsic factor, which is needed for cobalamin (vitamin B12) absorption. Because the stomach absorbs only small amounts of water and nutrients, the patient is not at higher risk for dehydration, elevated cholesterol, or constipation.
4. The nurse will plan to monitor a patient with an obstructed common bile duct for
c. decreased serum cholesterol level.
d. increased serum indirect bilirubin level.
A common bile duct obstruction will reduce the absorption of fat in the small intestine, leading to fatty stools. Gastrointestinal bleeding is not caused by common bile duct obstruction. Serum cholesterol levels are increased with biliary obstruction. Direct bilirubin level is increased with biliary obstruction.
5. The nurse receives the following information about a 51-yr-old female patient who is scheduled for a colonoscopy. Which information should be communicated to the health care provider before sending the patient for the procedure?
a. The patient has a permanent pacemaker to prevent bradycardia.
b. The patient is worried about discomfort during the examination.
c. The patient has had an allergic reaction to both shellfish and iodine in the past.
d. The patient declined to drink the prescribed polyethylene glycol (GoLYTELY).
If the patient has had inadequate bowel preparation, the colon cannot be visualized and the procedure should be rescheduled. Because contrast solution is not used during colonoscopy, the iodine allergy is not pertinent. A pacemaker is a contraindication to magnetic resonance imaging but not to colonoscopy. The nurse should instruct the patient about the sedation used during the examination to decrease the patient's anxiety about discomfort.
6. Which statement to the nurse from a patient with jaundice indicates a need for teaching?
a. "I used cough syrup several times a day last week."
b. "I take a baby aspirin every day to prevent strokes."
c. "I use acetaminophen (Tylenol) every 4 hours for back pain."
d. "I need to take an antacid for indigestion several times a week"
Chronic use of high doses of acetaminophen can be hepatotoxic and may have caused the patient's jaundice. The other patient statements require further assessment by the nurse but do not indicate a need for patient education.
7. To palpate the liver during a head-to-toe physical assessment, the nurse
a. places one hand on the patient's back and presses upward and inward with the other hand below the patient's right costal margin.
b. places one hand on top of the other and uses the upper fingers to apply pressure and the bottom fingers to feel for the liver edge.
c. presses slowly and firmly over the right costal margin with one hand and withdraws the fingers quickly after the liver edge is felt.
d. places one hand under the patient's lower ribs and presses the left lower rib cage forward, palpating below the costal margin with the other hand.
The liver is normally not palpable below the costal margin. The nurse needs to push inward below the right costal margin while lifting the patient's back slightly with the left hand. The other methods will not allow palpation of the liver.
8. Which finding by the nurse during abdominal auscultation indicates a need for a focused abdominal assessment?
a. Loud gurgles
b. High-pitched gurgles
c. Absent bowel sounds
d. Frequent clicking sounds
Absent bowel sounds are abnormal and require further assessment by the nurse. The other sounds may be heard normally.
9. After assisting with a needle biopsy of the liver at a patient's bedside, the nurse should
a. put pressure on the biopsy site using a sandbag.
b. elevate the head of the bed to facilitate breathing.
c. place the patient on the right side with the bed flat.
d. check the patient's postbiopsy coagulation studies.
After a biopsy, the patient lies on the right side with the bed flat to splint the biopsy site. Coagulation studies are checked before the biopsy. A sandbag does not exert adequate pressure to splint the site.
10. A 42-yr-old patient is admitted to the outpatient testing area for an ultrasound of the gallbladder. Which information obtained by the nurse indicates that the ultrasound may need to be rescheduled?
a. The patient took a laxative the previous evening.
b. The patient had a high-fat meal the previous evening.
c. The patient has a permanent gastrostomy tube in place.
d. The patient ate a low-fat bagel 4 hours ago for breakfast
Food intake can cause the gallbladder to contract and result in a suboptimal study. The patient should be NPO for 8 to 12 hours before the test. A high-fat meal the previous evening, laxative use, or a gastrostomy tube will not affect the results of the study.
11. The nurse is assessing an alert and independent 78-yr-old patient for malnutrition risk. Which is the most appropriate initial question?
a. "How do you get to the store to buy your food?"
b. "Can you tell me the food that you ate yesterday?"
c. "Do you have any difficulty in preparing or eating food?"
d. "Are you taking any medications that alter your taste for food?"
This question is the most open-ended and will provide the best overall information about the patient's daily intake and risk for poor nutrition. The other questions may be asked, depending on the patient's response to the first question.
12. A patient has just arrived in the recovery area after an upper endoscopy. Which information collected by the nurse is most important to communicate to the health care provider?
a. The patient is very drowsy.
b. The patient reports a sore throat.
c. The oral temperature is 101.4°F.
d. The apical pulse is 100 beats/minute.
A temperature elevation may indicate that an acute perforation has occurred. The other assessment data are normal immediately after the procedure.
A 30-yr-old male patient with a body mass index (BMI) of 22 kg/m2
is being admitted to the
hospital for elective knee surgery. Which assessment finding is important to report to the
health care provider?
a. Tympany on percussion of the abdomen
b. Liver edge 3 cm below the costal margin
c. Bowel sounds of 20/minute in each quadrant
d. Aortic pulsations visible in the epigastric area
Normally the lower border of the liver is not palpable below the ribs, so this finding suggests
hepatomegaly. The other findings are within normal range for the physical assessment.
A 58-yr-old patient has just returned to the nursing unit after an esophagogastroduodenoscopy
(EGD). Which action by unlicensed assistive personnel (UAP) requires that the registered
nurse (RN) intervene?
a. Offering the patient a pitcher of water
b. Positioning the patient on the right side
c. Checking the vital signs every 30 minutes
d. Swabbing the patient's mouth with a wet cloth
Immediately after EGD, the patient will have a decreased gag reflex and is at risk for
aspiration. Assessment for return of the gag reflex should be done by the RN. The other
actions by the UAP are appropriate.
15. A patient is being scheduled for endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) as
soon as possible. Which prescribed action should the nurse take first?
a. Place the patient on NPO status.
b. Administer sedative medications.
c. Ensure the consent form is signed.
d. Teach the patient about the procedure.
The patient will need to be NPO for 8 hours before the ERCP is done, so the nurse's initial
action should be to place the patient on NPO status. The other actions can be done after the
patient is NPO.
16. While interviewing a young adult patient, the nurse learns that the patient has a family history
of familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP). The nurse will plan to assess the patient's
a. preventing noninfectious hepatitis.
b. treating inflammatory bowel disease.
c. risk for developing colorectal cancer.
d. using antacids and proton pump inhibitors.
FAP is a genetic condition that greatly increases the risk for colorectal cancer. Noninfectious
hepatitis, use of medications that treat increased gastric pH, and inflammatory bowel disease
are not related to FAP.
17. Which area of the abdomen shown in the accompanying figure will the nurse palpate to assess for splenomegaly?
ANS: B The spleen is usually not palpable, but when palpated, it is located in left upper quadrant of abdomen.
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