NCLEX : Causes and Treatments of Gastrointestinal Conditions

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for NCLEX

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Causes And Treatments Of Gastrointestinal Conditions

Which of the following describes a calcium carbonate preparation?
Possible Answers:
Rapid-acting; releases carbon dioxide in the stomach, causing belching and flatulence
Slow-acting; Contains significant amounts of sodium
Rapid onset and liberates carbon dioxide; Increases intra-abdominal pressure and promotes flatulence
Rapid-acting; Is also a saline laxative
Correct answer: Rapid-acting; releases carbon dioxide in the stomach, causing belching and flatulence
Explanation: Calcium carbonate preparation is rapid-acting, releasing carbon dioxide in the stomach, causing belching and flatulence. Calcium carbonate is an antacid which reacts quicly with HCl to form CaCL2 and carbon dioxide.

Example Question #2 : Causes And Treatments Of Gastrointestinal Conditions

Which of the following does the nurse not recognize as a medication regimen for treating Helicobacter Pylori infections?
Possible Answers:
Single therapy-Colestipol
Triple Therapy-Metronidazole, omeprazole plus clarithromycin
Dual Therapy-Ranitidine bismuth citrate plus clarithromycin Omeprazole plus clarithromycin
Quadruple Therapy-Colloidal bismuth subnitrate, tetracycline, metronidazole plus omeprazole
Correct answer: Single therapy-Colestipol
Explanation: Multiple therapies are required to treat Helicobacter Pylori infections. Colestipol is a bile acid sequestrant used to lower blood cholesterol, which is not used to treat Helicobacter Pylori infections ( a bacterium that colonizes the human stomach).

Example Question #3 : Causes And Treatments Of Gastrointestinal Conditions

What foods must be avoided in Celiac disease?

Possible Answers:

Foots containing red meat

Foods containing dairy

Foods containing gluten

Foods containing wheat

Foods containing oat

Correct answer:

Foods containing gluten

Explanation:

Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition that is triggered by ingestion of gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. A wheat-free diet is not sufficient for a patient with Celiac disease, as many other products contain elements of barley or rye and thus also contain gluten.

Oat, while often avoided by individuals with Celiac disease due to cross-contamination during processing, does not contain gluten. Whole dairy products are also generally gluten-free and considered safe for patients with Celiac disease.

Example Question #4 : Causes And Treatments Of Gastrointestinal Conditions

Samantha is a registered nurse working in the intensive care unit with a patient recently diagnosed with Clostridium difficile. She violates Clostridium difficile contact precautions by __________

Possible Answers:

cleansing her hands with only alcohol-based gel before leaving the room

cleaning surfaces with hypochlorite-based disinfectants

placing the patient in a private room

placing the client in a semi-private room with another patient diagnosed with Clostridium difficile

donning only gloves and a gown before entering the room

Correct answer:

cleansing her hands with only alcohol-based gel before leaving the room

Explanation:

Clostridium difficile (C. diff) is an infection caused by Clostridium difficile bacteria and requires contact precautions. Contact precautions state that nurses must wear gloves and a gown while caring for the patient. Nurses must also preform adequate hand hygiene before and after the use of gloves. Additionally, because C. diff infections are caused by spores, alcohol gel alone may not be sufficient to eliminate the bacteria. Current practice is the use of soap and water to cleanse hands. Afterwards, nurses may utilize alcohol-based hand gel. It is acceptable to place a C. diff patient in a semi-private room with another C. diff patient if private rooms are unavailable.

Example Question #5 : Causes And Treatments Of Gastrointestinal Conditions

Carrie is caring for an 85-year-old woman in a long-term care facility. Her patient has been taking antibiotics for the past two weeks to treat a severe case of cellulitis. Carrie notices that her patient has developed a fever, has refused her last two meal trays, and is complaining of abdominal pain. Which of the following samples should Carrie seek permission to obtain? 

Possible Answers:

A urine sample

A stool sample

A gastric fluid sample

A blood sample

A sputum sample

Correct answer:

A stool sample

Explanation:

It is possible that this patient is suffering from a Clostridium difficile infection caused by bacteria. The presence of an underlying condition, increasing age, and antibiotic use are all risk factors for contracting Clostridium difficile. A stool sample is commonly used to test for the bacteria. Until the results are available, Carrie should place the patient under proper C. difficile contact precautions.

Example Question #6 : Causes And Treatments Of Gastrointestinal Conditions

A female client with advanced cirrhosis of the liver has noticed that her abdomen has become greatly distended and she is concerned about her body image. The client asks the nurse "What is causing my stomach to look so big?"

The nurse responds based on her knowledge of liver disease and possible signs and symptoms. She tells the client which of the following explanations for her distended abdomen?

Possible Answers:

The liver's inability to make clotting factors due to vitamin K deficiency causes internal bleeding into the abdominal cavity

Cirrhosis is highly associated with severe constipation and the accumulation of gas in the peritoneal cavity causing distention

An accumulation of nitrogen waste in the bloodstream due to the liver's inability to transform the waste to non toxic substances causes ascites

Elevated blood pressure in the liver and the liver's inability to synthesize albumin causes fluid shifts in the abdomen

The liver is producing excess cholesterol and it has accumulated in the interstitial spaces of the abdomen

Correct answer:

Elevated blood pressure in the liver and the liver's inability to synthesize albumin causes fluid shifts in the abdomen

Explanation:

Portal hypertension causes proteins to move from the bloodstream into the lymphatics which cannot handle the excess and they leak into to abdominal cavity. The proteins causes an osmotic pressure pulling fluid into the space leading to ascites. Hypoalbuminemia will lead to decreased colloid oncotic pressure as well, also contributing to ascites.  

Example Question #7 : Causes And Treatments Of Gastrointestinal Conditions

Which of the following bacterial species is responsible for the development of peptic ulcers?

Possible Answers:

Treponema pallidum

Viridans streptococci

Helicobacter pylori

Streptococcus faecalis

Staphylococcus aureus

Correct answer:

Helicobacter pylori

Explanation:

Helicobacter pylori or H. pylori is the bacterial cause of peptic ulcers. Staphylococcus aureus is a bacteria that frequently causes skin infections along with other conditions such as toxic shock syndrome. Streptococcus faecalis is responsible for many urinary tract infections and contracting Viridans streptococci may result in endocarditis. Treponema pallidum bacteria cause syphilis.

Example Question #8 : Causes And Treatments Of Gastrointestinal Conditions

The nurse is caring for a 25-year old-patient diagnosed with a poorly functioning lower esophageal sphincter. The nurse may advise the patient to do which of the following?

Possible Answers:

Lay down immediately following meals

Avoid whole grains

Limit water intake

Avoid alcoholic beverages

Avoid ingestion of antacids

Correct answer:

Avoid alcoholic beverages

Explanation:

Several foods can cause relaxation or irritation of the lower-esophageal sphincter. Alcohol, carbonated beverages, and chocolate are a few examples. Advise the patient to remain upright after meals, to utilize antacids when appropriate, and to practice a balanced diet.

Example Question #9 : Causes And Treatments Of Gastrointestinal Conditions

Which of the following GERD medications works by neutralizing stomach acid? 

Possible Answers:

Famotidine

Magnesium hydroxide

Pantoprazole

Omeprazole

Ranitidine

Correct answer:

Magnesium hydroxide

Explanation:

Magnesium hydroxide is a strong base. It works by neutralizing the acid in the stomach, forming water and magnesium chloride. All other listed medications work to prevent the stomach from over-producing acid, rather than neutralizing the existing acid in the stomach.

Example Question #10 : Causes And Treatments Of Gastrointestinal Conditions

Which of the following patients is most at risk for the development of a hiatal hernia?

Possible Answers:

A 30-year-old male professional athlete

An 80-year-old obese male who loads trucks for work

An 80-year-old obese woman with alcohol related ascites

A 35 year old pregnant woman with a gastrointestinal tumor

An obese male who smokes cigarettes

Correct answer:

An 80-year-old obese woman with alcohol related ascites

Explanation:

Advanced age, female sex, obesity, alcohol use, frequent heavy lifting, pregnancy, gastrointestinal tumors, and smoking may increase an individual's risk for the development of a hiatal hernia. The correct scenario represents four risk factors.

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