NCLEX Practice Test for Skin and Integumentary Diseases Part 1 Answers and Rationale

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1.    Answer A. When caring for a client with upper torso burns, the nurse’s primary goal is to maintain respiratory integrity. Therefore, option A should take the highest priority. Option B isn’t appropriate because burns aren’t a disease. Option C and D may be appropriate, but don’t command a higher priority than option A because they don’t reflect immediately life-threatening problems.
2.    Answer A. Applying knee splints prevents leg contractures by holding the joints in a position of function. Elevating the foot of the bed can’t prevent contractures because this action doesn’t hold the joints in a position of function. Hyperextending a body part for an extended time is inappropriate because it can cause contractures. Performing shoulder range-of-motion exercises can prevent contractures in the shoulders, but not in the legs.
3.    Answer C. Sunscreen should be applied even on overcast days, because the sun’s rays are as damaging then as on sunny days. The sun is strongest from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (11 a.m. to 3 p.m. daylight saving time) — not from 1 to 4 p.m. Sun exposure should be minimized during these hours. The nurse should recommend sunscreen with a sun protection factor of at least 15. Sitting in the shade when at the beach doesn’t guarantee protection against sunburn because sand, concrete, and water can reflect more than half the sun’s rays onto the skin.
4.    Answer D. The Rule of Nines divides body surface area into percentages that, when totaled, equal 100%. According to the Rule of Nines, the arms account for 9% each, the anterior legs account for 9% each, and the anterior trunk accounts for 18%. Therefore, this client’s burns cover 36% of the body surface area.
5.    Answer A. Keeping the client well hydrated helps prevent skin cracking and infection because intact healthy skin is the body’s first line of defense. To help a client maintain healthy skin, the nurse should avoid strong or harsh detergents and should use mild soap. The nurse shouldn’t remove adhesive tape quickly because this action can strip or scrape the skin. The nurse should recommend wearing loose-fitting — not tight-fitting — clothes in hot weather to promote heat loss by evaporation.
6.    Answer A. A scale is the characteristic secondary lesion occurring in psoriasis. Although crusts, ulcers, and scars also are secondary lesions in skin disorders, they don’t accompany psoriasis.
7.    Answer C. A potent topical corticosteroid may increase the client’s risk for injury because it may be absorbed percutaneously, causing the same adverse effects as systemic corticosteroids. Topical corticosteroids aren’t involved in significant drug interactions. These preparations cause vasoconstriction, not vasodilation. A potent topical corticosteroid rarely is prescribed for use on the face, neck, or intertriginous sites because application on these areas may lead to increased adverse effects.
8.    Answer A. Herpes simplex may be passed to the fetus transplacentally and, during early pregnancy, may cause spontaneous abortion or premature delivery. Genital herpes simplex lesions typically are painful, fluid-filled vesicles that ulcerate and heal within 1 to 2 weeks. Herpetic keratoconjunctivitis usually is unilateral and causes localized symptoms, such as conjunctivitis. A client with genital herpes lesions should avoid all sexual contact to prevent spreading the disease.
9.    Answer B. The most significant adverse reactions to gentamicin and other aminoglycosides are ototoxicity (indicated by vertigo, tinnitus, and hearing loss) and nephrotoxicity (indicated by urinary cells or casts, oliguria, proteinuria, and reduced creatinine clearance). These adverse reactions are most common in elderly and dehydrated clients, those with renal impairment, and those receiving concomitant therapy with another potentially ototoxic or nephrotoxic drug. Gentamicin isn’t associated with aplastic anemia, cardiac arrhythmias, or seizures.
10.    Answer C.  A client with primary herpes genitalis should apply topical acyclovir ointment in sufficient quantities to cover the lesions every 3 hours, six times a day for 7 days. Terconazole and tioconazole are used to treat vulvovaginal candidiasis. Sulconazole nitrate is used to treat tinea versicolor.
11.    Answer C.  When applying a topical agent, the nurse should begin at the midline and use long, even, outward, and downward strokes in the direction of hair growth. This application pattern reduces the risk of follicle irritation and skin inflammation.
12.    Answer B.  Rings or donuts aren’t to be used because they restrict circulation. Foam mattresses evenly distribute pressure. Gel pads redistribute with the client’s weight. The water bed also distributes pressure over the entire surface.
13.    Answer B.  The scab formation is found in the migratory phase. It is accompanied by migration of epithelial cells, synthesis of scar tissue by fibroblasts, and development of new cells that grow across the wound. In the inflammatory phase, a blood clot forms, epidermis thickens, and an inflammatory reaction occurs in the subcutaneous tissue. During the proliferative phase, the actions of the migratory phase continue and intensify, and granulation tissue fills the wound. In the maturation phase, cells and vessels return to normal and the scab sloughs off.
14.    Answer A.  In a client with burns, the goal of fluid resuscitation is to maintain a mean arterial blood pressure that provides adequate perfusion of vital structures. If the kidneys are adequately perfused, they will produce an acceptable urine output of at least 0.5 ml/kg/hour. Thus, the expected urine output of a 155-lb client is 35 ml/hour, and a urine output consistently above 100 ml/hour is more than adequate. Weight gain from fluid resuscitation isn’t a goal. In fact, a 4-lb weight gain in 24 hours suggests third spacing. Body temperature readings and ECG interpretations may demonstrate secondary benefits of fluid resuscitation but aren’t primary indicators.
15.    Answer C.  Oral acyclovir may cause such adverse GI effects as diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. It isn’t associated with palpitations, dizziness, or a metallic taste.
16.    Answer D. Intertrigo refers to irritation of opposing skin surfaces caused by friction. Spontaneously occurring wheals occur in hives. A fungus that enters the skin surface and causes infection is a dermatophyte. Inflammation of a hair follicle is called folliculitis.
17.    Answer A. The most important intervention to prevent pressure ulcers is frequent position changes, which relieve pressure on the skin and underlying tissues. If pressure isn’t relieved, capillaries become occluded, reducing circulation and oxygenation of the tissues and resulting in cell death and ulcer formation. During passive ROM exercises, the nurse moves each joint through its range of movement, which improves joint mobility and circulation to the affected area but doesn’t prevent pressure ulcers. Adequate hydration is necessary to maintain healthy skin and ensure tissue repair. A footboard prevents plantar flexion and footdrop by maintaining the foot in a dorsiflexed position.
18.    Answer D.  Although many drugs are used to treat skin disorders, topical agents — not I.V. or oral agents — are the mainstay of treatment.
19.    Answer A.  When someone in a group of persons sharing a home contracts scabies, each individual in the home needs prompt treatment whether he’s symptomatic or not. Towels and linens should be washed in hot water. Scabies can be transmitted from one person to another before symptoms develop.
20.    Answer B.  Impetigo is a contagious, superficial skin infection caused by beta-hemolytic streptococci. If the condition is severe, the physician typically prescribes systemic antibiotics for 7 to 10 days to prevent glomerulonephritis, a dangerous complication. The client’s nails should be kept trimmed to avoid scratching; however, mitts aren’t necessary. Topical antibiotics are less effective than systemic antibiotics in treating impetigo.
21.    Answer A.  Because exercising the autograft sites may dislodge the grafted tissue, the nurse should advise the client to keep the grafted extremity in a neutral position. None of the other options results from exercise
22.    Answer B. To prevent the spread of scabies in other hospitalized clients, the nurse should isolate the client’s bed linens until the client is no longer infectious — usually 24 hours after treatment begins. Other required precautions include using good hand-washing technique and wearing gloves when applying the pediculicide and during all contact with the client. Although the nurse should notify the nurse in the day surgery unit of the client’s condition, a scabies epidemic is unlikely because scabies is spread through skin or sexual contact. This client doesn’t require enteric precautions because the mites aren’t found on feces.
23.    Answer B.  Applying an emollient immediately after taking a bath or shower prevents evaporation of water from the hydrated epidermis, the skin’s upper layer. Although emollients make the skin feel soft, this effect occurs whether or not the client has just bathed or showered. An emollient minimizes cracking of the epidermis, not the dermis (the layer beneath the epidermis). An emollient doesn’t prevent skin inflammation.
24.    Answer A.  To prevent disruption of the artificial skin’s adherence to the wound bed, the client should restrict range of motion of the involved limb. Protein intake and fluid intake are important for healing and regeneration and shouldn’t be restricted. Going outdoors is acceptable as long as the left arm is protected from direct sunlight.
25.    Answer D.  With a superficial partial thickness burn such as a solar burn (sunburn), the nurse’s main concern is pain management. Fluid resuscitation and infection become concerns if the burn extends to the dermal and subcutaneous skin layers. Body image disturbance is a concern that has lower priority than pain management.
26.    Answer B. To avoid burning and sloughing, the client must protect the graft from direct sunlight. The other three interventions are helpful to the client and his recovery but are less important.
27.    Answer B.  Adults and children with gonorrhea may develop gonococcal conjunctivitis by touching the eyes with contaminated hands. The client should avoid sexual intercourse until treatment is completed, which usually takes 4 to 7 days, and a follow-up culture confirms that the infection has been eradicated. A client who doesn’t refrain from intercourse before treatment is completed should use a condom in addition to informing sex partners of the client’s health status and instructing them to wash well after intercourse. Meningitis and widespread CNS damage are potential complications of untreated syphilis, not gonorrhea.
28.    Answer D.  To prevent eye discomfort, the client must protect the eyes for 48 hours after taking medication for photochemotherapy. Protecting the eyes for a shorter period increases the risk of eye injury.
29.    Answer C. A female client with genital herpes simplex is at increased risk for cervical cancer. Genital herpes simplex isn’t a risk factor for cancer of the ovaries, uterus, or vagina.
30.    Answer C. Applying direct pressure to an injury is the initial step in controlling bleeding. For severe or arterial bleeding, pressure point control can be used. Pressure points are those areas where large blood vessels can be compressed against bone: femoral, brachial, facial, carotid, and temporal artery sites. Elevation reduces the force of flow, but direct pressure is the first step. A tourniquet may further damage the injured extremity and should be avoided unless all other measures have failed.

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