Learning about Endocrine Diseases often feels overwhelming to nursing students. The key to mastering this body system is to challenge yourselves with this NCLEX sample questions. This exam will test your knowledge about the disorders of the Endocrine System.
You’re never a loser ’til you quit trying.
Included topics in this practice quiz are:
- Endocrine System
- Endocrine Disorders
- Diabetes Mellitus
- Care of the Endocrine System
Follow the guidelines below to make the most out of this exam:
- Read each question carefully and choose the best answer.
- You are given one minute per question. Spend your time wisely!
- Answers and rationales are given below. Be sure to read them.
- If you need more clarifications, please direct them to the comments section.
In Exam Mode: All questions are shown in random and the results, answers and rationales (if any) will only be given after you’ve finished the quiz. You are given 1 minute per question, a total of 50 minutes for this exam.
NCLEX Exam: Endocrine Disorders 1 (50 Items)
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Practice Mode: This is an interactive version of the Text Mode. All questions are given in a single page and correct answers, rationales or explanations (if any) are immediately shown after you have selected an answer.
NCLEX Exam: Endocrine Disorders 1 (50 Items)
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You scored %%SCORE%% out of %%TOTAL%%.
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In Text Mode: All questions and answers are given for reading and answering at your own pace. You can also copy this exam and make a printout.
1. An agitated, confused female client arrives in the emergency department. Her history includes type 1 diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and angina pectoris. Assessment reveals pallor, diaphoresis, headache, and intense hunger. A stat blood glucose sample measures 42 mg/dl, and the client is treated for an acute hypoglycemic reaction. After recovery, the nurse teaches the client to treat hypoglycemia by ingesting:
A. 2 to 5 g of a simple carbohydrate.
B. 10 to 15 g of a simple carbohydrate.
C. 18 to 20 g of a simple carbohydrate.
D. 25 to 30 g of a simple carbohydrate.
2. A female adult client with a history of chronic hyperparathyroidism admits to being noncompliant. Based on initial assessment findings, the nurse formulates the nursing diagnosis of Risk for injury. To complete the nursing diagnosis statement for this client, which “related-to” phrase should the nurse add?
A. Related to bone demineralization resulting in pathologic fractures
B. Related to exhaustion secondary to an accelerated metabolic rate
C. Related to edema and dry skin secondary to fluid infiltration into the interstitial spaces
D. Related to tetany secondary to a decreased serum calcium level
3. Nurse Joey is assigned to care for a postoperative male client who has diabetes mellitus. During the assessment interview, the client reports that he’s impotent and says he’s concerned about its effect on his marriage. In planning this client’s care, the most appropriate intervention would be to:
A. Encourage the client to ask questions about personal sexuality.
B. Provide time for privacy.
C. Provide support for the spouse or significant other.
D. Suggest referral to a sex counselor or other appropriate professional.
4. During a class on exercise for diabetic clients, a female client asks the nurse educator how often to exercise. The nurse educator advises the clients to exercise how often to meet the goals of planned exercise?
A. At least once a week
B. At least three times a week
C. At least five times a week
D. Every day
5. Nurse Oliver should expect a client with hypothyroidism to report which health concerns?
A. Increased appetite and weight loss
B. Puffiness of the face and hands
C. Nervousness and tremors
D. Thyroid gland swelling
7. A 67-year-old male client has been complaining of sleeping more, increased urination, anorexia, weakness, irritability, depression, and bone pain that interferes with her going outdoors. Based on these assessment findings, nurse Richard would suspect which of the following disorders?
A. Diabetes mellitus
B. Diabetes insipidus
8. When caring for a male client with diabetes insipidus, nurse Juliet expects to administer:
9. The nurse is aware that the following is the most common cause of hyperaldosteronism?
10. A male client with type 1 diabetes mellitus has a highly elevated glycosylated hemoglobin (Hb) test result. In discussing the result with the client, nurse Sharmaine would be most accurate in stating:
A. “The test needs to be repeated following a 12-hour fast.”
B. “It looks like you aren’t following the prescribed diabetic diet.”
C. “It tells us about your sugar control for the last 3 months.”
D. “Your insulin regimen needs to be altered significantly.”
11. Following a unilateral adrenalectomy, nurse Betty would assess for hyperkalemia shown by which of the following?
12. Nurse Louie is developing a teaching plan for a male client diagnosed with diabetes insipidus. The nurse should include information about which hormone lacking in clients with diabetes insipidus?
A. antidiuretic hormone (ADH).
B. thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH).
C. follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH).
D. luteinizing hormone (LH).
13. Early this morning, a female client had a subtotal thyroidectomy. During evening rounds, nurse Tina assesses the client, who now has nausea, a temperature of 105° F (40.5° C), tachycardia, and extreme restlessness. What is the most likely cause of these signs?
A. Diabetic ketoacidosis
B. Thyroid crisis
15. When assessing a male client with pheochromocytoma, a tumor of the adrenal medulla that secretes excessive catecholamine, nurse April is most likely to detect:
A. a blood pressure of 130/70 mm Hg.
B. a blood glucose level of 130 mg/dl.
D. a blood pressure of 176/88 mm Hg.
16. A male client is admitted for treatment of the syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone (SIADH). Which nursing intervention is appropriate?
A. Infusing I.V. fluids rapidly as ordered
B. Encouraging increased oral intake
C. Restricting fluids
D. Administering glucose-containing I.V. fluids as ordered
17. A female client has a serum calcium level of 7.2 mg/dl. During the physical examination, nurse Noah expects to assess:
A. Trousseau’s sign.
B. Homans’ sign.
C. Hegar’s sign.
D. Goodell’s sign.
18. Which outcome indicates that treatment of a male client with diabetes insipidus has been effective?
A. Fluid intake is less than 2,500 ml/day.
B. Urine output measures more than 200 ml/hour.
C. Blood pressure is 90/50 mm Hg.
D. The heart rate is 126 beats/minute.
19. Jemma, who weighs 210 lb (95 kg) and has been diagnosed with hyperglycemia tells the nurse that her husband sleeps in another room because her snoring keeps him awake. The nurse notices that she has large hands and a hoarse voice. Which of the following would the nurse suspect as a possible cause of the client’s hyperglycemia?
20. Nurse Kate is providing dietary instructions to a male client with hypoglycemia. To control hypoglycemic episodes, the nurse should recommend:
A. Increasing saturated fat intake and fasting in the afternoon.
B. Increasing intake of vitamins B and D and taking iron supplements.
C. Eating a candy bar if lightheadedness occurs.
D. Consuming a low-carbohydrate, high protein diet and avoiding fasting.
21. An incoherent female client with a history of hypothyroidism is brought to the emergency department by the rescue squad. Physical and laboratory findings reveal hypothermia, hypoventilation, respiratory acidosis, bradycardia, hypotension, and nonpitting edema of the face and pretibial area. Knowing that these findings suggest severe hypothyroidism, nurse Libby prepares to take emergency action to prevent the potential complication of:
22. A male client with type 1 diabetes mellitus asks the nurse about taking an oral antidiabetic agent. Nurse Jack explains that these medications are only effective if the client:
A. prefers to take insulin orally.
B. has type 2 diabetes.
C. has type 1 diabetes.
D. is pregnant and has type 2 diabetes.
23. When caring for a female client with a history of hypoglycemia, nurse Ruby should avoid administering a drug that may potentiate hypoglycemia. Which drug fits this description?
A. sulfisoxazole (Gantrisin)
B. mexiletine (Mexitil)
C. prednisone (Orasone)
D. lithium carbonate (Lithobid)
24. After taking glipizide (Glucotrol) for 9 months, a male client experiences secondary failure. Which of the following would the nurse expect the physician to do?
A. Initiate insulin therapy.
B. Switch the client to a different oral antidiabetic agent.
C. Prescribe an additional oral antidiabetic agent.
D. Restrict carbohydrate intake to less than 30% of the total caloric intake.
25. During preoperative teaching for a female client who will undergo subtotal thyroidectomy, the nurse should include which statement?
A. “The head of your bed must remain flat for 24 hours after surgery.”
B. “You should avoid deep breathing and coughing after surgery.”
C. “You won’t be able to swallow for the first day or two.”
D. “You must avoid hyperextending your neck after surgery.”
26. Nurse Ronn is assessing a client with possible Cushing’s syndrome. In a client with Cushing’s syndrome, the nurse would expect to find:
B. Thick, coarse skin.
C. Deposits of adipose tissue in the trunk and dorsocervical area.
D. Weight gain in arms and legs.
27. A male client with primary diabetes insipidus is ready for discharge on desmopressin (DDAVP). Which instruction should nurse Lina provide?
A. “Administer desmopressin while the suspension is cold.”
B. “Your condition isn’t chronic, so you won’t need to wear a medical identification bracelet.”
C. “You may not be able to use desmopressin nasally if you have nasal discharge or blockage.”
D. “You won’t need to monitor your fluid intake and output after you start taking desmopressin.”
28. Nurse Wayne is aware that a positive Chvostek’s sign indicate?
29. In a 29-year-old female client who is being successfully treated for Cushing’s syndrome, nurse Lyzette would expect a decline in:
A. Serum glucose level.
B. Hair loss.
C. Bone mineralization.
D. Menstrual flow.
30. A male client has recently undergone surgical removal of a pituitary tumor. Dr. Wong prescribes corticotropin (Acthar), 20 units I.M. q.i.d. as a replacement therapy. What is the mechanism of action of corticotropin?
A. It decreases cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) production and affects the metabolic rate of target organs.
B. It interacts with plasma membrane receptors to inhibit enzymatic actions.
C. It interacts with plasma membrane receptors to produce enzymatic actions that affect protein, fat, and carbohydrate metabolism.
D. It regulates the threshold for water resorption in the kidneys.
31. Capillary glucose monitoring is being performed every 4 hours for a female client diagnosed with diabetic ketoacidosis. Insulin is administered using a scale of regular insulin according to glucose results. At 2 p.m., the client has a capillary glucose level of 250 mg/dl for which he receives 8 U of regular insulin. Nurse Vince should expect the dose’s:
A. Onset to be at 2 p.m. and its peak to be at 3 p.m.
B. Onset to be at 2:15 p.m. and its peak to be at 3 p.m.
C. Onset to be at 2:30 p.m. and its peak to be at 4 p.m.
D. Onset to be at 4 p.m. and its peak to be at 6 p.m.
32. A female client with Cushing’s syndrome is admitted to the medical-surgical unit. During the admission assessment, nurse Tyzz notes that the client is agitated and irritable, has poor memory, reports loss of appetite, and appears disheveled. These findings are consistent with which problem?
33. Nurse Ruth is assessing a client after a thyroidectomy. The assessment reveals muscle twitching and tingling, along with numbness in the fingers, toes, and mouth area. The nurse should suspect which complication?
C. Thyroid storm
D. Laryngeal nerve damage
34. After undergoing a subtotal thyroidectomy, a female client develops hypothyroidism. Dr. Smith prescribes levothyroxine (Levothroid), 25 mcg P.O. daily. For which condition is levothyroxine the preferred agent?
A. Primary hypothyroidism
B. Graves’ disease
35. Which of these signs suggests that a male client with the syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone (SIADH) secretion is experiencing complications?
A. Tetanic contractions
B. Neck vein distention
C. Weight loss
36. A female client with a history of pheochromocytoma is admitted to the hospital in an acute hypertensive crisis. To reverse hypertensive crisis caused by pheochromocytoma, nurse Lyka expects to administer:
37. A male client with a history of hypertension is diagnosed with primary hyperaldosteronism. This diagnosis indicates that the client’s hypertension is caused by excessive hormone secretion from which of the following glands?
A. Adrenal cortex
C. Adrenal medulla
38. Nurse Troy is aware that the most appropriate for a client with Addison’s disease?
39. Acarbose (Precose), an alpha-glucosidase inhibitor, is prescribed for a female client with type 2 diabetes mellitus. During discharge planning, nurse Pauleen would be aware of the client’s need for additional teaching when the client states:
A. “If I have hypoglycemia, I should eat some sugar, not dextrose.”
B. “The drug makes my pancreas release more insulin.”
C. “I should never take insulin while I’m taking this drug.”
D. “It’s best if I take the drug with the first bite of a meal.”
40. A female client whose physical findings suggest a hyperpituitary condition undergoes an extensive diagnostic workup. Test results reveal a pituitary tumor, which necessitates a transsphenoidal hypophysectomy. The evening before the surgery, nurse Jacob reviews preoperative and postoperative instructions given to the client earlier. Which postoperative instruction should the nurse emphasize?
A. “You must lie flat for 24 hours after surgery.”
B. “You must avoid coughing, sneezing, and blowing your nose.”
C. “You must restrict your fluid intake.”
D. “You must report ringing in your ears immediately.”
41. Dr. Kennedy prescribes glipizide (Glucotrol), an oral antidiabetic agent, for a male client with type 2 diabetes mellitus who has been having trouble controlling the blood glucose level through diet and exercise. Which medication instruction should the nurse provide?
A. “Be sure to take glipizide 30 minutes before meals.”
B. “Glipizide may cause a low serum sodium level, so make sure you have your sodium level checked monthly.”
C. “You won’t need to check your blood glucose level after you start taking glipizide.”
D. “Take glipizide after a meal to prevent heartburn.”
42. For a diabetic male client with a foot ulcer, the physician orders bed rest, a wet-to-dry dressing change every shift, and blood glucose monitoring before meals and bedtime. Why are wet-to-dry dressings used for this client?
A. They contain exudate and provide a moist wound environment.
B. They protect the wound from mechanical trauma and promote healing.
C. They debride the wound and promote healing by secondary intention.
D. They prevent the entrance of microorganisms and minimize wound discomfort.
43. When instructing the female client diagnosed with hyperparathyroidism about diet, nurse Gina should stress the importance of which of the following?
A. Restricting fluids
B. Restricting sodium
C. Forcing fluids
D. Restricting potassium
44. Which nursing diagnosis takes highest priority for a female client with hyperthyroidism?
A. Risk for imbalanced nutrition: More than body requirements related to thyroid hormone excess
B. Risk for impaired skin integrity related to edema, skin fragility, and poor wound healing
C. Body image disturbance related to weight gain and edema
D. Imbalanced nutrition: Less than body requirements related to thyroid hormone excess
45. A male client with a tentative diagnosis of hyperosmolar hyperglycemic nonketotic syndrome (HHNS) has a history of type 2 diabetes that is being controlled with an oral diabetic agent, tolazamide (Tolinase). Which of the following is the most important laboratory test for confirming this disorder?
A. Serum potassium level
B. Serum sodium level
C. Arterial blood gas (ABG) values
D. Serum osmolarity
46. A male client has just been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes mellitus. When teaching the client and family how diet and exercise affect insulin requirements, Nurse Joy should include which guideline?
A. “You’ll need more insulin when you exercise or increase your food intake.”
B. “You’ll need less insulin when you exercise or reduce your food intake.”
C. “You’ll need less insulin when you increase your food intake.”
D. “You’ll need more insulin when you exercise or decrease your food intake.”
47. Nurse Noemi administers glucagon to her diabetic client, then monitors the client for adverse drug reactions and interactions. Which type of drug interacts adversely with glucagon?
48. Which instruction about insulin administration should nurse Kate give to a client?
A. “Always follow the same order when drawing the different insulins into the syringe.”
B. “Shake the vials before withdrawing the insulin.”
C. “Store unopened vials of insulin in the freezer at temperatures well below freezing.”
D. “Discard the intermediate-acting insulin if it appears cloudy.”
49. Nurse Perry is caring for a female client with type 1 diabetes mellitus who exhibits confusion, light-headedness, and aberrant behavior. The client is still conscious. The nurse should first administer:
A. I.M. or subcutaneous glucagon.
B. I.V. bolus of dextrose 50%.
C. 15 to 20 g of a fast-acting carbohydrate such as orange juice.
D. 10 U of fast-acting insulin.
50. For the first 72 hours after thyroidectomy surgery, nurse Jamie would assess the female client for Chvostek’s sign and Trousseau’s sign because they indicate which of the following?
Answers and Rationale
1. Answer: B. 10 to 15 g of a simple carbohydrate.
To reverse hypoglycemia, the American Diabetes Association recommends ingesting 10 to 15 g of a simple carbohydrate, such as three to five pieces of hard candy, two to three packets of sugar (4 to 6 tsp), or 4 oz of fruit juice. If necessary, this treatment can be repeated in 15 minutes. Ingesting only 2 to 5 g of a simple carbohydrate may not raise the blood glucose level sufficiently. Ingesting more than 15 g may raise it above normal, causing hyperglycemia.
2. Answer: A. Related to bone demineralization resulting in pathologic fractures
Poorly controlled hyperparathyroidism may cause an elevated serum calcium level. This, in turn, may diminish calcium stores in the bone, causing bone demineralization and setting the stage for pathologic fractures and a risk for injury. Hyperparathyroidism doesn’t accelerate the metabolic rate. A decreased thyroid hormone level, not an increased parathyroid hormone level, may cause edema and dry skin secondary to fluid infiltration into the interstitial spaces. Hyperparathyroidism causes hypercalcemia, not hypocalcemia; therefore, it isn’t associated with tetany.
3. Answer: D. Suggest referral to a sex counselor or other appropriate professional.
The nurse should refer this client to a sex counselor or other professional. Making appropriate referrals is a valid part of planning the client’s care. The nurse doesn’t normally provide sex counseling.
4. Answer: B. At least three times a week
Diabetic clients must exercise at least three times a week to meet the goals of planned exercise — lowering the blood glucose level, reducing or maintaining the proper weight, increasing the serum high-density lipoprotein level, decreasing serum triglyceride levels, reducing blood pressure, and minimizing stress. Exercising once a week wouldn’t achieve these goals. Exercising more than three times a week, although beneficial, would exceed the minimum requirement.
5. Answer: B. Puffiness of the face and hands
Hypothyroidism (myxedema) causes facial puffiness, extremity edema, and weight gain. Signs and symptoms of hyperthyroidism (Graves’ disease) include an increased appetite, weight loss, nervousness, tremors, and thyroid gland enlargement (goiter).
6. Answer: C. Tachycardia
Levothyroxine, a synthetic thyroid hormone, is given to a client with hypothyroidism to simulate the effects of thyroxine. Adverse effects of this agent include tachycardia. The other options aren’t associated with levothyroxine.
7. Answer: D. Hyperparathyroidism
Hyperparathyroidism is most common in older women and is characterized by bone pain and weakness from excess parathyroid hormone (PTH). Clients also exhibit hypercalciuria-causing polyuria. While clients with diabetes mellitus and diabetes insipidus also have polyuria, they don’t have bone pain and increased sleeping. Hypoparathyroidism is characterized by urinary frequency rather than polyuria.
8. Answer: A. vasopressin (Pitressin Synthetic).
Because diabetes insipidus results from decreased antidiuretic hormone (vasopressin) production, the nurse should expect to administer synthetic vasopressin for hormone replacement therapy. Furosemide, a diuretic, is contraindicated because a client with diabetes insipidus experiences polyuria. Insulin and dextrose are used to treat diabetes mellitus and its complications, not diabetes insipidus.
9. Answer: D. An adrenal adenoma
An autonomous aldosterone-producing adenoma is the most common cause of hyperaldosteronism. Hyperplasia is the second most frequent cause. Aldosterone secretion is independent of sodium and potassium intake as well as of pituitary stimulation.
10. Answer: C. “It tells us about your sugar control for the last 3 months.”
The glycosylated Hb test provides an objective measure of glycemic control over a 3-month period. The test helps identify trends or practices that impair glycemic control, and it doesn’t require a fasting period before blood is drawn. The nurse can’t conclude that the result occurs from poor dietary management or inadequate insulin coverage.
11. Answer: A. Muscle weakness
Muscle weakness, bradycardia, nausea, diarrhea, and paresthesia of the hands, feet, tongue, and face are findings associated with hyperkalemia, which is transient and occurs from transient hypoaldosteronism when the adenoma is removed. Tremors, diaphoresis, and constipation aren’t seen in hyperkalemia.
12. Answer: A. antidiuretic hormone (ADH).
ADH is the hormone clients with diabetes insipidus lack. The client’s TSH, FSH, and LH levels won’t be affected.
13. Answer: B. Thyroid crisis
Thyroid crisis usually occurs in the first 12 hours after thyroidectomy and causes exaggerated signs of hyperthyroidism, such as high fever, tachycardia, and extreme restlessness. Diabetic ketoacidosis is more likely to produce polyuria, polydipsia, and polyphagia; hypoglycemia, to produce weakness, tremors, profuse perspiration, and hunger. Tetany typically causes uncontrollable muscle spasms, stridor, cyanosis, and possibly asphyxia.
14. Answer: C. Increased urine osmolarity
In hyperglycemia, urine osmolarity (the measurement of dissolved particles in the urine) increases as glucose particles move into the urine. The client experiences glycosuria and polyuria, losing body fluids and experiencing fluid volume deficit. Cool, clammy skin; distended neck veins; and a decreased serum sodium level are signs of fluid volume excess, the opposite imbalance.
15. Answer: D. a blood pressure of 176/88 mm Hg.
Pheochromocytoma, a tumor of the adrenal medulla that secretes excessive catecholamine, causes hypertension, tachycardia, hyperglycemia, hypermetabolism, and weight loss. It isn’t associated with the other options.
16. Answer: C. Restricting fluids
To reduce water retention in a client with the SIADH, the nurse should restrict fluids. Administering fluids by any route would further increase the client’s already heightened fluid load.
17. Answer: A. Trousseau’s sign.
This client’s serum calcium level indicates hypocalcemia, an electrolyte imbalance that causes Trousseau’s sign (carpopedal spasm induced by inflating the blood pressure cuff above systolic pressure). Homans’ sign (pain on dorsiflexion of the foot) indicates deep vein thrombosis. Hegar’s sign (softening of the uterine isthmus) and Goodell’s sign (cervical softening) are probable signs of pregnancy.
18. Answer: A. Fluid intake is less than 2,500 ml/day.
Diabetes insipidus is characterized by polyuria (up to 8 L/day), constant thirst, and an unusually high oral intake of fluids. Treatment with the appropriate drug should decrease both oral fluid intake and urine output. A urine output of 200 ml/hour indicates continuing polyuria. A blood pressure of 90/50 mm Hg and a heart rate of 126 beats/minute indicate compensation for the continued fluid deficit, suggesting that treatment hasn’t been effective.
19. Answer: A. Acromegaly
Acromegaly, which is caused by a pituitary tumor that releases excessive growth hormone, is associated with hyperglycemia, hypertension, diaphoresis, peripheral neuropathy, and joint pain. Enlarged hands and feet are related to lateral bone growth, which is seen in adults with this disorder. The accompanying soft tissue swelling causes hoarseness and often sleep apnea. Type 1 diabetes is usually seen in children, and newly diagnosed persons are usually very ill and thin. Hypothyroidism isn’t associated with hyperglycemia, nor is growth hormone deficiency.
20. Answer: D. Consuming a low-carbohydrate, high protein diet and avoiding fasting.
To control hypoglycemic episodes, the nurse should instruct the client to consume a low-carbohydrate, high protein diet, avoid fasting, and avoid simple sugars. Increasing saturated fat intake and increasing vitamin supplementation wouldn’t help control hypoglycemia.
21. Answer: C. myxedema coma.
Severe hypothyroidism may result in myxedema coma, in which a drastic drop in the metabolic rate causes decreased vital signs, hypoventilation (possibly leading to respiratory acidosis), and nonpitting edema. Thyroid storm is an acute complication of hyperthyroidism. Cretinism is a form of hypothyroidism that occurs in infants. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is a common chronic inflammatory disease of the thyroid gland in which autoimmune factors play a prominent role.
22. Answer: B. has type 2 diabetes.
Oral antidiabetic agents are only effective in adult clients with type 2 diabetes. Oral antidiabetic agents aren’t effective in type 1 diabetes. Pregnant and lactating women aren’t prescribed oral antidiabetic agents because the effect on the fetus is uncertain.
23. Answer: A. sulfisoxazole (Gantrisin)
Sulfisoxazole and other sulfonamides are chemically related to oral antidiabetic agents and may precipitate hypoglycemia. Mexiletine, an antiarrhythmic, is used to treat refractory ventricular arrhythmias; it doesn’t cause hypoglycemia. Prednisone, a corticosteroid, is associated with hyperglycemia. Lithium may cause transient hyperglycemia, not hypoglycemia.
24. Answer: B. Switch the client to a different oral antidiabetic agent.
Many clients (25% to 60%) with secondary failure respond to a different oral antidiabetic agent. Therefore, it wouldn’t be appropriate to initiate insulin therapy at this time. However, if a new oral antidiabetic agent is unsuccessful in keeping glucose levels at an acceptable level, insulin may be used in addition to the antidiabetic agent.
25. Answer: D. “You must avoid hyperextending your neck after surgery.”
To prevent undue pressure on the surgical incision after subtotal thyroidectomy, the nurse should advise the client to avoid hyperextending the neck. The client may elevate the head of the bed as desired and should perform deep breathing and coughing to help prevent pneumonia. Subtotal thyroidectomy doesn’t affect swallowing.
26. Answer: C. Deposits of adipose tissue in the trunk and dorsocervical area.
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.
27. Answer: C. “You may not be able to use desmopressin nasally if you have nasal discharge or blockage.”
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.
28. Answer: A. Hypocalcemia
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.
29. Answer: A. Serum glucose level.
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.
30. Answer: C. It interacts with plasma membrane receptors to produce enzymatic actions that affect protein, fat, and carbohydrate metabolism.
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.
31. Answer: C. Onset to be at 2:30 p.m. and its peak to be at 4 p.m.
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.
32. Answer: A. Depression
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.
33. Answer: A. Tetany
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.
34. Answer: A. Primary hypothyroidism
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.
35. Answer: B. Neck vein distention
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).
36. Answer: A. phentolamine (Regitine).
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.
37. Answer: A. Adrenal cortex
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.
38. Answer: A. Risk for infection
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.
39. Answer: A. “If I have hypoglycemia, I should eat some sugar, not dextrose.”
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.
40. Answer: B. “You must avoid coughing, sneezing, and blowing your nose.”
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.
41. Answer: A. “Be sure to take glipizide 30 minutes before meals.”
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.
42. Answer: C. They debride the wound and promote healing by secondary intention.
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.
43. Answer: C. Forcing fluids
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.
44. Answer: D. Imbalanced nutrition: Less than body requirements related to thyroid hormone excess
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.
45. Answer: D. Serum osmolarity
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.
46. Answer: B. “You’ll need less insulin when you exercise or reduce your food intake.”
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.
47. Answer: A. Oral anticoagulants
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.
48. Answer: A. “Always follow the same order when drawing the different insulins into the syringe.”
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.
49. Answer: C. 15 to 20 g of a fast-acting carbohydrate such as orange juice.
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.
50. Answer: A. Hypocalcemia
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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Recommended Books and Resources
Selected NCLEX-RN review books:
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- Saunders Strategies for Success for the NCLEX – An invaluable guide that will help you master what matters most in passing nursing school and the NCLEX.
- Mosby's Comprehensive Review of Nursing for NCLEX-RN – This book has helped nurses pass the NCLEX exam for over 60 years. Practice with over 600 alternative item question formats.
- Lippincott Q&A Review for NCLEX-RN – A different approach to NCLEX-RN review.
- Prioritization, Delegation, and Assignment: Practice Exercises for the NCLEX Examination – An NCLEX review book that focuses on prioritization, delegation, and patient assignment.