Pediatric Nursing (Infancy) NCLEX Review Answers and Rationale

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1. Answer: D. After 1 minute of CPR, the nurse should call for assistance and then resume efforts. CPR shouldn’t be stopped after it has been started unless the nurse is too exhausted to continue. A cycle usually ends with breaths, so the next beginning cycle after pulse check and summoning help would begin with chest compressions.

2. Answer: D. For the most accurate results, the nurse should seat the infant upright to assess the fontanels and should perform this assessment when the infant is quiet. Pressure from postural changes or intense crying may cause the fontanels to bulge or seem abnormally tense. When the infant is in a recumbent position, the fontanel is less flat than it is normally, creating the false impression that intracranial pressure is increased.

3. Answer: C. Because the infant’s assessment findings suggest that respiratory distress is developing, the nurse should position the infant with the head elevated at a 45-degree angle to promote maximum chest expansion; an infant seat maintains this position. Placing an infant flat on the back or abdomen or in high Fowler’s position could increase respiratory distress by preventing maximal chest expansion.

4. Answer: D. The nurse should hold an infant in the bottle-feeding position when administering an oral medication: place the child’s inner arm behind the back, support the head in the crook of the elbow, and hold the child’s free hand with the hand of the supporting arm. An infant can’t sit unsupported in a high chair. Administering medication to an infant lying flat could cause choking and aspiration. Holding the infant in the lap doesn’t prevent spilling the medication with either hand.

5. Answer: C. Soft restraints from the upper arm to the wrist prevent the infant from touching his lip but allow him to hold a favorite item such as a blanket. Because they could damage the operative site, such objects as pacifiers, suction catheters, and small spoons shouldn’t be placed in a baby’s mouth after cleft palette repair. A baby in a prone position may rub his face on the sheets and traumatize the operative site. The suture line should be cleaned gently to prevent infection, which could interfere with healing and damage the cosmetic appearance of the repair. Dried blood collecting on the suture line can widen the scar.

6. Answer: A. To avoid an infection that could adversely affect the cosmetic outcome of the repair, the suture line must be cleaned very gently with a sterile solution after each feeding. Laying an infant on his abdomen after a cleft lip repair will put pressure on the suture line, causing damage. The infant can be positioned on his side to drain saliva without affecting the suture line. Crying puts tension on the suture line and should be avoided by anticipating the baby’s needs, such as holding and cuddling him. Hard objects, such as pacifiers, should be kept away from the suture line because they can cause damage.

7. Answer: C. Because an infant’s fontanels remain open, the skull may expand in response to increased ICP. Therefore, bulging fontanels are a cardinal sign of increased ICP in an infant. Decreased urine output and sunken eyeballs indicate dehydration, not increased ICP. With increased ICP, the heart rate decreases.

8. Answer: C. The brachial artery is the best location for evaluating the pulse of an infant younger than age 1. A child of this age has a very short and often fat neck, so the carotid artery is inaccessible. The femoral artery is usually inaccessible because of clothing and diapers. The radial artery may not be palpable if cardiac output is low, even if there is a heart beat.

9. Answer: B. Infants, small children, and children with compromised cardiopulmonary status receiving I.V. therapy are particularly vulnerable to fluid overload. To prevent fluid overload, the nurse should use a volume-control set and an infusion pump or syringe and place no more than 2 hours’ worth of I.V. fluid in the volume-control set at a time. Hypotension, cardiac arrhythmias, and pulmonary emboli aren’t problems associated with I.V. therapy in infants.

10. Answer: B. Because a neonate grows so quickly, the cast may need to be changed as often as every 1 to 2 weeks. A cast for congenital clubfoot isn’t left on for 6 weeks because of the rapid rate of the infant’s growth. By the time a baby is crawling or ready to walk, the final cast has long since been removed. After the cast is permanently removed, the baby may wear a Denis Browne splint until he’s 1 year old.

11. Answer: A. In an infant, signs of fluid volume deficit (dehydration) include sunken fontanels, increased pulse rate, and decreased blood pressure. They occur when the body can no longer maintain sufficient intravascular fluid volume. When this happens, the kidneys conserve water to minimize fluid loss, which results in concentrated urine with a high specific gravity.

12. Answer: A. After surgery to repair a cleft lip, the primary goal of nursing care is to maintain integrity of the operative site. Crying causes tension on the suture line, so comforting the child as quickly as possible is the highest nursing priority. Parents may help by cuddling and comforting the child. The prone position is contraindicated after surgery because rubbing on the sheet may disturb the suture line. Elbow restraints may cause agitation; if used to prevent the child from disturbing the suture line, they must be removed, one at a time, every 2 to 4 hours so that the child can exercise and the nurse can assess for skin irritation. Crusts forming on the suture line contribute to scarring and must be cleaned carefully.

13. Answer: A. Babinski’s reflex may be present the entire first year of life. The startle reflex disappears around 4 months of age; the Moro reflex, by 3 or 4 months of age; and the dance reflex, after the 3rd or 4th week.

14. Answer: A. A padded board is adequate to secure the extremity. Restraining all four extremities can be harmful and uncomfortable for the child. Restraining the extremity to the bed’s side rail limits the child’s movement; the child may bang against the rail and cause injury. Allowing the extremity to be loose increases the risk that the I.V will infiltrate or be dislodged by the infant.

15. Answer: A. Hepatomegaly is most commonly observed in neonatal sepsis, not NEC. A distended abdomen, gastric retention, and blood in the stool are all signs of NEC and should be monitored closely in infants who are at risk.

16.Answer: D. The current immunizations recommended for a 2-month-old who hasn’t received any immunizations are HIB, DTP, HepB, and IPV. The first immunizations for MMR and varicella are recommended when a child is 12 months old.

17. Answer: B. Because of the risk of aspiration, a neonate with a known or suspected tracheoesophageal fistula should be kept with the head elevated at all times and should receive nothing by mouth (NPO). The nurse should suction the neonate regularly to maintain a patent airway and prevent pooling of secretions. Elevating the neonate’s head after feedings or giving glucose water are inappropriate because the neonate must remain on NPO status.

18. Answer: A. To sustain them until active erythropoiesis begins, neonates have Hb concentrations higher than those of older children. The normal value of Hb for neonates is 18 to 27 g/dl. Disease as well as such nonpathologic conditions as age, sex, altitude, and the degree of fluid retention or dehydration can affect Hb values. The values for a 3-month-old, a 3-year-old, and a 10-year-old are correct as stated above.

19.Answer: D. The body compensates for metabolic acidosis via the respiratory system, which tries to eliminate the buffered acids by increasing alveolar ventilation through deep, rapid respirations. Altered WBC and platelet counts aren’t specific signs of metabolic imbalance.

20.Answer: C. Most oral pediatric medications are administered on an empty stomach. They aren’t usually administered with milk or formula because these can affect gastric pH and alter drug absorption. Because a child’s meals usually contain milk or a milk product, the nurse wouldn’t administer the drugs with meals or even ½ hour after meals.

21.Answer: C. Infants younger than 3 or 4 months lack the enzymes needed to digest complex carbohydrates. Option A doesn’t address the grandmother’s question directly. Option B is a cliché that may block further communication with the grandmother. Option D is incorrect because no evidence suggests that introducing solid food early causes eating disorders.

22.Answer: B. SIDS can occur anytime between ages 1 week and 1 year. The incidence peaks at ages 2 to 4 months.

23.Answer: D. The nurse caring for an infant with inorganic failure to thrive should strive to maintain a consistent, structured environment. Encouraging the infant to hold a bottle would reinforce an uncaring feeding environment. The infant should receive social stimulation rather than be confined to bed rest. The number of caregivers should be minimized to promote consistency of care.

24.Answer: B. The earliest sign of heart failure in infants is tachycardia (sleeping heart rate greater than 160 beats/minute) as a direct result of sympathetic stimulation. Tachypnea (respiratory rate greater than 60 breaths/minute in infants) occurs in response to decreased lung compliance. Poor weight gain is a result of the increased energy demands to the heart and breathing efforts. Pulmonary edema occurs as the left ventricle fails and blood volume and pressure increase in the left atrium, pulmonary veins, and lungs.

25.Answer: C. Cerebral hyperemia (excess blood in the brain) causes an initial increase in intracranial pressure in the head of an injured child. The brain is less myelinated in a child and more easily injured than an adult brain. Intracranial hypertension — not hypotension — places the child at greater risk for secondary brain injury. A child’s cranium is thinner and more pliable, causing the child to receive a more severe injury.

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