Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing NCLEX RN Questions Part 2 Answers and Rationale

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1.    Answer C. The elevated ST segments in this client’s ECG indicate myocardial ischemia. To reverse this problem, the physician is most likely to prescribe an infusion of nitroglycerin to dilate the coronary arteries. Lidocaine and procainamide are cardiac drugs that may be indicated for this client at some point but aren’t used for coronary artery dilation. If a cocaine user experiences ventricular fibrillation or asystole, the physician may prescribe epinephrine. However, this drug must be used with caution because cocaine may potentiate its adrenergic effects.

2.    Answer C. Low self-esteem is the highest risk factor for anorexia nervosa. Constant dieting to get down to a "desirable weight" is characteristic of the disorder. Feeling inadequate when compared to peers indicates poor self-esteem. Most clients with anorexia nervosa don’t like the way they look, and their self-perception may be distorted. A girl with cachexia may perceive herself to be overweight when she looks in the mirror. Preferring fast food over healthy food is common in this age-group. Because of the absence of body fat necessary for proper hormone production, amenorrhea is common in a client with anorexia nervosa.

3.    Answer C. Haloperidol is the drug of choice for treating Tourette syndrome. Prozac, Luvox, and Paxil are antidepressants and aren’t used to treat Tourette syndrome

4.    Answer B. An open-ended statement or question is the most therapeutic response. It encourages the widest range of client responses, makes the client an active participant in the conversation, and shows the client that the nurse is interested in his feelings. Asking the client why he drove while intoxicated can make him feel defensive and intimidated. A judgmental approach isn’t therapeutic. By giving advice, the nurse suggests that the client isn’t capable of making decisions, thus fostering dependency.

5.    Answer D. Alcohol withdrawal syndrome includes alcohol withdrawal, alcoholic hallucinosis, and alcohol withdrawal delirium (formerly delirium tremens). Signs of alcohol withdrawal include diaphoresis, tremors, nervousness, nausea, vomiting, malaise, increased blood pressure and pulse rate, sleep disturbance, and irritability. Although diarrhea may be an early sign of alcohol withdrawal, tachycardia — not bradycardia — is associated with alcohol withdrawal. Dehydration and an elevated temperature may be expected, but a temperature above 101° F indicates an infection rather than alcohol withdrawal. Pruritus rarely occurs in alcohol withdrawal. If withdrawal symptoms remain untreated, seizures may arise later.

6.    Answer D. This client requires a vasodilator, such as nifedipine, to treat hypertension, and a beta-adrenergic blocker, such as esmolol, to reduce the heart rate. Lidocaine, an antiarrhythmic, isn’t indicated because the client doesn’t have an arrhythmia. Although nitroglycerin may be used to treat coronary vasospasm, it isn’t the drug of choice in hypertension.

7.    Answer B. The priority goal in alcohol withdrawal is maintaining the client’s safety. Committing to a drug-free lifestyle, drinking plenty of fluids, and identifying personal strengths are important goals, but ensuring the client’s safety is the nurse’s top priority.

8.    Answer A. Behavioral clues that suggest the potential for violence include a rigid posture, restlessness, glaring, a change in usual behavior, clenched hands, overtly aggressive actions, physical withdrawal, noncompliance, overreaction, hostile threats, recent alcohol ingestion or drug use, talk of past violent acts, inability to express feelings, repetitive demands and complaints, argumentativeness, profanity, disorientation, inability to focus attention, hallucinations or delusions, paranoid ideas or suspicions, and somatic complaints. Violent clients rarely exhibit depression, silence, or hypervigilance.

9.    Answer D.  According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition, diagnostic criteria for psychoactive substance abuse include a maladaptive pattern of such use, indicated either by continued use despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent social, occupational, psychological, or physical problem caused or exacerbated by substance abuse or recurrent use in dangerous situations (for example, while driving). For this client, psychoactive substance dependence must be ruled out; criteria for this disorder include a need for increasing amounts of the substance to achieve intoxication (option A), increased time and money spent on the substance (option B), inability to fulfill role obligations (option C), and typical withdrawal symptoms.

10.    Answer C. The predominant behavioral characteristic of the client with borderline personality disorder is impulsiveness, especially of a physically self-destructive sort. The observation that the client has scratched wrists doesn’t substantiate the other options.

11.    Answer A. Cocaine use may cause such cardiac complications as coronary artery spasm, myocardial infarction, dilated cardiomyopathy, acute heart failure, endocarditis, and sudden death. Cocaine blocks reuptake of norepinephrine, epinephrine, and dopamine, causing an excess of these neurotransmitters at postsynaptic receptor sites. Consequently, the drug is more likely to cause tachyarrhythmias than bradyarrhythmias. Although neurobehavioral deficits are common in neonates born to cocaine users, they are rare in adults. As craving for the drug increases, a person who’s addicted to cocaine typically experiences euphoria followed by depression, not panic disorder

12.    Answer C.  Acute withdrawal symptoms from alcohol may begin 6 hours after the client has stopped drinking and peak 1 to 2 days later. Delirium tremens may occur 2 to 4 days — even up to 7 days — after the last drink.

13.    Answer A. Because the client with anorexia nervosa may discard food or induce vomiting in the bathroom, the nurse should provide one-on-one supervision during meals and for 1 hour afterward. Option B wouldn’t be therapeutic because other clients may urge the client to eat and give attention for not eating. Option C would reinforce control issues, which are central to this client’s underlying psychological problem. Instead of giving the client unlimited time to eat, as in option D, the nurse should set limits and let the client know what is expected.

14.    Answer C. Manifestations of alcoholic hallucinosis are best treated by providing a quiet environment to reduce stimulation and administering prescribed central nervous system depressants in dosages that control symptoms without causing oversedation. Although bed rest is indicated, restraints are unnecessary unless the client poses a danger to himself or others. Also, restraints may increase agitation and make the client feel trapped and helpless when hallucinating. Offering juice is appropriate, but measuring blood pressure every 15 minutes would interrupt the client’s rest. To avoid overstimulating the client, the nurse should check blood pressure every 2 hours.

15.    Answer A. Tachycardia, a heart rate of 120 to 140 beats/minute, is a common sign of alcohol withdrawal. Blood pressure may be labile throughout withdrawal, fluctuating at different stages. Hypertension typically occurs in early withdrawal. Hypotension, although rare during the early withdrawal stages, may occur in later stages. Hypotension is associated with cardiovascular collapse and most commonly occurs in clients who don’t receive treatment. The nurse should monitor the client’s vital signs carefully throughout the entire alcohol withdrawal process.

16.    Answer B. The client at highest risk for suicide is one who plans a violent death (for example, by gunshot, jumping off a bridge, or hanging), has a specific plan (for example, after the spouse leaves for work), and has the means readily available (for example, a rifle hidden in the garage). A client who gives away possessions, thinks about death, or talks about wanting to die or attempting suicide is considered at a lower risk for suicide because this behavior typically serves to alert others that the client is contemplating suicide and wishes to be helped.

17.    Answer C. Bulimia nervosa can lead to many complications, including diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension. The eating disorder isn’t typically associated with allergies, cancer, or hepatitis A.

18.    Answer B. All of the outcomes stated are desirable; however, the best outcome is that the student would agree to seek the assistance of a professional substance abuse counselor

19.    Answer C. The best choice for preventing or treating alcohol withdrawal symptoms is lorazepam, a benzodiazepine. Clozapine and thiothixene are antipsychotic agents, and lithium carbonate is an antimanic agent; these drugs aren’t used to manage alcohol withdrawal syndrome.

20.    Answer A. Al-Anon is an organization that assists family members to share common experiences and increase their understanding of alcoholism. Make Today Count is a support group for people with life-threatening or chronic illnesses. Emotions Anonymous is a support group for people experiencing depression, anxiety, or similar conditions. Alcoholics Anonymous is an organization that helps alcoholics recovers by using a twelve-step program.

21.    Answer C. An anorexic client who requires hospitalization is in poor physical condition from starvation and may die as a result of arrhythmias, hypothermia, malnutrition, infection, or cardiac abnormalities secondary to electrolyte imbalances. Therefore, monitoring the client’s vital signs, serum electrolyte level, and acid base balance is crucial. Option A may worsen anxiety. Option B is incorrect because a weight obtained after breakfast is more accurate than one obtained after the evening meal. Option D would reward the client with attention for not eating and reinforce the control issues that are central to the underlying psychological problem; also, the client may record food and fluid intake inaccurately.

22.    Answer A. The client’s history of delinquency, running away from home, vandalism, and dropping out of school are characteristic of antisocial personality disorder. This maladaptive coping pattern is manifested by a disregard for societal norms of behavior and an inability to relate meaningfully to others. In borderline personality disorder, the client exhibits mood instability, poor self-image, identity disturbance, and labile affect. Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder is characterized by a preoccupation with impulses and thoughts that the client realizes are senseless but can’t control. Narcissistic personality disorder is marked by a pattern of self-involvement, grandiosity, and demand for constant attention.

23.    Answer C. Family violence usually is a learned behavior, and violence typically leads to further violence, putting this couple at risk. Repeated slapping may indicate poor, not moderate, impulse control. Violent people commonly are jealous and possessive and feel insecure in their relationships

24.    Answer B. By refusing to eat, a client with anorexia nervosa is unconsciously attempting to gain control over the only part of her life she feels she can control. This eating disorder doesn’t represent an attempt to manipulate others or live up to their expectations (although anorexia nervosa has a high incidence in families that emphasize achievement). The client isn’t attempting to commit suicide through starvation; rather, by refusing to eat, she is expressing feelings of despair, worthlessness, and hopelessness.

25.    Answer B. Total abstinence is the only effective treatment for alcoholism. Psychotherapy, attendance at AA meetings, and aversion therapy are all adjunctive therapies that can support the client in his efforts to abstain.

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