Neurologic NCLEX Practice Test Part 2 Answers and Rationale

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1.    Answer C. Obesity is a risk factor for CVA. Other risk factors include a history of ischemic episodes, cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, atherosclerosis of the cranial vessels, hypertension, polycythemia, smoking, hypercholesterolemia, oral contraceptive use, emotional stress, family history of CVA, and advancing age. The client’s race, sex, and bronchial asthma aren’t risk factors for CVA.

2.    Answer B. Fatigue is a common symptom in clients with multiple sclerosis. Lowering the body temperature by resting in an air-conditioned room may relieve fatigue; however, extreme cold should be avoided. A hot bath or shower can increase body temperature, producing fatigue. Muscle relaxants, prescribed to reduce spasticity, can cause drowsiness and fatigue. Planning for frequent rest periods and naps can relieve fatigue. Other measures to reduce fatigue in the client with multiple sclerosis include treating depression, using occupational therapy to learn energy conservation techniques, and reducing spasticity.

3.    Answer D. Protecting the client from injury is the immediate priority during a seizure. Elevating the head of the bed would have no effect on the client’s condition or safety. Restraining the client’s arms and legs could cause injury. Placing a tongue blade or other object in the client’s mouth could damage the teeth.

4.    Answer A. The nurse should inform the client that the paralysis that accompanies Guillain-Barré syndrome is only temporary. Return of motor function begins proximally and extends distally in the legs.

5.    Answer A. The client who has had spinal surgery, such as laminectomy, must be logrolled to keep the spinal column straight when turning. The client who has had a thoracotomy or cystectomy may turn himself or may be assisted into a comfortable position. Under normal circumstances, hemorrhoidectomy is an outpatient procedure, and the client may resume normal activities immediately after surgery.

6.    Answer B. Because CT commonly involves use of a contrast agent, the nurse should determine whether the client is allergic to iodine, contrast dyes, or shellfish. Neck immobilization is necessary only if the client has a suspected spinal cord injury. Placing a cap over the client’s head may lead to misinterpretation of test results; instead, the hair should be combed smoothly. The physician orders a sedative only if the client can’t be expected to remain still during the CT scan.

7.    Answer B. To prevent the attached muscle from contracting, the nurse should support the joint where the tendon is being tested. The nurse should use the flat, not pointed, end of the reflex hammer when striking the Achilles tendon. (The pointed end is used to strike over small areas, such as the thumb placed over the biceps tendon.) Tapping the tendon slowly and softly wouldn’t provoke a deep tendon reflex response. The nurse should hold the reflex hammer loosely, not tightly, between the thumb and fingers so it can swing in an arc.

8.    Answer D. Because the client is disoriented and restless, the most important nursing diagnosis is risk for injury. Although the other options may be appropriate, they’re secondary because they don’t immediately affect the client’s health or safety.

9.    Answer B. This comment best supports a nursing diagnosis of Powerlessness because ALS may lead to locked-in syndrome, characterized by an active and functioning mind locked in a body that can’t perform even simple daily tasks. Although Anxiety and Risk for disuse syndrome may be diagnoses associated with ALS, the client’s comment specifically refers to an inability to act autonomously. A diagnosis of Ineffective denial would be indicated if the client didn’t seem to perceive the personal relevance of symptoms or danger.

10.    Answer C. The goal of treatment is to prevent acidemia by eliminating carbon dioxide. That is because an acid environment in the brain causes cerebral vessels to dilate and therefore increases ICP. Preventing respiratory alkalosis and lowering arterial pH may bring about acidosis, an undesirable condition in this case. It isn’t necessary to maintain a PaO2 as high as 80 mm Hg; 60 mm Hg will adequately oxygenate most clients.

11.    Answer C. If a neck injury is suspected, the jaw thrust maneuver is used to open the airway. The head tilt–chin lift maneuver produces hyperextension of the neck and could cause complications if a neck injury is present. A flexed position is an inappropriate position for opening the airway.

12.    Answer B. Motor testing in the unconscious client can be done only by testing response to painful stimuli. Nail bed pressure tests a basic peripheral response. Cerebral responses to pain are tested using sternal rub, placing upward pressure on the orbital rim, or squeezing the clavicle or sternocleidomastoid muscle.

13.    Answer C. The client having a magnetic resonance imaging scan has all metallic objects removed because of the magnetic field generated by the device. A careful history is obtained to determine whether any metal objects are inside the client, such as orthopedic hardware, pacemakers, artificial heart valves, aneurysm clips, or intrauterine devices. These may heat up, become dislodged, or malfunction during this procedure. The client may be ineligible if significant risk exists.

14.    Answer D. The client undergoing lumbar puncture is positioned lying on the side, with the legs pulled up to the abdomen and the head bent down onto the chest. This position helps open the spaces between the vertebrae.

15.    Answer B. The head of the client with increased intracranial pressure should be positioned so the head is in a neutral midline position. The nurse should avoid flexing or extending the client’s neck or turning the head side to side. The head of the bed should be raised to 30 to 45 degrees. Use of proper positions promotes venous drainage from the cranium to keep intracranial pressure down.

16.    Answer D. Leakage of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from the ears or nose may accompany basilar skull fracture. CSF can be distinguished from other body fluids because the drainage will separate into bloody and yellow concentric rings on dressing material, called a halo sign. The fluid also tests positive for glucose.

17.    Answer D. The most frequent cause of autonomic dysreflexia is a distended bladder. Straight catheterization should be done every 4 to 6 hours, and foley catheters should be checked frequently to prevent kinks in the tubing. Constipation and fecal impaction are other causes, so maintaining bowel regularity is important. Other causes include stimulation of the skin from tactile, thermal, or painful stimuli. The nurse administers care to minimize risk in these areas.

18.    Answer B. Nursing actions during a seizure include providing for privacy, loosening restrictive clothing, removing the pillow and raising side rails in the bed, and placing the client on one side with the head flexed forward, if possible, to allow the tongue to fall forward and facilitate drainage. The limbs are never restrained because the strong muscle contractions could cause the client harm. If the client is not in bed when seizure activity begins, the nurse lowers the client to the floor, if possible, protects the head from injury, and moves furniture that may injure the client. Other aspects of care are as described for the client who is in bed.

19.    Answer B. Hemiparesis is a weakness of one side of the body that may occur after a stroke. Complete hemiparesis is weakness of the face and tongue, arm, and leg on one side. Complete bilateral paralysis does not occur in this condition. The client with right-sided hemiparesis has weakness of the right arm and leg and needs assistance with feeding, bathing, and ambulating.

20.    Answer A. Before the client with dysphagia is started on a diet, the gag and swallow reflexes must have returned. The client is assisted with meals as needed and is given ample time to chew and swallow. Food is placed on the unaffected side of the mouth. Liquids are thickened to avoid aspiration.

21.    Answer D. Clients are evaluated as coping successfully with lifestyle changes after a brain attack (stroke) if they make appropriate lifestyle alterations, use the assistance of others, and have appropriate social interactions. Options A, B, and C are not adaptive behaviors.

22.    Answer C. Clients with aphasia after brain attack (stroke) often fatigue easily and have a short attention span. General guidelines when trying to communicate with the aphasic client include speaking more slowly and allowing adequate response time, listening to and watching attempts to communicate, and trying to put the client at ease with a caring and understanding manner. The nurse would avoid shouting (because the client is not deaf), appearing rushed for a response, and letting family members provide all the responses for the client.

23.    Answer C. Myasthenic crisis often is caused by undermedication and responds to the administration of cholinergic medications, such as neostigmine (Prostigmin) and pyridostigmine (Mestinon). Cholinergic crisis (the opposite problem) is caused by excess medication and responds to withholding of medications. Too little exercise and fatty food intake are incorrect. Overexertion and overeating possibly could trigger myasthenic crisis.

24.    Answer D. Clients with myasthenia gravis are taught to space out activities over the day to conserve energy and restore muscle strength. Taking medications correctly to maintain blood levels that are not too low or too high is important. Muscle-strengthening exercises are not helpful and can fatigue the client. Overeating is a cause of exacerbation of symptoms, as is exposure to heat, crowds, erratic sleep habits, and emotional stress.

25.    Answer A. Bell’s palsy is a one-sided facial paralysis from compression of the facial nerve. The exact cause is unknown, but may include vascular ischemia, infection, exposure to viruses such as herpes zoster or herpes simplex, autoimmune disease, or a combination of these factors.

26.    Answer A. Prevention of muscle atrophy with Bell’s palsy is accomplished with facial massage, facial exercises, and electrical stimulation of the nerves. Exposure to cold or drafts is avoided. Local application of heat to the face may improve blood flow and provide comfort.

27.    Answer D. Guillain-Barré syndrome is a clinical syndrome of unknown origin that involves cranial and peripheral nerves. Many clients report a history of respiratory or gastrointestinal infection in the 1 to 4 weeks before the onset of neurological deficits. Occasionally, the syndrome can be triggered by vaccination or surgery.

28.    Answer C. The client with Guillain-Barré syndrome experiences fear and anxiety from the ascending paralysis and sudden onset of the disorder. The nurse can alleviate these fears by providing accurate information about the client’s condition, giving expert care and positive feedback to the client, and encouraging relaxation and distraction. The family can become involved with selected care activities and provide diversion for the client as well.

29.    Answer D. Cranial nerve II is the optic nerve, which governs vision. The nurse can provide safety for the visually impaired client by clearing the path of obstacles when ambulating. Testing the shower water temperature would be useful if there were an impairment of peripheral nerves. Speaking loudly may help overcome a deficit of cranial nerve VIII (vestibulocochlear). Cranial nerve VII (facial) and IX (glossopharyngeal) control taste from the anterior two thirds and posterior third of the tongue, respectively.

30.    Answer B. The limbic system is responsible for feelings (affect) and emotions. Calculation ability and knowledge of current events relates to function of the frontal lobe. The cerebral hemispheres, with specific regional functions, control orientation. Recall of recent events is controlled by the hippocampus.

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