NCLEX Practice Test for Endocrine Disorders Part 2 Answers and Rationale

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1.    Answer C. Because of changes in fat distribution, adipose tissue accumulates in the trunk, face (moonface), and dorsocervical areas (buffalo hump). Hypertension is caused by fluid retention. Skin becomes thin and bruises easily because of a loss of collagen. Muscle wasting causes muscle atrophy and thin extremities.

2.    Answer C. Desmopressin may not be absorbed if the intranasal route is compromised. Although diabetes insipidus is treatable, the client should wear medical identification and carry medication at all times to alert medical personnel in an emergency and ensure proper treatment. The client must continue to monitor fluid intake and output and receive adequate fluid replacement.

3.    Answer A. Chvostek’s sign is elicited by tapping the client’s face lightly over the facial nerve, just below the temple. If the client’s facial muscles twitch, it indicates hypocalcemia. Hyponatremia is indicated by weight loss, abdominal cramping, muscle weakness, headache, and postural hypotension. Hypokalemia causes paralytic ileus and muscle weakness. Clients with hypermagnesemia exhibit a loss of deep tendon reflexes, coma, or cardiac arrest.

4.    Answer A. Hyperglycemia, which develops from glucocorticoid excess, is a manifestation of Cushing’s syndrome. With successful treatment of the disorder, serum glucose levels decline. Hirsutism is common in Cushing’s syndrome; therefore, with successful treatment, abnormal hair growth also declines. Osteoporosis occurs in Cushing’s syndrome; therefore, with successful treatment, bone mineralization increases. Amenorrhea develops in Cushing’s syndrome. With successful treatment, the client experiences a return of menstrual flow, not a decline in it.

5.    Answer C. Corticotropin interacts with plasma membrane receptors to produce enzymatic actions that affect protein, fat, and carbohydrate metabolism. It doesn’t decrease cAMP production. The posterior pituitary hormone, antidiuretic hormone, regulates the threshold for water resorption in the kidneys.

6.    Answer C. Regular insulin, which is a short-acting insulin, has an onset of 15 to 30 minutes and a peak of 2 to 4 hours. Because the nurse gave the insulin at 2 p.m., the expected onset would be from 2:15 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. and the peak from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

7.    Answer A. Agitation, irritability, poor memory, loss of appetite, and neglect of one’s appearance may signal depression, which is common in clients with Cushing’s syndrome. Neuropathy affects clients with diabetes mellitus — not Cushing’s syndrome. Although hypoglycemia can cause irritability, it also produces increased appetite, rather than loss of appetite. Hyperthyroidism typically causes such signs as goiter, nervousness, heat intolerance, and weight loss despite increased appetite.

8.    Answer A. Tetany may result if the parathyroid glands are excised or damaged during thyroid surgery. Hemorrhage is a potential complication after thyroid surgery but is characterized by tachycardia, hypotension, frequent swallowing, feelings of fullness at the incision site, choking, and bleeding. Thyroid storm is another term for severe hyperthyroidism — not a complication of thyroidectomy. Laryngeal nerve damage may occur postoperatively, but its signs include a hoarse voice and, possibly, acute airway obstruction.

9.    Answer A. Levothyroxine is the preferred agent to treat primary hypothyroidism and cretinism, although it also may be used to treat secondary hypothyroidism. It is contraindicated in Graves’ disease and thyrotoxicosis because these conditions are forms of hyperthyroidism. Euthyroidism, a term used to describe normal thyroid function, wouldn’t require any thyroid preparation.

10.    Answer B. SIADH secretion causes antidiuretic hormone overproduction, which leads to fluid retention. Severe SIADH can cause such complications as vascular fluid overload, signaled by neck vein distention. This syndrome isn’t associated with tetanic contractions. It may cause weight gain and fluid retention (secondary to oliguria).

11.    Answer A. Pheochromocytoma causes excessive production of epinephrine and norepinephrine, natural catecholamines that raise the blood pressure. Phentolamine, an alpha-adrenergic blocking agent given by I.V. bolus or drip, antagonizes the body’s response to circulating epinephrine and norepinephrine, reducing blood pressure quickly and effectively. Although methyldopa is an antihypertensive agent available in parenteral form, it isn’t effective in treating hypertensive emergencies. Mannitol, a diuretic, isn’t used to treat hypertensive emergencies. Felodipine, an antihypertensive agent, is available only in extended-release tablets and therefore doesn’t reduce blood pressure quickly enough to correct hypertensive crisis.

12.    Answer A. Excessive secretion of aldosterone in the adrenal cortex is responsible for the client’s hypertension. This hormone acts on the renal tubule, where it promotes reabsorption of sodium and excretion of potassium and hydrogen ions. The pancreas mainly secretes hormones involved in fuel metabolism. The adrenal medulla secretes the catecholamines — epinephrine and norepinephrine. The parathyroids secrete parathyroid hormone.

13.    Answer A. Addison’s disease decreases the production of all adrenal hormones, compromising the body’s normal stress response and increasing the risk of infection. Other appropriate nursing diagnoses for a client with Addison’s disease include Deficient fluid volume and Hyperthermia. Urinary retention isn’t appropriate because Addison’s disease causes polyuria.

14.    Answer A. Acarbose delays glucose absorption, so the client should take an oral form of dextrose rather than a product containing table sugar when treating hypoglycemia. The alpha-glucosidase inhibitors work by delaying the carbohydrate digestion and glucose absorption. It’s safe to be on a regimen that includes insulin and an alpha-glucosidase inhibitor. The client should take the drug at the start of a meal, not 30 minutes to an hour before.

15.    Answer B. After a transsphenoidal hypophysectomy, the client must refrain from coughing, sneezing, and blowing the nose for several days to avoid disturbing the surgical graft used to close the wound. The head of the bed must be elevated, not kept flat, to prevent tension or pressure on the suture line. Within 24 hours after a hypophysectomy, transient diabetes insipidus commonly occurs; this calls for increased, not restricted, fluid intake. Visual, not auditory, changes are a potential complication of hypophysectomy.

16.    Answer A. The client should take glipizide twice a day, 30 minutes before a meal, because food decreases its absorption. The drug doesn’t cause hyponatremia and therefore doesn’t necessitate monthly serum sodium measurement. The client must continue to monitor the blood glucose level during glipizide therapy.

17.    Answer C. For this client, wet-to-dry dressings are most appropriate because they clean the foot ulcer by debriding exudate and necrotic tissue, thus promoting healing by secondary intention. Moist, transparent dressings contain exudate and provide a moist wound environment. Hydrocolloid dressings prevent the entrance of microorganisms and minimize wound discomfort. Dry sterile dressings protect the wound from mechanical trauma and promote healing.

18.    Answer C. The client should be encouraged to force fluids to prevent renal calculi formation. Sodium should be encouraged to replace losses in urine. Restricting potassium isn’t necessary in hyperparathyroidism.

19.    Answer D. In the client with hyperthyroidism, excessive thyroid hormone production leads to hypermetabolism and increased nutrient metabolism. These conditions may result in a negative nitrogen balance, increased protein synthesis and breakdown, decreased glucose tolerance, and fat mobilization and depletion. This puts the client at risk for marked nutrient and calorie deficiency, making Imbalanced nutrition: Less than body requirements the most important nursing diagnosis. Options B and C may be appropriate for a client with hypothyroidism, which slows the metabolic rate.

20.    Answer D. Serum osmolarity is the most important test for confirming HHNS; it’s also used to guide treatment strategies and determine evaluation criteria. A client with HHNS typically has a serum osmolarity of more than 350 mOsm/L. Serum potassium, serum sodium, and ABG values are also measured, but they aren’t as important as serum osmolarity for confirming a diagnosis of HHNS. A client with HHNS typically has hypernatremia and osmotic diuresis. ABG values reveal acidosis, and the potassium level is variable.

21.    Answer B. Exercise, reduced food intake, hypothyroidism, and certain medications decrease the insulin requirements. Growth, pregnancy, greater food intake, stress, surgery, infection, illness, increased insulin antibodies, and certain medications increase the insulin requirements.

22.    Answer A. As a normal body protein, glucagon only interacts adversely with oral anticoagulants, increasing the anticoagulant effects. It doesn’t interact adversely with anabolic steroids, beta-adrenergic blockers, or thiazide diuretics.

23.    Answer A. The client should be instructed always to follow the same order when drawing the different insulins into the syringe. Insulin should never be shaken because the resulting froth prevents withdrawal of an accurate dose and may damage the insulin protein molecules. Insulin also should never be frozen because the insulin protein molecules may be damaged. Intermediate-acting insulin is normally cloudy.

24.    Answer C. This client is having a hypoglycemic episode. Because the client is conscious, the nurse should first administer a fast-acting carbohydrate, such as orange juice, hard candy, or honey. If the client has lost consciousness, the nurse should administer either I.M. or subcutaneous glucagon or an I.V. bolus of dextrose 50%. The nurse shouldn’t administer insulin to a client who’s hypoglycemic; this action will further compromise the client’s condition.

25.    Answer A. The client who has undergone a thyroidectomy is at risk for developing hypocalcemia from inadvertent removal or damage to the parathyroid gland. The client with hypocalcemia will exhibit a positive Chvostek’s sign (facial muscle contraction when the facial nerve in front of the ear is tapped) and a positive Trousseau’s sign (carpal spasm when a blood pressure cuff is inflated for a few minutes). These signs aren’t present with hypercalcemia, hypokalemia, or hyperkalemia.


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