Gastrointestinal Diseases NCLEX Review Questions Part 1 Answers and Rationale

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1.    Answer C. The normal serum amylase level is 25 to 151 units/L. With chronic cases of pancreatitis, the rise in serum amylase levels usually does not exceed three times the normal value. In acute pancreatitis, the value may exceed five times the normal value. Options A and B are within normal limits. Option D is an extremely elevated level seen in acute pancreatitis.
2.    Answer C. Full liquid food items include items such as plain ice cream, sherbet, breakfast drinks, milk, pudding and custard, soups that are strained, and strained vegetable juices. A clear liquid diet consists of foods that are relatively transparent. The food items in options A, B, and D are clear liquids.
3.    Answer A. The client with cirrhosis needs to consume foods high in thiamine. Thiamine is present in a variety of foods of plant and animal origin. Pork products are especially rich in this vitamin. Other good food sources include nuts, whole grain cereals, and legumes. Milk contains vitamins A, D, and B2. Poultry contains niacin. Broccoli contains vitamins C, E, and K and folic acid
4.    Answer A. Unless specifically indicated, residual amounts more than 100 mL require holding the feeding. Therefore options B, C, and D are incorrect. Additionally, the feeding is not discarded unless its contents are abnormal in color or characteristics.
5.    Answer D. During the insertion of a nasogastric tube, if the client experiences difficulty breathing or any respiratory distress, withdraw the tube slightly, stop the tube advancement, and wait until the distress subsides. Options B and C are unnecessary. Quickly inserting the tube is not an appropriate action because, in this situation, it may be likely that the tube has entered the bronchus.
6.    Answer A. If the nasogastric tube is in the stomach, the pH of the contents will be acidic. Gastric aspirates have acidic pH values and should be 3.5 or lower. Option B indicates a slightly acidic pH. Option C indicates a neutral pH. Option D indicates an alkaline pH.
7.    Answer C. When the nurse removes a nasogastric tube, the client is instructed to take and hold a deep breath. This will close the epiglottis. This allows for easy withdrawal through the esophagus into the nose. The nurse removes the tube with one smooth, continuous pull.
8.    Answer C. If a client has a nasogastric tube connected to suction, the nurse should wait up to 30 minutes before reconnecting the tube to the suction apparatus to allow adequate time for medication absorption. Aspirating the nasogastric tube will remove the medication just administered. Low intermittent suction also will remove the medication just administered. The client should not be placed in the supine position because of the risk for aspiration.
9.    Answer C. When the client has a Sengstaken-Blakemore tube, a pair of scissors must be kept at the client’s bedside at all times. The client needs to be observed for sudden respiratory distress, which occurs if the gastric balloon ruptures and the entire tube moves upward. If this occurs, the nurse immediately cuts all balloon lumens and removes the tube. An obturator and a Kelly clamp are kept at the bedside of a client with a tracheostomy. An irrigation set may be kept at the bedside, but it is not the priority item.
10.    Answer A. Hepatitis A is transmitted by the fecal-oral route via contaminated food or infected food handlers. Hepatitis B, C, and D are transmitted most commonly via infected blood or body fluids.
11.    Answer B. Laboratory indicators of hepatitis include elevated liver enzyme levels, elevated serum bilirubin levels, elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rates, and leukopenia. An elevated blood urea nitrogen level may indicate renal dysfunction. A hemoglobin level is unrelated to this diagnosis.
12.    Answer C.  Meperidine (Demerol) rather than morphine sulfate is the medication of choice to treat pain because morphine sulfate can cause spasms in the sphincter of Oddi. Options A, B, and D are appropriate interventions for the client with acute pancreatitis.
13.    Answer A. A barium swallow is an x-ray study that uses a substance called barium for contrast to highlight abnormalities in the gastrointestinal tract. The client should fast for 8 to 12 hours before the test, depending on physician instructions. Most oral medications also are withheld before the test. After the procedure, the nurse must monitor for constipation, which can occur as a result of the presence of barium in the gastrointestinal tract.
14.    Answer C. The appropriate sequence for abdominal examination is inspection, auscultation, percussion, and palpation. Auscultation is performed after inspection to ensure that the motility of the bowel and bowel sounds are not altered by percussion or palpation. Therefore, after inspecting the skin on the abdomen, the nurse should listen for bowel sounds.
15.    Answer D. The solution GoLYTELY is a bowel evacuant used to prepare a client for a colonoscopy by cleansing the bowel. The solution is expected to cause a mild diarrhea and will clear the bowel in 4 to 5 hours. Options A, B, and C are inappropriate actions.
16.    Answer B. Chronic gastritis causes deterioration and atrophy of the lining of the stomach, leading to the loss of the function of the parietal cells. The source of the intrinsic factor is lost, which results in the inability to absorb vitamin B12. This leads to the development of pernicious anemia. The client is not at risk for vitamin A, C, or E deficiency.
17.    Answer C. Indomethacin (Indocin) is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug and can cause ulceration of the esophagus, stomach, or small intestine. Indomethacin is contraindicated in a client with gastrointestinal disorders. Furosemide (Lasix) is a loop diuretic. Digoxin is a cardiac medication. Propranolol (Inderal) is a β-adrenergic blocker. Furosemide, digoxin, and propranolol are not contraindicated in clients with gastric disorders.
18.    Answer D. Following cholecystectomy, drainage from the T tube is initially bloody and then turns to a greenish-brown color. The drainage is measured as output. The amount of expected drainage will range from 500 to 1000 mL/day. The nurse would document the output.
19.    Answer D. Perforation of an ulcer is a surgical emergency and is characterized by sudden, sharp, intolerable severe pain beginning in the midepigastric area and spreading over the abdomen, which becomes rigid and board-like. Nausea and vomiting may occur. Tachycardia may occur as hypovolemic shock develops. Numbness in the legs is not an associated finding.
20.    Answer C. A vagotomy, or cutting of the vagus nerve, is done to eliminate parasympathetic stimulation of gastric secretion. Options A, B, and D are incorrect descriptions of a vagotomy.
21.    Answer C. In a Billroth II procedure, the proximal remnant of the stomach is anastomosed to the proximal jejunum. Patency of the nasogastric tube is critical for preventing the retention of gastric secretions. The nurse should never irrigate or reposition the gastric tube after gastric surgery, unless specifically ordered by the physician. In this situation, the nurse should clarify the order. Options A, B, and D are appropriate postoperative interventions.
22.    Answer C. Dumping syndrome is a term that refers to a constellation of vasomotor symptoms that occurs after eating, especially following a Billroth II procedure. Early manifestations usually occur within 30 minutes of eating and include vertigo, tachycardia, syncope, sweating, pallor, palpitations, and the desire to lie down. The nurse should instruct the client to decrease the amount of fluid taken at meals and to avoid high-carbohydrate foods, including fluids such as fruit nectars; to assume a low-Fowler’s position during meals; to lie down for 30 minutes after eating to delay gastric emptying; and to take antispasmodics as prescribed.
23.    Answer A. Early manifestations of dumping syndrome occur 5 to 30 minutes after eating. Symptoms include vertigo, tachycardia, syncope, sweating, pallor, palpitations, and the desire to lie down.
24.    Answer B. Coughing is avoided following umbilical hernia repair to prevent disruption of tissue integrity, which can occur because of the location of this surgical procedure. Bed rest is not required following this surgical procedure. The client should take analgesics as needed and as prescribed to control pain. A drain is not used in this surgical procedure, although the client may be instructed in simple dressing changes.
25.    Answer B. Following inguinal hernia repair, the client should be instructed to elevate the scrotum and apply ice packs while in bed to decrease pain and swelling. The nurse also should instruct the client to apply a scrotal support when out of bed. Heat will increase swelling. Limiting oral fluids and a low-fiber diet can cause constipation.
26.    Answer C. Rebound tenderness may indicate peritonitis. Bloody diarrhea is expected to occur in ulcerative colitis. Because of the blood loss, the client may be hypotensive and the hemoglobin level may be lower than normal. Signs of peritonitis must be reported to the physician.
27.    Answer B. Body image, disturbed relates to loss of bowel control, the presence of a stoma, the release of fecal material onto the abdomen, the passage of flatus, odor, and the need for an appliance (external pouch). No data in the question support options A and C. Nutrition: less than body requirements, imbalanced is the more likely nursing diagnosis.
28.    Answer A. Crohn’s disease is characterized by nonbloody diarrhea of usually not more than four to five stools daily. Over time, the diarrhea episodes increase in frequency, duration, and severity. Options B, C, and D are not characteristics of Crohn’s disease.
29.    Answer B. If cramping occurs during a colostomy irrigation, the irrigation flow is stopped temporarily and the client is allowed to rest. Cramping may occur from an infusion that is too rapid or is causing too much pressure. The physician does not need to be notified. Increasing the height of the irrigation will cause further discomfort. Medicating the client for pain is not the appropriate action in this situation.
30.    Answer A. To enhance effectiveness of the irrigation and fecal returns, the client is instructed to increase fluid intake and to take other measures to prevent constipation. Options B, C and D will not enhance the effectiveness of this procedure.

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Latest Comments
  1. SM

    In question no.9 the correct answer should be D. a pair of scissors, not C.

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