Chapter 16 Postoperative Nursing Management

The recovery room nurse is admitting a patient from the OR following the patient's successful
splenectomy. What is the first assessment that the nurse should perform on this newly
admitted patient?
A) Heart rate and rhythm
B) Skin integrity
C) Core body temperature
D) Airway patency
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Ans: D
The primary objective in the immediate postoperative period is to maintain ventilation
and, thus, prevent hypoxemia and hypercapnia. Both can occur if the airway is obstructed and
ventilation is reduced. This assessment is followed by cardiovascular status and the condition
of the surgical site. The core temperature would be assessed after the airway, cardiovascular
status, and wound (skin integrity).
An adult patient is in the recovery room following a nephrectomy performed for the treatment
of renal cell carcinoma. The patient's vital signs and level of consciousness stabilized, but the
patient then complains of severe nausea and begins to retch. What should the nurse do next?
A) Administer a dose of IV analgesic.
B) Apply a cool cloth to the patient's forehead.
C) Offer the patient a small amount of ice chips.
D) Turn the patient completely to one
Ans: D
Turning the patient completely to one side allows collected fluid to escape from the side of the
mouth if the patient vomits. After turning the patient to the side, the nurse can offer a cool cloth to the patient's forehead. Ice chips can increase feelings of nausea. An
analgesic is not administered for nausea and vomiting
The perioperative nurse is preparing to discharge a female patient home from day
surgery performed under general anesthetic. What instruction should the nurse give the
patient prior to the patient leaving the hospital?
A) The patient should not drive herself home.
B) The patient should take an OTC sleeping pill for 2 nights.
C) The patient should attempt to eat a large meal at home to aid wound healing.
D) The patient should remain in bed for the first 48 hours postoperative.
Ans: A
Although recovery time varies, depending on the type and extent of surgery and the
patient's overall condition, instructions usually advise limited activity for 24 to 48 hours.
Complete bedrest is contraindicated in most cases, however. During this time, the patient
should not drive a vehicle and should eat only as tolerated. The nurse does not normally make
OTC recommendations for hypnotics
The nurse is caring for a 78-year-old man who has had an outpatient cholecystectomy.
The nurse is getting him up for his first walk postoperatively. To decrease the potential
for orthostatic hypotension and consequent falls, what should the nurse have the patient do?
A)Sit in a chair for 10 minutes prior to ambulating.
B) Drink plenty of fluids to increase circulating blood volume.
C) Stand upright for 2 to 3 minutes prior to ambulating.
D) Perform range-of-motion
exercises for each joint
Ans: C
Older adults are at an increased risk for orthostatic hypotension secondary to age- related
changes in vascular tone. The patient should sit up and then stand for 2 to 3 minutes before
ambulating to alleviate orthostatic hypotension. The nurse should assess the patient's ability to mobilize safely, but full assessment of range of motion in all joints is not normally
necessary. Sitting in a chair and increasing fluid intake are insufficient to prevent orthostatic
hypotension and consequent falls.
The perioperative nurse is providing care for a patient who is recovering on the
postsurgical unit following a transurethral prostate resection (TUPR). The patient is reluctant
to ambulate, citing the need to recover in bed. For what complication is the patient most at
A) Atelectasis
B) Anemia
C) Dehydration
D) Peripheral edema
Ans: A
Atelectasis occurs when the postoperative patient fails to move, cough, and breathe deeply.
With good nursing care, this is an avoidable complication, but reduced mobility greatly
increases the risk. Anemia occurs rarely and usually in situations where the patient loses a
significant amount of blood or continues bleeding postoperatively. Fluid shifts postoperatively
may result in dehydration and peripheral edema, but the patient is most at risk for atelectasis
The nurse is caring for a patient on the medicalñsurgical unit postoperative day 5.
During each patient assessment, the nurse evaluates the patient for infection. Which of
the following would be most indicative of infection? A) Presence of an indwelling urinary
B) Rectal temperature of 99.5∫F (37.5∫C)
C) Red, warm, tender incision
D) White blood cell (WBC) count of 8,000/mL
Ans: C
Redness, warmth, and tenderness in the incision area should lead the nurse to suspect postoperative infection. The presence of any invasive device predisposes a patient to infection,
but by itself does not indicate infection. An oral temperature of 99.5∫F may not signal infection
in a postoperative patient because of the inflammatory process. A normal WBC count ranges
from 4,000 to 10,000/mL.
The nurse is preparing to change a patient's abdominal dressing. The nurse recognizes the first
step is to provide the patient with information regarding the procedure. Which of the following
explanations should the nurse provide to the patient?
A) ìThe dressing change is often painful, and we will be giving you pain medication
prior to the procedure so you do not have to worry.î
B) ìDuring the dressing change, I will provide privacy at a time of your choosing, it should not be painful, and you can look at the incision and help with the procedure if you want
C) ìThe dressing change should not be painful, but you can never be sure, and infection is always a concern.î
D) ìThe best time for doing a dressing change is during lunch so we are not interrupted. I will provide privacy, and it should not be painful.î
Ans: B
When having dressings changed, the patient needs to be informed that the dressing change is a simple procedure with little discomfort; privacy will be provided; and the patient is free to look at the incision or even assist in the dressing change itself. If the patient decides to look at
the incision, assurance is given that the incision will shrink as it heals and that the redness will
likely fade. Dressing changes should not be painful,
but giving pain medication prior to the procedure is always a good preventive measure.
Telling the patient that the dressing change ìshould not be painful, but you can never be sure, and infection is always a concernî does not offer the patient any real information or options
and serves only to create fear. The best time for dressing changes is when it
is most convenient for the patient; nutrition is important so interrupting lunch is
probably a poor choice.
A patient is 2 hours postoperative with a Foley catheter in situ. The last hourly urine output
recorded for this patient was 10 mL. The tubing of the Foley is patent. What should the nurse
A) Irrigate the Foley with 30 mL normal saline.
B) Notify the physician and continue to monitor the hourly urine output closely.
C) Decrease the IV fluid rate and massage the patient's abdomen.
D) Have the patient sit
in high-Fowler's position.
The nurse is caring for a 79-year-old man who has returned to the postsurgical unit following
abdominal surgery. The patient is unable to ambulate and is now refusing to wear an external
pneumatic compression stocking. The nurse should explain that refusing to wear external
pneumatic compression stockings increases his risk of what postsurgical complication?
A) Sepsis
B) Infection
C) Pulmonary embolism
D) Hematoma
Ans: C
Patients who have surgery that limits mobility are at an increased risk for pulmonary
embolism secondary to deep vein thrombosis. The use of an external pneumatic compression
stocking significantly reduces the risk by increasing venous return to the heart and limiting
blood stasis. The risk of infection or sepsis would not be affected by an external pneumatic
compression stocking. A hematoma or bruise would not be affected by the external pneumatic
compression stocking unless the stockings were placed directly over the hematoma
The nurse admits a patient to the PACU with a blood pressure of 132/90 mm Hg and a pulse of
68 beats per minute. After 30 minutes, the patient's blood pressure is 94/47 mm Hg, and the
pulse is 110. The nurse documents that the patient's skin is cold, moist, and pale. Of what is
the patient showing signs?
A) Hypothermia
B) Hypovolemic shock
C) Neurogenic shock
D) Malignant hyperthermia
Ans: B
The patient is exhibiting symptoms of hypovolemic shock; therefore, the nurse should notify
the patient's physician and anticipate orders for fluid and/or blood product replacement.
Neurogenic shock does not normally result in tachycardia and malignant hyperthermia would
not present at this stage in the operative experience. Hypothermia does not cause
hypotension and tachycardia
The PACU nurse is caring for a male patient who had a hernia repair. The patient's blood pressure is now 164/92 mm Hg; he has no history of hypertension prior to surgery and his preoperative blood pressure was 112/68 mm Hg. The nurse should assess for what potential causes of hypertension following surgery? A) Dysrhythmias, blood loss, and hyperthermia B) Electrolyte imbalances and neurologic changes C) A parasympathetic reaction and low blood volumes D) Pain, hypoxia, or bladder distentionAns: D Feedback: Hypertension is common in the immediate postoperative period secondary to sympathetic nervous system stimulation from pain, hypoxia, or bladder distention. Dysrhythmias, blood loss, hyperthermia, electrolyte imbalances, and neurologic changes are not common postoperative reasons for hypertension. A parasympathetic reaction and low blood volumes would cause hypotension.The nurse is caring for a patient after abdominal surgery in the PACU. The patient's blood pressure has increased and the patient is restless. The patient's oxygen saturation is 97%. What cause for this change in status should the nurse first suspect? A) The patient is hypothermic. B) The patient is in shock. C) The patient is in pain. D) The patient is hypoxicAns: C Feedback: An increase in blood pressure and restlessness are symptoms of pain. The patient's oxygen saturation is 97%, so hypothermia, hypoxia, and shock are not likely causes of the patient's restlessness.The nurse in the ED is caring for a man who has returned to the ED 4 days after receiving stitches for a knife wound on his hand. The wound is now infected, so the stitches were removed, and the wound is cleaned and packed with gauze. The ED doctor plans to have the man return tomorrow to remove the packing and resuture the wound. You are aware that the wound will now heal by what means? A) Late intention B) Second intention C) Third intention D) First intentionAns: C Feedback: Third-intention healing or secondary suture is used for deep wounds that either had not been sutured early or that had the suture break down and are resutured later, which is what has happened in this case. Secondary suture brings the two opposing granulation surfaces back together; however, this usually results in a deeper and wider scar. These wounds are also packed postoperatively with moist gauze and covered with a dry, sterile dressing. Late intention is a term that sounds plausible, but is not used in practice. Second intention is when the wound is left open and the wound is filled with granular tissue. First intention wounds are wounds made aseptically with a minimum of tissue destruction.The nurse is caring for an 82-year-old female patient in the PACU. The woman begins to awaken and responds to her name, but is confused, restless, and agitated. What principle should guide the nurse's subsequent assessment? A) Postoperative confusion in older adults is an indication of impaired oxygenation or possibly a stroke during surgery. B) Confusion, restlessness, and agitation are expected postoperative findings in older adults and they will diminish in time. C) Postoperative confusion is common in the older adult patent, but it could also indicate a significant blood loss. D) Confusion, restlessness, and agitation indicate an underlying cognitive deficit such as dementia.Ans: C Feedback: Postoperative confusion is common in the older adult patient, but it could also indicate blood loss and the potential for hypovolemic shock; it is a critical symptom for the nurse to identify. Despite being common, it is not considered to be an expected finding. Postoperative confusion is an indication of an oxygen problem or possibly a stroke during surgery, but blood loss is more likely. A new onset of confusion, restlessness, and agitation does not necessarily suggest an underlying cognitive disorder.An adult patient has just been admitted to the PACU following abdominal surgery. As the patient begins to awaken, he is uncharacteristically restless. The nurse checks his skin and it is cold, moist, and pale. The nurse concerned the patient may be at risk for what? A) Hemorrhage and shock B) Aspiration C) Postoperative infection D) Hypertension and dysrhythmiasAns: A Feedback: The patient with a hemorrhage presents with hypotension; rapid, thready pulse; disorientation; restlessness; oliguria; and cold, pale skin. Aspiration would manifest in airway disturbance. Hypertension or dysrhythmias would be less likely to cause pallor and cool skin. An infection would not be present at this early postoperative stage. 16.The nursing instructor is discussing postoperative care with a group of nursing students. A student nurse asks, ìWhy does the patient go to the PACU instead of just going straight up to the postsurgical unit?î What is the nursing instructor's best response? A) ìThe PACU allows the patient to recover from anesthesia in a stimulating environment to facilitate awakening and reorientation.î B) ìThe PACU allows the patient to recover from the effects of anesthesia, and the patient stays in the PACU until he or she is oriented, has stable vital signs, and is without complications.î C) ìFrequently, patients are placed in the medicalñsurgical unit to recover, but hospitals are usually short of beds, and the PACU is an excellent place to triage patients.î D) ìPatients remain in the PACU for a predetermined time because the surgeon will often need to reinforce or alter the patient's incision in the hours following surgeryAns: B Feedback: The PACU provides care for the patient while he or she recovers from the effects of anesthesia. The patient must be oriented, have stable vital signs, and show no evidence of hemorrhage or other complications. Patients will sometimes recover in the ICU, but this is considered an extension of the PACU. The PACU does allow the patient to recover from anesthesia, but the environment is calm and quiet as patients are initially disoriented and confused as they begin to awaken and reorient. Patients are not usually placed in the medicalñsurgical unit for recovery and, although hospitals are occasionally short of beds, the PACU is not used for patient triage. Incisions are very rarely modified in the immediate postoperative periodThe PACU nurse is caring for a patient who has arrived from the OR. During the initial assessment, the nurse observes that the patient's skin has become blue and dusky. The nurse looks, listens, and feels for breathing, and determines the patient is not breathing. What is the priority intervention? A) Check the patient's oxygen saturation level, continue to monitor for apnea, and perform a focused assessment. B) Treat the possible airway obstruction by tilting the head back and pushing forward on the angle of the lower jaw. C) Assess the arterial pulses, and place the patient in the Trendelenburg position. D) Reintubate the patientAns: B Feedback: When a nurse finds a patient who is not breathing, the priority intervention is to open the airway and treat a possible hypopharyngeal obstruction. To treat the possible airway obstruction, the nurse tilts the head back and then pushes forward on the angle of the lower jaw or performs the jaw thrust method to open the airway. This is an emergency and requires the basic life support intervention of airway, breathing, and circulation assessment. Arterial pulses should be checked only after airway and breathing have been established. Reintubation and resuscitation would begin after rapidly ruling out a hypopharyngeal obstructionThe nurse is providing teaching about tissue repair and wound healing to a patient who has a leg ulcer. Which of the following statements by the patient indicates that teaching has been effective? A) ìI'll make sure to limit my intake of protein.î B) ìI'll make sure that the bandage is wrapped tightly.î C) ìMy foot should feel cool or cold while my leg's healing.î D) ìI'll eat plenty of fruits and vegetableAns: D Feedback: Optimal nutritional status is important for wound healing; the patient should eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and not reduce protein intake. To avoid impeding circulation to the area, the bandage should be secure but not tight. If the patient's foot feels cold, circulation is impaired, which inhibits wound healing.The nurse is caring for a patient who has just been transferred to the PACU from the OR. What is the highest nursing priority? A) Assessing for hemorrhage B) Maintaining a patent airway C) Managing the patient's pain D) Assessing vital signs every 30 minutesAns: B Feedback: The primary objective in the immediate postoperative period is to maintain ventilation and, thus, prevent hypoxemia (reduced oxygen in the blood) and hypercapnia (excess carbon dioxide in the blood). Assessing for hemorrhage and assessing vital sign are also important, but constitute second and third priorities. Pain management is important but only after the patient has been stabilizedThe nurse is caring for a patient who is postoperative day 2 following a colon resection. While turning him, wound dehiscence with evisceration occurs. What should be the nurse's first response? A) Return the patient to his previous position and call the physician. B) Place saline soaked sterile dressings on the wound. C) Assess the patient's blood pressure and pulse. D) Pull the dehiscence closed using gloved hands.Ans: B Feedback: The nurse should first place saline-soaked sterile dressings on the open wound to prevent tissue drying and possible infection. Then the nurse should call the physician and take the patient's vital signs. The dehiscence needs to be surgically closed, so the nurse should never try to close it.The PACU nurse is caring for a 45-year-old male patient who had a left lobectomy. The nurse is assessing the patient frequently for airway patency and cardiovascular status. The nurse should know that the most common cardiovascular complications seen in the PACU include what? Select all that apply. A) Hypotension B) Hypervolemia C) Heart murmurs D) Dysrhythmias E) HypertensionAns: A, D, E Feedback: The primary cardiovascular complications seen in the PACU include hypotension and shock, hemorrhage, hypertension, and dysrhythmias. Heart murmurs are not adverse reactions to surgery. Hypervolemia is not a common cardiovascular complication seen in the PACU, though fluid balance must be vigilantly monitored.A postoperative patient rapidly presents with hypotension; rapid, thready pulse; oliguria; and cold, pale skin. The nurse suspects that the patient is experiencing a hemorrhage. What should be the nurse's first action? A) Leave and promptly notify the physician. B) Quickly attempt to determine the cause of hemorrhage. C) Begin resuscitation. D) Put the patient in the Trendelenberg positionAns: B Feedback: Transfusing blood or blood products and determining the cause of hemorrhage are the initial therapeutic measures. Resuscitation is not necessarily required and the nurse must not leave the patient. The Trendelenberg position would be contraindicated.The intraoperative nurse is transferring a patient from the OR to the PACU after replacement of the right knee. The patient is a 73-year-old woman. The nurse should prioritize which of the following actions? A) Keeping the patient sterile B) Keeping the patient restrained C) Keeping the patient warm D) Keeping the patient hydratedAns: C Feedback : Special attention is given to keeping the patient warm because elderly patients are more susceptible to hypothermia. It is all important for the nurse to pay attention to hydration, but hypovolemia does not occur as quickly as hypothermia. The patient is never sterile and restraints are very rarely necessaryA surgical patient has been in the PACU for the past 3 hours. What are the determining factors for the patient to be discharged from the PACU? Select all that apply. A) Absence of pain B) Stable blood pressure C) Ability to tolerate oral fluids D) Sufficient oxygen saturation E) Adequate respiratory functionAns: B, D, E Feedback: A patient remains in the PACU until fully recovered from the anesthetic agent. Indicators of recovery include stable blood pressure, adequate respiratory function, and adequate oxygen saturation level compared with baseline. Patients can be released from PACU before resuming oral intake. Pain is often present at discharge from the PACU and can be addressed in other inpatient settings.The nurse is discharging a patient home from an outpatient surgery center. The nurse has reviewed all of the discharge instructions with the patient and her caregiver. What else should the nurse do before discharging the patient from the facility? Select all that apply. A) Provide all discharge instructions in writing. B) Provide the nurse's or surgeon's contact information. C) Give prescriptions to the patient. D) Irrigate the patient's incision and perform a sterile dressing change. E) Administer a bolus dose of an opioid analgesicAns: A, B, C Feedback: Before discharging the patient, the nurse provides written instructions, prescriptions and the nurse's or surgeon's telephone number. Administration of an opioid would necessitate further monitoring to ensure safety. A dressing change would not normally be ordered on the day of surgery.The nursing instructor is discussing the difference between ambulatory surgical centers and hospital-based surgical units. A student asks why some patients have surgery in the hospital and others are sent to ambulatory surgery centers. What is the instructor's best response? A) ìPatients who go to ambulatory surgery centers are more independent than patients admitted to the hospital.î B) ìPatients admitted to the hospital for surgery usually have multiple health needs.î C) ìIn most cases, only emergency and trauma patients are admitted to the hospital.î D) ìPatients who have surgery in the hospital are those who need to have anesthesia administeredB Feedback: Patients admitted to the clinical unit for postoperative care have multiple needs and stay for a short period of time. Patients who have surgery in ambulatory centers do not necessarily have greater independence. It is not true that only trauma and emergency surgeries are done in the hospital. Ambulatory centers can administer anesthesia.The nurse just received a postoperative patient from the PACU to the medicalñsurgical unit. The patient is an 84-year-old woman who had surgery for a left hip replacement. Which of the following concerns should the nurse prioritize for this patient in the first few hours on the unit? A) Beginning early ambulation B) Maintaining clean dressings on the surgical site C) Close monitoring of neurologic status D) Resumption of normal oral intakeAns: C Feedback: In the initial hours after admission to the clinical unit, adequate ventilation, hemodynamic stability, incisional pain, surgical site integrity, nausea and vomiting, neurologic status, and spontaneous voiding are primary concerns. A patient who has had total hip replacement does not ambulate during the first few hours on the unit. Dressings are assessed, but may have some drainage on them. Oral intake will take more time to resume.The nurse's aide notifies the nurse that a patient has decreased oxygen saturation levels. The nurse assesses the patient and finds that he is tachypnic, has crackles on auscultation, and his sputum is frothy and pink. The nurse should suspect what complication? A) Pulmonary embolism B) Atelectasis C) Laryngospasm D) Flash pulmonary edemaAns: D Feedback: Flash pulmonary edema occurs when protein and fluid accumulate in the alveoli unrelated to elevated pulmonary artery occlusive pressure. Signs and symptoms include agitation; tachypnea; tachycardia; decreased pulse oximetry readings; frothy, pink sputum; and crackles on auscultation. Laryngospasm does not cause crackles or frothy, pink sputum. The patient with atelectasis has decreased breath sounds over the affected area; the scenario does not indicate this. A pulmonary embolism does not cause this symptomatologyThe nurse is performing the shift assessment of a postsurgical patient.The nurse is performing the shift assessment of a postsurgical patient. The nurse finds his mental status, level of consciousness, speech, and orientation are intact and at baseline, but the patient tells you he is very anxious. What should the nurse do next? A) Assess the patient's oxygen levels. B) Administer antianxiety medications. C) Page the patient's the physician. D) Initiate a social work referralAns: A Feedback: The nurse assesses the patient's mental status and level of consciousness, speech, and orientation and compares them with the preoperative baseline. Although a change in mental status or postoperative restlessness may be related to anxiety, pain, or medications, it may also be a symptom of oxygen deficit or hemorrhage. Antianxiety medications are not given until the cause of the anxiety is known. The physician is notified only if the reason for the anxiety is serious or if an order for medication is needed. A social work consult is inappropriate at this time.The nurse is creating the plan of care for a patient who is status postsurgery for reduction of a femur fracture. What is the most important short-term goal for this patient? A) Relief of pain B) Adequate respiratory function C) Resumption of activities of daily living (ADLs) D) Unimpaired wound healingB Maintenance of the patient's airway and breathing are imperative. Respiratory status is important because pulmonary complications are among the most frequent and serious problems encountered by the surgical patient. Wound healing and eventual resumption of ADLs would be later concerns. Pain management is a high priority, but respiratory function is a more acute physiological need.You are caring for a 71-year-old patient who is 4 days postoperative for bilateral inguinal hernias. The patient has a history of congestive heart failure and peptic ulcer disease. The patient is highly reluctant to ambulate and will not drink fluids except for hot tea with her meals. The nurse's aide reports to you that this patient's vital signs are slightly elevated and that she has a nonproductive cough. When you assess the patient, you auscultate crackles at the base of the lungs. What would you suspect is wrong with your patient? A) Pulmonary embolism B) Hypervolemia C) Hypostatic pulmonary congestion D) Malignant hyperthermiaAns: C Feedback: Hypostatic pulmonary congestion, caused by a weakened cardiovascular system that permits stagnation of secretions at lung bases, may develop; this condition occurs most frequently in elderly patients who are not mobilized effectively. The symptoms are often vague, with perhaps a slight elevation of temperature, pulse, and respiratory rate, as well as a cough. Physical examination reveals dullness and crackles at the base of the lungs. If the condition progresses, then the outcome may be fatal. A pulmonary embolism does not have this presentation and hypervolemia is unlikely due to the patient's low fluid intake. Malignant hyperthermia occurs concurrent with the administration of anestheticThe nurse is admitting a patient to the medicalñsurgical unit from the PACU. What should the nurse do to help the patient clear secretions and help prevent pneumonia? A) Encourage the patient to eat a balanced diet that is high in protein. B) Encourage the patient to limit his activity for the first 72 hours. C) Encourage the patient to take his medications as ordered. D) Encourage the patient to use the incentive spirometer every 2 hoursAns: D Feedback: To clear secretions and prevent pneumonia, the nurse encourages the patient to turn frequently, take deep breaths, cough, and use the incentive spirometer at least every 2 hours. These pulmonary exercises should begin as soon as the patient arrives on the clinical unit and continue until the patient is discharged. A balanced, high protein diet; visiting family in the waiting room; or taking medications as ordered would not help to clear secretions or prevent pneumonia.A surgical patient has just been admitted to the unit from PACU with patient-controlled analgesia (PCA). The nurse should know that the requirements for safe and effective use of PCA include what? A) A clear understanding of the need to self-dose B) An understanding of how to adjust the medication dosage C) A caregiver who can administer the medication as ordered D) An expectation of infrequent need for analgesiaAns: A Feedback: The two requirements for PCA are an understanding of the need to self-dose and the physical ability to self-dose. The patient does not adjust the dose and only the patient himself or herself should administer a dose. PCAs are normally used for patients who are expected to have moderate to severe pain with a regular need for analgesia.A patient underwent an open bowel resection 2 days ago and the nurse's most recent assessment of the patient's abdominal incision reveals that it is dehiscing. What factor should the nurse suspect may have caused the dehiscence? A) The patient's surgical dressing was changed yesterday and today. B) The patient has vomited three times in the past 12 hours. C) The patient has begun voiding on the commode instead of a bedpan. D) The patient used PCA until this morningAns: B Feedback: Vomiting can produce tension on wounds, particularly of the torso. Dressing changes and light mobilization are unlikely to cause dehiscence. The use of a PCA is not associated with wound dehiscence.The dressing surrounding a mastectomy patient's Jackson-Pratt drain has scant drainage on it. The nurse believes that the amount of drainage on the dressing may be increasing. How can the nurse best confirm this suspicion? A) Describe the appearance of the dressing in the electronic health record. B) Photograph the patient's abdomen for later comparison using a smartphone. C) Trace the outline of the drainage on the dressing for future comparison. D) Remove and weigh the dressing, reapply it, and then repeat in 8 hoursAns: C Feedback: Spots of drainage on a dressing are outlined with a pen, and the date and time of the outline are recorded on the dressing so that increased drainage can be easily seen. A dressing is never removed and then reapplied. Photographs normally require informed consent, so they would not be used for this purpose. Documentation is necessary, but does not confirm or rule out an increase in drainage.The nurse is caring for a postoperative patient who needs daily dressing changes. The patient is 3 days postoperative and is scheduled for discharge the next day. Until now, the patient has refused to learn how to change her dressing. What would indicate to the nurse the patient's possible readiness to learn how to change her dressing? Select all that apply. A) The patient wants you to teach a family member to do dressing changes. B) The patient expresses interest in the dressing change. C) The patient is willing to look at the incision during a dressing change. D) The patient expresses dislike of the surgical wound. E) The patient assists in opening the packages of dressing material for the nurse.Ans: B, C, E Feedback: While changing the dressing, the nurse has an opportunity to teach the patient how to care for the incision and change the dressings at home. The nurse observes for indicators of the patient's readiness to learn, such as looking at the incision, expressing interest, or assisting in the dressing change. Expressing dislike and wanting to delegate to a family member do not suggest readiness to learn.The nursing instructor is talking with a group of medicalñsurgical students about deep vein thrombosis (DVT). A student asks what factors contribute to the formation of a DVT. What would be the instructor's best response? A) ìThere is a genetic link in the formation of deep vein thrombi.î B) ìHypervolemia is often present in patients who go on to develop deep vein thrombi.î C) ìNo known factors contribute to the formation of deep vein thrombi; they just occur D) ìDehydration is a contributory factor to the formation of deep vein thrombi.îAns: D Feedback: The stress response that is initiated by surgery inhibits the fibrinolytic system, resulting in blood hypercoagulability. Dehydration, low cardiac output, blood pooling in the extremities, and bedrest add to the risk of thrombosis formation. Hypervolemia is not a risk factor and there are no known genetic factorsThe home health nurse is caring for a postoperative patient who was discharged home on day 2 after surgery. The nurse is performing the initial visit on the patient's postoperatative day 2. During the visit, the nurse will assess for wound infection. For most patients, what is the earliest postoperative day that a wound infection becomes evident? A) Day 9 B) Day 7 C) Day 5 D) Day 3Ans: C Feedback: Wound infection may not be evident until at least postoperative day 5. This makes the other options incorrect.The nurse is caring for an 88-year-old patient who is recovering from an ileac-femoral bypass graft. The patient is day 2 postoperative and has been mentally intact, as per baseline. When the nurse assesses the patient, it is clear that he is confused and has been experiencing disturbed sleep patterns and impaired psychomotor skills. What should the nurse suspect is the problem with the patient? A) Postoperative delirium B) Postoperative dementia C) Senile dementia D) Senile confusionAns: A Feedback: Postoperative delirium, characterized by confusion, perceptual and cognitive deficits, altered attention levels, disturbed sleep patterns, and impaired psychomotor skills, is a significant problem for older adults. Dementia does not have a sudden onset. Senile confusion is not a recognized health problem.The surgeon's preoperative assessment of a patient has identified that the patient is at a high risk for venous thromboembolism. Once the patient is admitted to the postsurgical unit, what intervention should the nurse prioritize to reduce the patient's risk of developing this complication? A) Maintain the head of the bed at 45 degrees or higher. B) Encourage early ambulation. C) Encourage oral fluid intake. D) Perform passive range-of-motion exercises every 8 hoursAns: B Feedback: The benefits of early ambulation and leg exercises in preventing DVT cannot be overemphasized, and these activities are recommended for all patients, regardless of their risk. Increasing the head of the bed is not effective. Ambulation is superior to passive range-ofmotion exercises. Fluid intake is important, but is less protective than early ambulation.