PTSD unit 8

question

A client who is a veteran of the Gulf War is being assessed by a nurse for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Which of the following client symptoms would support this diagnosis? (Select all that apply.) A. The client has experienced symptoms of the disorder for 2 weeks. B. The client fears a physical integrity threat to self. C. The client feels detached and estranged from others. D. The client experiences fear and helplessness. E. The client is lethargic and somnolent.
answer

ANS: B, C, D Clients diagnosed with PTSD can experience the following symptoms: fear of a physical integrity threat to self, detachment and estrangement from others, and intense fear and helplessness. Characteristic symptoms of PTSD include re-living the traumatic event, a sustained high level of arousal, and a general numbing of responsiveness.
question

A nurse has been caring for a client diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. What short-term, realistic, correctly written outcome should be included in this client’s plan of care? A. The client will have no flashbacks. B. The client will be able to feel a full range of emotions by discharge. C. The client will not require zolpidem (Ambien) to obtain adequate sleep by discharge. D. The client will refrain from discussing the traumatic event.
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ANS: C The nurse should include obtaining adequate sleep without zolpidem (Ambien) by discharge as a realistic outcome for this client. Having no flashbacks and experiencing a full range of emotions are long-term not short-term outcomes for this client. Clients are encouraged to discuss the traumatic event.
question

Which nursing diagnosis would best describe the problems evidenced by the following client symptoms: avoidance, poor concentration, nightmares, hypervigilance, exaggerated startle response, detachment, emotional numbing, and flashbacks? A. Ineffective coping B. Post-trauma syndrome C. Complicated grieving D. Panic anxiety
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ANS: B Post-trauma syndrome is defined as a sustained maladaptive response to a traumatic, overwhelming event. This nursing diagnosis addresses the problems experienced by clients diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
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A client refuses to go on a cruise to the Bahamas with his spouse due to fearing that the cruise ship will sink and all will drown. Using a cognitive theory perspective, how should a nurse explain to the spouse the etiology of this fear? A. “Your spouse may be unable to resolve internal conflicts which result in projected anxiety.” B. “Your spouse may be experiencing a distorted and unrealistic appraisal of the situation.” C. “Your spouse may have a genetic predisposition to overreacting to potential danger.” D. “Your spouse may have high levels of brain chemicals that may distort thinking.”
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ANS: B The nurse should explain that from a cognitive perspective the client is experiencing a distorted and unrealistic appraisal of the situation. From a cognitive perspective, fear is described as the result of faulty cognitions.
question

A client is experiencing a severe panic attack. Which nursing intervention would meet this client’s immediate need? A. Teach deep breathing relaxation exercises B. Place the client in a Trendelenburg position C. Stay with the client and offer reassurance of safety D. Administer the ordered prn buspirone (BuSpar)
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ANS: C The nurse can meet this client’s immediate need by staying with the client and offering reassurance of safety and security. The client may fear for his or her life and the presence of a trusted individual provides assurance of personal safety.
question

The nurse teaches an anxious client diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder a breathing technique. Which action by the client would indicate that the teaching was successful? 1. The client eliminates anxiety by using the breathing technique. 2. The client performs activities of daily living independently by discharge. 3. The client recognizes signs and symptoms of escalating anxiety. 4. The client maintains a 3/10 anxiety level without medications.
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4. A client’s ability to maintain an anxiety level of 3/10 without medications indicates that the client is using breathing techniques successfully to reduce anxiety. TEST-TAKING HINT: To answer this question correctly, the test taker should understand that anxiety cannot be eliminated from life. This understanding would eliminate “1” immediately.
question

A newly admitted client diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder is exhibiting recurrent flashbacks, nightmares, sleep deprivation, and isolation from others. Which nursing diagnosis takes priority? 1. Posttrauma syndrome R /T a distressing event AEB flashbacks and nightmares. 2. Social isolation R /T anxiety AEB isolating because of fear of flashbacks. 3. Ineffective coping R /T flashbacks AEB alcohol abuse and dependence. 4. Risk for injury R /T exhaustion because of sustained levels of anxiety.
answer

4. Risk for injury is the priority nursing diagnosis for this client. In the question, the client is exhibiting recurrent flashbacks, nightmares, and sleep deprivation that can cause exhaustion and lead to injury. It is important for the nurse to prioritize the nursing diagnosis that addresses safety. TEST-TAKING HINT: When the question asks for a priority, it is important for the test taker to understand that all answer choices may be appropriate statements. Client safety always should be prioritized.
question

A client on an in-patient psychiatric unit is experiencing a flashback. Which intervention takes priority? 1. Maintain and reassure the client of his or her safety and security. 2. Encourage the client to express feelings. 3. Decrease extraneous external stimuli. 4. Use a nonjudgmental and matter-of-fact approach.
answer

1. During a flashback, the client is experiencing severe-to-panic levels of anxiety; the priority nursing intervention is to maintain and reassure the client of his or her safety and security. The client’s anxiety needs to decrease before other interventions are attempted. TEST-TAKING HINT: It is important to understand time-wise interventions when dealing with individuals experiencing anxiety. When the client experiences severe-to-panic levels of anxiety during flashbacks, the nurse needs to maintain safety and security until the client’s level of anxiety has decreased.
question

A client diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder is close to discharge. Which client statement would indicate that teaching about the psychosocial cause of posttraumatic stress disorder was effective? 1. “I understand that the event I experienced, how I deal with it, and my support system all affect my disease process.” 2. “I have learned to avoid stressful situations as a way to decrease emotional pain.” 3. “So, natural opioid release during the trauma caused my body to become ‘addicted.'” 4. “Because of the trauma, I have a negative perception of the world and feel hopeless.”
answer

1. When the client verbalizes understanding of how the experienced event, individual traits, and available support systems affect his or her diagnosis, the client demonstrates a good understanding of the psychosocial cause of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). To answer this question correctly, the test taker should review the different theories as they relate to the causes of different anxiety disorders, including PTSD. Only “1” describes a psychosocial etiology of PTSD.
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A client diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder states to the nurse, “All those wonderful people died, and yet I was allowed to live.” Which is the client experiencing? 1. Denial. 2. Social isolation. 3. Anger. 4. Survivor’s guilt.
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4. The client in the question is experiencing survivor’s guilt. Survivor’s guilt is a common situation that occurs when an individual experiences a traumatic event in which others died and the individual survived. TEST-TAKING HINT: To answer this question correctly, the test taker needs to understand common phenomena experienced by individuals diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder and relate this understanding to the client statement presented in the question.
question

Counselors have been sent to a location that has experienced a natural disaster to assist the population to deal with the devastation. This is an example of __________________ prevention.
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4. Sending counselors to a natural disaster site to assist individuals to deal with the devastation is an example of primary prevention. Primary prevention reduces the incidence of mental disorders, such as posttraumatic stress disorder, within the population by helping individuals to cope more effectively with stress early in the grieving process. Primary prevention is extremely important for individuals who experience any traumatic event, such as a rape, war, hurricane, tornado, or school shooting. TEST-TAKING HINT: To answer this question correctly, it is necessary to understand the differences between primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention.
question

The nurse is using an intrapersonal approach to assist a client in dealing with survivor’s guilt. Which intervention would be appropriate? 1. Encourage the client to attend a survivor’s group. 2. Encourage expression of feelings during one-to-one interactions with the nurse. 3. Ask the client to challenge the irrational beliefs associated with the event. 4. Administer regularly scheduled paroxetine (Paxil) to deal with depressive symptoms.
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2. Encouraging expressions of feelings during one-to-one interactions with the nurse is an intrapersonal approach to interventions that treat survivor’s guilt associated with PTSD. TEST-TAKING HINT: To answer this question correctly, the test taker needs to differentiate various theoretical approaches and which interventions reflect these theories.
question

A hospitalized client diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder has a nursing diagnosis of ineffective coping R /T history of rape AEB abusing alcohol. Which is the expected short-term outcome for this client problem? 1. The client will recognize triggers that precipitate alcohol abuse by day 2. 2. The client will attend follow-up weekly therapy sessions after discharge. 3. The client will refrain from self-blame regarding the rape by day 2. 4. The client will be free from injury to self throughout the shift.
answer

1. It is a realistic expectation for a client who copes with previous trauma by abusing alcohol to recognize the triggers that precipitate this behavior. This outcome should be developed mutually early in treatment. TEST-TAKING HINT: It is important to relate outcomes to the stated nursing diagnosis. In this question, the test taker should choose an answer that relates to the nursing diagnosis of ineffective coping. Answer “4” can be eliminated immediately because it does not assist the client in coping more effectively. Also, the test taker must note important words, such as “short-term.” Answer “2” can be eliminated immediately because it is a long-term outcome.
question

Which of the following would the nurse expect to assess in a client diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder? Select all that apply. 1. Dissociative events. 2. Intense fear and helplessness. 3. Excessive attachment and dependence toward others. 4. Full range of affect. 5. Avoidance of activities that are associated with the trauma.
answer

1. A client diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may have dissociative events in which the client feels detached from the situation or feelings. 2. A client diagnosed with PTSD may have intense fear and feelings of helplessness. 5. A client diagnosed with PTSD avoids activities associated with the traumatic event. TEST-TAKING HINT: To answer this question correctly, the test taker must be aware of the different symptoms associated with the diagnosis of PTSD.
question

When treating individuals with posttraumatic stress disorder, which variables are included in the recovery environment? 1. Degree of ego strength. 2. Availability of social supports. 3. Severity and duration of the stressor. 4. Amount of control over reoccurrence.
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2. Availability of social supports is part of environmental variables. Others include cohesiveness and protectiveness of family and friends, attitudes of society regarding the experience, and cultural and subcultural influences. TEST-TAKING HINT: To answer this question correctly, the test taker needs to understand the following three significant elements in the development of posttraumatic stress disorder: traumatic experience, individual variables, and environmental variables.
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A newly admitted client is diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder. Which behavioral symptom would the nurse expect to assess? 1. Recurrent, distressing flashbacks. 2. Intense fear, helplessness, and horror. 3. Diminished participation in significant activities. 4. Detachment or estrangement from others.
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3. Diminished participation in significant activities is a behavioral symptom of PTSD. TEST-TAKING HINT: To answer this question correctly, the test taker should take note of the keyword “behavioral,” which determines the correct answer. All symptoms may be exhibited in PTSD, but only answer choice “3” is a behavioral symptom.
question

A client diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder is receiving paliperidone (Invega). Which symptoms should a nurse identify that warrant the need for this medication? A. Flat affect and anhedonia B. Persistent anorexia and 10 lb weight loss in 3 weeks C. Flashbacks of killing the enemy D. Distant and guarded relationships
answer

ANS: C The nurse should identify that a client who has flashbacks of killing the enemy may need paliperidone (Invega). Paliperidone is an antipsychotic medication that can be used to treat the psychotic symptom of flashbacks.
question

A family member is seeking advice about an elderly parent who seems to worry unnecessarily about everything. The family member states, “Should I seek psychiatric help for my mother?” Which is an appropriate nursing reply? A. “My mother also worries unnecessarily. I think it is part of the aging process.” B. “Anxiety is considered abnormal when it is out of proportion to the stimulus causing it and when it impairs functioning.” C. “From what you have told me, you should get her to a psychiatrist as soon as possible.” D. “Anxiety is a complex phenomenon and is effectively treated only with psychotropic medications.”
answer

ANS: B The most appropriate reply by the nurse is to explain to the family member that anxiety is considered abnormal when it is out of proportion and impairs functioning. Anxiety is a normal reaction to a realistic danger or threat to biological integrity or self-concept.
question

From a cognitive theory perspective, which is a possible cause of panic disorder? 1. Inability of the ego to intervene when conflict occurs. 2. Abnormal elevations of blood lactate and increased lactate sensitivity. 3. Increased involvement of the neurochemical norepinephrine. 4. Distorted thinking patterns that precede maladaptive behaviors.
answer

4. Distorted thinking patterns that precede maladaptive behaviors relate to the cognitive theory perspective of panic disorder development. TEST-TAKING HINT: The test taker should note important words in the question, such as “cognitive.” Although all of the answers are potential causes of panic disorder development, the only answer that is from a cognitive perspective is “4.”
question

A client living on the beachfront seeks help with an extreme fear of crossing bridges which interferes with daily life. A psychiatric nurse practitioner decides to try systematic desensitization. Which explanation of this therapy should the nurse convey to the client? A. “Using your imagination, we will attempt to achieve a state of relaxation that you can replicate when faced with crossing a bridge.” B. “Because anxiety and relaxation are mutually exclusive states, we can attempt to substitute a relaxation response for the anxiety response.” C. “Through a series of increasingly anxiety-provoking steps, we will gradually increase your tolerance to anxiety.” D. “In one intense session, you will be exposed to a maximum level of anxiety that you will learn to tolerate.”
answer

ANS: C The nurse should explain to the client that systematic desensitization exposes the client to a series of increasingly anxiety provoking steps that will gradually increase anxiety tolerance. Systematic desensitization was introduced by Joseph Wolpe in 1958 and is based on behavioral conditioning principles.

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