Respiratory NCLEX Practice Test Part 2 Answers and Rationale

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1.    Answer A. The therapeutic range for the serum theophylline level is 10 to 20 mcg/mL. If the level is below the therapeutic range, the client may experience frequent exacerbations of the disorder. Although all the options identify values within the therapeutic range, option A is the option that reflects a need for compliance with medication.
2.    Answer A. Continuous gentle bubbling should be noted in the suction control chamber. Option B is incorrect. Chest tubes should only be clamped to check for an air leak or when changing drainage devices (according to agency policy). Option C is incorrect. Bubbling should be continuous and not intermittent. Option D is incorrect because bubbling should be gentle. Increasing the suction pressure only increases the rate of evaporation of water in the drainage system.
3.    Answer B. The presence of fluctuation of the fluid level in the water seal chamber indicates a patent drainage system. With normal breathing, the water level rises with inspiration and falls with expiration. Fluctuation stops if the tube is obstructed, if a dependent loop exists, if the suction is not working properly, or if the lung has reexpanded. Options A, C, and D are incorrect.
4.    Answer B. If the chest drainage system is disconnected, the end of the tube is placed in a bottle of sterile water held below the level of the chest. The system is replaced if it breaks or cracks or if the collection chamber is full. Placing a sterile dressing over the disconnection site will not prevent complications resulting from the disconnection. The physician may need to be notified, but this is not the initial action.
5.    Answer D. When the chest tube is removed, the client is asked to perform the Valsalva maneuver (take a deep breath, exhale, and bear down). The tube is quickly withdrawn, and an airtight dressing is taped in place. An alternative instruction is to ask the client to take a deep breath and hold the breath while the tube is removed. Options A, B, and C are incorrect client instructions.
6.    Answer B. If the tube is dislodged accidentally, the initial nursing action is to grasp the retention sutures and spread the opening. If agency policy permits, the nurse then attempts immediately to replace the tube. Covering the tracheostomy site will block the airway. Options 1 and 3 will delay treatment in this emergency situation.
7.    Answer A. The nurse reports stridor to the physician immediately. This is a high-pitched, coarse sound that is heard with the stethoscope over the trachea. Stridor indicates airway edema and places the client at risk for airway obstruction. Options B, C, and D are not signs that require immediate notification of the physician.
8.    Answer B. This client has sustained a blunt or a closed chest injury. Basic symptoms of a closed pneumothorax are shortness of breath and chest pain. A larger pneumothorax may cause tachypnea, cyanosis, diminished breath sounds, and subcutaneous emphysema. Hyperresonance also may occur on the affected side. A sucking sound at the site of injury would be noted with an open chest injury.
9.    Answer B. Clinical manifestations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) include hypoxemia, hypercapnia, dyspnea on exertion and at rest, oxygen desaturation with exercise, and the use of accessory muscles of respiration. Chest x-rays reveal a hyperinflated chest and a flattened diaphragm if the disease is advanced.
10.    Answer D. One of the first pulmonary symptoms is a slight cough with the expectoration of mucoid sputum. Options A, B, and C are late symptoms and signify cavitation and extensive lung involvement.
11.    Answer B. Tuberculosis is definitively diagnosed through culture and isolation of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. A presumptive diagnosis is made based on a tuberculin skin test, a sputum smear that is positive for acid-fast bacteria, a chest x-ray, and histological evidence of granulomatous disease on biopsy.
12.    Answer B. Tuberculosis is an infectious disease caused by the bacillus Mycobacterium tuberculosis and is spread primarily by the airborne route. Options A, C, and D are incorrect.
13.    Answer B. Oxygen is used cautiously and should not exceed 2 L/min. Because of the long-standing hypercapnia that occurs in emphysema, the respiratory drive is triggered by low oxygen levels rather than increased carbon dioxide levels, as is the case in a normal respiratory system.
14.    Answer D. Pursed-lip breathing facilitates maximal expiration for clients with obstructive lung disease. This type of breathing allows better expiration by increasing airway pressure that keeps air passages open during exhalation. Options A, B, and C are not the purposes of this type of breathing.
15.    Answer B. To obtain a sputum specimen, the client should rinse the mouth to reduce contamination, breathe deeply, and then cough into a sputum specimen container. The client should be encouraged to cough and not spit so as to obtain sputum. Sputum can be thinned by fluids or by a respiratory treatment such as inhalation of nebulized saline or water. The optimal time to obtain a specimen is on arising in the morning.
16.    Answer C. If a biopsy was performed during a bronchoscopy, blood-streaked sputum is expected for several hours. Frank blood indicates hemorrhage. A dry cough may be expected. The client should be assessed for signs of complications, which would include cyanosis, dyspnea, stridor, bronchospasm, hemoptysis, hypotension, tachycardia, and dysrhythmias. Hematuria is unrelated to this procedure.
17.    Answer C. Hypoxemia can be caused by prolonged suctioning, which stimulates the pacemaker cells in the heart. A vasovagal response may occur, causing bradycardia. The nurse must preoxygenate the client before suctioning and limit the suctioning pass to 10 seconds.
18.    Answer C. During suctioning, the nurse should monitor the client closely for side effects, including hypoxemia, cardiac irregularities such as a decrease in heart rate resulting from vagal stimulation, mucosal trauma, hypotension, and paroxysmal coughing. If side effects develop, especially cardiac irregularities, the procedure is stopped and the client is reoxygenated.
19.    Answer A. In an acidotic condition, the pH would be low, indicating the acidosis. In addition, a low bicarbonate level along with the low pH would indicate a metabolic state. Therefore, options B, C, and D are incorrect.
20.    Answer A. The common clinical manifestations of pulmonary embolism are tachypnea, tachycardia, dyspnea, and chest pain.
21.    Answer A. The client should be instructed to hold his or her breath for at least 10 to 15 seconds before exhaling the mist. Options B, C, and D are accurate instructions regarding the use of the inhaler.
22.    Answer D. After bronchoscopy, the nurse keeps the client on NPO status until the gag reflex returns because the preoperative sedation and local anesthesia impair swallowing and the protective laryngeal reflexes for a number of hours. Additional fluids are unnecessary because no contrast dye is used that would need flushing from the system. Atropine and midazolam would be administered before the procedure, not after.
23.    Answer D. Rib fractures are a common injury, especially in the older client, and result from a blunt injury or a fall. Typical signs and symptoms include pain and tenderness localized at the fracture site and exacerbated by inspiration and palpation, shallow respirations, splinting or guarding the chest protectively to minimize chest movement, and possible bruising at the fracture site. Paradoxical respirations are seen with flail chest.
24.    Answer C. Flail chest results from fracture of two or more ribs in at least two places each. This results in a “floating” section of ribs. Because this section is unattached to the rest of the bony rib cage, this segment results in paradoxical chest movement. This means that the force of inspiration pulls the fractured segment inward, while the rest of the chest expands. Similarly, during exhalation, the segment balloons outward while the rest of the chest moves inward. This is a telltale sign of flail chest.
25.    Answer A. Pneumothorax is characterized by restlessness, tachycardia, dyspnea, pain with respiration, asymmetrical chest expansion, and diminished or absent breath sounds on the affected side. Pneumothorax can cause increased airway pressure because of resistance to lung inflation. Acute respiratory distress syndrome and pulmonary embolism are not characterized by absent breath sounds. An endotracheal tube that is inserted too far can cause absent breath sounds, but the lack of breath sounds most likely would be on the left side because of the degree of curvature of the right and left main stem bronchi.
26.    Answer C. Instructions for using a metered-dose inhaler include shaking the canister, holding it right side up, inhaling slowly and evenly through the mouth, delivering one spray per breath, and holding the breath after inhalation.
27.    Answer D. The earliest detectable sign of acute respiratory distress syndrome is an increased respiratory rate, which can begin from 1 to 96 hours after the initial insult to the body. This is followed by increasing dyspnea, air hunger, retraction of accessory muscles, and cyanosis. Breath sounds may be clear or consist of fine inspiratory crackles or diffuse coarse crackles.
28.    Answer C. The normal pulmonary capillary wedge pressure (PCWP) is 8 to 13 mm Hg, and the client is considered to have high readings if they exceed 18 to 20 mm Hg. The client with acute respiratory distress syndrome has a normal PCWP, which is an expected finding because the edema is in the interstitium of the lung and is noncardiac.
29.    Answer A. The client with emphysema has hyperinflation of the alveoli and flattening of the diaphragm. These lead to increased anteroposterior diameter, referred to as “barrel chest.” The client also has dyspnea with prolonged expiration and has hyperresonant lungs to percussion.
30.    Answer B. The client with tuberculosis usually experiences cough (productive or nonproductive), fatigue, anorexia, weight loss, dyspnea, hemoptysis, chest discomfort or pain, chills and sweats (which may occur at night), and a low-grade fever.


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