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NP 2 Chapter 65
Arthritis and Connective Tissue Diseases
Terms in this set (40)
Which finding will the nurse expect when assessing a 60-year-old patient who has osteoarthritis (OA) of the left knee?
a. Heberden's nodules
b. Pain upon joint movement
c. Redness and swelling of the knee joint
d. Stiffness that increases with movement
Initial symptoms of OA include pain with joint movement. Heberden's nodules occur on the fingers. Redness of the joint is more strongly associated with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and stiffness in OA is worse right after the patient rests and decreases with joint movement.
Which assessment finding about a patient who has been using naproxen (Naprosyn) for 3 weeks to treat osteoarthritis is most important for the nurse to report to the health care provider?
a. The patient has dark colored stools.
b. The patient's pain has not improved.
c. The patient is using capsaicin cream (Zostrix).
d. The patient has gained 3 pounds over 3 weeks.
Dark colored stools may indicate that the patient is experiencing gastrointestinal bleeding caused by the naproxen. The information about the patient's ongoing pain and weight gain also will be reported and may indicate a need for a different treatment and/or counseling about avoiding weight gain, but these are not as large a concern as the possibility of gastrointestinal bleeding. Use of capsaicin cream with oral medications is appropriate.
After the nurse has finished teaching a patient with osteoarthritis (OA) of the left hip and knee about how to manage the OA, which patient statement indicates a need for more education?
a. "I can take glucosamine to help decrease my knee pain."
b. "I will take 1 g of acetaminophen (Tylenol) every 4 hours."
c. "I will take a shower in the morning to help relieve stiffness."
d. "I can use a cane to decrease the pressure and pain in my hip."
No more than 4 g of acetaminophen should be taken daily to avoid liver damage. The other patient statements are correct and indicate good understanding of OA management.
When caring for a patient who has osteoarthritis, the nurse will anticipate the need to teach the patient about which of these medications?
a. Adalimumab (Humira)
b. Prednisone (Deltasone)
c. Capsaicin cream (Zostrix)
d. Sulfasalazine (Azulfidine)
Capsaicin cream blocks the transmission of pain impulses and is helpful for some patients in treating OA. The other medications would be used for patients with RA.
A patient who has rheumatoid arthritis is seen in the outpatient clinic and the nurse notes that rheumatoid nodules are present on the patient's elbows. Which action will the nurse take?
a. Draw blood for rheumatoid factor analysis.
b. Teach the patient about injection of the nodule.
c. Assess the nodules for skin breakdown or infection.
d. Discuss the need for surgical removal of the nodule.
Rheumatoid nodules can break down or become infected. They are not associated with changes in rheumatoid factor and injection is not needed. Rheumatoid nodules are usually not removed surgically because of a high probability of recurrence
When caring for a patient with a new diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis, which action will the nurse include in the plan of care?
a. Instruct the patient to purchase a soft mattress.
b. Teach patient to use lukewarm water when bathing.
c. Suggest that the patient take a nap in the afternoon.
d. Suggest exercise with light weights several times daily.
Adequate rest helps decrease the fatigue and pain that are associated with rheumatoid arthritis. Patients are taught to avoid stressing joints, to use warm baths to relieve stiffness, and to use a firm mattress.
A home health patient with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) complains to the nurse about having chronically dry eyes. Which action by the nurse is most appropriate?
a. Reassure the patient that dry eyes are a common problem with RA.
b. Teach the patient more about adverse affects of the RA medications.
c. Suggest that the patient start using over-the-counter (OTC) artificial tears.
d. Ask the health care provider about lowering the methotrexate (Rheumatrex) dose.
The patient's dry eyes are consistent with Sjögren's syndrome, a common extraarticular manifestation of RA. Symptomatic therapy such as OTC eye drops is recommended. Dry eyes are not a side effect of methotrexate. Although dry eyes are common in RA, it is more helpful to offer a suggestion to relieve these symptoms than to offer reassurance. The dry eyes are not caused by RA treatment, but by the disease itself.
Which information will the nurse include when teaching range-of-motion exercises to a patient with an exacerbation of rheumatoid arthritis?
a. Affected joints should not be exercised when pain is present.
b. Application of cold packs before exercise may decrease joint pain.
c. Exercises should be performed passively by someone other than the patient.
d. Walking may substitute for range-of-motion (ROM) exercises on some days.
Cold application is helpful in reducing pain during periods of exacerbation of RA. Because the joint pain is chronic, patients are instructed to exercise even when joints are painful. ROM exercises are intended to strengthen joints as well as improve flexibility, so passive ROM alone is not sufficient. Recreational exercise is encouraged but is not a replacement for ROM exercises.
Prednisone (Deltasone) is prescribed for a patient with an acute exacerbation of rheumatoid arthritis. Which laboratory result will the nurse monitor to determine whether the medication has been effective?
a. Blood glucose test
b. Liver function tests
c. C-reactive protein level
d. Serum electrolyte levels
C-reactive protein is a marker for inflammation, and a decrease would indicate that the corticosteroid therapy was effective. Blood glucose and serum electrolyte levels also will be monitored to check for side effects of prednisone. Liver function is not routinely monitored for patients receiving steroids.
When teaching a patient who has rheumatoid arthritis (RA) about how to manage activities of daily living, the nurse instructs the patient to
a. stand rather than sit when performing household chores.
b. avoid activities that require continuous use of the same muscles.
c. strengthen small hand muscles by wringing sponges or washcloths.
d. protect the knee joints by sleeping with a small pillow under the knees.
Patients are advised to avoid repetitious movements. Sitting during household chores is recommended to decrease stress on joints. Wringing water out of sponges would increase the joint stress. Patients are encouraged to position joints in the extended position, and sleeping with a pillow behind the knees would decrease the ability of the knee to extend and also decrease knee range of motion (ROM).
When helping a patient with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) plan a daily routine, the nurse informs the patient that it is most helpful to start the day with
a. a warm bath followed by a short rest.
b. a short routine of isometric exercises.
c. active range-of-motion (ROM) exercises.
d. stretching exercises to relieve joint stiffness.
Taking a warm shower or bath is recommended to relieve joint stiffness, which is worse in the morning. Isometric exercises would place stress on joints and would not be recommended. Stretching and ROM should be done later in the day, when joint stiffness is decreased.
Anakinra (Kineret) is prescribed for a patient who has rheumatoid arthritis (RA). When teaching the patient about this drug, the nurse will include information about
a. self-administration of subcutaneous injections.
b. taking the medication with at least 8 oz of fluid.
c. avoiding concurrently taking aspirin or nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
d. symptoms of gastrointestinal (GI) irritation or bleeding.
Anakinra is administered by subcutaneous injection. GI bleeding is not a side effect of this medication. Because the medication is injected, instructions to take it with 8 oz of fluid would not be appropriate. The patient is likely to be concurrently taking aspirin or NSAIDs, and these should not be discontinued.
A 35-year-old patient with three school-age children who has recently been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) tells the nurse that the inability to be involved in many family activities is causing stress at home. Which response by the nurse is most appropriate?
a. "You may need to see a family therapist for some help."
b. "Tell me more about the situations that are causing stress."
c. "Perhaps it would be helpful for you and your family to get involved in a support group."
d. "Your family may need some help to understand the impact of your rheumatoid arthritis."
The initial action by the nurse should be further assessment. The other three responses might be appropriate based on the information the nurse obtains with further assessment.
Which information will the nurse include when teaching a patient with newly diagnosed ankylosing spondylitis (AS) about the management of the condition?
a. Exercise by taking long walks.
b. Do daily deep breathing exercises.
c. Sleep on the side with hips flexed.
d. Take frequent naps during the day.
Deep breathing exercises are used to decrease the risk for pulmonary complications that may occur with the reduced chest expansion that can occur with ankylosing spondylitis (AS). Patients should sleep on the back and avoid flexed positions. Prolonged standing and walking should be avoided. There is no need for frequent naps.
A 22-year-old patient hospitalized with a fever and red, hot, and painful knees is suspected of having septic arthritis. Information obtained during the nursing history that indicates a risk factor for septic arthritis is that the patient
a. has a parent who has reactive arthritis.
b. is sexually active and has multiple partners.
c. recently returned from a trip to South America.
d. had several sports-related knee injuries as a teenager.
Neisseria gonorrhoeae is the most common cause for septic arthritis in sexually active young adults. The other information does not point to any risk for septic arthritis.
While working at a summer camp, the nurse notices a circular lesion with a red border and clear center on the arm of a patient who is in the camp clinic complaining of chills and muscle aches. Which action should the nurse take next?
a. Palpate the abdomen.
b. Auscultate the heart sounds.
c. Ask the patient about recent outdoor activities.
d. Question the patient about immunization history.
The patient's clinical manifestations suggest possible Lyme disease. A history of recent outdoor activities such as hikes will help confirm the diagnosis. The patient's symptoms do not suggest cardiac or abdominal problems or lack of immunization.
A 26-year-old patient with urethritis and knee pain is diagnosed with reactive arthritis. The nurse will plan to teach the patient about the need for several months of therapy with
a. anakinra (Kineret).
b. etanercept (Enbrel).
c. doxycycline (Vibramycin).
d. methotrexate (Rheumatrex).
Reactive arthritis associated with urethritis is usually caused by infection with Chlamydia trachomatis and requires 3 months of treatment with doxycycline. The other medications are used for chronic inflammatory problems such as rheumatoid arthritis.
A patient with an acute attack of gout is treated with colchicine. The nurse determines that the drug is effective upon finding
a. relief of joint pain.
b. increased urine output.
c. elevated serum uric acid.
d. decreased white blood cells (WBC).
Colchicine produces pain relief in 24 to 48 hours by decreasing inflammation. The recommended increase in fluid intake of 2 to 3 L/day would increase urine output but would not indicate the effectiveness of colchicine. Elevated uric acid levels would result in increased symptoms. The WBC count might decrease with decreased inflammation, but this would not be as useful in determining the effectiveness of colchicine as a decrease in pain.
A patient with gout tells the nurse that he takes losartan (Cozaar) for control of the condition. The nurse will plan to monitor
a. blood glucose.
b. blood pressure.
c. erythrocyte count.
d. lymphocyte count.
Losartan, an angiotensin II receptor antagonist, will lower blood pressure. It does not affect blood glucose, red blood cell count (RBC), or lymphocytes.
A long-term care patient who takes multiple medications develops acute gouty arthritis. The nurse will consult with the health care provider before giving the prescribed dose of
a. sertraline (Zoloft).
b. famotidine (Pepcid).
c. oxycodone (Roxicodone).
d. hydrochlorothiazide (HydroDIURIL).
Diuretic use increases uric acid levels and can precipitate gout attacks. The other medications are safe to administer.
Which statement by a 24-year-old woman with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) indicates that the patient has understood the nurse's teaching about management of the condition?
a. "I will use a sunscreen whenever I am outside."
b. "I will try to keep exercising even if I am tired."
c. "I should take birth control pills to keep from getting pregnant."
d. "I should not take aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs."
Severe skin reactions can occur in patients with SLE who are exposed to the sum. Patients should avoid fatigue by balancing exercise with rest periods as needed. Oral contraceptives can exacerbate lupus. Aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are used to treat the musculoskeletal manifestations of SLE.
A patient with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) who has a facial rash and alopecia tells the nurse, "I hate the way I look! I never go anywhere except here to the health clinic." An appropriate nursing diagnosis for the patient is
a. activity intolerance related to fatigue and inactivity.
b. impaired social interaction related to lack of social skills.
c. impaired skin integrity related to itching and skin sloughing.
d. social isolation related to embarrassment about the effects of SLE.
The patient's statement about not going anywhere because of hating the way he or she looks supports the diagnosis of social isolation because of embarrassment about the effects of the SLE. Activity intolerance is a possible problem for patients with SLE, but the information about this patient does not support this as a diagnosis. The rash with SLE is nonpruritic. There is no evidence of lack of social skills for this patient.
To determine whether a patient with joint swelling and pain has systemic lupus erythematosus, which test will be most useful for the nurse to review?
a. Rheumatoid factor (RF)
b. Antinuclear antibody (ANA)
c. Anti-Smith antibody (Anti-Sm)
d. Lupus erythematosus (LE) cell prep
The anti-Sm is antibody found almost exclusively in SLE. The other blood tests also are used in screening but are not as specific to SLE.
When caring for a patient with gout and a red and painful left great toe, which nursing action will be included in the plan of care?
a. Gently palpate the toe to assess swelling.
b. Use pillows to keep the left foot elevated.
c. Use a footboard to hold bedding away from the toe.
d. Teach patient to avoid use of acetaminophen (Tylenol).
Since any touch on the area of inflammation may increase pain, bedding should be held away from the toe and touching the toe will be avoided. Elevation of the foot will not reduce the pain, which is caused by the urate crystals. Acetaminophen can be used for pain relief.
The health care provider has prescribed the following collaborative interventions for a 49-year-old who is taking azathioprine (Imuran) for systemic lupus erythematosus. Which order will the nurse question?
a. Draw anti-DNA blood titer.
b. Administer varicella vaccine.
c. Use naproxen (Aleve) 200 mg BID.
d. Take famotidine (Pepcid) 20 mg daily.
Live virus vaccines, such as varicella, are contraindicated in a patient taking immunosuppressive drugs. The other orders are appropriate for the patient.
A patient has systemic sclerosis manifested by CREST (calcinosis, Raynaud's phenomenon, esophageal dysfunction, sclerodactyly, telangiectasia) syndrome. Which action will the nurse include in the plan of care?
a. Avoid use of capsaicin cream on hands.
b. Keep patient's room warm and draft free.
c. Obtain capillary blood glucose before meals.
d. Assist to bathroom every 2 hours while awake.
Keeping the room warm will decrease the incidence of Raynaud's phenomenon, one aspect of the CREST syndrome. Capsaicin cream may be used to improve circulation and decrease pain. There is no need to obtain blood glucose levels or to assist the patient to the bathroom every 2 hours.
After teaching a patient diagnosed with progressive systemic sclerosis about health maintenance activities, the nurse determines that additional instruction is needed when the patient says,
a. "I should lie down for an hour after meals."
b. "Paraffin baths can be used to help my hands."
c. "Lotions will help if I rub them in for a long time."
d. "I should perform range-of-motion exercises daily."
Because of the esophageal scarring, patients should sit up for 2 hours after eating. The other patient statements are correct and indicate that the teaching has been effective.
A patient with rheumatoid arthritis refuses to take the prescribed methotrexate (Rheumatrex), telling the nurse "That drug has too many side effects. My arthritis isn't that bad yet." The most appropriate response by the nurse is
a. "You have the right to refuse to take the methotrexate."
b. "Methotrexate is less expensive than some of the newer drugs."
c. "It is important to start methotrexate early to decrease the extent of joint damage."
d. "Methotrexate is effective and has fewer side effects than some of the other drugs."
Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) are prescribed early to prevent the joint degeneration that occurs as soon as the first year with RA. The other statements are accurate, but the most important point for the patient to understand is that it is important to start DMARDs as quickly as possible.
A patient with an exacerbation of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is taking prednisone (Deltasone) 40 mg daily. Which of these assessment data obtained by the nurse indicate that the patient is experiencing a side effect of the medication?
a. The patient's blood glucose is 165 mg/dL.
b. The patient has no improvement in symptoms.
c. The patient has experienced a recent 5-pound weight loss.
d. The patient's erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) has increased.
Corticosteroids have the potential to cause diabetes mellitus. The finding of an elevated blood glucose reflects this side effect of prednisone. Corticosteroids increase appetite and lead to weight gain. An elevated ESR and no improvement in symptoms would indicate that the prednisone was not effective but would not be side effects of the medication
The home health nurse is doing a follow-up visit to a patient with recently diagnosed rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Which assessment made by the nurse indicates that more patient teaching is needed?
a. The patient requires a 2-hour midday nap.
b. The patient has been taking 16 aspirins daily.
c. The patient sits on a stool when preparing meals.
d. The patient sleeps with two pillows under the head.
The joints should be maintained in an extended position to avoid contractures, so patients should use a small, flat pillow for sleeping. The other information is appropriate for a patient with RA and indicates that teaching has been effective.
A patient with an acute attack of gout in the left great toe has a new prescription for probenecid (Benemid). Which information about the patient's home routine indicates a need for teaching regarding gout management?
a. The patient sleeps about 8 to 10 hours every night.
b. The patient usually eats beef once or twice a week.
c. The patient generally drinks about 3 quarts of juice and water daily.
d. The patient takes one aspirin a day prophylactically to prevent angina.
Aspirin interferes with the effectiveness of probenecid and should not be taken when the patient is taking probenecid. The patient's sleep pattern will not affect gout management. Drinking 3 quarts of water and eating beef only once or twice a week are appropriate for the patient with gout.
When the nurse is reviewing laboratory results for a patient with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), which result is most important to communicate to the health care provider?
a. Decreased C-reactive protein (CRP)
b. Elevated blood urea nitrogen (BUN)
c. Positive antinuclear antibodies (ANA)
d. Positive lupus erythematosus cell prep
The elevated BUN and creatinine levels indicate possible lupus nephritis and a need for a change in therapy to avoid further renal damage. The positive lupus erythematosus (LE) cell prep and ANA would be expected in a patient with SLE. A drop in CRP shows an improvement in the inflammatory process.
The nurse obtains this information when assessing a patient who is taking hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Which symptom is most important to report to the health care provider?
a. Abdominal cramping
b. Complaint of blurry vision
c. Phalangeal joint tenderness
d. Blood pressure 170/84 mm Hg
Plaquenil can cause retinopathy; the medication should be stopped. The other findings are not related to the medication, although they also will be reported.
After obtaining the health history from a 28-year-old woman who is taking methotrexate (Rheumatrex) to treat rheumatoid arthritis, which information about the patient is most important for the nurse to report to the health care provider?
a. The patient had a history of infectious mononucleosis as a teenager.
b. The patient is trying to have a baby before her disease becomes more severe.
c. The patient has a family history of age-related macular degeneration of the retina.
d. The patient has been using large doses of vitamins and health foods to treat the RA.
Methotrexate is teratogenic, and the patient should be taking contraceptives during methotrexate therapy. The other information will not impact the choice of methotrexate as therapy.
When the nurse is reviewing laboratory data for a patient who is taking methotrexate (Rheumatrex) to treat rheumatoid arthritis, which information is most important to communicate to the health care provider?
a. The blood glucose is 75 mg/dL.
b. The rheumatoid factor is positive.
c. The white blood cell (WBC) count is 1500/L.
d. The erythrocyte sedimentation rate is elevated.
Bone marrow suppression is a possible side effect of methotrexate, and the patient's low WBC count places the patient at high risk for infection. The elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate and positive rheumatoid factor are expected in rheumatoid arthritis. The blood glucose is normal.
A patient who had arthroscopic surgery of the left knee 5 days ago is admitted with a red, swollen, and hot knee. Which assessment finding by the nurse should be reported to the health care provider immediately?
a. The blood pressure is 88/46 mm Hg.
b. The white blood cell count is 14,200/µL.
c. The patient is taking ibuprofen (Motrin).
d. The patient says the knee is very painful.
The low blood pressure suggests that the patient may be developing septicemia as a complication of septic arthritis. Immediate blood cultures and initiation of antibiotic therapy are indicated. The other information is typical of septic arthritis and also should be reported to the health care provider, but it does not indicate any immediately life-threatening problems.
A patient hospitalized with polymyositis has joint pain, an erythematosus facial rash with eyelid edema, and a weak, hoarse voice. The priority nursing diagnosis for the patient is
a. acute pain related to inflammation.
b. risk for aspiration related to dysphagia.
c. risk for impaired skin integrity related to scratching.
d. disturbed visual perception related to eyelid swelling.
The patient's vocal weakness and hoarseness indicate weakness of the pharyngeal muscles and a high risk for aspiration. The other nursing diagnoses also are appropriate but are not as high a priority as the maintenance of the patient's airway.
A patient with dermatomyositis is receiving long-term prednisone (Deltasone) therapy. Which assessment finding by the nurse is most important to report to the health care provider?
a. The blood glucose is 112 mg/dL.
b. The patient has painful hematuria.
c. The patient has an increased appetite.
d. Acne is noted on the back and face.
Corticosteroid use is associated with increased risk for infection, so the nurse should report the urinary tract symptoms immediately to the health care provider. The increase in blood glucose, increased appetite, and acne also are adverse effects of corticosteroid use, but do not need diagnosis and treatment as rapidly as the probable urinary tract infection.
Which of these patients seen by the nurse in the outpatient clinic is most likely to require teaching about ways to reduce risk for osteoarthritis (OA)?
a. A 56-year-old man who is a member of a construction crew
b. A 24-year-old man who participates in a summer softball team
c. A 49-year-old woman who works on an automotive assembly line
d. A 36-year-old woman who is newly diagnosed with diabetes mellitus
OA is more likely to occur in women as a result of estrogen reduction at menopause and in individuals whose work involves repetitive movements and lifting. Moderate exercise, such as softball, reduces risk for OA. Diabetes is not a risk factor for OA. Working on a construction crew would involve nonrepetitive work and thus would not be as risky
During assessment of the patient with fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), the nurse would expect the patient to report (select all that apply)?
a. sleep disturbances.
b. multiple tender points.
c. cardiac palpitations and dizziness.
d. multijoint pain with inflammation and swelling.
e. widespread bilateral, burning musculoskeletal pain.
ANS: A, B, C, E
These symptoms are commonly described by patients with FMS. Cardiac involvement and joint inflammation are not typical of FMS.
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