- Which scenario best demonstrates an example of eustress? An individual:
a. loses a beloved family pet.
b. prepares to take a 1 week vacation to a tropical island with a group of close friends.
c. receives a bank notice there were insufficient funds in their account for a recent rent payment.
d. receives notification that their current employer is experiencing financial problems and some workers will be terminated.
Eustress is beneficial stress; it motivates people to develop skills they need to solve problems and meet personal goals. Positive life experiences produce eustress. Going on a tropical vacation is an exciting, relaxing experience and an example of eustress. Losing the family pet, worrying about employment security, and having financial problems are examples of distress, a negative experience that drains energy and can lead to significant emotional problems.
- A patient diagnosed with liver failure has been on the transplant waiting list 8 months. The patient says, Why is it taking so long to have the surgery? Maybe Im meant to die for all the bad things Ive done. The nurse should document the patients comment in which section of the assessment?
Stress can be evident in a persons spirituality. This patients comment indicates questioning of ones place in the universe and consequences for wrongdoing, both of which are elements of spirituality. Stress can be related to psychological, physical, or psychosocial well-being, but spirituality is the best answer.
- A person with a fear of heights drives across a high bridge. Which structure will stimulate a response from the autonomic nervous system?
b. Parietal lobe
d. Pituitary gland
The individual will find this experience stressful. The hypothalamus functions as the command-and-control center when receiving stressful signals. The hypothalamus responds to signals of stress by engaging the autonomic nervous system. The parietal lobe is responsible for the interpretation of other sensations. The thalamus processes messages associated with pain and wakefulness. The pituitary gland may be involved in other aspects of the persons response but would not stimulate the autonomic nervous system.
- A person with a fear of heights drives across a high bridge. Which division of the autonomic nervous system is stimulated in response to this experience?
a. Limbic system
b. Peripheral nervous system
c. Sympathetic nervous system
d. Parasympathetic nervous system
The autonomic nervous system is made up of the sympathetic (fight-or-flight response) and parasympathetic (relaxation response) nervous systems. In times of stress, the sympathetic nervous system is stimulated. A person fearful of heights would experience stress associated with the experience of driving across a high bridge. The peripheral nervous system responds to messages from the sympathetic nervous system. The limbic system processes emotional responses but is not specifically part of the autonomic nervous system.
- A patient is brought to the emergency department after a motorcycle accident. The patient is alert, responsive, and diagnosed with a broken leg. The patients vital signs are temperature (T), 98.6 F; pulse (P), 72 beats per minute (bpm); and respirations (R), 16 breaths per minute. After being informed that surgery is required for the broken leg, which vital sign readings would be expected?
a. T, 98.6; P, 64; R, 14
b. T, 98.6; P, 68; R, 12
c. T, 98.6; P, 62; R, 16
d. T, 98.6; P, 84; R, 22
The patient would experience stress associated with the anticipation of surgery. In times of stress, the sympathetic nervous system takes over (fight-or-flight response) and sends signals to the adrenal glands, thereby releasing norepinephrine. The circulating norepinephrine increases the heart rate. Respirations increase, bringing more oxygen to the lungs.
- As part of the stress response, the HPA axis is stimulated. Which structures make up this system?
a. Hippocampus, parietal lobe, and amygdala
b. Hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and adrenal glands
c. Hind brain, pyramidal nervous system, and anterior cerebrum
d. Hepatic artery, parasympathetic nervous system, and acoustic nerve
As part of the physiologic response of stress, the hypothalamus stimulates the HPA axis, which is made up of the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and adrenal glands.
- Cortisol is released in response to a patients prolonged stress. Which initial effect would the nurse expect to result from the increased cortisol level?
a. Diuresis and electrolyte imbalance
b. Focused and alert mental status
c. Drowsiness and lethargy
d. Restlessness and anxiety
Cortisol is the primary stress hormone and is released in response to prolonged stress. Cortisol helps supply cells with amino acids and fatty acids for energy supply, as well as diverting glucose from muscles for use by the brain. As a result, the brain stays alert and focused. The distractors present effects that would not be expected.
- A soldier returns to the United States from active duty in a combat zone in Afghanistan. The soldier is diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The nurses highest priority is to screen this soldier for which problem?
a. Major depressive disorder
b. Bipolar disorder
Major depressive disorder frequently co-occurs with PTSD. The incidence of the disorders identified in the distractors is similar to the general population.
- A soldier returns to the United States from active duty in a combat zone in Afghanistan. The soldier is diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Which comment by the soldier requires the nurses immediate attention?
a. Its good to be home. I missed my family and friends.
b. I saw my best friend get killed by a roadside bomb. It should have been me instead.
c. Sometimes I think I hear bombs exploding, but its just the noise of traffic in my hometown.
d. I want to continue my education but Im not sure how I will fit in with other college students.
The correct response indicates the soldier is thinking about death and feeling survivors guilt. These emotions may accompany suicidal ideation, which warrants the nurses follow-up assessment. Suicide is a high risk among military personnel diagnosed with PTSD. One distractor indicates flashbacks, which is common with individuals with PTSD but is not solely indicative of further problems. The other distractors are normal emotions associated with returning home and change.
- A soldier returned home from active duty in a combat zone in Afghanistan and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The soldier says, If theres a loud noise at night, I get under my bed because I think were getting bombed. What type of experience has the soldier described?
d. Auditory hallucination
Flashbacks are dissociative reactions in which an individual feels or acts as if the traumatic event were recurring. Illusions are misinterpretations of stimuli; although the experience is similar, the more accurate term is flashback because of the diagnosis of PTSD. Auditory hallucinations have no external stimuli. Nightmares commonly accompany PTSD, but this experience is stimulated by an actual environmental sound.
- A soldier returned 3 months ago from Afghanistan and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Which social event would most likely be disturbing for this soldier?
a. Halloween festival with neighborhood children
b. Singing carols around a Christmas tree
c. Family outing to the seashore
d. Fireworks display on July 4th
exploding noises associated with fireworks are most likely to provoke exaggerated responses for this soldier. The distractors are not associated with offensive sounds.
- A soldier served in combat zones in Iraq in 2010 and was deployed to Afghanistan in 2013. When is it most important for the nurse to screen for signs and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)?
a. Immediately upon return to the United States from Afghanistan
b. Before departing Afghanistan to return to the United States
c. One year after returning from Afghanistan
d. Screening should be ongoing
PTSD can have a long lag time months to years. Screening should be ongoing.
- A nurse assesses soldiers in a combat zone in Afghanistan. When is it most important for the nurse to screen for signs and symptoms of traumatic brain injury (TBI)?
a. After a fall, vehicle crash, or exposure to a blast
b. Before departing Afghanistan to return to the United States
c. One year after returning to the United States from Afghanistan
d. Immediately upon return to the United States from Afghanistan
The military estimates that up to 20% of the combat veterans in both Afghanistan and Iraq suffer some degree of TBI. TBI exhibits signs shortly after the injury, and these signs usually resolve in days or weeks. Screening after an exposure to an explosion and before returning to the United States is important.
- A soldier in a combat zone tells the nurse, I saw a child get blown up over a year ago, and now I keep seeing bits of flesh everywhere. I see something red and the visions race back to my mind. Which phenomenon associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is this soldier describing?
Spontaneous or cued recurrent, involuntary, and intrusive distressing memories of the traumatic events are often associated with PTSD. The soldier has described intrusive thoughts and visions associated with re-experiencing the traumatic event. This description does not indicate psychosis, hypervigilance, or avoidance.
- A soldier who served in a combat zone returned to the United States. The soldiers spouse complains to the nurse, We had planned to start a family, but now he wont talk about it. He wont even look at children. The spouse is describing which symptom associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)?
Physiologic reactions to reminders of the event include a persistent avoidance of the stimuli associated with the trauma; the individual avoids talking about the event or avoids activities, people, or places that arouse memories of the trauma. Avoidance is exemplified by a sense of foreshortened future and estrangement. No evidence suggests that this soldier is having a hyperarousal reaction or is re-experiencing war-related traumas. Psychosis is not evident.
- A soldier returned home last year after deployment to a war zone. The soldiers spouse complains, We were going to start a family but now he wont talk about it. He will not look at children. I wonder if were going to make it as a couple. Select the nurses best response.
a. Post-traumatic stress disorder often changes a persons sexual functioning.
b. I encourage you to continue to participate in social activities where children are present.
c. Have you talked with your spouse about these reactions? Sometimes we just need to confront behavior.
d. Post-traumatic stress disorder often strains relationships. I will suggest some community resources for help and support.
PSTD precipitates changes that often lead to divorce. Providing support to both the veteran and spouse is important. Confrontation will not be effective. Although providing information is important, ongoing support is more effective.
- A nurse talks with the caregiver of a combat veteran diagnosed with severe traumatic brain injuries. The caregiver says, I dont know how much longer I can do it. My whole life is consumed with taking care of my partner. Select the nurses best response.
a. How are you taking care of yourself?
b. Lets review your partners diagnostic results.
c. I have some web-based programs for you to visit.
d. Your partner is lucky to have someone so devoted.
The caregiver is the focus of the nurses attention. The caregiver is suffering. The nurse must be empathetic and assess how the caregiver is caring for self. Reassurance and isolated computer activities do not help. The partner is already aware of the diagnostic results.
- A professors 4-year-old child has a fever of 101.6 F, diarrhea, and complains of stomach pain. The professor is scheduled to teach three classes today. Which nursing diagnosis best applies to this scenario?
a. Decisional conflict
b. Unilateral neglect
c. Disabled family coping
d. Ineffective management of the therapeutic regimen
The caregiver is the focus of the nurses attention. The professor is under stress, related to the conflict between his parenting and professional roles. This scenario presents a decisional conflict. No evidence suggests that family coping is disabled or that a therapeutic regimen is not managed. Unilateral neglect refers to the awareness of the body.
- An individual says to the nurse, I feel so stressed out lately. I think the stress is affecting my body also. Which somatic complaints are most likely to accompany this feeling? Select all that apply.
b. Neck pain
ANS: A, B, C, D
When individuals feel stressed-out, they often have accompanying somatic complaints, especially associated with sleep, eating, and headache or back pain. Changes in vision, such as myopia, would not be expected.
- Which experiences are most likely to precipitate post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)? Select all that apply.
a. An 8-year-old child watches an R-rated movie with both parents.
b. A young adult jumps from a bridge with a bungee cord with a best friend.
c. An adolescent is kidnapped and held for 2 years in the home of a sexual predator.
d. A passenger is in a bus that overturns on a sharp curve in the road, tumbling down an embankment.
e. An adult is trapped for 3 hours at an angle in an elevator after a portion of the supporting cable breaks.
ANS: C, D, E
PTSD usually follows a traumatic event that is outside the range of usual experience. Examples are childhood physical abuse, torture or kidnapping, military combat, sexual assault, and natural disasters such as floods, tornados, earthquakes, and tsunamis; human disasters such as a bus or elevator accident or crime-related events such being taken hostage are additional examples. The common element in these experiences is the individuals extraordinary helplessness or powerlessness in the face of such stressors. Bungee jumping by adolescents is part of the developmental task and might be frightening but in an exhilarating way rather than a harmful way. A child may be disturbed by an R-rated movie, but the presence of the parents would modify the experience in a positive way.
- A nurse assesses the health status of soldiers returning from Afghanistan. Screening will be a priority for signs and symptoms of which health problems? Select all that apply.
b. Eating disorder
c. Traumatic brain injury
d. Seasonal affective disorder
e. Post-traumatic stress disorder
ANS: C, E
TBI and PTSD each occur in approximately 20% of soldiers returning from Afghanistan. Some soldiers have both problems. The incidence of disorders identified in the distractors would be expected to parallel the general population.
- A professors 4-year-old child has a temperature of 101.6 F, diarrhea, and complains of stomach pain. The professor is scheduled to teach three classes today. Which actions by the professor demonstrate effective parenting? Select all that apply.
a. Telephoning a grandparent to stay with the child at home for the day.
b. Telephoning a colleague to teach his classes and staying home with the sick child.
c. Taking the child to the university and keeping the child in a private office for the day.
d. Taking the child to a daycare center and hoping daycare workers will not notice the child is sick.
e. Giving the child one dose of ibuprofen (Motrin) and taking the child to the daycare center.
ANS: A, B
The correct responses demonstrate fulfillment of the role as a parent. The distractors indicate the professor has not cared for the sick child in an effective way. Taking the child to a daycare center exposes other children to a potential infection. Taking the child to ones office does not keep the child comfortable or provide for the child while the professor is teaching.