NCLEX Practice Exam for Endocrine Disorders 1

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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, nurse Lily teaches the client to treat hypoglycemia by ingesting:

  1. 2 to 5 g of a simple carbohydrate.
  2.  10 to 15 g of a simple carbohydrate.
  3.  18 to 20 g of a simple carbohydrate.
  4.  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, nurse Julia 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?

  1. Related to bone demineralization resulting in pathologic fractures
  2. Related to exhaustion secondary to an accelerated metabolic rate
  3. Related to edema and dry skin secondary to fluid infiltration into the interstitial spaces
  4. Related to tetany secondary to a decreased serum calcium level

3. Nurse John 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:

  1. Encourage the client to ask questions about personal sexuality.
  2. Provide time for privacy.
  3. Provide support for the spouse or significant other.
  4. 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?

  1. At least once a week
  2. At least three times a week
  3. At least five times a week
  4. Every day

5. Nurse Oliver should expect a client with hypothyroidism to report which health concerns?

  1. Increased appetite and weight loss
  2. Puffiness of the face and hands
  3. Nervousness and tremors
  4. Thyroid gland swelling

6. A female client with hypothyroidism (myxedema) is receiving levothyroxine (Synthroid), 25 mcg P.O. daily. Which finding should nurse Hans recognize as an adverse drug effect?

  1. Dysuria
  2. Leg cramps
  3. Tachycardia
  4. Blurred vision

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?

  1. Diabetes mellitus
  2. Diabetes insipidus
  3. Hypoparathyroidism
  4. Hyperparathyroidism

8. When caring for a male client with diabetes insipidus, nurse Juliet expects to administer:

  1. vasopressin (Pitressin Synthetic).
  2. furosemide (Lasix).
  3. regular insulin.
  4. 10% dextrose.

9. The nurse is aware that the following is the most common cause of hyperaldosteronism?

  1. Excessive sodium intake
  2. A pituitary adenoma
  3. Deficient potassium intake
  4.  An adrenal adenoma

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:

  1. “The test needs to be repeated following a 12-hour fast.”
  2.  “It looks like you aren’t following the prescribed diabetic diet.”
  3.  “It tells us about your sugar control for the last 3 months.”
  4. “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?

  1. Muscle weakness
  2.  Tremors
  3.  Diaphoresis
  4. Constipation

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?

  1.  antidiuretic hormone (ADH).
  2.  thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH).
  3.  follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH).
  4. 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?

  1. Diabetic ketoacidosis
  2. Thyroid crisis
  3.  Hypoglycemia
  4.  Tetany

14. For a male client with hyperglycemia, which assessment finding best supports a nursing diagnosis of Deficient fluid volume?

  1.  Cool, clammy skin
  2.  Distended neck veins
  3. Increased urine osmolarity
  4. Decreased serum sodium level

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:

  1. a blood pressure of 130/70 mm Hg.
  2. a blood glucose level of 130 mg/dl.
  3.  bradycardia.
  4.  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?

  1.  Infusing I.V. fluids rapidly as ordered
  2.  Encouraging increased oral intake
  3.  Restricting fluids
  4.  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:

  1.  Trousseau’s sign.
  2.  Homans’ sign.
  3.  Hegar’s sign.
  4.  Goodell’s sign.

18. Which outcome indicates that treatment of a male client with diabetes insipidus has been effective?

  1.  Fluid intake is less than 2,500 ml/day.
  2.  Urine output measures more than 200 ml/hour.
  3.  Blood pressure is 90/50 mm Hg.
  4. 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?

  1. Acromegaly
  2.  Type 1 diabetes mellitus
  3.  Hypothyroidism
  4.  Deficient growth hormone

20. Nurse Kate is providing dietary instructions to a male client with hypoglycemia. To control hypoglycemic episodes, the nurse should recommend:

  1.  Increasing saturated fat intake and fasting in the afternoon.
  2.  Increasing intake of vitamins B and D and taking iron supplements.
  3.  Eating a candy bar if light-headedness occurs.
  4.  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:

  1. Thyroid storm.
  2. Cretinism.
  3. myxedema coma.
  4. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.

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:

  1. prefers to take insulin orally.
  2. has type 2 diabetes.
  3. has type 1 diabetes.
  4. 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?

  1. sulfisoxazole (Gantrisin)
  2. mexiletine (Mexitil)
  3. prednisone (Orasone)
  4. 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?

  1. Initiate insulin therapy.
  2. Switch the client to a different oral antidiabetic agent.
  3. Prescribe an additional oral antidiabetic agent.
  4. 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?

  1. “The head of your bed must remain flat for 24 hours after surgery.”
  2. “You should avoid deep breathing and coughing after surgery.”
  3.  “You won’t be able to swallow for the first day or two.”
  4.  “You must avoid hyperextending your neck after surgery.”
Answers and Rationales
  1. Answer B. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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 is most common in older women and is characterized by bone pain and weakness from excess parathyroid hormone (PTH). Clients also exhibit hypercaliuria-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. 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 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. 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, 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. 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 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. In hyperglycemia, urine osmolarity (the measurement of dissolved particles in the urine) increases as glucose particles move into the urine. The client experiences glucosuria 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. 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. 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. 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. 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, 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. 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. 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. 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 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. 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. 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.

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