Chapter 21: Child, Partner, and Elder Violence Flashcards Preview

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1. A nurse visits the home of an 11-year-old child and finds the child caring for three younger siblings. Both parents are at work. The child says, I want to go to school, but we cant afford a babysitter. It doesnt matter; Im too dumb to learn. What preliminary assessment is evident?
a. Insufficient data are present to make an assessment.
b. Child and siblings are experiencing neglect.
c. Children are at high risk for sexual abuse.
d. Children are experiencing physical abuse.

child is experiencing neglect when the parents take away the opportunity to attend school. The other children may also be experiencing physical neglect, but more data should be gathered before making the actual assessment. The information presented does not indicate a high risk for sexual abuse, and no concrete evidence of physical abuse is present.


2. An 11-year-old child is absent from school to care for siblings while the parents work. The family cannot afford a babysitter. When asked about the parents, the child reluctantly says, My parents dont like me. They call me stupid and say I never do anything right. Which type of abuse is likely?
a. Sexual
b. Physical
c. Emotional
d. Economic

Examples of emotional abuse include having an adult demean a childs worth or frequently criticize or belittle a child. No data support physical battering or endangerment, sexual abuse, or economic abuse.


3. What feelings are most commonly experienced by nurses working with abusive families?
a. Outrage toward the victim and sympathy for the abuser
b. Sympathy for the victim and anger toward the abuser
c. Unconcern for the victim and dislike for the abuser
d. Vulnerability for self and empathy with the abuser

Intense protective feelings, sympathy for the victim, and anger and outrage toward the abuser are common emotions of a nurse working with an abusive family.


4. Which rationale best explains why a nurse should be aware of personal feelings while working with a family experiencing family violence?
a. Self-awareness protects ones own mental health.
b. Strong negative feelings interfere with assessment and judgment.
c. Strong positive feelings lead to underinvolvement with the victim.
d. Positive feelings promote the development of sympathy for patients.

Strong negative feelings cloud the nurses judgment and interfere with assessment and intervention, no matter how well the nurse tries to cover or deny personal feelings. Strong positive feelings lead to overinvolvement with the victim.


5. A clinic nurse interviews an adult patient who reports fatigue, back pain, headaches, and sleep disturbances. The patient seems tense and then becomes reluctant to provide more information and hurries to leave. How can the nurse best serve the patient?
a. Explore the possibility of patient social isolation.
b. Have the patient complete an abuse assessment screen.
c. Ask whether the patient has ever had psychiatric counseling.
d. Ask the patient to disrobe; then assess for signs of physical abuse.

In this situation, the nurse should consider the possibility that the patient is a victim of intimate partner violence. Although the patient is reluctant to discuss issues, he or she may be willing to fill out an abuse assessment screen, which would then open the door to discussion.


6. A patient at the emergency department is diagnosed with a concussion. The patient is accompanied by a spouse who insists on staying in the room and answering all questions. The patient avoids eye contact and has a sad affect and slumped shoulders. Assessment of which additional problem has priority?
a. Risk of intimate partner violence
b. Phobia of crowded places
c. Migraine headaches
d. Major depression

The diagnosis of a concussion suggests violence as a cause. The patient is exhibiting indicators of abuse including fearfulness, depressed affect, poor eye contact, and a possessive spouse. The patient may be also experiencing depression, anxiety, and migraine headaches, but the nurses advocacy role necessitates an assessment for intimate partner violence.


7. What is a nurses legal responsibility if child abuse or neglect is suspected?
a. Discuss the findings with the childs teacher, principal, and school psychologist.
b. Report the suspected abuse or neglect according to state regulations.
c. Document the observations and speculations in the medical record.
d. Continue the assessment.

Each state has specific regulations for reporting child abuse that must be observed. The nurse is usually a mandated reporter. The reporter does not need to be sure that abuse or neglect has occurred but only that it is suspected. Speculation should not be documented; only the facts are recorded.


8. Several children are seen in the emergency department for treatment of illnesses and injuries. Which finding would create a high index of suspicion for child abuse? The child who has:
a. repeated middle ear infections.
b. severe colic.
c. bite marks.
d. croup.

Injuries such as immersion or cigarette burns, facial fractures, whiplash, bite marks, traumatic injuries, bruises, and fractures in various stages of healing suggest the possibility of abuse. In older children, vague complaints such as back pain may also be suspicious. Ear infections, colic, and croup are not problems induced by violence.


9. An 11-year-old child says, My parents dont like me. They call me stupid and say I never do anything right, but it doesnt matter. Im too dumb to learn. Which nursing diagnosis applies to this child?
a. Chronic low self-esteem, related to negative feedback from parents
b. Deficient knowledge, related to interpersonal skills with parents
c. Disturbed personal identity, related to negative self-evaluation
d. Complicated grieving, related to poor academic performance

The child has indicated a belief in being too dumb to learn. The child receives frequent negative and demeaning feedback from the parents. Deficient knowledge is a nursing diagnosis that refers to knowledge of health care measures. Disturbed personal identity refers to an alteration in the ability to distinguish between self and nonself. Grieving may apply, but a specific loss is not evident in this scenario. Low self-esteem is more relevant to the childs statements.


10. An adult has recently been absent from work for 3-day periods on several occasions. Each time, the individual returns to work wearing dark glasses. Facial and body bruises are apparent. What is the occupational health nurses priority assessment?
a. Interpersonal relationships
b. Work responsibilities
c. Socialization skills
d. Physical injuries

The individual should be assessed for possible battering. Physical injuries are abuse indicators and are the primary focus for assessment. No data support the other options.


11. An adult has recently been absent from work for 3-day periods on several occasions. Each time, this person returns to work wearing dark glasses. Facial and body bruises are apparent. What is the occupational health nurses priority question?
a. Do you drink excessively?
b. Did your partner beat you?
c. How did this happen to you?
d. What did you do to deserve this?

Obtaining the persons explanation is necessary. If the explanation does not match the injuries or if the victim minimizes the injuries, abuse should be suspected.


12. An employee has recently been absent from work on several occasions. Each time, this employee returns to work wearing dark glasses. Facial and body bruises are apparent. During the occupational health nurses interview, the employee says, My partner beat me, but it was because there are problems at work. What should the nurses next action be?
a. Call the police.
b. Arrange for hospitalization.
c. Call the adult protective agency.
d. Document injuries with a body map.

Documentation of the injuries provides a basis for possible legal intervention. The abused adult will need to make the decision to involve the police. Because the worker is not an older adult and is competent, the adult protective agency is unable to assist. Admission to the hospital is not necessary.


13. A patient tells the nurse, My husband is abusive most often when he drinks too much. His family was like that when he was growing up. He always apologizes and regrets hurting me. What risk factor was most predictive for the husband to become abusive?
a. History of family violence
b. Loss of employment
c. Abuse of alcohol
d. Poverty

An abuse-prone individual is an individual who has experienced family violence and was often abused as a child. This phenomenon is part of the cycle of violence. The other options may be present but are not as predictive.


14. An adult tells the nurse, My partner abuses me most often when drinking. The drinking has increased lately, but I always get an apology afterward and a box of candy. Ive considered leaving but havent been able to bring myself to actually do it. Which phase in the cycle of violence prevents the patient from leaving?
a. Tension building
b. Acute battering
c. Honeymoon
d. Recovery

The honeymoon stage is characterized by kindly, loving behaviors toward the abused spouse when the perpetrator feels remorseful. The victim believes the promises and drops plans to leave or seek legal help. The tension-building stage is characterized by minor violence in the form of abusive verbalization or pushing. The acute battering stage involves the abuser beating the victim. The violence cycle does not include a recovery stage.


15. After treatment for a detached retina, a victim of intimate partner violence says, My partner only abuses me when intoxicated. Ive considered leaving, but I was brought up to believe you stay together, no matter what happens. I always get an apology, and I can tell my partner feels bad after hitting me. Which nursing diagnosis applies?
a. Social isolation, related to lack of community support system
b. Risk for injury, related to partners physical abuse when intoxicated
c. Deficient knowledge, related to resources for escape from the abusive relationship
d. Disabled family coping, related to uneven distribution of power within a relationship

Risk for injury is the priority diagnosis because the partner has already inflicted physical injury during violent episodes. The episodes are likely to become increasingly violent. Data are not present that show social isolation or disabled family coping, although both are common among victims of violence. Deficient knowledge does not apply to this patients use of defense mechanisms.


16. A victim of physical abuse by an intimate partner is treated for a broken wrist. The patient has considered leaving but says, You stay together, no matter what happens. Which outcome should be met before the patient leaves the emergency department? The patient will:
a. limit contact with the abuser by obtaining a restraining order.
b. name two community resources that can be contacted.
c. demonstrate insight into the abusive relationship.
d. facilitate counseling for the abuser.

The only outcome indicator clearly attainable within this time is for a staff member to provide the victim with information about community resources that can be contacted. The development of insight into the abusive relationship requires time. Securing a restraining order can be quickly accomplished but not while the patient is in the emergency department. Facilitating the abusers counseling may require weeks or months.


17. An older adult diagnosed with dementia lives with family and attends a day care center. A nurse at the day care center notices the adult has a disheveled appearance, a strong odor of urine, and bruises on the limbs and back. What type of abuse might be occurring?
a. Psychological
b. Financial
c. Physical
d. Sexual

The assessment of physical abuse is supported by the nurses observation of bruises. Physical abuse includes evidence of improper care, as well as physical endangerment behaviors such as reckless behavior toward a vulnerable person that could lead to serious injury. No data substantiate the other options.


18. An older adult diagnosed with Alzheimer disease lives with family. During the week, the person attends a day care center while the family is at work. In the evenings, members of the family provide care. Which factor makes this patient most vulnerable to abuse?
a. Dementia
b. Living in a rural area
c. Being part of a busy family
d. Being home only in the evening

Older adults, particularly those with cognitive impairments, are at high risk for abuse. The other characteristics are not identified as placing an individual at high risk for abuse.


19. An older adult diagnosed with Alzheimer disease lives with family. After observing multiple bruises, the home health nurse talks with the older adults daughter, who becomes defensive and says, My mother often wanders at night. Last night she fell down the stairs. Which nursing diagnosis has priority?
a. Risk for injury, related to poor judgment, cognitive impairment, and lack of caregiver supervision
b. Noncompliance, related to confusion and disorientation as evidenced by lack of cooperation
c. Impaired verbal communication, related to brain impairment as evidenced by the confusion
d. Insomnia, related to cognitive impairment as evidenced by wandering at night

The patient is at high risk for injury because of her confusion. The risk increases when caregivers are unable to provide constant supervision. No assessment data support the diagnoses of Impaired verbal communication or Noncompliance. Sleep pattern disturbance certainly applies to this patient; however, the diagnosis Risk for injury is a higher priority.


20. An older adult diagnosed with dementia lives with family and attends day care. After observing poor hygiene, the nurse at the center talks with the patients adult child. This caregiver becomes defensive and says, It takes all my time and energy to care for my mother. Shes awake all night. I never get any sleep. Which nursing intervention has priority?
a. Teach the caregiver more about the effects of dementia.
b. Secure additional resources for the mothers evening and night care.
c. Support the caregiver to grieve the loss of the mothers ability to function.
d. Teach the family how to give physical care more effectively and efficiently.

The patients child and family were coping with care until the patient began to stay awake at night. The family needs assistance with evening and night care to resume their pre-crisis state of functioning. Secondary prevention calls for the nurse to mobilize community resources to relieve overwhelming stress. The other interventions may then be accomplished.


21. A patient has a history of physical violence against family members when frustrated and then experiences periods of remorse after each outburst. Which finding indicates success in the plan of care? The patient:
a. expresses frustration verbally instead of physically.
b. explains the rationale for behaviors to the victim.
c. identifies three personal strengths.
d. agrees to seek counseling.

The patient will develop a healthier way of coping with frustration if it is expressed verbally instead of physically. The incorrect options do not confirm the achievement of outcomes.


22. Which referral is most appropriate for a woman who is severely beaten by her husband, has no relatives or friends in the community, is afraid to return home, and has limited financial resources?
a. Support group
b. Law enforcement
c. Womens shelter
d. Vocational counseling

Because the woman has no safe place to go, referral to a shelter is necessary. The shelter will provide other referrals as necessary.


23. Which family scenario presents the greatest risk for family violence?
a. An unemployed husband with low self-esteem, a wife who loses her job, and a developmentally delayed 3-year-old child
b. A husband who finds employment 2 weeks after losing his previous job, a wife with stable employment, and a child doing well in school
c. A single mother with an executive position, a talented child, and a widowed grandmother living in the home to provide child care
d. A single homosexual male parent, an adolescent son who has just begun dating girls, and the fathers unmarried sister who has come to visit for 2 weeks

The family with an unemployed husband with low self-esteem, a newly unemployed wife, and a developmentally challenged young child has the greatest number of stressors. The other families described have fewer negative events occurring.


1. A 10-year-old child cares for siblings while the parents work because the family cannot afford a babysitter. This child says, My father doesnt like me. He calls me stupid all the time. The mother says the father is easily frustrated and has trouble disciplining the children. The community health nurse should consider which resources to stabilize the home situation? Select all that apply.
a. Parental sessions to teach childrearing practices
b. Anger management counseling for the father
c. Continuing home visits to provide support
d. Safety plan for the wife and children
e. Placement of the children in foster care

ANS: A, B, C
Anger management counseling for the father is appropriate. Support for this family will be an important component of treatment. By the wifes admission, the family has deficient knowledge of parenting practices. Whenever possible, the goal of intervention should be to keep the family together; thus removing the children from the home should be considered a last resort. Physical abuse is not suspected, so a safety plan is not a priority at this time.


2. A nurse assists a victim of intimate partner violence to create a plan for escape if it becomes necessary. The plan should include which components? Select all that apply.
a. Keep a cell phone fully charged.
b. Hide money with which to buy new clothes.
c. Have the telephone number for the nearest shelter.
d. Take enough toys to amuse the children for 2 days.
e. Secure a supply of current medications for self and children.
f. Determine a code word to signal children that it is time to leave.
g. Assemble birth certificates, Social Security cards, and licenses.

ANS: A, C, E, F, G
The victim must prepare for a quick exit and so should assemble necessary items. Keeping a cell phone fully charged will help with access to support persons or agencies. The individual should be advised to hide a small suitcase containing a change of clothing for self and for each child. Taking a large supply of toys would be cumbersome and might compromise the plan. People are advised to take one favorite small toy or security object for each child, but most shelters have toys to further engage the children. Accumulating enough money to purchase clothing may be difficult.


3. A community health nurse visits a family with four children. The father behaves angrily, finds fault with a child, and asks twice, Why are you such a stupid kid? The wife says, I have difficulty disciplining the children. Its so frustrating. Which comments by the nurse will facilitate the interview with these parents? Select all that apply.
a. Tell me how you punish your children.
b. How do you stop your baby from crying?
c. Caring for four small children must be difficult.
d. Do you or your husband ever beat the children?
e. Calling children stupid injures their self-esteem.

ANS: A, B, C
An interview with possible abusing individuals should be built on concern and carried out in a nonthreatening, nonjudgmental way. Empathic remarks are helpful in creating rapport. Questions requiring a descriptive response are less threatening and elicit more relevant information than questions that can be answered by yes or no.