NCLEX Practice Exam for Neurologic System 2

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1. A white female client is admitted to an acute care facility with a diagnosis of cerebrovascular accident (CVA). Her history reveals bronchial asthma, exogenous obesity, and iron deficiency anemia. Which history finding is a risk factor for CVA?

  1. Caucasian race
  2. Female sex
  3. Obesity
  4. Bronchial asthma

2. The nurse is teaching a female client with multiple sclerosis. When teaching the client how to reduce fatigue, the nurse should tell the client to:

  1. take a hot bath.
  2. rest in an air-conditioned room
  3. increase the dose of muscle relaxants.
  4. avoid naps during the day

3. A male client is having a tonic-clonic seizures. What should the nurse do first?

  1. Elevate the head of the bed.
  2. Restrain the client’s arms and legs.
  3. Place a tongue blade in the client’s mouth.
  4. Take measures to prevent injury.

4. A female client with Guillain-Barré syndrome has paralysis affecting the respiratory muscles and requires mechanical ventilation. When the client asks the nurse about the paralysis, how should the nurse respond?

  1. “You may have difficulty believing this, but the paralysis caused by this disease is temporary.”
  2. “You’ll have to accept the fact that you’re permanently paralyzed. However, you won’t have any sensory loss.”
  3. “It must be hard to accept the permanency of your paralysis.”
  4. “You’ll first regain use of your legs and then your arms.”

5. The nurse is working on a surgical floor. The nurse must logroll a male client following a:

  1. laminectomy.
  2. thoracotomy.
  3. hemorrhoidectomy.
  4. cystectomy.

6. A female client with a suspected brain tumor is scheduled for computed tomography (CT). What should the nurse do when preparing the client for this test?

  1. Immobilize the neck before the client is moved onto a stretcher.
  2. Determine whether the client is allergic to iodine, contrast dyes, or shellfish.
  3. Place a cap over the client’s head.
  4. Administer a sedative as ordered.

7. During a routine physical examination to assess a male client’s deep tendon reflexes, the nurse should make sure to:

  1. use the pointed end of the reflex hammer when striking the Achilles tendon.
  2. support the joint where the tendon is being tested.
  3. tap the tendon slowly and softly
  4. hold the reflex hammer tightly.

8. A female client is admitted in a disoriented and restless state after sustaining a concussion during a car accident. Which nursing diagnosis takes highest priority in this client’s plan of care?

  1. Disturbed sensory perception (visual)
  2. Self-care deficient: Dressing/grooming
  3. Impaired verbal communication
  4. Risk for injury

9. A female client with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) tells the nurse, “Sometimes I feel so frustrated. I can’t do anything without help!” This comment best supports which nursing diagnosis?

  1. Anxiety
  2. Powerlessness
  3. Ineffective denial
  4. Risk for disuse syndrome

10. For a male client with suspected increased intracranial pressure (ICP), a most appropriate respiratory goal is to:

  1. prevent respiratory alkalosis.
  2. lower arterial pH.
  3. promote carbon dioxide elimination.
  4. maintain partial pressure of arterial oxygen (PaO2) above 80 mm Hg

11. Nurse Maureen witnesses a neighbor’s husband sustain a fall from the roof of his house. The nurse rushes to the victim and determines the need to opens the airway in this victim by using which method?

  1. Flexed position
  2. Head tilt-chin lift
  3. Jaw thrust maneuver
  4. Modified head tilt-chin lift

12. The nurse is assessing the motor function of an unconscious male client. The nurse would plan to use which plan to use which of the following to test the client’s peripheral response to pain?

  1. Sternal rub
  2. Nail bed pressure
  3. Pressure on the orbital rim
  4. Squeezing of the sternocleidomastoid muscle

13. A female client admitted to the hospital with a neurological problem asks the nurse whether magnetic resonance imaging may be done. The nurse interprets that the client may be ineligible for this diagnostic procedure based on the client’s history of:

  1. Hypertension
  2. Heart failure
  3. Prosthetic valve replacement
  4. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder

14. A male client is having a lumbar puncture performed. The nurse would plan to place the client in which position?

  1. Side-lying, with a pillow under the hip
  2. Prone, with a pillow under the abdomen
  3. Prone, in slight-Trendelenburg’s position
  4. Side-lying, with the legs pulled up and head bent down onto chest.

15. The nurse is positioning the female client with increased intracranial pressure. Which of the following positions would the nurse avoid?

  1. Head mildline
  2. Head turned to the side
  3. Neck in neutral position
  4. Head of bed elevated 30 to 45 degrees

16. A female client has clear fluid leaking from the nose following a basilar skull fracture. The nurse assesses that this is cerebrospinal fluid if the fluid:

  1. Is clear and tests negative for glucose
  2. Is grossly bloody in appearance and has a pH of 6
  3. Clumps together on the dressing and has a pH of 7
  4. Separates into concentric rings and test positive of glucose

17. A male client with a spinal cord injury is prone to experiencing autonomic dysreflexia. The nurse would avoid which of the following measures to minimize the risk of recurrence?

  1. Strict adherence to a bowel retraining program
  2. Keeping the linen wrinkle-free under the client
  3. Preventing unnecessary pressure on the lower limbs
  4. Limiting bladder catheterization to once every 12 hours

18. The nurse is caring for the male client who begins to experience seizure activity while in bed. Which of the following actions by the nurse would be contraindicated?

  1. Loosening restrictive clothing
  2. Restraining the client’s limbs
  3. Removing the pillow and raising padded side rails
  4. Positioning the client to side, if possible, with the head flexed forward

19. The nurse is assigned to care for a female client with complete right-sided hemiparesis. The nurse plans care knowing that this condition:

  1. The client has complete bilateral paralysis of the arms and legs.
  2. The client has weakness on the right side of the body, including the face and tongue.
  3. The client has lost the ability to move the right arm but is able to walk independently.
  4. The client has lost the ability to move the right arm but is able to walk independently.

20. The client with a brain attack (stroke) has residual dysphagia. When a diet order is initiated, the nurse avoids doing which of the following?

  1. Giving the client thin liquids
  2. Thickening liquids to the consistency of oatmeal
  3. Placing food on the unaffected side of the mouth
  4. Allowing plenty of time for chewing and swallowing

21. The nurse is assessing the adaptation of the female client to changes in functional status after a brain attack (stroke). The nurse assesses that the client is adapting most successfully if the client:

  1. Gets angry with family if they interrupt a task
  2. Experiences bouts of depression and irritability
  3. Has difficulty with using modified feeding utensils
  4. Consistently uses adaptive equipment in dressing self

22. Nurse Kristine is trying to communicate with a client with brain attack (stroke) and aphasia. Which of the following actions by the nurse would be least helpful to the client?

  1. Speaking to the client at a slower rate
  2. Allowing plenty of time for the client to respond
  3. Completing the sentences that the client cannot finish
  4. Looking directly at the client during attempts at speech

23. A female client has experienced an episode of myasthenic crisis. The nurse would assess whether the client has precipitating factors such as:

  1. Getting too little exercise
  2. Taking excess medication
  3. Omitting doses of medication
  4. Increasing intake of fatty foods

24. The nurse is teaching the female client with myasthenia gravis about the prevention of myasthenic and cholinergic crises. The nurse tells the client that this is most effectively done by:

  1. Eating large, well-balanced meals
  2. Doing muscle-strengthening exercises
  3. Doing all chores early in the day while less fatigued
  4. Taking medications on time to maintain therapeutic blood levels

25. A male client with Bell’s palsy asks the nurse what has caused this problem. The nurse’s response is based on an understanding that the cause is:

  1. Unknown, but possibly includes ischemia, viral infection, or an autoimmune problem
  2. Unknown, but possibly includes long-term tissue malnutrition and cellular hypoxia
  3. Primary genetic in origin, triggered by exposure to meningitis
  4. Primarily genetic in origin, triggered by exposure to neurotoxins

26. The nurse has given the male client with Bell’s palsy instructions on preserving muscle tone in the face and preventing denervation. The nurse determines that the client needs additional information if the client states that he or she will:

  1. Exposure to cold and drafts
  2. Massage the face with a gentle upward motion
  3. Perform facial exercises
  4. Wrinkle the forehead, blow out the cheeks, and whistle

27. Female client is admitted to the hospital with a diagnosis of Guillain-Barre syndrome. The nurse inquires during the nursing admission interview if the client has history of:

  1. Seizures or trauma to the brain
  2. Meningitis during the last 5 years
  3. Back injury or trauma to the spinal cord
  4. Respiratory or gastrointestinal infection during the previous month.

28. A female client with Guillian-Barre syndrome has ascending paralysis and is intubated and receiving mechanical ventilation. Which of the following strategies would the nurse incorporate in the plan of care to help the client cope with this illness?

  1. Giving client full control over care decisions and restricting visitors
  2. Providing positive feedback and encouraging active range of motion
  3. Providing information, giving positive feedback, and encouraging relaxation
  4. Providing intravaneously administered sedatives, reducing distractions and limiting visitors

29. A male client has an impairment of cranial nerve II. Specific to this impairment, the nurse would plan to do which of the following to ensure client to ensure client safety?

  1. Speak loudly to the client
  2. Test the temperature of the shower water
  3. Check the temperature of the food on the delivery tray.
  4. Provide a clear path for ambulation without obstacles

30. A female client has a neurological deficit involving the limbic system. Specific to this type of deficit, the nurse would document which of the following information related to the client’s behavior.

  1. Is disoriented to person, place, and time
  2. Affect is flat, with periods of emotional lability
  3. Cannot recall what was eaten for breakfast today
  4. Demonstrate inability to add and subtract; does not know who is president
Answers and Rationales
  1. Answer C. Obesity is a risk factor for CVA. Other risk factors include a history of ischemic episodes, cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, atherosclerosis of the cranial vessels, hypertension, polycythemia, smoking, hypercholesterolemia, oral contraceptive use, emotional stress, family history of CVA, and advancing age. The client’s race, sex, and bronchial asthma aren’t risk factors for CVA
  2. Answer B. Fatigue is a common symptom in clients with multiple sclerosis. Lowering the body temperature by resting in an air-conditioned room may relieve fatigue; however, extreme cold should be avoided. A hot bath or shower can increase body temperature, producing fatigue. Muscle relaxants, prescribed to reduce spasticity, can cause drowsiness and fatigue. Planning for frequent rest periods and naps can relieve fatigue. Other measures to reduce fatigue in the client with multiple sclerosis include treating depression, using occupational therapy to learn energy conservation techniques, and reducing spasticity.
  3. Answer D. Protecting the client from injury is the immediate priority during a seizure. Elevating the head of the bed would have no effect on the client’s condition or safety. Restraining the client’s arms and legs could cause injury. Placing a tongue blade or other object in the client’s mouth could damage the teeth.
  4. Answer A. The nurse should inform the client that the paralysis that accompanies Guillain-Barré syndrome is only temporary. Return of motor function begins proximally and extends distally in the legs.
  5. Answer A. The client who has had spinal surgery, such as laminectomy, must be logrolled to keep the spinal column straight when turning. The client who has had a thoracotomy or cystectomy may turn himself or may be assisted into a comfortable position. Under normal circumstances, hemorrhoidectomy is an outpatient procedure, and the client may resume normal activities immediately after surgery.
  6. Answer B. Because CT commonly involves use of a contrast agent, the nurse should determine whether the client is allergic to iodine, contrast dyes, or shellfish. Neck immobilization is necessary only if the client has a suspected spinal cord injury. Placing a cap over the client’s head may lead to misinterpretation of test results; instead, the hair should be combed smoothly. The physician orders a sedative only if the client can’t be expected to remain still during the CT scan.
  7. Answer B. To prevent the attached muscle from contracting, the nurse should support the joint where the tendon is being tested. The nurse should use the flat, not pointed, end of the reflex hammer when striking the Achilles tendon. (The pointed end is used to strike over small areas, such as the thumb placed over the biceps tendon.) Tapping the tendon slowly and softly wouldn’t provoke a deep tendon reflex response. The nurse should hold the reflex hammer loosely, not tightly, between the thumb and fingers so it can swing in an arc.
  8. Answer D. Because the client is disoriented and restless, the most important nursing diagnosis is risk for injury. Although the other options may be appropriate, they’re secondary because they don’t immediately affect the client’s health or safety.
  9. Answer B. This comment best supports a nursing diagnosis of Powerlessness because ALS may lead to locked-in syndrome, characterized by an active and functioning mind locked in a body that can’t perform even simple daily tasks. Although Anxiety and Risk for disuse syndrome may be diagnoses associated with ALS, the client’s comment specifically refers to an inability to act autonomously. A diagnosis of Ineffective denial would be indicated if the client didn’t seem to perceive the personal relevance of symptoms or danger.
  10. Answer C. The goal of treatment is to prevent acidemia by eliminating carbon dioxide. That is because an acid environment in the brain causes cerebral vessels to dilate and therefore increases ICP. Preventing respiratory alkalosis and lowering arterial pH may bring about acidosis, an undesirable condition in this case. It isn’t necessary to maintain a PaO2 as high as 80 mm Hg; 60 mm Hg will adequately oxygenate most clients.
  11. Answer C. If a neck injury is suspected, the jaw thrust maneuver is used to open the airway. The head tilt–chin lift maneuver produces hyperextension of the neck and could cause complications if a neck injury is present. A flexed position is an inappropriate position for opening the airway.
  12. Answer B. Motor testing in the unconscious client can be done only by testing response to painful stimuli. Nail bed pressure tests a basic peripheral response. Cerebral responses to pain are tested using sternal rub, placing upward pressure on the orbital rim, or squeezing the clavicle or sternocleidomastoid muscle.
  13. Answer C. The client having a magnetic resonance imaging scan has all metallic objects removed because of the magnetic field generated by the device. A careful history is obtained to determine whether any metal objects are inside the client, such as orthopedic hardware, pacemakers, artificial heart valves, aneurysm clips, or intrauterine devices. These may heat up, become dislodged, or malfunction during this procedure. The client may be ineligible if significant risk exists.
  14. Answer D. The client undergoing lumbar puncture is positioned lying on the side, with the legs pulled up to the abdomen and the head bent down onto the chest. This position helps open the spaces between the vertebrae.
  15. Answer B. The head of the client with increased intracranial pressure should be positioned so the head is in a neutral midline position. The nurse should avoid flexing or extending the client’s neck or turning the head side to side. The head of the bed should be raised to 30 to 45 degrees. Use of proper positions promotes venous drainage from the cranium to keep intracranial pressure down.
  16. Answer D. Leakage of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from the ears or nose may accompany basilar skull fracture. CSF can be distinguished from other body fluids because the drainage will separate into bloody and yellow concentric rings on dressing material, called a halo sign. The fluid also tests positive for glucose.
  17. Answer D. The most frequent cause of autonomic dysreflexia is a distended bladder. Straight catheterization should be done every 4 to 6 hours, and foley catheters should be checked frequently to prevent kinks in the tubing. Constipation and fecal impaction are other causes, so maintaining bowel regularity is important. Other causes include stimulation of the skin from tactile, thermal, or painful stimuli. The nurse administers care to minimize risk in these areas.
  18. Answer B. Nursing actions during a seizure include providing for privacy, loosening restrictive clothing, removing the pillow and raising side rails in the bed, and placing the client on one side with the head flexed forward, if possible, to allow the tongue to fall forward and facilitate drainage. The limbs are never restrained because the strong muscle contractions could cause the client harm. If the client is not in bed when seizure activity begins, the nurse lowers the client to the floor, if possible, protects the head from injury, and moves furniture that may injure the client. Other aspects of care are as described for the client who is in bed.
  19. Answer B. Hemiparesis is a weakness of one side of the body that may occur after a stroke. Complete hemiparesis is weakness of the face and tongue, arm, and leg on one side. Complete bilateral paralysis does not occur in this condition. The client with right-sided hemiparesis has weakness of the right arm and leg and needs assistance with feeding, bathing, and ambulating.
  20. Answer A. Before the client with dysphagia is started on a diet, the gag and swallow reflexes must have returned. The client is assisted with meals as needed and is given ample time to chew and swallow. Food is placed on the unaffected side of the mouth. Liquids are thickened to avoid aspiration.
  21. Answer D. Clients are evaluated as coping successfully with lifestyle changes after a brain attack (stroke) if they make appropriate lifestyle alterations, use the assistance of others, and have appropriate social interactions. Options A, B, and C are not adaptive behaviors.
  22. Answer C. Clients with aphasia after brain attack (stroke) often fatigue easily and have a short attention span. General guidelines when trying to communicate with the aphasic client include speaking more slowly and allowing adequate response time, listening to and watching attempts to communicate, and trying to put the client at ease with a caring and understanding manner. The nurse would avoid shouting (because the client is not deaf), appearing rushed for a response, and letting family members provide all the responses for the client.
  23. Answer C. Myasthenic crisis often is caused by undermedication and responds to the administration of cholinergic medications, such as neostigmine (Prostigmin) and pyridostigmine (Mestinon). Cholinergic crisis (the opposite problem) is caused by excess medication and responds to withholding of medications. Too little exercise and fatty food intake are incorrect. Overexertion and overeating possibly could trigger myasthenic crisis.
  24. Answer D. Clients with myasthenia gravis are taught to space out activities over the day to conserve energy and restore muscle strength. Taking medications correctly to maintain blood levels that are not too low or too high is important. Muscle-strengthening exercises are not helpful and can fatigue the client. Overeating is a cause of exacerbation of symptoms, as is exposure to heat, crowds, erratic sleep habits, and emotional stress.
  25. Answer A. Bell’s palsy is a one-sided facial paralysis from compression of the facial nerve. The exact cause is unknown, but may include vascular ischemia, infection, exposure to viruses such as herpes zoster or herpes simplex, autoimmune disease, or a combination of these factors.
  26. Answer A. Prevention of muscle atrophy with Bell’s palsy is accomplished with facial massage, facial exercises, and electrical stimulation of the nerves. Exposure to cold or drafts is avoided. Local application of heat to the face may improve blood flow and provide comfort.
  27. Answer D. Guillain-Barré syndrome is a clinical syndrome of unknown origin that involves cranial and peripheral nerves. Many clients report a history of respiratory or gastrointestinal infection in the 1 to 4 weeks before the onset of neurological deficits. Occasionally, the syndrome can be triggered by vaccination or surgery.
  28. Answer C. The client with Guillain-Barré syndrome experiences fear and anxiety from the ascending paralysis and sudden onset of the disorder. The nurse can alleviate these fears by providing accurate information about the client’s condition, giving expert care and positive feedback to the client, and encouraging relaxation and distraction. The family can become involved with selected care activities and provide diversion for the client as well.
  29. Answer D. Cranial nerve II is the optic nerve, which governs vision. The nurse can provide safety for the visually impaired client by clearing the path of obstacles when ambulating. Testing the shower water temperature would be useful if there were an impairment of peripheral nerves. Speaking loudly may help overcome a deficit of cranial nerve VIII (vestibulocochlear). Cranial nerve VII (facial) and IX (glossopharyngeal) control taste from the anterior two thirds and posterior third of the tongue, respectively.
  30. Answer B. The limbic system is responsible for feelings (affect) and emotions. Calculation ability and knowledge of current events relates to function of the frontal lobe. The cerebral hemispheres, with specific regional functions, control orientation. Recall of recent events is controlled by the hippocampus.