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CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
Presented by:
David W. Woodruff, MSN, RN, CNS
Checklist for Success
We will guarantee your success on the CCRN certification
-- If you study the right things in the right ways -Success Checklist:
□ Attend the entire CCRN: Test Prep program (or use the entire A/V package).
□ Study 5 hours per week for 90 days using the handout, pocket study guide, and flash
□ Listen to all of the audio CDs or watch all of the video-enhanced CDROMs.
□ Identify areas of weakness that need additional study.
□ Review the audio CDs (or CDROMs) of the topics you identified as requiring additional study.
□ Participate in the Nurses’ Success Network on-line study groups and post at least
one comment or question per week.
Login at: www.Nurses-Success-Network.com
User: ccrn
Password: excellence
□ Achieve a passing grade of at least 80% on the “Challenge Exam” on-line at the
Nurses’ Success Network.
□ Use the on-line resources recommended in the “Challenge Exam” results.
The CCRN: Test Prep is a 90-day program to guarantee your success on the certification exam. You must use this program and take the exam within 90 days of registering for the guarantee for us to assure your success.
Register for the guarantee on-line at :www.Nurses-Success-Network.com
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
CCRN: Test Prep
This unique two-day program presents the content of the CCRN exam in a
question and answer format. By the conclusion of the program the participant will have
answered 150 questions in the format and distribution of the actual exam. In-depth
explanations will be presented for rationale behind correct and incorrect answers, along
with the theoretical underpinnings of essential concepts.
This unique, informative and fun seminar is perfect for CCRN preparation, or a
comprehensive critical care review.
1. Examine strategies for successful completion of the CCRN exam.
2. Describe common hematologic and immunologic dysfunction in the critical care
3. Describe the process of coagulopathy in DIC.
4. Compare and contrast common GI disorders.
5. Plan care for the patient suffering from abdominal trauma.
6. Compare and contrast septic, hypovolemic, and cardiogenic shock.
7. Describe hemodynamic changes that occur with shock.
8. Plan care for patients with cardiopulmonary disorders.
9. Compare and contrast acute and chronic renal failure.
10. Describe clinical symptoms of electrolyte disturbances.
11. Plan care for patients with electrolyte and water emergencies.
12. Explain the benefits of several treatment options for acute respiratory failure.
13. Plan care for patients with respiratory disorders.
14. Describe a simple assessment plan for patients with increased intracranial pressure.
15. Evaluate nursing interventions for increased intracranial pressure.
16. Describe common endocrine dysfunctions in the critical care patient.
17. Compare and contrast diabetic ketoacidosis and hyperosmolar, hyperglycemic
18. Define professional and ethical nursing care using AACN definitions.
All content in CCRN: Test Prep is ©2004 by Ed4Nurses, Inc. and all rights are reserved.
Copying or distribution in any form is strictly prohibited by US copyright law.
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
8:00 Introduction and Test Overview
8:30 Hematologic / Immunologic (3%)
A&P Blood Products & Plasma
Organ Transplantation
Life-threatening coagulopathies
Sickle Cell Crisis
9:45 Break
10:00 Gastrointestinal (6%)
GI Bleed
Hepatic Failure
Acute Pancreatitis
Bowel infarction/obstruction/perforation
Abdominal Trauma
11:30 Multisystem (8%)
Sepsis / Septic Shock / MODS
Toxic Ingestions
Toxic Exposures
12:00 Lunch
1:00 Multisystem (con’t)
1:30 Cardiovascular (32%)
Acute Coronary Syndromes
Cardiac Inflammatory Disease
Conduction System Defects
Acute Heart Failure & Pulmonary Edema
Aortic Aneurysm
2:15 Break
2:30 Cardiovascular (continued)
Cardiac Trauma
Hypertensive Crisis
4:30 Adjourn
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
8:00 Renal (5%)
Acute & Chronic Renal Failure
Renal Trauma
Electrolyte Imbalances
9:00 Pulmonary (17%)
Acute Respiratory Failure
Pulmonary Pharmacology
9:45 Break
10:00 Pulmonary (con’t)
Pulmonary Embolus, Fat Embolus
Asthma / COPD
Chronic Lung Disease
Thoracic Trauma / Thoracic Surgery
12:00 Lunch
1:00 Neurologic (5%)
Stroke (ischemic, hemorrhagic)
Intracranial Hemorrhage
Head Trauma
Neurosurgery / ICP Monitoring
2:00 Break
2:15 Endocrine (4%)
Diabetes Insipidus
Diabetes Ketoacidosis & Hyperosmolar Coma
Acute Hypoglycemia
Hormones and Endocrine A&P
3:00 Professional Caring and Ethical Practice (20%)
Caring Practice
4:00 Adjourn
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
Today’s speaker:
David W. Woodruff, MSN, RN, CNS
David began his healthcare career as a paramedic. After years
of treating patients “in the field”, David obtained his nursing
degree. His extensive experience includes trauma nursing at a
level-I trauma center, and staff positions in Neurological,
Coronary, Medical and Surgical Intensive Care Units. David
holds a Master’s degree in Adult Health nursing and is a
Clinical Nurse Specialist in Critical Care Nursing. He is a
member of AACN, The Society of Critical Care Medicine, and
Sigma Theta Tau. He has served as an Instructor of Nursing,
Unit Manager, Nursing Expert Witness, and President of a
private nursing consulting firm. David presents seminars
throughout the country on a variety of topics including critical care and medical-surgical
nursing, and has published articles in Nursing, RN, and Image. He is widely regarded as
a knowledgeable and thorough instructor who can make even the most difficult content
material understandable.
I would be happy to hear from you and answer any additional questions you may have.
Feel free to contact me at:
Phone: (330) 467-2629
e-mail: [email protected]
web: www.ed4nurses.com
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
Introduction and Test Overview
1. Why Become Certified?
A study conducted by the Nursing Credentialing Research Coalition found that
certification has a profound impact on the personal, professional and practice
outcomes of certified nurses. Overall, nurses in the study stated that certification
enabled them to experience fewer adverse events and errors in patient care than
before they were certified. Additional results revealed that certified nurses:
expressed more confidence in detecting early signs of complications;
reported more personal growth and job satisfaction;
believed they were viewed as credible providers;
received high patient satisfaction ratings;
reported more effective communication and collaboration with other
health care providers; and
experienced fewer disciplinary events and work-related injuries.
2. What is “CCRN”?
a. Registered service mark of AACN.
b. Credential for certified critical care nurses.
3. What to Expect from “The Test”
AACN – Certification Corporation
Fees: $300 non-member
$220 member of AACN
Test dates: Year-round
Requirements: RN license
1750 hours of clinical experience with
acute and critical care patients within the
previous 2 years (875 within the past year).
If you join AACN ($78 fee) at the time you register, you
pay $298 and get member benefits.
Exam is computer-based, 150 questions, with a 3-hour time limit
Paper-based testing is offered at the NTI
Certification is for 3 years.
Recertification can be by CERPs or re-testing.
Cost of recertification is: $250 non-member, $170 member
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
4. Testing Dates, Places and Times
AACN Certification Corporation
101 Columbia
Aliso Viejo,CA 92656-4109
Phone: (800) 899-2226
E-mail: [email protected]
Web: www.certcorp.org
Applied Measurement Professionals Inc. (AMP)
8310 Nieman Road
Lenexa, KS 66214-1579
Phone: (800) 345-6559
Fax: (913) 541-0156
Business Hours: 8:30 am - 5:00 pm CST Monday-Friday
E-mail: [email protected]
Web: http://www.goamp.com/
Over 100 testing centers nationwide
5. What to bring with you:
a. Photo ID
i. Driver’s license
ii. State ID card
iii. Military ID card
b. Second ID without photo
c. Do not bring any personal items with you
Please Note:
This is a focused 90-day program designed to assure your success on the ANCC MedSurg certification exam. You must register for the guarantee and complete the
“Certification Checklist” within 90 days to be eligible for the guarantee.
You can do this!
9 If you are qualified
9 And you study the right stuff in the right way
9 You will pass!
I guarantee it!
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
Hematologic / Immunologic (3%) 4 questions
1. The nurse is caring for a 32-year-old experiencing organ rejection after a kidney
transplant. Which of the following signs will the patient exhibit?
a. Decreased BUN/Creatinine
b. Increased transaminase level
c. Increased urine output
d. Increased BUN/Creatinine
2. A primary chemical mediator in anaphylactic reaction is?
a. Myocardial Depressant Factor
b. Histamine
c. Complement
d. Interferon
3. Which of the following laboratory diagnostic findings will most likely be seen in
a. PT and PTT prolonged
b. Fibrinogen increased
c. Platelet count increased
d. D-dimer normal
4. The beneficial effects of heparin in DIC are thought to be due to its:
a. Stimulating effect on platelet manufacture
b. Neutralizing of free-circulating thrombin
c. Antifibrinolysin activity
d. Inhibition of platelet factor XII release
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
1. Functions:
a. Medium for transport of O2 and CO2 and nutritients
b. Maintains hemostatsis
c. Maintains internal environment
d. Immune
e. Inflammation
f. Stress Response
i. Impaired skin barrier or irritated mucous membrane
ii. Impaired gag, cough or swallow
iii. Increased gastric pH, colonization = aspiration
iv. Acute Stress Reactions
1. Catabolism
2. Decreased healing
3. Inhibit immune response
4. Inflammatory Response
g. Hemostasis
i. Termination of bleeding
ii. Vascular response
iii. Platelet response
iv. Coagulation
1. Platelets
2. Thrombocytopenia
3. HITT response
Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation (DIC)
1. Definition
2. Factors Triggering
3. Etiology:
a. Bleeding
b. Trauma
c. Sepsis
d. Abrupto
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
4. Clinical Presentation
a. Bleeding
b. Signs of Thrombosis
c. Clinical Presentation
i. Petechiae
ii. Ecchymosis
iii. Purpura
d. Labs in DIC
i. Platelets
ii. PTT
iii. PT
iv. Fibrinogen
vi. D-dimer
vii. Antithrombin III
5. Medical Management
a. Maintain ABC’s
b. Careful or oral and mucosal bleeding
c. Treat stimuli
d. Correct hypovolemia, hypotension, hypoxia, and acidosis
e. Stop microclotting to maintain perfusion
f. Stop Bleeding
g. Stop Thrombosis
h. Administer IV Heparin
i. Plasmapheresis
j. Nursing Management
k. Nursing Care of the Bleeding Patient
l. Blood Products
i. Risks of transfusion
ii. PRBC’s
iii. Platelets
iv. FFP
v. Cryoprecipitate
vi. Adverse Reactions
6. Complications of DIC
a. Mortality
b. Hypovolemic Shock
c. Acute Renal Failure
d. Infection
e. Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome
f. Stroke
g. GI dysfunction
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
7. Nursing
a. Administer Vitamin K and Folic Acid
b. Treat Ischemic Pain
c. Maintain skin integrity
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
1. Etiology
a. HIV, CD4 retrovirus
b. High-risk groups
i. High-risk sexual behavior
ii. Infected sex partners
iii. IV drug users
iv. Recipients of blood products before 1985
c. Pathophysiology
i. Invasion and destruction of T4 (helper) cells
ii. Incubation 6 months to 10 years
iii. Decreased immune response
iv. Opportunistic infection
2. General principles for management
a. Universal precautions
b. Protect from infection
c. Inflammatory response will be muted
Criteria for organ transplantation
1. Recipient criteria
a. End-stage organ disease
b. Absence of:
i. Infection
ii. Malignancy
iii. Other failing organs
iv. Substance abuse
1. Donor criteria
a. Free of sepsis, cancer, prolonged hypotension
b. Free of communicable disease
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
Anti-rejection medications
Major Effects
↓ Inflammation
↓ Immune and
inflammatory responses
Imuran (azathioprine)
Reduces T-cell production
OKT3 (muromonab-CD3)
Alters T-cell recognition of
Prograf (tacrolimus)
↓ Inflammatory response
CellCept (mycophenolate)
↓ Immune response
↓ Immune response
1. General patient care
a. Support transplanted organ
i. Heart Transplant
ii. Lung
iii. Liver
iv. Pancreas
b. Watch for signs of infection
i. May be ↓ due to ↓ immune response
Side Effects
↑ Risk of infection
GI bleed
Adrenal suppression
Potentiates other
↑ Risk of infection
↑ Risk of infection
Oral and gastric erosion
↑ Risk of infection
Symptoms of infection
↓ WBC, platelet levels
GI distress
HTN, chest pain
GI distress
↓ WBC, platelet levels
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
Acute Lymphocytic (ALL)
Age 2-4
Acute Myelogenous (AML)
Age 12-20
Chronic Lymphocytic (CLL)
Age 50-70
Chronic Myelogenous (CML)
Age 30-50
Anemia, Bleeding, Infection, ↓ RBC,
H&H, ↑ WBC, Joint and bone pain
↑ WBC, ↓ RBC, Enlarged spleen,
Hepatomegaly, Swollen glands
a. Diagnostics
i. Bone marrow aspiration
b. Treatment
ii. Chemotherapy
iii. Stem cell transplant
iv. Transfusion
3. Multiple Myeloma
a. Plasma cells invade bone marrow, and lymph system
b. Bones become weak and painful
c. Diagnostics
i. X-rays
ii. Bone marrow aspiration
iii. Hypercalcemia
d. Treatment
i. Chemotherapy
ii. Interferon
iii. Bone marrow transplantation
iv. Plasmapheresis
v. Management of Hypercalcemia
4. Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
a. Malignant neoplasm of the lymphatic system
b. Results in overgrowth of premature and ineffective cells
c. Diagnostics
i. Fever, swollen glands, night sweats, weight loss
d. Treatment
i. Chemotherapy
ii. Radiation therapy
iii. Stem cell transplant
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
Sickle-Cell Crisis
1. Etiology
a. More common in black males
b. Presence of Hemoglobin S
2. Precipitating factors
a. Dehydration
b. Stress or strenuous exercise
c. Infection
d. Fever
e. Bleeding
f. Acidosis
g. Hypoxia (smoking)
h. Cold weather
i. Pregnancy
3. Presentation
a. Bone crisis
i. Long bone pain
b. Acute chest syndrome
i. Chest pain
ii. Dyspnea
iii. Tachycardia
iv. Bloody sputum
v. Pulmonary fibrosis
c. Abdominal crisis
i. Sudden, constant abdominal pain
ii. Not usually associated with N/V/D
d. Joint crisis
i. Stiff, painful joints
e. Jaundice, bruising, blood in urine may occur with any
4. Management
a. Oxygen
b. Fluids
c. Folic acid
d. Hydroxyurea (Hydrea)
e. Pain control
i. Mild: Tylenol or NSAIDs
ii. Moderate: Codeine, Oxycodone
iii. Severe: Morphine, Dilaudid
f. Transfusion
5. Complications
a. Renal dysfunction
b. Stroke
c. Blindness
d. Infection (spleen becomes clogged)
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
Gastrointestinal (6%) 9 questions
1. Nursing interventions for the patient with hepatic failure include:
a. Restrict protein in diet
b. Avoid use of narcotics, sedatives and tranquilizers
c. Administer lactulose and neomycin
d. All the above
2. The most common cause of upper GI bleeding is:
a. Peptic ulcer disease
b. Esophageal varices
c. AV malformation
d. Gastric tumor
3. Octreotide is often used to control bleeding from esophageal varices. The
primary action of Octreotide is to:
a. Increase platelet aggregation
b. Increase clotting factors
c. Decrease venous return
d. Decrease blood flow
4. The administration of vasopressin should be most carefully monitored in patients
who have:
a. Diabetes Insipidus
b. Coronary artery disease
c. Hypotension secondary to GI bleed
d. Diabetes Mellitus
5. The inability of the liver to conjugate what substance is the primary contributor to
hepatic coma?
a. Ammonia
b. Urea
c. Fatty Acids
d. Bilirubin
6. Ecchymosis around the umbilicus indicative of peritoneal bleeding is called
a. Chvostek’s sign
b. Grey Turner’s sign
c. Cullen’s sign
d. Trousseau’s sign
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
7. Pulmonary complications of acute pancreatitis may include:
a. Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome
b. Elevation of the diaphragm and bilateral basilar rales
c. Atelectasis, especially of the left base
d. All of the above
8. Which of the following laboratory findings is most specific for pancreatitis?
a. Leukocytosis
b. Elevated serum and urinary amylase
c. Hyperglycemia and hypokalemia
d. Decreased serum albumin and total protein
9. Another diagnostic finding seen in the patient with pancreatitis would include:
a. Increased Hct
b. Hypocalcemia
c. Hyperalbuminemia
d. Decreased potassium
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
GI Bleed
1. Peptic Ulcer Disease (55%)
2. Esophageal varices (14%)
3. Arteriovenous malformations (6%)
4. Mallory-Weiss tears (5%)
5. Tumors & erosions (4% each)
6. Other (12%)
H. Pylori infection or
NSAID use is responsible
for >98% of upper GI
ASA, alcohol, indomethacin, steroids
Chemotherapy, steroids
Mechanism of injury
↑ acid production
↓ mucosal blood flow
H+ back diffusion
↓ mucous secretion
↓ cell renewal
1. Helicobacter pylori
a. Pathogenesis
i. Transmitted by fecal-oral route
ii. Renders mucosa vulnerable to acid damage
iii. Inflammatory response
b. Treatment (80-90% eradication rate)
i. Antibiotics
ii. Antisecretory agent
a. Affects local and systemic prostaglandin inhibition
b. Majority are uncomplicated and asymptomatic
3. Stress
a. Common cause of UGI bleeding (1.5% of all ICU pts.)
b. Higher mortality than pts. admitted with 1° dx. Of UGI bleeding
c. Independent risk factors:
i. Respiratory failure
ii. Coagulopathy
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
4. Esophageal varices
a. Secondary to portal hypertension
b. Bleeding stops spontaneously in >50% of cases
c. Mortality 70-80% in those who continue bleeding
d. Treatment
i. Blood pressure management
1. Propanolol, nadolol
ii. Vasopressin, NTG
iii. Octreotide
1. ↓ gastrin production
2. Local vasoconstriction
iv. Esophageal balloon tamponade (Blakemore / Linton tubes)
v. Injection sclerotherapy
vi. Variceal band ligation (↓ rebleeding rate, mortality)
vii. Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS)
1. ↓ portal pressure
2. Complications:
a. ↑ encephalopathy
b. Shunt occlusion and rebleeding
c. Shunt migration
5. GI prophylaxis
a. H2 receptor antagonists
i. Block gastric acid output by blocking histamine receptors
b. Sucralfate
i. Inhibits pepsin secretion
c. Proton pump inhibitors
i. Inhibits Hydrogen ion formation regardless of source of
d. ↑ risk of pneumonia in mechanically ventilated patients (??? ↑ risk of
Early Detection
1. Bloody nasogastric aspirate (10-15% false negative)
2. Hemoglobin / Hematocrit
3. Melena / occult blood monitoring
4. Nausea / vomiting / hyperactive bowel sounds
5. Coagulation abnormalities
6. Shock
7. Risk scoring for intervention:
a. Hemoglobin
b. Systolic B/P
c. Syncope / melana
d. Tachycardia
e. Cardiac disease
f. Hepatic disease
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
Management of Acute Crises
1. ICU admission
a. Aspiration is a major risk with active bleeding
2. Management of coagulopathies
3. Blood product replacement (most transfusion physicians recommend only
component therapy)
a. PRBCs (to HCT of 30)
b. FFP
c. Platelets
4. Hemodynamic support
a. Fluids
b. Vasopressors
c. Monitoring
5. Gastric acid reduction
a. H2 blockers
b. Proton pump inhibitors
6. Endoscopy
a. Diagnostic intervention of choice
b. Allows treatment
7. Angiography
a. Cauterization
8. Surgery
a. Gastric resection
b. Shunt surgery
c. Liver transplantation
Cook, D.J., Reeve, B.K., Guyatt, G.H., Heyland, D.K., Griffith, L.E., Buckingham, L.,
Tryba, M. (1996). Stress Ulcer Prophylaxis in critically ill patients: Resolving discordant
meta-analyses. JAMA, 275, (4), 308-314.
Internet sites:
American Gastroenterological Association: www.gastro.org
American College of Gastroenterology: www.acg.gi.org
Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates: www.sgna.org
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
Hepatic Failure
1. Etiology
a. Viral hepatitis
b. Acetaminophen overdose
i. Chronic alcohol use increases susceptibility
c. Alpha1-antitrypsin deficiency
d. Autoimmune disease
2. Diagnostic testing
a. CBC
b. PT
c. AST / ALT
d. Bilirubin
e. Ammonia
f. Glucose
g. Lactate
3. Symptoms
a. Jaundice
b. ↓ level of consciousness
c. Ascites
d. Hypotension & tachycardia (SIRS)
4. Management
a. Supportive:
i. ↑ ICP: mannitol
ii. Renal failure: dialysis
iii. Coagulopathy: platelets, FFP
b. Liver transplant
Acute Pancreatitis
1. Etiology
a. Alcoholism
b. Biliary tract disease
c. Drugs
i. Thiazides
ii. Acetaminophen
iii. Tetracycline
iv. Oral contraceptives
d. Infection
e. Hyperlipidemia, hypertriclyceridemia
f. Structural abnormalities of bile or pancreatic ducts
2. Pathogenesis
a. Edema
b. Necrosis
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
c. Hemorrhage
d. Pancreatic enzyme release
e. Inflammation
i. Enzymes and toxins enter the peritoneum
ii. ↑ permeability of blood vessels, third spacing
iii. Enzymes enter systemic circulation ↑ capillary permeability
iv. Shock from ↓ circulating volume
3. Symptoms
a. Abdominal pain
i. ↑ after eating or alcohol ingestion
ii. Severe, persistent, penetrating
iii. Radiates to back or neck
b. Fever
c. Nausea / Vomiting without ↓ pain
d. Sweating
4. Physical exam
a. Appears acutely ill
b. Tachycardia, tachypnea, hypotension
c. ↑ temperature
d. LUQ abdominal tenderness with guarding
e. ↓ or absent bowel sounds
f. Signs of dehydration
g. Signs of necrosis (50% mortality)
i. Grey Turner’s sign
ii. Cullen’s sign
5. Hemodynamics
a. ↓ preload (CVP, PAOP)
b. ↓ CO
c. ↓ afterload (SVR)
6. Diagnostic tests
a. Labs
i. ↑ Serum and urine amylase
ii. ↑ Lipase
iii. Amylase:creatinine clearance ratio
iv. ↑ Glucose
v. ↓ Calcium 2° to ↓ albumin
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
Ranson’s Criteria
During 1st 24 hours
ƒ HCT ↓ >10%
ƒ BUN ↑ > 5mg/dl
ƒ Ca++ < 8
ƒ pO2 <60 mmHg
ƒ Base deficit ↑ > 4
ƒ Fluid sequestration > 6L
> 3 criteria require supportive care
> 7 are critically ill with close to 100% mortality
On Admission
ƒ Age > 55
ƒ WBC > 16
ƒ Glucose > 200
ƒ LDH >350
ƒ SGOT >250
7. Treatment
a. NPO
b. NG drainage
i. Does not decrease pancreatic enzyme secretion
ii. Helpful in managing:
1. Vomiting
2. Gastric distension
3. Ileus
4. Aspiration from ↓ mental status
c. IV fluids
d. Hemodynamic support
e. Pain relief
i. Demoral or Dilaudid
ii. Morphine may cause biliary colic or spasms of the sphincter of
f. Antibiotics for necrotizing pancreatitis
i. Imipenem
ii. Ciprofloxin
iii. Cefotaxime
g. TPN nutrition (low lipids)
8. Complications
a. Death from cardiovascular instability
b. Infection
c. Pseudocyst
i. Collection of blood, necrotic tissue, inflammatory debris
encapsulated in fibrotic tissue
d. Hypovolemic shock
e. Respiratory failure / ARDS
f. Pleural effusion
g. Renal failure 2° to hypovolemia
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
Bowel infarction
1. Pathogenesis
a. Acute mesenteric ischemia (AMI)
b. Insufficient blood flow due to:
i. Arterial occlusion
ii. Venous occlusion
iii. Non-occlusive processes
2. Symptoms
a. Pain
b. N/V
c. Bloody diarrhea
d. Hypovolemia
e. Metabolic acidosis
3. Diagnostic tests
a. Labs:
i. ↑ H/H
ii. ↑ Amylase
iii. ↑ WBC
b. KUB
c. CT or MRI
d. Ultrasound
e. Guaiac stools
4. Treatment
a. Medical
i. Volume replacement
ii. Correct underlying condition
iii. Improve mesenteric blood flow
iv. NG tube
v. ATB
b. Surgical
i. Bowel resection
ii. Embolectomy
iii. Revascularization
5. Complications
a. Perforation
b. Strictures
c. Infection
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
Abdominal Trauma
1. Esophagus
a. Penetrating injury more common than blunt
b. Early diagnosis is important, gastric acid erodes tissues, and contaminates
the wound
c. Mortality is as high as 27%, mostly due to infection
d. Areas at risk for injury
i. At the cricoid cartilage
ii. At the arch of the aorta
iii. As it passes through the diaphragm
e. Manifestations
i. Look for abrasions, contusions, lacerations
ii. Pain
iii. Fever
iv. Dysphagia
v. Bloody emesis
vi. Mediastinal crepitus
f. Diagnosis
ii. Esophagogram
g. Treatment
i. NG decompression
ii. Surgical repair
h. Leaks are common
2. Diaphragm
a. Fairly well protected
b. Most often injured by penetrating trauma of the lower chest
c. 15% of patients with stab wounds
d. 46% of patients with GSW
e. Manifestations
i. Have a high degree of suspicion in pts. with trauma to the
abdomen or as high as T4
ii. Chest pain
iii. Dyspnea
iv. Peristalsis heard in the chest
v. Difficulty passing an NG tube
vi. Persistent air leak from a chest tube
f. CXR
g. Evidence on exploratory lap
h. Treatment
i. Herniation can occur weeks to years later
ii. Therefore, surgical repair is necessary
i. Complications
i. Intra-abdominal hypertension increases risk of herniation
CCRN: Test Prep
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3. Stomach
a. Most is penetrating
b. Accounts for about 19% of abdominal injuries
c. Can result from CPR
d. Good prognosis with prompt recognition and treatment
e. Manifestations
i. Epigastric pain and tenderness
ii. Peritonitis
iii. Bloody drainage from NG
iv. Abdominal free air
f. Treatment
i. NG tube
ii. Surgical resection
iii. H2-blockers
g. Complications
i. Peritonitis
ii. Intra-abdominal abscess
iii. Gastric fistula
iv. Prolonged healing or breakdown of the repair may result in
contamination or hemorrhage
4. Liver: size and location make it vulnerable to injury
a. Most common abdominal organ to be injured
b. Highest mortality with direct blunt trauma (about 70%) and shotgun
injuries: (10-15% from hemorrhage)
Liver Injury Scale
I Hematoma
I Laceration
II Hematoma
Subcapsular, nonexpanding, <10% surface area
Capsular tear, non-bleeding, < 1 cm depth
Subcapsular, nonexpanding, 10-50% surface area
c. Manifestations
i. Have a high degree of suspicion with patients with persistent
unexplained hypotension
ii. Evidence of peritonitis with bile leakage
iii. RUQ pain or tenderness
d. CXR
e. Diagnostic peritoneal lavage may be helpful
f. CT is preferred, if stable
g. Treatment
i. If bleeding is small, serial CT scans
ii. Liver resection is indicated if:
1. Bleeding is extensive, or on-going
2. Signs of sepsis
CCRN: Test Prep
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3. Deterioration of liver function tests
h. Complications
i. Uncontrolled hemorrhage
ii. Sepsis
iii. Decreased albumin
iv. Hypoglycemia
v. Drug toxicity
vi. Bleeding from loss of clotting factors
i. Post-operative follow-up
i. Labs:
1. Coagulation profile
2. Ammonia level
3. Liver profile
4. Serum protein and glucose
5. Replace blood products as needed
ii. Major complications secondary to liver damage
1. Blood loss
2. PRBCs, platelets, FFP
3. Assess for DIC
4. Pulmonary insufficiency
5. Atelectasis, pleural effusion, pneumonia are common
a. Related to position of the liver, pleural irritation, and pain
6. Infection
7. Tissue debris, necrosis, bile
8. Abscess or sepsis
9. Assess for signs of infection
10. CT for abscess formation
5. Spleen: most commonly injured organ in blunt trauma
a. Isolated splenic injury occurs in about 20% of all cases and is associated
with a very low mortality
b. Overall mortality 11%, with associated injury 25%
c. Assessment
i. LUQ injury
ii. Pain or tenderness
iii. Ballance’s sign: dullness to percussion that disappears with
position change
d. Manifestations
i. Graded from I to V depending on injury severity
ii. KUB may show changes in splenic outline
iii. CT scan
iv. Fractures of ribs 8-10 associated with a 20% chance of injury
v. ↑ WBC, ↓ H/H
vi. Hypovolemia, shock
CCRN: Test Prep
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e. Treatment
i. Localized bleeding control to preserve spleen, if damage is
superficial and localized
ii. Partial splenectomy, when wound is deep
iii. Splenectomy, when blood supply is interrupted, spleen is
destroyed, or hemorrhage cannot be stopped
f. Complications
i. OPSI: Overwhelming Postsplenectomy Infection: due to loss of
immune actions of the spleen
ii. Hemorrhage
iii. Infection, abscess
6. Pancreas: mostly from penetrating wounds
a. Associated with multi-organ injury
b. Pancreatic enzymes may not elevate due to inactivation during injury
c. Manifestations
i. Mechanism of injury
ii. Epigastric pain & tenderness
iii. ↑ amylase, lipase
iv. Nausea, vomiting
d. Treatment
i. Drainage of enzymes
ii. Surgical repair
iii. Wound drainage
e. Complications (due to inadequate drainage during surgery)
i. Pseudocyst
ii. Abscess
7. Bowel
Penetrating, blunt or shearing trauma
Duodenal and Ileum Injuries
Rarely single organ injuries
Alkalinity of contents produces immediate irritation
Often difficult to diagnose since contents are sterile, peritonitis does not
occur immediately
Fever, jaundice, bowel obstruction, abdominal pain, edema
Graded I-V by severity
Octreotide to decrease secretions
i. Sepsis with MODS and duodenal fistula can be lethal
The American Gastroenterological Association: www.gastro.org
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
8. Small Bowel
a. Look for contusions, wounds over abdomen
b. Abdominal pain and tenderness
c. ↓ bowel sounds
d. Hypovolemia
e. Delayed rupture is possible
f. CT scan, KUB for free air
g. Treatment is surgical intervention
h. Fluid / nutrition deficiency common post-op
i. Fistula formation is possible post-op
9. Abdominal assessment
a. History
i. Prior surgeries
ii. Nutritional deficits
iii. Absorption problems
b. Inspection
c. Auscultation
d. Percussion
e. Palpation
f. Diagnostic studies
i. X-rays
ii. CT
iii. Arteriography
iv. Diagnostic Peritoneal Lavage
10. Intra-abdominal Hypertension
a. Caused by fluid volume resuscitation
b. Results in renal dysfunction and respiratory compromise
c. Measured in bladder with T-piece catheter
d. Hypertension is defined as >18 mmHg
e. Temporary abdominal closure reduces abdominal pressure and improves
lung dynamics, but does not improve renal function or oxygenation.
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
GI Surgeries:
1. Whipple (Pancreaticoduodenectomy)
a. Used for:
i. Resectable pancreatic cancer
ii. Pancreatic cancer
iii. Chronic pancreatitis
b. Removal of:
i. Head of the pancreas
ii. Duodenum
iii. Part of the common bile duct
iv. Gallbladder
v. Sometimes a portion of the stomach
c. Complications:
i. Peritonitis
ii. Sepsis, SIRS, MODS
iii. Pancreatic fistula
iv. Uncontrolled blood sugar in diabetics
2. Esophago-gastrectomy
a. Used for:
i. Esophageal cancer
b. Removal of:
i. Part of the esophagus
ii. Part of the stomach
iii. Anastomose with intestine
c. Complications:
i. Anastomotic leak
ii. Stricture formation
iii. Diarrhea
3. Gastric bypass (Roux-en-Y)
a. Used for:
i. Surgical treatment of obesity
b. Bypass of:
i. Part of the stomach
ii. Duodenum
c. Complications:
i. Dumping syndrome
ii. Peritonitis
iii. Gallstones
iv. Nutritional deficiency
Brolin RE (2002). Bariatric surgery and long-term control of morbid obesity. JAMA,
288(22): 2793–2796.
CCRN: Test Prep
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Multisystem (8%) 12 questions
1. As a result of multisystem trauma, edema can occur in the peritoneal and
retroperitoneal areas and cause intra-abdominal pressure to increase. Intraabdominal pressure is measured using a urinary catheter and is hypertensive if the
pressure exceeds:
a. 10 mmHg
b. 50 mmHg
c. 100 mmHg
d. 150 mmHg
2. Initial treatment for hypovolemic shock includes:
a. Vasopressors
b. Volume resuscitation
c. Stopping the loss
d. Antibiotics
3. Death from multisystem trauma that occurs within minutes is usually caused by:
a. Great vessel laceration
b. Head injury
c. Pelvic fracture
d. Multisystem organ failure
4. The primary purpose of obtaining blood cultures in the septic patient is:
a. To diagnose sepsis
b. To guide therapy
c. To evaluate the level of response
d. To determine a source
5. A defining characteristic of septic shock that differentiate it from other types of
shock is:
a. Low blood pressure
b. Wide pulse pressure
c. Decreased urine output
d. Tachycardia
6. Corticosteroids are often used in septic shock for:
a. Inflammation
b. Adrenal replacement
c. Immunosuppression
d. Bronchodilation
CCRN: Test Prep
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7. Septic shock with ARDS and acute renal failure may be treated with activated
protein C (Xigris). A major complication of Xigris is:
a. Hypoxia
b. Hyperglycemia
c. Bleeding
d. Acidosis
8. The systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) can cause multiorgan
dysfunction. The first organ to be involved is:
a. The heart
b. The lungs
c. The brain
d. The liver
9. Using vasopressors in shock may cause:
a. Increased splanic perfusion
b. Decreased cardiac output
c. Decreased pulmonary perfusion
d. Increased peripheral perfusion
10. Mr. Jones took 100 tablets of Percocet in a suicide attempt. As his nurse, you
should know that treatment of ingested poisoning includes:
a. Managing the ABCs and administering activated charcoal
b. Administering ipecac
c. Hyperbaric oxygen
d. Prompt transport to a poison control center
11. Ms. Lett is admitted for burns suffered in a house fire. Since she is complaining
of shortness of breath, an ABG is drawn. Due to the etiology of the burns, the
nurse should be especially concerned about:
a. pO2 of 83
b. pCO2 of 50
c. COHb of 18
d. pH of 7.32
12. In the initial resuscitation of burns, which treatment is the priority?
a. Fluid volume replacement
b. Administration of antibiotics
c. Management of the airway
d. All of the above
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
Multisystem Trauma
1. Decreased intravascular volume
a. Hemorrhage
b. Dehydration
c. Burns
d. Third spacing
2. Decreased blood pressure
a. ↓ preload, ↓ SV, ↓ CO
Volume loss
↑ HR, normal B/P
↓ B/P, ↓ CO, ↑ HR
Compensation begins to fail
3. Compensatory mechanisms activated r/t ↓ CO
4. Treatment goal is to replace lost volume
a. RBCs
b. Colloids
i. Albumin, Dextran, Hetastarch
ii. May decrease risk of pulmonary edema
iii. Osmotic “pull” increases intravascular volume
c. Crystalloids
i. NS, Lactated Ringers
ii. Proven efficacy in traumatic hypovolemia
iii. Only 20% remains in the blood stream at 1 hour
iv. Can result in significant hemodilution and ↓ DO2
d. Hemoglobin substitutes
i. PolyHeme®
ii. Oxygent
Vol. Expansion
1 hour
Proven efficacy
Blood products
24 hours
Hb substitutes
Less edema
Great colloid,
Immediate oxygen
May contribute to
Volume limit
↑ inflammation.
↑ mortality
Multiple side effects
Not proven effective
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
Hemodynamics in Hypovolemic Shock
General Principles for Managing Multisystem Trauma
1. Primary Survey
a. Airway, Breathing, Circulation, Disability, Exposure
2. Trimodal Distribution of Death
a. First Peak
i. Within minutes
ii. Due to lacerations of large vessels or of essential organs
b. Second Peak
i. Minutes to several hours
ii. Due to:
iii. Subdural / epidural hematoma
iv. Hemothorax
v. Pelvic fractures
vi. Ruptured spleen
vii. Significant blood loss
c. Third Peak
i. Several days to weeks
ii. Due to sepsis or multisystem organ failure
CCRN: Test Prep
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Sepsis / Septic Shock / MODS
1. Maldistribution of blood volume (massive vasodilation)
a. Sepsis (most common)
b. Anaphylactic
c. Neurogenic
d. Spinal
2. Hyperdynamic stage:
a. Tachycardia, ↑ CO
b. ↓ afterload
c. Flushing
d. Fever
e. ↑ blood glucose
3. Shock stage
a. ↑ HR, ↑ RR
b. ↑ afterload
c. Hypothermia
d. ↓ organ perfusion
4. Sepsis stimulates the Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (SIRS)
CCRN: Test Prep
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5. Compensatory mechanisms activated r/t ↓ B/P
6. Treatment goals:
a. “Fill” vascular space
b. Prevent secondary organ damage
i. Vasopressors
1. Dopamine
2. Levophed
3. Neosynphrine
4. Vasopressin
ii. IV fluids
iii. Colloids
iv. Blood products
v. Xigris
Hemodynamics in Sepsis
CCRN: Test Prep
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1. Emesis
a. Serious aspiration risk
2. Gastric lavage
a. 500-3000cc
3. Activated charcoal
a. 50-100 grams
4. Specific antidotes
a. Narcan for opiates
b. Atropine for organophosphates
c. Methylene blue for methemoglobinemia
d. Acetylcystine for acetaminophen
5. Support
a. Cardiovascular
b. Pulmonary
c. Valium or Phenobarbital for seizures
d. Mannitol and dexamethasone for ↑ ICP
Carbon Monoxide
1. Emitted from gas, charcoal, oil, wood
2. Brain and heart most affected
3. Symptoms:
a. Low-level exposure
i. Shortness of breath
ii. Mild nausea
iii. Mild headache
b. Moderate-level exposure
i. Headache
ii. Nausea
iii. Light-headedness
iv. Dizziness
c. High-level exposure
i. Death within minutes
4. Treatment
a. Oxygen (reduces COHb half-life from 4-5 hours to 1 hour)
b. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (↓ half-life to <30 minutes)
CCRN: Test Prep
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1. Types:
a. Thermal
b. Electrical
c. Chemical
d. Radiation
2. Zone of injury
3. Assessment
a. Rule of nines
b. Classification
First degree
Second degree
Third degree
4. Complications
a. Intra-abdominal hypertension
b. Pulmonary injury
a. Smoke inhalation
b. CO intoxication
c. Airway burns
c. Fluid volume deficit
First 24 hours
(1) 4 ml LR / %TBSA / kg
(2) ½ volume in 1st eight hours
(3) ¼ volume next eight hours
(4) ¼ volume last eight hours
Second 24 hours
(1) D5W with 40 mEq KCl to maintain normal electrolyte balance
(2) Plasma or albumin to maintain hemodynamic balance
d. Infection
Burn dressing
e. Electrolyte imbalances
5. Pain Control
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
Cardiovascular (32%) 48 questions
1. Which of the following variables affects cardiac output directly?
a. Preload
b. Stroke volume
c. Afterload
d. Resistance
2. Coronary artery perfusion is dependent upon:
a. Diastolic pressure
b. Systolic pressure
c. Afterload
d. SVR
3. Mixed venous oxygen saturation (SvO2) assesses:
a. Preload
b. Afterload
c. Oxygen delivery
d. Oxygen consumption
4. Chest pain that is not relieved by rest and nitroglycerine is called:
a. Variant angina
b. Stable angina
c. Unstable angina
d. Prinzmetal’s angina
5. The nurse administering t-PA for acute myocardial infarction must monitor the
patient for all of the following except:
a. Peripheral thrombosis
b. Myocardial reperfusion
c. Bleeding complications
d. Coronary reocclusion
6. Which finding would not indicate coronary reperfusion during t-PA infusion?
a. Drop in arterial blood pressure
b. Resolution of ST segment elevation
c. Ventricular tachycardia
d. Dramatic reduction in chest pain
7. Which of the following is not an indication for thrombolytic therapy?
a. An occluded arteriovenous fistula
b. Non-Q Wave Myocardial Infarction
c. Peripheral arterial occlusion
d. Acute Myocardial Infarction
CCRN: Test Prep
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8. The pathologic changes found on 12 Lead ECG to indicate myocardial ischemia
a. ST elevation
b. ST segment depression and T wave elevation
c. Q wave formation
d. ST segment depression and T wave inversion
9. Failure to capture is a complication of pacemakers that may be caused by:
a. Lead maturation
b. Lead displacement
c. Dead battery
d. Open circuit
10. Automatic implantable cardio-defibrillators (AICDs) may be initiated in the
treatment of:
a. Frequent PVCs
b. Atrial fibrillation
c. Narrow-complex SVT
d. Symptomatic VT
11. The nurse auscultates an S4 gallop during her assessment. The appearance of an
S4 gallop during an anginal episode may signify:
a. Congestive heart failure
b. Decreased compliance of the ischemic myocardium
c. Aortic stenosis
d. Increased left ventricular filling volume
12. Heart failure caused by the inability to fully relax is called:
a. Systolic
b. Diastolic
c. Biventricular
d. Complete
13. The primary function of drug therapy with beta-blockers in heart failure is to:
a. Increase blood pressure
b. Block compensatory mechanisms
c. Increase urine output
d. Decrease arrhythmias
14. Early symptoms of fluid overload and pulmonary edema are:
a. Rales and hypoxia
b. S3 heart sound and tachycardia
c. Increased respiratory rate and subjective dyspnea
d. ST-segment elevation in the chest leads
CCRN: Test Prep
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15. Mechanical ventilation may be helpful to your patient with CHF because it:
a. Decreases preload
b. Increases alveolar pressure
c. Increases oxygenation
d. All of the above
16. An Intraaortic Balloon Pump (IABP) has the following hemodynamic effects:
a. Increases left ventricular pressure
b. Increases wedge pressure
c. Increases coronary artery perfusion
d. Increases afterload
17. The IABP is:
a. Deflated during systole
b. Inflated during systole
c. Deflated during diastole
d. None of the above
18. IABP therapy is contraindicated for which of the following disorders?
a. Papillary muscle rupture
b. Incompetent aortic valve
c. Left ventricular failure
d. Unstable angina refractory to medical regimen
19. Which coronary artery supplies the atrioventricular (AV) node?
a. Right coronary artery
b. Coronary sinus artery
c. Left anterior descending artery
d. Nodal artery
20. Coronary perfusion occurs during:
a. Systole
b. Diastole
c. Equally during diastole and systole
d. Continuously
21. The forth heart sound (S4) occurs:
a. After ventricular contraction
b. Is best heard with the diaphragm of the stethoscope
c. Is a normal finding in children
d. During atrial contraction
CCRN: Test Prep
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22. Flotation of a pulmonary artery catheter into a wedge position increases the risk
a. Dysrhythmias
b. Infection
c. Pneumothorax
d. Pulmonary infarction
23. Which of the following pulmonary artery pressures are within normal limits?
a. PAP 34/24, wedge = 12
b. PAP 30/20, wedge = 10
c. PAP 28/18, wedge = 20
d. PAP 24/14, wedge = 12
24. Which of the following results in an elevated pulmonary artery pressure and a
normal wedge pressure?
a. Cardiac tamponade
b. Left ventricular failure
c. Myocardial infarction
d. Pulmonary embolism
25. Which of the following is the least accurate in diagnosing an acute myocardial
a. Patient’s history
b. Physical examination
c. Enzyme studies
d. Serial EKG’s
26. The inferior wall myocardial infarction will show changes in which EKG leads?
a. V1 to V4
b. V1, AVL
c. V5 and V6
27. The most common complication of an acute myocardial infarction is:
a. Dysrhythmia
b. Congestive heart failure
c. Cardiogenic shock
d. Pulmonary embolism
28. Which of the following hemodynamic parameters would indicate left ventricular
failure in a patient with COPD?
a. PAP 25/22, wedge = 14
b. PAP 48/26, wedge = 16
c. PAP 22/12, wedge = 16
d. PAP 48/26, wedge = 20
CCRN: Test Prep
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29. Which of the following medications would be most effective in the acute
myocardial infarction patient to decrease preload and afterload?
a. Dopamine
b. Nitroglycerine
c. Dobutamine
d. Digoxin
30. Positive inotropic agents are used to:
a. Improve tissue perfusion
b. Decrease water loss through the kidney
c. Increase heart rate
d. Vasodilate vessels
31. Which condition would stimulate renin production?
a. Increased blood supply to the renal tubules
b. Decreased blood pressure
c. Decreased sympathetic output
d. Increased sodium concentration
32. Acute rejection in cardiac transplantation is diagnosed by:
a. ECG
b. Chest X-ray
c. Echocardiography
d. Endomyocardial biopsy
33. After cardiac transplantation, the patient is placed on cyclosporine (Sandimmune).
In assessing for complications related to this drug therapy, the nurse should
a. Blood glucose
b. Serum creatinine
c. Serum amylase
d. Serum magnesium
34. You are caring for a patient recently admitted with and IWMI. Which of the
following 12 Lead ECG findings would you anticipate?
a. T-wave inversion I, and AVL
b. Q wave formation and ST-segment elevation in II, III, and AVF
c. QRS duration greater than 0.01 in all leads
d. R-wave taller in V6
35. Your patient with an IWMI also has a RV infarction. He soon develops RV
failure. Which of the following data would you expect to see?
a. PAP 23/8
CVP 20
b. PAP 54/28
CVP 14
c. PAP 54/18
d. PAP 28/10
CVP 20
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
36. A sign of a peripheral arterial occlusion is:
a. Pallor
b. Swelling
c. Redness
d. Dyspnea
37. Your patient has just come to the unit after a Carotid Endarterectomy (CEA). As
her nurse, you will assess for all of the following except:
a. Hypertension
b. Changes in mental status
c. Bleeding
d. Seizures
38. A thoracic aortic aneurysm causes chest pain that:
a. Radiates to the left arm
b. Bores through to the back
c. Is sharp and worse while reclining
d. Is associated with diminished breath sounds
39. A patient who presents with stabbing chest pain that is worse in the supine
position, with fever and chills is probably suffering from:
a. Myocardial infarction
b. Pulmonary embolism
c. Pericarditis
d. Pneumothorax
40. Primary patient care management of pericarditis includes all of the following
a. Monitoring for signs of cardiac tamponade
b. Evaluating the effectiveness of pain relief strategies
c. Maintaining the patient’s bowel regimen
d. Providing emotional support
41. Subacute bacterial endocarditis (SBE) is usually caused by;
a. Dental procedures
b. Normal valves
c. IV drug abuse
d. Prosthetic valves
42. The valve most often affected by infective endocarditis is:
a. Mitral
b. Aortic
c. Tricuspid
d. Pulmonary
CCRN: Test Prep
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43. Following a motor-vehicle accident, pericardial tamponade is suspected. Which
of the following findings is consistent with traumatic tamponade?
a. Muffled heart sounds
b. Pericardiocentesis of 50 cc of blood
c. ST-segment depression in the limb leads
d. Rales on auscultation
44. The classic triad (Beck’s triad) of symptoms of cardiac tamponade are:
a. Tachycardia, hypotension, narrow pulse pressure
b. Rales, muffled heart sounds, bradycardia
c. Widened pulse pressure, atrial arrhythmias
d. Hypertension, flushing, pulses paradoxus
45. Mr. Ford comes to the emergency department (ED) after a motor-vehicle
accident. He is complaining of chest pain, dyspnea, and has ST-segment
elevation on the anterior leads. Mr. Ford is most likely suffering from:
a. Pneumothorax
b. Flail chest
c. Cardiac contusion
d. Pulmonary embolism
46. In Cardiogenic shock the initial goal is to:
a. Increase cardiac output
b. Increase oxygen supply
c. Decrease oxygen consumption
d. Decrease contractility
47. The medication that increases oxygen supply to the heart during Cardiogenic
shock is:
a. Dopamine
b. Nitroglycerine
c. Nitroprusside
d. Dobutamine
48. Calcium-channel blockers have which of the following functions?
a. Increase vascular tone
b. Increase velocity of AV conduction
c. Decrease cardiac oxygen consumption
d. Increase cerebral oxygenation
CCRN: Test Prep
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1. Coronary Perfusion
a. Cardiac cycle
b. Aortic pressure
c. Coronary Artery Perfusion Pressure
i. CAPP = Diastolic BP – PAOP
ii. Normal 60-80mmHg
2. Determinants of Ventricular Function
a. Cardiac Output
i. Heart Rate X Stroke Volume
ii. Stroke Volume
1. Preload
2. Afterload
3. Contractility
iii. Supply and Demand
1. Supply
a. Coronary artery patency
b. Diastolic time
c. Diastolic pressure
d. O2 extraction
e. Hemoglobin
f. SaO2
2. Demand
a. HR
b. Preload
c. Afterload
d. Contractility
CCRN: Test Prep
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Flow and Assessment
3. Hemodynamic Monitoring
a. Uses
i. Measure hemodynamic waveforms
ii. Blood samples
iii. Central venous access
iv. Perform intracardiac pacing
b. Indications
c. Complications
Electrocardiogram (ECG)
1. General Info
2. Electrolyte imbalances
a. Hypokalemia: ventricular irritability
i. Flat T wave with prominent U wave
ii. T-wave + U wave same amplitude
iii. ST-segment flattening
iv. Prolonged QT interval
v. ST-segment depression
vi. Treatment:
1. PO or IV replacement
b. Hyperkalemia: ventricular depression
i. Tall, narrow peaked T waves
ii. Widened QRS
iii. P wave widens
iv. P-wave barely visible
v. Treatment
c. Hypo-hyper-calcemia
d. Hypo-hyper-magnesemia
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
3-5 mmHg
25/3-5 mmHg
25/8-12 mmHg
8-12 mmHg
4-12 mmHg
120/4-12 mmHg
120/80 mmHg
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
Mixed-Venous Oxygen Saturation (SVO2)
Metabolic Demand
Precapillary Pressure 30 mmHg
Postcapillary Pressure 10 mmHg
4-8 liter/min
2.4-4.2 liter/min/m2
37-250 dynes/sec/cm2
800-1200 dynes/sec/cm2
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
Coronary Artery Disease
1. Definition
a. Pathophysiology
b. Etiology
c. Risk Factors
2. Clinical Manifestations
Stable Angina
1. Clinical presentation
a. ECG
3. Treatment
a. Rest
b. Anticoagulants
c. Vasodilators
d. Beta Blocker
e. ACE I
Unstable Angina
Clinical Presentation
New Terminology
Biochemical Markers
Treatment management
a. ASA
b. Beta Blockers
c. Calcium Channel Blockers ???
d. Heparin
e. NTG
f. Morphine
g. GP IIb-IIIa drugs
h. Assistance for the ventricle
1. Increase coronary perfusion
2. Decrease afterload
3. Absolute contraindication: Aortic insufficiency
4. Monitor
a. Vascular Exam
b. Timing
ii. Interventional
1. Pre-procedure
2. Post-procedure
3. 6 P’s
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
Acute Myocardial Infarction
Clinical Presentation
a. ECG Changes
i. Anterior Wall
ii. Inferior Wall
b. Enzymes
c. Diagnosis
5. Manage and Monitor
a. Reduce Size of Infarction
b. Door to Diagnosis and Treatment
c. Diagnosis
d. Treatment Paradigm
i. Oxygen, pain management
ii. Reperfusion therapies
1. Cath lab (PCI)
2. Thrombolytics (tPA)
iii. Increase Myocardial Oxygen Supply
iv. Decrease Myocardial Oxygen Demand
Plug in the Pump!
e. ACC/AHA guidelines
i. Reperfusion Therapy
ii. ASA
iii. ACE I
iv. Beta Blocker
v. Lipids: Statins
vi. Smoking Cessation Information
f. RV Infarction
i. Assess for clinical signs of RVMI:
1. Classic triad:
a. Jugular vein distension
b. Clear lungs
c. Hypotension
ii. Maintain adequate filling pressures
iii. Avoid diuretics and NTG (highly sensitive)
iv. Hemodynamics
1. CVP >10 mmHg
2. CVP within 5 mm Hg of PAOP
v. Complications
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
Heart Failure
Systolic Dysfunction
1. Dysfunction of contractility
2. Weak contraction → ↓ SV → ↓ CO → ↑ EDP/EDV → hypertrophy
3. Etiology:
a) Ischemic heart disease
b) Cardiomyopathies
c) Hypertension
d) Valvular disease
e) Pericardial disease
f) Chronic tachycardia
g) Connective tissue disease
h) Neurogenic
i) Pulmonary disease
4. Primary symptoms
a) Dyspnea / orthopnea
b) Exercise intolerance
c) Edema
d) Mental status changes
e) S3, S4
f) Tachycardia
g) Rales
h) Hepatomegaly
i) JVD
Diastolic Dysfunction
1. Dysfunction of relaxation
2. Incomplete relaxation → restricted filling → ↓ SV → ↓ CO → ↑ EDP (EDV is
3. Etiology:
a. LV hypertrophy
b. Ischemic states
4. Primary symptoms
a. Dyspnea, fatigue
1. Renin-Angiotensin-Aldosterone
2. Clinical Presentation LVF
a. Tachypnea, Dyspnea, orthopnea, PND
b. Pulsus alternans
3. Clinical Presentation RVF
a. JVD, HJR, edema, ascites, CVP elevation
b. Abnormal liver functions
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
1. Beta-adrenergic agonists
a. Dopamine (Intropin), Dobutamine (Dobutrex), Norepinephrine
b. Short-term exacerbation treatment
c. Long-term use in HF clinics
d. ↑ cardiac output (↑ contractility), ↑ VO2
2. Phosphodiesterase inhibitors
a. Amrinone, (Inocor), Milrinone (Primacor)
b. Short-term exacerbation treatment
c. Long-term use in HF clinics
d. ↑ cardiac output (contractility), vasodilation (↓ afterload), ↑ VO2
3. Diuretics
a. ↑ cardiac output by ↓ preload
b. Watch for electrolyte disturbances
4. Vasodilators
a. Nitrates
i. ↓ preload, ↑ contractility, ↓ afterload
b. Ca+ channel blockers
i. ↑ contractility, ↓ afterload
c. Natrecor
i. ↓ preload, ↓ afterload
5. Angiotension-converting enzymes (ACE) inhibitors (ie. Enalapril)
a. Block the RAS activation that causes vasoconstriction and remodeling
b. Decrease afterload (vasodilation)
c. Favorable affects on mortality and morbidity
d. ACE inhibitors continue to be preferred over Angiotensin II (AT) blockers
6. Beta-blockers (ie. Metaprolol, Carvedilol)
a. Blocks sympathetic NS compensation that leads to decompensation &
b. Improves mortality and morbidity
7. Anticoagulation and antiplatelet drugs
a. Atrial fibrillation
b. Venous stasis from ↓ CO
8. Amiodarone
a. Currently not recommended for primary prevention of death in CHF
9. Automatic Implantable Cardiac Defibrillator (AICD)
a. Recommended for patients with “sudden cardiac death” syndrome
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
10. Aldosterone Antagonists (spironolactone)
a. Blocks aldosterone action on the sympathetic NS
11. Mechanics of positive pressure ventilation (CPAP, BiPAP, MV)
a. Positive pressure ventilation
b. Effects:
i. Pulmonary pressures
i. Airflow
ii. Hemodynamics
12. Goals of therapy
a. Prevent further myocardial remodeling / damage
b. Prevent reoccurrence of failure
c. Increase activity tolerance
d. Relieve symptoms
e. Improve prognosis
13. Novel Treatments
a. A-V sequential pacemaker
b. Biventricular pacing
c. Ventricular assist devices
d. Cardiomyoplasty
e. Enhanced external counterpulsation
f. Transplant
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
Infective Endocarditis
Infection of the endocardium (inner lining) of the heart that covers the valves and
contains the purkinje fibers.
1. Incidence
a. Males 3X > females
b. > 50 years
c. Mitral valve prolapse (30% in younger patients)
d. Rheumatic heart disease (<20%)
e. Calcific aortic stenosis (50% in older patients)
2. Etiology:
a. Subacute bacterial endocarditis (SBE)
i. Dental procedures
ii. GU or GI tract
iii. Abnormal valves
b. Acute bacterial endocarditis
i. Normal valves
c. Prosthetic valvular endocarditis
i. Within 1 year of valve replacement
ii. After pacemaker or AICD placement
d. Right-sided endocarditis
i. IV drug abuse
ii. Catheter-related infections (CVC, PA cath)
3. Clinical presentation
a. Develops on:
i. Mitral (most common)
ii. Aortic
iii. Tricuspid
iv. Pulmonary (rare)
b. Fever
c. Fatigue, night sweats, anorexia
d. Weight loss
e. Back pain
f. Embolism
i. MI
ii. CVA
4. Diagnosis
a. Blood cultures
i. 5% will not have positive cultures
ii. May take 4 days to grow some organisms
b. Murmur
i. Aortic insufficiency murmur (most common)
c. Widened pulse pressure
d. Transesophageal echocardiography (TEE)
i. Detects >90% of vegetations
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
5. Management
a. Untreated endocarditis is always fatal
b. Antibiotics
c. Valvular repair if heart failure present
6. Complications
a. Heart failure
b. Emboli
c. Sepsis
1. Blunt:
myocardial contusion
RV Primary site
Treat pain
Ventricular rupture, tamponade, CA thrombosis, valve dysfunction,
conduction defects, HF, shock, emboli
2. Penetrating
a. Puncture of heart, or BOX, with sharp object
b. Etiology: violence, industrial accident, sports, explosion, crush injury
c. Pathophysiology: loss of blood, tamponade
d. Presentation: visible wound, bleeding, hypotension, tamponade
e. Management:
i. Control hemorrhage
ii. OR
iii. Monitor for complications
1. Hemorrhagic shock
2. Tamponade
3. Hemothorax
4. Pneumothorax
f. Diagnosis
i. H & H, ECG, CXR, Aortogram, CT scan
g. Overall Management
i. Control bleeding
ii. Control BP
iii. Prepare for exploratory thoracotomy
iv. Monitor for complications
1. Hemorrhage shock
2. Cardiac tamponade
3. Hemothorax
4. False aneurysm
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
3. Tamponade
a. Etiology
i. Post-cardiotomy
ii. Post MI
iii. Iatrogenic causes
iv. Post CPR
v. Anticoagulation
vi. Rupture of great vessels
vii. Aortic aneurysms
b. Pathophysiology
i. Accumulation of fluid
ii. Decreased contractility
iii. ↓ stroke volume, cardiac output, LV function, RV function, shock
c. Presentation
a. Tachycardia, Hypotension, Narrowed PP
ii. Hemodynamics
d. Diagnosis
i. CXR
ii. ECG
iii. Echo and/or TEE
iv. CT Fluoroscopy
e. Management
i. ABC’s
ii. Circulating blood volume
iii. Inotropes
iv. Pericardiocentesis
v. Pericardial window
vi. Emergency thoracotomy
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
Hypertensive Crisis
Diastolic blood pressure >120 mmHg
1. Etiology
a. Pre-existing hypertension (most common)
b. Renal disease
c. Scleroderma
d. Illicit drugs
e. Pre-eclampsia, eclampsia
f. Head injury
g. Autonomic dysreflexia
h. Tumors
2. Symptoms
a. Chest pain
b. Headache
c. Decreased mental status
d. Diuresis
3. Diagnostics
a. CBC
b. Electrolytes
c. Urine
i. Blood
ii. Casts
d. EKG
e. Chest x-ray
4. Treatment
a. Sodium nitroprusside
b. Apresoline
c. Vasotec
d. Brevibloc
e. Labetalol
5. Complications
a. MI, CHF
b. Stroke, cerebral bleed
c. Aortic dissection
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
a. ABC’s
b. CO/CI – preservation of function
d. Maintaining HR X SV
e. ST segment depression = ischemia
f. ST segment elevation = current of injury
g. IABP= increase coronary perfusion, decrease afterload: SO, it increases
myocardial oxygen supply and decreases demand
h. Murmurs: systolic = AS, MR
i. Most common systolic murmur in recent MI is mitral insufficiency
j. ST segment elevation in II, III, AVF = inferior infarction
k. ST segment elevation in I, AVL, V leads = anterior infarction
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
Renal (5%) 8 questions
1. Acute renal failure differs from chronic renal failure in that it:
a. Results in higher BUN levels
b. Has a higher mortality rate
c. Requires peritoneal dialysis
d. Is associated with diabetes
2. The best dialysis schedule for the patient with acute renal failure is:
a. Every other day
b. Weekly
c. Daily
d. Bi-weekly
3. The primary etiology of hyperphophatemia is:
a. Over-replacement
b. Hypercalcemia
c. Renal failure
d. Hypoalbuminemia
4. Bradycardia, tremors and twitching muscles are associated with which electrolyte
a. Hypokalemia
b. Hyperkalemia
c. Hypophosphatemia
d. Hyperphosphatemia
5. Treatment for hypercalcemia includes:
a. Fluids and diuretics
b. Amphogel
c. Kayexelate
d. Dialysis
6. Hyponatremia is usually associated with:
a. Fluid overload
b. Dehydration
c. Diuresis
d. Over-administration of normal saline
7. Mr. Smith was involved in a motor-vehicle accident and is experiencing
hematuria. The best diagnostic test to evaluate renal trauma is:
a. Ultrasound
b. Computed tomography (CT)
c. Intravenous pyelogram (IVP)
d. Angiography
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
8. Which of the following is not an etiology of acute renal failure (ARF)?
a. Sepsis
b. Shock
c. Bladder tumor
d. Hypertension
Acute & Chronic Renal Failure
1. Acute Renal Failure: Sudden loss of renal function
a. Etiology:
i. Pre-renal
1. Most common outside the ICU
2. Etiology
a. Low cardiac output
b. Shock
c. Renal artery stenosis
3. ↓ blood flow to kidneys, ↓ pressure in renal artery, ↓ forces
favoring filtration, ↓ GFR
4. Kidney’s response is vasoconstriction
5. End result is ischemic damage to kidney
ii. Intra-renal
1. Most common in the ICU
2. Causes
a. Glomerulonephritis
b. Antibiotics
c. Myoglobinemia
d. SLE, Diabetes
3. Direct damage to glomerulus
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
iii. Post-renal
1. Rare
2. Causes
a. Urethral calculi
b. BPH
c. Urethral stricture
d. Bladder cancer
e. Neurogenic bladder
3. Partial obstruction = ↑ forces opposing filtration = ↓ GFR
4. Total obstruction = compression and necrosis
Acute Renal Failure is a secondary
disease. Therefore mortality is about 40%
b. Phases:
i. Oliguria
1. Sudden onset of oliguria
2. Symptoms resemble CRF
a. Nausea & Vomiting
b. Drowsiness, confusion, coma
c. GI bleeding
d. Asterixis
e. ↑ K+, ↓Na+, acidosis
f. Cardiac arrhythmias
g. Kussmal’s respirations
h. Hypervolemia
i. Edema
j. HTN
3. Treatment:
a. Dialysis
b. Renal diet
c. Fluid restriction
ii. Diuretic (10-15 days)
1. Indicates that nephrons are healing
2. UO ↑ to 4-5 liters/day
3. Unable to concentrate urine or filter wastes
4. Can have excessive excretion of K+ and Na+
5. Manifestations
a. Hypovolemia
b. Hypotension
c. Electrolyte imbalances
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
iii. Recovery (lasts 4-6 months)
1. BUN, Cr slowly return to normal
Oliguria Diuresis
iv. Treatment:
1. Hemodialysis
2. Continuous renal replacement therapy
3. Renal diet
4. Fluid restriction
2. Chronic Renal Failure: Progressive loss of renal function
a. Etiology:
i. Diabetes
ii. Hypertension
iii. Glomerulonephritis
b. Stages:
i. Decreased renal reserve
1. ↓ number of functional nephrons
ii. Renal insufficiency
1. Asymptomatic ↑ in BUN / Cr.
iii. Renal failure
1. Symptomatic ↑ in BUN / Cr.
iv. End-stage renal disease
1. Severe ↑ BUN / Cr.
2. Chronic dialysis is needed
c. Bricker hypothesis
i. Intact nephrons hypertrophy to compensate for diseased nephrons
d. Signs and symptoms of oliguria
e. Treatment:
i. Hemodialysis
ii. Peritoneal dialysis
iii. Renal diet
iv. Fluid restriction
v. Medications
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
Renal Trauma
1. Renal injuries
a. Blunt trauma
i. Coup, contracoup
ii. Shearing of renal artery, ureters
iii. Direct kidney damage is most often accompanied by other
abdominal injury
b. Penetrating
c. Manifestations
i. Flank pain
ii. Gray-Turner’s sign (flank ecchymosis 76%)
iii. Hematuria
d. KUB
e. IVP
f. Urethrogram
g. Cystogram
h. Ultrasound
i. CT scan
j. MRI
2. Kidney laceration
3. Treatment
a. Partial / total nephrectomy
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
Electrolyte Abnormalities
Potassium (3.5-5 mEq/L)
1. Acquired in diet, excreted in urine, must be replaced daily
2. Major intracellular cation
3. Functions:
a. Maintains osmotic pressure inside cells
b. Maintains electrical potential
c. Maintains acid/base balance
d. Participates in metabolism
4. Hyperkalemia
a. Common causes:
i. Renal failure
ii. Over-replacement
iii. Cell damage / shift out of cells
1. Acidosis
2. Hemolysis
3. Sepsis
4. Chemotherapy
iv. Spironolactone administration
b. Manifestations
i. Bradycardia
ii. Tremors, twitching
iii. Nausea / vomiting
iv. EKG changes: (↑ K+ suppresses the SA node)
1. Peaked T-waves
2. Shortened ST-segment
3. Flattened P-wave
4. Long PR-interval
5. Blocks
6. PVCs, ventricular arrhythmias
c. Treatment
i. Kayexelate
ii. Insulin / glucose
iii. Dialysis
iv. HCO3, Ca++
v. Albuterol aerosol
If a patient is NPO, he will require 40 mEq of potassium per day to maintain his
potassium level. 200 mEq or more may be required to replace lost stores.
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
5. Hypokalemia (aLKylosis is associated with a Low K)
a. Common causes:
i. Poor intake
ii. Renal loss
1. Diuretics
2. Renal tubular acidosis
3. Gent, Ampho
iii. GI loss
1. Diarrhea
2. Vomiting
iv. Shift into cells
1. Excessive insulin administration in DKA
2. Alkalosis
b. Manifestations
i. Tachycardia
ii. Hypotension
iii. Flaccid muscles
iv. EKG changes:
1. Flattened T-waves
2. Long ST-segment
3. U-waves
4. Peaked P-wave
5. Long PR-interval
6. PVCs, ventricular arrhythmias
c. Treatment
i. Oral replacement is preferable (allows slower equilibration with
intracellular compartment)
ii. IV: no faster than 20mEq/hour
6. Testing Implications:
a. Potassium levels change inversely to serum pH
b. Opening and closing the fist with a tourniquet in place ↑ K+ level
c. ↓ K+ can lead to digoxin toxicity
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
Calcium (8.4-10.2 mg/dl)
1. Ionized (active fraction)
2. Inactive fraction (bound to albumin)
3. Adjusted calcium level
a. [(4-Alb) X 0.8] + Calcium = Adjusted calcium
4. Essential for the functioning of:
a. Neuromuscular activity
b. Integrity of cell membrane
c. Cardiac activity
d. Blood coagulation
5. Increases in PTH, ↑ Ca++ level
Chvostek’s sign:
• Tap the facial nerve just below
the temple
• Twitch of the lip or nose is a
positive sign
Trousseau’s sign
6. Hypercalcemia
a. Etiology:
i. Hyperparathyroidism
ii. Paget’s disease
iii. Excessive Vitamin D intake
b. Manifestations
i. Anorexia, nausea, vomiting
ii. Coma
iii. ARF
iv. Flaccid muscles
v. EKG changes
(1) Short ST
(2) Short QT
(3) Steep drop off of T-wave
c. Treatment
i. Fluids / lasix
ii. Oral or IV Phosphate
• Contraction of the hand or fingers
when arterial flow is occluded for 5
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
7. Hypocalcemia
a. Etiology:
i. Surgical Hypoparathyroidism
ii. Malabsorption
iii. Acute pancreatitis
iv. Renal failure
v. Vitamin D deficiency
vi. Hypoalbuminemia
vii. Excessive administration of citrated (banked) blood
b. Manifestations
i. Laryngeal spasm
ii. Seizures & muscle cramps
iii. Hypotension
iv. Hyperactive reflexes
v. Trousseau’s sign
vi. Chvostek’s sign
vii. EKG changes:
(1) Prolonged QT interval
(2) Flat ST
(3) Small T-wave
c. Treatment
i. Oral route is safer
ii. IV: 10-20 mL of 10% calcium gluconate over 5-10 minutes
iii. Monitor EKG during treatment
8. Implications:
a. Ionized calcium level is inversely proportional to serum pH
b. Serum Ca++ levels should be assessed in conjunction with serum albumin
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
Magnesium (1.5-1.95 mEq/L)
1. Intracellular enzymatic reactions and utilization of ATP
2. CNS transmission
3. Cardiovascular tone
4. Hypermagnesemia (rare)
Magnesium is cardio-protective,
a. Etiology
and may be given to a patient
i. Renal disease
with myocardial infarction even if
ii. Adrenal insufficiency
the Mg++ level is normal.
b. Manifestations
i. Flushing and hypotension
ii. Hypotension & bradycardia
iii. Respiratory depression
iv. Hypoactive reflexes
v. CNS depression
c. Treatment
i. IV calcium: 10-20 mL of a 10% calcium gluconate
ii. Mechanical ventilation
iii. Temporary pacemaker
iv. Dialysis
5. Hypomagnesemia (common electrolyte disorder)
a. Etiology
i. CRF
ii. Pancreatitis
iii. Hepatic cirrhosis
iv. GI losses
v. Alcoholism
vi. Treatment of DKA
b. Manifestations
i. Increased reflexes
ii. + Trousseau’s sign
iii. + Chvostek’s sign
iv. Tachycardia
v. EKG changes:
1. PR & QT prolongation
2. Widened QRS
3. ST depression
4. T-wave inversion
vi. ↓ K+, ↓ Ca++, ↓ PO4
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
c. Treatment:
i. Dietary replacement
ii. IV magnesium acts as a vasodilator (expect flushing and
1. Acute hypomagnesemia
a. 1-2 grams over 60 minutes
2. During a code for VT/VF
a. 1-2 grams IV push (over 1-2 minutes)
6. A 24-hour urine magnesium level may be helpful in assessing deficiency
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
Phosphorus (2.5-4.7 mg/dl)
1. Phosphorus is an important part of all body tissue
2. Phosphate has a marked diurnal variation; therefore single measurements are of
little use.
3. Mostly stored intracellularly
4. Phosphate is cleared by the kidney; therefore renal function must be monitored as
5. Hyperphosphatemia
a. Etiology
i. Renal failure
ii. High PO4 intake
iii. Chemotherapy
iv. Lactic acidosis
b. Manifestations
i. Most often is asymptomatic
ii. Numbness, tingling of hands and mouth
iii. Muscle spasms
iv. Precipitation of Ca++ salts can lead to hypocalcemia
c. Treatment
i. Treat underlying disorder
ii. Phosphate-binding agents (Amphogel)
iii. IV fluids
iv. D50 & insulin
v. Dialysis
6. Hypophosphatemia
a. Etiology
i. Refeeding syndrome (refeeding after severe malnutrition)
ii. Calcium and magnesium deficiency
iii. Acute respiratory disorders
iv. Alcoholism
v. DKA, insulin administration
Respiratory Disorder
Respiratory Distress
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
b. Manifestations
i. Hemolysis & anemia
ii. Muscle pain & weakness
iii. Respiratory muscle weakness
iv. ↓ LOC, paresthesias
c. Treatment
i. Treat the primary disorder
ii. Nutrition
iii. Oral or IV replacement
7. Sudden ↑ in serum PO4 level during treatment can cause hypocalcemia
8. Introduce nutrition gradually to the malnourished patient
9. Phosphorus levels are inversely related to Ca++ levels
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
Imbalances in Sodium and Water
Sodium (135-145 mEq/L)
a. Most important ion in maintaining extracellular fluid balance
b. Balance is controlled by CNS & endocrine systems
c. Imbalance will result in fluid shifts and edema or dehydration
d. Osmolality = 2 X Na + Glu / 18 + BUN / 2.8
e. Blood osmolality is normally 280-300 mOsm/kg H2O
f. Maximum daily sodium load is 400 mEq/day (NS @125ml/hr provides
465 mEq/day)
g. Hyponatremia is more common
h. Hypernatremia has 40-60% mortality
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
2. Normal volemic states
a. Hypernatremia (↓ TBW, near normal TBNa)
i. Etiology:
1. Diabetes insipidus (lack of response to ADH)
2. ↑ insensible losses without replacement of water
ii. Signs and symptoms:
1. Thirst
2. CNS depression
iii. Treatment:
1. Water replacement
2. ADH for diabetes insipidus
b. Hyponatremia
i. Etiology:
1. Water ingestion > 25L/day
2. Defect in renal diluting ability
3. Post-operative fluid administration / non-osmotic ADH
4. Drugs:
b. Oxytocin
ii. Signs and symptoms:
1. Edema
iii. Treatment:
1. Water restriction
2. Sodium replacement
3. General Management Principles:
a. Hyponatremia:
i. Mild (Na+ <120)
1. Usually asymptomatic
2. Treat underlying cause
ii. Moderate (Na+ <115)
1. CNS depression
2. Replace with NS
3. Fluid restriction (<1000cc/day)
iii. Severe (Na+ <110)
1. Coma, seizures, and death
2. Replace with NS or hypertonic saline (3%)
3. Do not ↑ serum Na+ by more than 1 mEq/L/h or 10
Free Water Deficit = (kg wt. X 0.6) X [(Na/140) – 1]
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
Pulmonary (17%) 25 questions
1. Mr. Smith (57) is one-day post abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) repair. This
morning he develops atrial fibrillation with subjective dyspnea. His heart rate is
121 but otherwise his vital signs are normal. What pulmonary complication is
Mr. Smith suffering from?
a. Pneumonia
c. Shock lung
d. Pulmonary embolism
2. The most common EKG changes that occur during pulmonary embolus are:
a. Q-waves in AVR and Lead I
b. Tachycardia and atrial fibrillation
c. Bradycardia and ST-segment depression
d. High-degree AV blocks
3. How does the D-Dimer lab test help to diagnose pulmonary embolism (PE)?
a. A positive test indicates PE
b. A negative test rules out PE
c. A positive test rules out PE
d. A negative test indicates PE
4. Thrombolytic therapy (t-PA) is indicated for pulmonary embolism when:
a. The patient has more than one embolism
b. The patient is alert
c. The patient is hemodynamically unstable
d. The embolism is confirmed on CT scan
5. The major symptoms of Fat Embolism Syndrome (FES) are:
a. Petechiae, hypoxia, pulmonary edema
b. Tachycardial, rales
c. Fever, purulent sputum
d. Chest pain and dsypnea
6. Your patient, Mr. Winston comes to the Emergency Department (ED) with an
exacerbation of COPD. He is hypoxic and hypercapneic. He does not wish to be
intubated and mechanically ventilated. What criteria are necessary to initiate
bilevel positive-pressure ventilation (BiPAP)?
a. Must be able to slow his breathing down and not fight the machine
b. Must be able to maintain his own airway
c. Must be less than 75 years-old
d. Must quit smoking first
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
7. Pressure-control ventilation differs from volume-control ventilation in which of
the following ways:
a. Volume remains constant
b. High peak pressures are delivered
c. Pressure is limited
d. Inspiratory time is shorter
8. Heliox is a combination of helium and oxygen that is used in asthmatics to:
a. Reduce airway resistance
b. Bronchodilate
c. Reduce carbon dioxide
d. Improve oxygenation
9. Nursing interventions that decrease the incidence of hospital-acquired pneumonia
a. Placing gastric tubes through the nose
b. Brushing the patient’s teeth
c. Administering systemic antibiotics
d. Keeping the patient NPO
10. The most common etiology for Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) is:
a. Sepsis
b. Multiple trauma
c. Pancreatitis
d. Shock
11. Treatment for ARDS includes ventilatory support and oxygen. In addition, which
of the following interventions has been shown to reduce mortality in ARDS?
a. Hyperbaric oxygenation
b. Prone positioning
c. Lung-protective ventilation
d. Artificial surfactant
12. The nurse’s role during chest tube removal is to:
a. Provide adequate analgesia
b. Clamp the tube
c. Suture the insertion site
d. Have the patient inhale during removal
13. Your patient Mr. Jones is admitted to the emergency department with acute
pulmonary edema. His pO2 is 48, and his pCO2 is 57. Vital signs: B/P-158/90,
P-122, RR-36. The most appropriate initial intervention is:
a. Bi-level positive airway pressure (BiPAP)
b. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP)
c. Pressure-control ventilation
d. Inverse-ratio ventilation
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
14. Appropriate interventions for the patient with hospital-acquired pneumonia
a. Assure adequate fluid intake, endotrachael suction q 1-hour
b. Antibiotics, percussion and vibration
c. Turning, positioning, and ambulation
d. Saline lavage, mechanical ventilation
15. Ms. Kelly (42) is recovering from an asthma attack, when she suddenly starts
complaining of substernal chest pain that is worse with inspiration and radiates to
the neck, along with dyspnea. Which respiratory condition is most likely causing
her discomfort:
a. Bronchospasm
c. Pneumomediastinum
d. Chronic bronchitis
16. What intervention is most appropriate for the asthma patient who develops
hypoxia and hypercapnia:
a. 100% oxygen by non-rebreather mask
c. BiPAP
d. Mechanical ventilation
17. Warning signs of a severe asthma attack include:
a. Decrease in FEV1
b. Daily inhaler use
c. Nocturnal bronchodilator use
d. Family history of COPD
18. Magnesium sulfate may be given to the asthmatic who:
a. Looks toxic
b. Is unresponsive to traditional therapy
c. Has a FEV1 of less than 60%
d. Is hypoxic
19. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is characterized by:
a. Airway overinflation and atelectasis
b. Airway smooth muscle degeneration
c. Bronchoconstriction of the terminal bronchi
d. Chronic CO2 retention and hypoxia
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
20. Pulmonary Sarcoidosis is characterized by:
a. Productive cough and alveolar distention
b. Dry cough and granulomas on CXR
c. Hypoxia and CO2 retention
d. Chest pain and weight loss
21. Your patient has developed severe subcutaneous emphysema (from neck to groin
and in both arms) after a traumatic tension pneumothorax. The most appropriate
nursing interventions are:
a. Assessing for patency of the chest tube and limiting airway pressures
b. Assessing for atelectasis and assuring adequate PEEP
c. Employing recruitment maneuvers to re-expand the lung
d. Instilling talc into the chest tube
22. Severe pulmonary contusion with hypoxia is treated with:
a. Fluids and pressors
b. 100% non-rebreather mask
c. Mechanical ventilation and PEEP
d. CPAP with 100% oxygen
23. Treatment of a flail chest includes stabilization with:
a. A rib belt to hold the chest tight
b. Rods and pins during surgery
c. A large pillow taped to the chest
d. Tape applied to the affected side
24. The most common cause of a traumatic hemothorax is:
a. Rib fracture
b. Aortic laceration
c. Liver laceration
d. Pulmonary bleeding
25. A patient with pulmonary hypertension who is receiving Flolan (epoprostenol) is
at risk for developing which complication if therapy is interrupted?
a. Bronchoconstriction
b. Cardiac arrest
c. Pulmonary embolism
d. Pneumonia
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
Pulmonary Embolus
1. Brief Pathophysiology
a. Sudden obstruction of pulmonary vasculature
b. Altered ventilation / perfusion
c. Increased alveolar dead space
d. Pneumoconstriction
e. Bronchoalveolar hypocapnia
f. Hypoxemia → vasoconstriction
g. Increased PVR, ↓ CO, tachycardia
h. Inflammation
i. Loss of surfactant
j. Atelectasis
k. Edema
2. Diagnostic Tests
a. VQ scan (89% sensitivity, 92% specificity)
b. Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA)
c. Pulmonary angiography (the “gold standard”)
i. Visualize embolus
ii. Embolectomy
iii. Thrombolysis
d. Spiral CT
i. Much faster than V:Q scan
ii. Similar sensitivity/specificity
e. Doppler-Ultrasound
i. Positive U/S, high clinical probability = probable PE
ii. Negative U/S, low clinical probability = low probability
f. EKG
i. Non-specific findings (20%)
ii. Classic changes
1. S1 s-wave in lead I
2. Q3 q-wave in lead III
3. T3 t-wave inversion in lead III
4. Sinus tachycardia
5. New onset atrial fibrillation
3. Labs
a. CBC: WBC, H/H
b. Electrolytes
d. D-Dimer
4. Hemodynamics
a. ↓ preload
b. ↓ CO
c. ↑ afterload
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
5. Symptoms
a. Many are asymptomatic
b. Dyspnea (73%)
c. Pleuritic chest pain (66%)
d. Cough (37%)
e. Hemoptysis
f. Restlessness / apprehension
g. Calf pain
6. Signs
a. Tachycardia (70%)
b. Rales (51%)
c. Tachypnea
d. Hypocapnia, hypoxemia
e. JVD
f. Pulsus paradoxus
g. Hypotension
h. Diaphoresis
i. + Homan’s sign
7. Treatment
a. Initial management strategies for suspected PE
i. Ventilatory support
ii. Oxygen therapy
iii. Circulatory support
b. Conservative treatment
i. Prevention
1. Prophylactic anticoagulation
2. TED hose
3. Sequential compression devices
4. Early ambulation
ii. Anticoagulant therapy
1. Heparin
2. Coumadin
3. Low-molecular-weight heparin
4. Inferior vena cava filter
c. Treat right-sided heart failure
d. Invasive intervention
i. Thrombolytic therapy (t-PA)
1. Systemic or localized
2. Relative contraindications same as for MI
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
8. Fat Embolus Syndrome (FES)
a. Risks:
i. Long-bone fractures
ii. Hip replacement surgery
b. Lipid distribution causes ARDS-like syndrome
c. Onset within 24-48 hours
d. Symptoms:
i. Major:
1. Axillary / subconjunctival petechiae
2. Hypoxia
3. CNS depression
4. Pulmonary edema
ii. Minor:
1. Tachycardia
2. Fever
3. Retinal fat emboli
4. Urinary fat globules
5. ↓ platelet count / HCT
6. ↑ ESR
7. Fat globules in sputum
Internet site:
Preventing Deep Vein Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolism: www.dvt.org
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
ARDS was discovered in 1967 by Dr. Ashbaugh’s group. They studied 12 patients who
had serious acute illnesses, but no direct lung damage. These patients all developed
symptoms similar to those found in infants with infant respiratory distress syndrome,
hence the investigators named the disorder Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome.
1. Characterized by:
a. Compatible history
b. Acute onset of severe respiratory impairment (PO2:FiO2 <200)
c. Decreased lung compliance
d. Refractory hypoxia
e. Bilateral, diffuse lung infiltrates (white out)
f. Tachypnea
2. Etiology (Risk factors)
a. Sepsis (most common)
b. Aspiration (2nd most common)
c. Pneumonia
d. Pulmonary trauma
e. Multiple trauma
f. Shock
g. Multiple transfusions
h. DIC
i. Acute hemorrhagic pancreatitis
3. Additive result of predisposing factors
a. One risk factor = 25% chance of ARDS
b. Two risk factors = 42% chance of ARDS
c. Three risk factors = 85% change of ARDS
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
4. Pathophysiology
a. Can be caused be local inflammation or as the result of systemic
inflammation (SIRS)
b. Risk factors cause an abnormal accumulation of cells in the pulmonary
c. Neutrophils: phagocytosis, adherence, degranulation, oxygen radical
i. Bronchoalveolar lavage = 1-3% neutrophils in healthy lungs
ii. BL = 76-85% neutrophils in ARDS
d. Polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN): releases mediators
e. Platelets: causes microclotting
f. Endothelial cells: causes adherence, releases neutrophil chemotactic
g. These cells are activated by the underlying risk factor condition and cause
5. Inflammatory process causes:
a. Direct microvascular and alveolar injury
b. Disrupt normal pulmonary blood flow and coagulation
c. Results in pulmonary hypertension, bronchoconstriction & ↑ vascular
d. Fluid leaks out of the pulmonary vasculature, into the interstitial spaces
and into the alveoli resulting in diffuse pulmonary edema
e. Release of oxygen free radicals
i. Directly damages lung epithelium
ii. Bronchoalveolar lavage in patients with ARDS indicates oxidant
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
6. Clinical presentation
a. Latent phase
i. Beginning changes in the structure of the a-c membrane
ii. Symptoms will be from the underlying illness
b. Acute interstitial edema phase
i. Beginning of alveolar edema
ii. Decreased lung compliance
iii. Symptoms:
1. Apprehension, restlessness
2. Tachypnea, subjective dyspnea
3. Usually normal chest x-ray
4. Acute respiratory alkalosis 2° to hyperventilation
c. Acute intra-alveolar edema phase
i. Alveolar flooding occurs
ii. Damage to alveolar epithelial cells
iii. Changes in surfactant composition
iv. Severe ↓ in lung compliance
v. Decreased pulmonary perfusion
vi. Intrapulmonary shunting
vii. Symptoms:
1. Agitation
2. Dyspnea, tachypnea
3. Profound hypoxemia
4. ↑ peak inspiratory pressures
5. Fine, diffuse crackles, diminished BS
6. Diffuse, bilateral “white out” on chest x-ray
7. Acute respiratory alkalosis, hypoxemia on ABGs
8. Differential diagnosis from cardiogenic pulmonary edema
a. Lack of acute cardiac event
b. Presence of risk factors
c. PAOP <18
d. No JVD or gallop
d. Subacute-chronic phase
i. Formation of hyaline membranes
ii. Alveolar septum thickens
iii. Loss of functional units
iv. Slow recovery of respiratory structures
v. Death often results from infection
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
Interstitial Edema
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
7. Medical & nursing intervention goals
a. Reverse underlying pathophysiology
b. Block mechanism of a-c membrane injury
i. Corticosteroids
ii. Monoclonal antibodies to endotoxins
iii. Antioxidants
v. Nitric Oxide
vi. Xigris
c. Minimize consequences of acute injury
i. Minimizing pulmonary edema
ii. Maintain acceptable CO, while ↓ PAOP
iii. Budget fluid administration
iv. Maintain tissue oxygenation
v. Consider alternative methods of mechanical ventilation
1. Consider extracorporeal gas exchange (ECMO, AVCO2R)
vi. Maintain nutrition
d. Collaborative interventions to prevent or limit complications
i. Maintain the lowest possible PAOP that will maintain an
acceptable CO
ii. Use the lowest possible FiO2, without risking hypoxemia
iii. Use care in administering high levels of PEEP
ARDS Internet Sites:
ARDS Net: www.ardsnet.org
ARDS Support Center: www.ards.org
ARDS Foundation of Illinois: www.ardsfoundationil.com
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
Managing Acute Hypoxic Respiratory Failure
Pulmonary Hygiene
Turning & positioning
Coughing and deep breathing
Forced expiration
Incentive spirometry
Oxygen Delivery
Cardiac Output
Mechanical Ventilation
1. Ventilator Terminology
a. Tidal volume (TV): Volume of air passing into and out of the lungs with
each normal breath, usually set at 10cc/kg (IBW).
b. Inspiratory reserve: Maximal inspiration
c. Expiratory reserve: Maximal expiration
d. Residual volume: Volume that cannot be exhaled, where most gas
exchange occurs.
e. Fraction of inspired air (FiO2): Percentage of oxygen delivered in inspired
f. I:E Ratio: Inspiratory:Expiratory Ratio
g. Peak airway pressure: Maximum pressure in airways.
h. PaO2: Partial pressure of oxygen dissolved in the blood.
i. PaCO2: Partial pressure of carbon dioxide dissolved in the blood.
j. SaO2: Percentage of hemoglobin saturated with oxygen.
2. Hemodynamic effects
a. Decreased venous return to the heart
b. Decreased cardiac output
c. Increased afterload
3. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)
a. Positive pressure at end-expiration to prevent alveolar collapse
b. Increases residual volume
c. Improves gas exchange
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
4. Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure (BiPAP)
a. CPAP with additional inspiratory pressure
b. Improves gas exchange
c. Decreases work of breathing
5. Modes of Mechanical Ventilation
a. Assist Control (AC)
i. Every breath is supported
ii. Used to rest pulmonary musculature
1. Post-cardiac or respiratory arrest
2. Pulmonary edema
4. Anxiety or apprehension
b. Intermittent Mandatory Ventilation (IMV or SIMV)
i. Machine initiated breaths are supported
ii. Allows patient effort
iii. Minimizes barotrauma and hemodynamic effects
iv. Less likely to hyperventilate
v. Used for initial weaning efforts in some patients
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
c. Positive End-Expiratory Pressure (PEEP) / Continuous Positive Airway
Pressure (CPAP)
i. Prevents alveolar collapse
ii. Increases pO2 without increasing FiO2
iii. CPAP used in spontaneously breathing patients
iv. Normal starting PEEP: 5 cmH2O
v. Can use 8-12 cmH2O with low Vt
vi. Adverse effects of PEEP
1. Respiratory
2. Hemodynamic
d. Pressure Support Ventilation (PS)
i. Overcomes resistance of tubing
ii. Used for weaning
e. Volume Control Ventilation
i. Preset volume is delivered
ii. Develops high peak pressures
f. Pressure Control Ventilation
i. Preset pressure is delivered
ii. Peak pressure is limited
iii. Pressure is maintained longer
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
Ventilatory Adjuncts
1. Aerosol treatments
a. Bronchodilators
i. Any patient that may have bronchoconstriction
ii. Helps to mobilize secretions
b. Mucolytics
i. Hydrate the patient
ii. Hydrate the airways
iii. Then use a mucolytic
2. Nitric oxide
a. Pulmonary vasodilator
b. Increases oxygenation
c. Does not improve mortality
3. Helium
a. Promotes oxygen transport to alveoli
b. Used in asthma and COPD to improve oxygenation
4. Prone positioning
a. Redistributes lung fluid
b. Relieves heart weight on lower lobes
c. Improves oxygenation
d. ↓ in CO2 is associated in improved mortality
e. Complications can be avoided by:
i. Limiting prone time to less than 2 hours
ii. Seeking assistance in proning from anesthesia
iii. Using adequate staff to prone
5. Rotational beds
a. Move the patient!
i. Ambulation
ii. Turning and positioning
iii. Rotational beds
6. Vibration & percussion
a. Helps to mobilize secretions
b. Rotational beds will do this for you
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
Brief Pathophysiology
1. Hospital-acquired (HAP)
a. Affects 10-25% of ICU patients
b. Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) incidence is 6-21 times higher
than in non-ventilated patients.
2. Factors that lead to colonization of the respiratory tract
a. ↓ salivary flow rate
b. Poor oral hygiene
c. Systemic antibiotics
d. No oral fluids or food
3. How colonization takes place
a. Nosocomial pathogens are transmitted from one patient to the next
b. Subglottic secretions pool above the endotracheal tube cuff: within 24
hours 95% of ETs were partially covered with bacteria, and 84% were
completely covered.
c. Nasally placed NG tubes lead to colonization of the nasopharynx
d. Gut failure leads to translocation of bacteria: early enteral feedings have
been shown to decrease the risk of pneumonia and other secondary
e. Metabolic acidosis increases the risk of colonization
4. Risk factors
a. Advanced age
b. Pre-existing chronic disease
c. Immunosuppression
d. Medications
i. Steroids
ii. Antibiotic therapy
iii. Antacids
iv. Aerosol treatments
e. Mechanical ventilation
f. Endotracheal intubation / tracheostomy
g. Surgery
5. Diagnostic Tests
a. Bronchoscopy
b. Bronchial lavage
6. Labs
a. ↑ WBC
b. Cultures
i. Sputum
ii. Bronchial lavage
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
7. Symptoms
a. Dyspnea
b. Productive cough
c. Change in sputum amount and color
d. Fatigue, weakness, malaise
e. Friction rub
8. Signs (from the Eole Study: Montravers, et al. 2002)
a. Fever (average 38.5°C)
b. ↑ RR (average 30)
c. WBC > 10,000/mm3 (82%)
d. Evidence on CXR (80%)
e. Need for oxygen therapy (76%)
f. ↓ pO2:FiO2 (69%)
g. Intubation (46%)
h. Sputum production & abnormal breath sounds (64%)
9. Treatment:
a. Prevention
ii. Pulmonary hygiene
iii. Care of equipment
iv. Hydration
b. Antibiotics
c. Consider antibiotic rotation to prevent resistant nosocomial infections
d. Enteral feeding
Complications 5%
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
Air-leak Syndromes (pneumothorax/pericardium/mediastinum, PIE)
1. Types:
a. Pneumothorax
b. Spontaneous
c. Traumatic
d. Iatrogenic
e. Tension
f. Open
g. Mediastinal drainage
i. Post-CABG
ii. Air
h. Pleural
i. Effusion
ii. Empyema
Chest Wall
Pleural space: normally
has a negative 3-5cmH2O
2. Nursing Interventions
a. Ensure analgesia during placement
b. Sterile technique
c. Sutured in place to prevent dislodgment
d. Attach to drainage system
e. Sterile, occlusive dressing
f. Confirm placement
3. Chest Drainage System
a. Suction control
i. Water column
ii. Dial control
b. Water seal
c. Collection chamber
4. Avoiding Complications
a. Avoid “stripping” to decrease trauma
b. Report drainage of more than 100 cc/hr
c. Keep tubing free from obstruction
d. Maintain sterile, occlusive dressing
e. Assess
i. Site
ii. Tube
iii. Output
iv. Patency
5. Critical Situations
a. Tension pneumothorax
b. Sudden ↑ or ↓ in drainage
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
6. Common Problems
a. System fell over
b. Patient transfer
c. Specimen collection
d. Water level has changed
e. Clots
f. Replacing the system
Components of a properly functioning chest
drainage system:
• Gentle bubbling in the suction chamber
• No bubbling in the water seal
• Gentle rising and falling in the water
seal with respiration
7. Chest Tube Removal
a. Lung re-expansion
b. Preparation for removal
i. Clamping for 2 hours
ii. Pain control during removal
c. Dressing
i. 1st occlusive
ii. DSD thereafter
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
Asthma / COPD
1. Circadian influence
a. Worst function around 3 am
b. Best function around 3 pm
2. Risk factors for death from severe asthma attacks
a. Previous severe asthma attacks
b. Hypercapnia
c. Airway hyper-reactivity
d. Long-term steroid therapy
e. Age
f. Noncompliance
g. Psychiatric illness
3. Warning signs of a severe asthma attack
a. Subjective increase in dyspnea
b. Increases in sleep disturbances
c. Increase in nocturnal bronchodilator use
d. Morning chest stiffness or heaviness
e. Increase in cough frequency or severity
f. Runny nose or sneezing bouts
4. Manifestations
a. Immediate bronchoconstriction (early-phase reaction)
b. Dyspnea, tachypnea (> 30 bpm)
c. Tachycardia (> 120 bpm)
d. Wheezing
e. Cough (sputum can be yellow due to eosinophils)
f. Accessory muscle use (retractions & nasal flaring in children)
g. Orthopnea
CCRN: Test Prep
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↓ FEV1 may reach 30-35% of personal best
Pulsus paradoxus > 10 mmHg
↑ PAP due to vasoconstriction and alveolar overdistention
Shunt develops
Hypoxia, hypercapnia will develop as the attack progresses
Delayed airway obstruction, inflammation and hyper-responsiveness (latephase reaction)
i. Symptoms may seem to relapse within 8-24 hours
a. Bronchodilators:
i. Beta-agonists
1. Low dose 2.5mg every 20 minutes X3 (7.5mg)
2. High dose 7.5mg every 20 minutes X3 (22.5mg)
3. Intermittent dosing as effective as continuous infusion
ii. Anticholenergics
1. 0.5mg every 4-8 hours
iii. Steroids
iv. IV Magnesium
1. Acts as a bronchodilator, ↓ inflammation
2. Greatest effect in most severe cases
3. 2 grams IV
b. Antibiotics
i. Viral infections more common
ii. Get sputum sample and treat accordingly
iii. Strong link between sinus infections and asthma exacerbations
c. Assisted ventilation
i. BiPAP 5 – 7.5 cmH2O
ii. Oral intubation is recommended
1. Asthmatics frequently have sinusitis
iii. Sedation with Propofol may induce bronchodilation
iv. Avoid paralytic agents: can cause myopathies
d. Anxiety control
e. The National Asthma Education Program
i. Patient education reduces ER visits and hospitalizations.
ii. Patients managed by allergists had fewer hospitalizations and ER
visits than those managed by the primary physician.
f. Immune modification
g. Allergy control
h. Patients exposed to cats and dogs in the first year of life had less incidence
of asthma
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
1. Economic impact
a. More than 14 million Americans are affected to some degree
b. Second largest financial impact on the Social Security Disability system
(second only to heart disease)
c. Forth leading cause of death
d. 45% have restrictions on their activity level
2. Etiology
a. Cigarette smoking (80-90%)
b. Air pollution
c. Occupation: Coal miners, firefighters
d. Genetic link?
e. Hyper-reactive airways
f. Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency
3. Review of pathophysiology
a. Emphysema: permanent enlargement of the terminal airspaces with
destruction of their walls.
b. Chronic bronchitis: chronic, productive cough for more than 3 months in
two consecutive years.
c. Inactivation of alpha-1 antitrypsin
i. Stimulation of alveolar macrophages to attract neutrophils
ii. Inhibits enzymes that synthesize and repair elastic fibers
iii. Destruction of the elastic fibers allows small airways to collapse
iv. Collapse of the small airways causes air-trapping
v. Inflammation occurs from deposits of irritant substances
vi. Proliferation of goblet cells
vii. Enlargement of mucous glands
viii. Smooth muscle hypertrophy
ix. Fibrosis
x. Breaks down alveolar walls, resulting in bulla
4. Manifestations
a. PFTs
i. ↑ TLC
ii. ↑ FRC
iii. ↓ FEV1 to <1L
b. Hypercapnia, hypoxia
c. Dyspnea
d. Fatigue
e. Productive cough with changes in amount or color or sputum
f. Wheezing
g. Paradoxical respirations
h. Change in mental status
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
5. Criteria for ICU admission
a. Respiratory muscle fatigue
b. Need for ventilatory assistance
c. Refractory hypoxemia
d. Respiratory acidosis (pH <7.30)
e. Cardiovascular instability
6. Pulmonary care
a. Bronchodilation
b. Beta2-agonist
c. Albuterol: beta2 smooth muscle relaxant
i. 4 puffs using MDI & spacer = 2.5mg via aerosol
ii. Some studies show no effect on airway resistance
iii. Only about 3% is deposited in the airways
iv. MDI q 30-60 min. until effective or side effects occur
v. Aerosol 2.5mg
d. Anticholinergic: inhibits vagal mediated smooth muscle contraction
i. Atrovent (ipratropium bromide)
ii. MDI 4 puffs or aerosol 0.5mg q 4-8 hours
e. Aminophylline: xanthine smooth muscle relaxant
i. ? bronchodilator effect
ii. Improves secretion clearance & diaphragm contractility
iii. Loading dose: 5-6 mg/kg
iv. Followed by a continuous infusion: 0.5mg/kg/hr
v. Therapeutic level: 8-12 mg/ml
f. Steroids: anti-inflammatory agent
i. 60-125 mg IV for 24 hours, then
ii. 60-80 mg P.O. tapering dose for 10-14 days
g. Antipyretics
i. Fever increases O2 consumption and CO2 production
ii. Can be as much as 10% for each degree Fahrenheit
h. Oxygen
i. Maintain PaO2 >60mmHg
ii. Maintain O2 Sat >90%
i. Maintain patency of the airway
i. Humidification of inspired gases
ii. Airway adjuncts
iii. Suctioning
j. Percussion, vibration, and postural drainage
k. Ambulation, turning & positioning, forced expiration, incentive
7. Assisted ventilation
a. If ↑ PCO2 without ↓ pH, pt. is probably a CO2 retainer
b. If ↑ PCO2 with ↓ pH, pt. may require mechanical ventilation
CCRN: Test Prep
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8. Non-invasive: CPAP, BiPAP
a. Must be alert, cooperative, able to handle secretions, and stable
9. Mechanical ventilation
a. May be needed to rest the respiratory muscles
i. ↓ WOB
ii. ↓ Oxygen consumption
b. Improve gas exchange
c. Simplify suctioning
10. Antibiotics may be indicated for:
a. Change in sputum
b. To prevent complications
11. Lung-volume reduction surgery
12. Goals of therapy
a. Prevent disease progression
b. Relieve symptoms
c. Improve exercise tolerance
d. Improve health status
e. Prevent and treat exacerbations
f. Prevent and treat complications
g. Reduce mortality
h. Minimize side effects from treatment
13. Pulmonary rehabilitation
Internet sites:
Global initiative for asthma: www.ginasthma.com
American Lung Association: www.lungusa.org
Global initiative for COPD: www.goldcopd.com
COPD Support: www.copd-support.org
COPD: www.ibreathe.com
American Lung Association: www.lungusa.org
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
Chest Trauma
1. Etiology
a. Blunt
b. Penetrating
Level of injury corresponds with specific anatomical injuries:
Level of injury
Hyoid bone
Cricoid cartilage
Suprasternal notch
Tracheal bifurcation, aortic arch
Pulmonary artery
Vena caval foramen in diaphragm
Esophageal hiatus in diaphragm
Aortic hiatus in diaphragm
Right crus of diaphragm
Pulmonary Contusion: bruising of the pulmonary tissues
1. Etiology
a. Usually blunt trauma
2. Pathophysiology
a. Bruising causes stimulation of inflammation
b. ↑ capillary permeability
c. Fluid leaks out causing pulmonary edema
d. WBC’s migrate to area
e. Fluid, inflammatory debris, damaged cells form pus and disrupt the
capillary/alveolar membrane
f. Alveoli collapse and decrease FRC, causing hypoxemia
3. Manifestations
a. Look for contusions on chest wall
b. Tachypnea
c. Dyspnea
d. Blood-tinged sputum
e. Increased airway/peak pressures
f. Decreased PaO2:FiO2
4. Treatment
a. Airway
b. Mechanical ventilation with PEEP
c. Negative fluid balance (if possible) to control pulmonary edema
5. Complications
a. Infection
CCRN: Test Prep
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Rib Fractures
Simple fractures may result in ↓ ventilation due to pain
Multiple fractures can result in flail segments
Bone fragments can rupture skin or disrupt underlying tissues
1st rib fractures are associated with a higher incidence of great vessel injury and
cervical spine injury.
Lower rib fractures (7 to 12) are associated with abdominal injuries
a. Look for signs of contusion
b. Pleuritic pain
c. ↓ respiratory effort
d. X-ray, CT scan
a. Physiologic splinting
b. Rib belts
a. Pneumothorax
b. Hemothorax
c. Underlying tissue damage
Flail Chest
Results from fractures of two or more segments of ribs
Allows a free floating segment that moves paradoxically
Lung does not expand as usual, resulting in hypoxemia
Segment may cause damage to surrounding tissue
a. Pleuritic pain
b. Dyspnea
c. Deformity (increases as muscle spasm decreases)
d. Crepitus
e. Hypoxemia
6. Treatment
a. Oxygen
b. Ventilation
c. Stabilize with tape (one side only, do not wrap chest)
7. Complications
a. Pneumothorax
b. Atelectasis
CCRN: Test Prep
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Collection of air in the pleural space → Loss of negative pressure eliminates pull to
open lungs → Lung collapses
1. Etiology
a. Rib fractures
b. Penetrating trauma
c. Blunt trauma, without exhalation
2. Types
a. Simple: air escapes from lung structures into pleural space
b. Spontaneous: bleb on lung ruptures
c. Tension: pleural pressure is positive, causing displacement of mediastium
and opposite lung.
3. Manifestations
a. Dyspnea
b. Hypoxemia
c. Decreased breath sounds on affected side
d. X-ray, CT scan
4. Treatment
a. Observation
b. Chest drainage
c. Chest tube
d. Thoracic catheter
e. Needle thoracotomy for tension pneumothorax
f. McSwain dart
5. Complications
a. Tension pneumothorax
Collection of blood in the pleural space
1. Source:
Left Hemothorax
Rib fracture
Right Hemothorax
Rib fracture
2. Manifestations
a. Dyspnea
b. Tachypnea
c. Cyanosis, hypoxemia
d. Shock
3. Treatment
a. Chest drainage
b. Volume replacement
c. Thorocotomy
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
d. Auto-transfusion
i. Advantages
1. Blood is readily available
2. Requires no cross-matching
3. Avoid the risk of AIDS, HbV
4. Platelet counts and 2,3 DPG ; levels near normal maximizing
clotting and oxygenation
5. May overcome denial based on religious belief
ii. Contraindications
1. Known malignancy
2. Renal / liver failure
3. Wounds greater than 3 hours old
4. Bowel or stomach contamination
e. Complications:
i. Emergency thoracotomy may be necessary if there is:
ii. Greater than 1500 ml of blood evacuated on initial removal
iii. Continued bleeding of >300 ml/hr (150 ml/hr in elderly) for more
than 3 hours
iv. Hemodynamic instability
v. Tension hemothorax
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
Neurologic (5%) 8 questions
1. Brief loss of consciousness, followed by a lucid period, followed by a secondary
loss of consciousness is characteristic of which traumatic brain injury?
a. Subdural hematoma
b. Subarachnoid hemorrhage
c. Epidural hemorrhage
d. Concussion
2. The most common cause of subarachnoid hemorrhage is:
a. Aneurysms
b. Coagulopathies
c. Trauma from falls
d. Ischemia
3. Which of the following statements best describes transient ischemic attacks
a. Damage and symptoms resolve
b. Damage and symptoms are permanent
c. Damage is permanent, but symptoms resolve
d. Damage is permanent, there are no symptoms
4. The best indicator of changes in neurological function in the alert patient is:
a. Changes in behavior
b. Disorientation
c. Unresponsiveness
d. Pupil changes
5. In a patient with increased intracranial pressure, cerebral perfusion pressure
should be maintained at:
a. 40 mmHg
b. 50 mmHg
c. 60 mmHg
d. 70 mmHg
6. The most sensitive indicator of changes in intracranial pressure in patients who
are unresponsive is:
a. Change in systolic blood pressure
b. Change in pupil response
c. Blood glucose levels
d. Response of the cranial nerves
CCRN: Test Prep
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7. Nursing intervention for the neuro patient should include:
a. Not clustering activities
b. Performing frequent neuro checks
c. Administering diuretics
d. Positioning in the prone position
8. If hyperventilation is used to control increased intracranial pressure it should be
directed at achieving the goal of:
a. Decreasing the CO2 to 32-35
b. Increasing the pO2 to 200
c. Maintaining a respiratory rate of 30
d. Lowering the pH
Bleeds, Aneurysms, AVMs
1. Subdural
a. Acute (first 48 hours)
b. Subacute (2 days to 2 weeks)
c. Chronic (after 2 weeks)
2. Epidural
a. Usually arterial
b. LOC, followed by lucid period, followed again by LOC
3. Subarachnoid
a. (see aneurysms)
4. Intracerebral
a. Slow developing
b. Progressive ↓ in LOC
c. Poor prognosis
CCRN: Test Prep
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A saccular outpouching of a cerebral vessel, which can burst and result in SAH.
90% are berry aneurysms, occur in the circle of Willis.
1. Classification
a. Small: < 10mm
b. Medium: 10-15mm
c. Large: 15-25mm
d. Giant: 25-50mm
e. Super-giant: > 50mm
2. Unruptured
a. Most are asymptomatic
b. Signs / symptoms:
i. Dilated pupils
ii. EOM
iii. Eye pain
iv. Localized headache
v. Neck rigidity
vi. Photophobia
3. Ruptured
a. Bleeds into subarachnoid or intracerebral space
b. Signs / symptoms:
i. “Explosive” headache
ii. ↓ LOC
iii. Nausea & vomiting
iv. EKG changes
CCRN: Test Prep
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Hunt-Hess Classification of Subarachnoid Hemorrhage
Mild cranial nerve dysfunction
Mild focal deficit, lethargy, confusion
↓ LOC, hemiparesis, abnormal posturing
Deep coma, posturing
4. Diagnosis:
a. CT scan
i. Usually can detect SAH
b. CTA
i. Pretty good sensitivity/specificity
c. MRI
i. Not helpful in the first 24 hours
d. Angiography
i. “Gold Standard”
5. Treatment:
a. Surgical
i. Wrapping
ii. Trapping
iii. Clipping
b. Post-op care:
i. Blood pressure control
(120-150 systolic)
ii. Watch for vasospasm!
1. Gradual ↓ in LOC
2. Focal
a. Hemiparesis
b. Cranial nerve deficit
c. Aphasia
iii. Fluid volume control
1. Triple-H therapy
a. Hypervolemic
i. NS, albumin
b. Hypertensive
c. Hemodilution
iv. Medications
a. Nimodipine
b. Anticonvulsants
c. Stool softeners
d. Steroids
e. Analgesics
f. Sedatives
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
Arteriovenous Malformations
1. Types:
a. Capillary Telangiectases
b. Cavernous Malformations
c. Venous Malformations
d. Arteriovenous Malformations
2. Signs & symptoms
a. Intracerebral bleeding
b. Seizures
c. Headache
i. Recurrent, migraine-like
d. Progressive neurological deficits
3. Treatment:
a. Surgery
b. Embolization
c. Radiosurgery
d. Conservative medical management
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
Neurosurgical Complications
1. Vascular events that result in temporary, focal neurological findings
2. Characteristics:
a. Maximal dysfunction within 5 minutes
b. Resolve within 15 minutes (may persist for 24 hours)
c. If resolution occurs within 21 days termed: Reversible Ischemic Neurological
Deficit (RIND).
3. Etiology:
a. Cardiac & atherosclerotic plaques
b. Arterial obstruction
c. Arterial inflammation
d. Hematologic abnormalities
4. May be a precursor to stroke
Ischemic Stroke
1. Risk factors
a. Hypertension
b. Cardiac disease, hyperlipidemia
c. TIA’s, previous stroke
d. Diabetes
e. Asymptomatic carotid bruit
f. Oral contraceptives
2. Types:
a. Thrombotic
1) Atherosclerotic vessel narrowing
2) TIAs may precede
b. Lacunar
1) Thrombus occurs in small arteries of the deep gray or white matter
2) Occurs frequently in pts. with HTN
c. Embolic
1) Accounts for 20% of ischemic strokes
2) Carotids
3) Cardiac origin:
Diseased heart valves
Infectious endocarditis
d. Perioperative
8% focal neuro deficits
10% diffuse encephaolpathy
50-80% cognitive deficits
2) Hypotension
CCRN: Test Prep
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1. Etiology:
a. Bleeding
b. Infection
c. Ischemia
d. Electrolyte disorders
2. Precipitating factors:
a. Stress
b. Sleep deprivation
c. Fever
d. Alcohol or drug withdraw
3. Types:
a. Partial
b. Complex partial
c. Generalized
4. Phases:
a. Aura
b. Sensory or motor
c. Post-ictal
5. Nursing care
a. Precautions
i. Bed low and locked
ii. Pad side rails
iii. Airway, oxygen and suction at bedside
b. Management of the seizure
i. Protect patient from injury
ii. Maintain airway
iii. Documentation
iv. Antiepileptic medications
1. Valium
2. Dilantin
3. Phenobarbital
4. Propofol
5. Tegretol
6. Valproate
c. Post-ictal care
i. Neuro check
ii. Support airway and breathing
iii. Monitor EKG
iv. Assess for cause
CCRN: Test Prep
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1. Intrinsic (bloodborne)
2. Extrinsic (sinus infection, contaminated CSF)
3. Organisms
a. H-flu
b. Neisseria meningitis
c. Streptococci pneumonia
d. Pneumococcal
e. Viruses
f. Fungi
4. Signs and symptoms
a. Headache
b. Neck rigidity
c. Fever
d. ↑ WBC
e. Neurologic degeneration
f. CT: usually negative
g. CSF analysis
5. Treatment
a. Supportive
b. Antibiotics
c. Steroids
d. Surgical
Abnormal protrusion of the brain
1. Protrudes out of its cavity
2. Movement is:
a. Lateral
b. Down
3. Protrusion goes into the midbrain and brain
a. Local signs followed by central signs
i. ↓ LOC
ii. Pupil changes
iii. Motor and reflexes
1. Flexion
2. Extension
iv. Cushing’s triad
v. Decompensation
4. Treatment
a. ↓ ICP
b. Surgical
CCRN: Test Prep
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ICP Monitoring Techniques
1. Intracranial monitoring
a. Pressure
1. Epidural
2. Subdural
3. Subarachnoid
4. Intraparenchymal
5. Intraventricular
CCRN: Test Prep
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b. Normal waveform
c. Intracranial Pressure Waveforms
1. A-waves
2. B-waves
3. C-waves
d. Cerebral perfusion pressure (CPP)
e. Cerebral oxygenation
(1) Jugular venous oxygen saturation (Norm: 60-75%)
1. INVOS® Cerebral Oximeter
a. Cerebral oxygenation
2. BIS Monitor
a. Brain activity
b. Tested only for use in sedation
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
Management of Increased Intracranial Pressure
Causes of ↑ ICP
1. Vasogenic Edema
a. Disruption of blood/brain barrier
b. Allows fluid and proteins to “leak” into brain tissue
c. Etiology:
(1) Trauma
(2) Ischemia
(3) Tumor
(4) Infection
(5) Brain abscess
2. Cytotoxic Edema
a. Hypoxic injury causes intracellular swelling
b. Etiology:
(1) Trauma
(2) Cerebral hemorrhage
(3) Hypo-osmolar states
3. Interstitial Edema
a. Increased CSF production or decreased removal
b. Etiology:
(1) Infection
(2) Cerebral aneurysm rupture
(3) Brain tumor
CCRN: Test Prep
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Evidence of cerebral edema (increased ICP)
1. Signs / symptoms
a. Decreased level of consciousness
b. Alterations in thought process
c. Headache, nausea, vomiting
d. Sensory loss, paresthesias
e. Motor loss, paralysis
f. Pupil changes
g. Alteration in body temperature
h. Seizures
Multisystem effects of increased intracranial pressure
1. Gastrointestinal bleeding
2. EKG abnormalities
a. T-wave changes
b. S-T elevation / depression
c. Q-waves
d. Arrhythmias
Management of ↑ ICP
1. ↓ ICP
2. Balance oxygen supply and demand using the Ventilation-Perfusion Train
Cardiac Output
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
Medical & nursing interventions
1. Cerebral perfusion
a. Thrombolytics
b. Anticoagulants
c. Angiography
2. Oxygenation
a. Supply and demand
i. ↑ FiO2 / PO2
ii. ↑ CO
iii. ↓ VO
3. Hyperventilation
a. Effects are temporary
b. Must be sustained
4. Steroids
a. ↓ inflammation
5. Mannitol
a. ↓ volume
b. Neuroprotective effect
6. Decreasing metabolic activity
a. ↓ temp
b. ↓ activity
7. Surgical release
↓ B/P
↑ CO2
↓ O2
↓ pH
Cerebral Perfusion
Normal: 60-100
↑ B/P
↓ CO2
↑ O2
↑ pH
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
Endocrine (4%) 6 questions
1. The “cardinal sign” of SIADH is?
a. Hyponatremia
b. Urinary output of 10 liters/day
c. Hypotension
d. Systemic edema
2. Which of the following are characteristic of diabetes insipidus?
a. Low urine osmolarlity
b. Serum osmolarlity increased
c. Serum sodium elevated
d. All of the above
3. The nurse understands that the primary cause of the classic clinical manifestations
in HHS is:
a. Rapid decrease in plasma osmolality
b. Markedly elevated serum glucose
c. Intravascular dehydration
d. Serum electrolyte abnormality
4. The altered mental status in a patient in HHS results from:
a. Hyperosmolality of plasma
b. Intracerebral dehydration
c. Severe osmotic diuresis from hyperglycemia
d. Intravascular dehydration
5. When plasma glucose falls to 250 mg% in acute DKA, IV fluids should be
changed to D5 1/2NS to prevent which of the following?
a. Hyperglycemia
b. Hyperkalemia
c. Cerebral edema
d. Somogyi effect
6. Nursing care for the patient with hypoglycemia may include which of the
a. Administering D50 IV push
b. Giving skim milk to the alert patient
c. Providing additional nutrients with a meal
d. All of the above
CCRN: Test Prep
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1. Functions
A. Metabolic functions
B. STRESS response
C. Growth and development
D. Fluid and electrolytes
E. Adaptation and reproduction
Diabetes Insipidus (DI)
1. Etiology
a. Neurogenic
b. Nephrogenic
c. Psychogenic
2. Clinical Presentation
a. Polyuria
b. Thirst
c. Fatigue
d. Dehydration
e. Neurologic
f. Urine Specific Gravity
g. Serum Sodium
h. BUN ↑
i. Serum Osmolality
j. Serum ADH level
k. Water Deprivation Test
3. Diagnostic
a. Serum Na
b. BUN
c. ↑ Serum Osmolality
4. Management
a. Detect clinical indications of DI
b. Monitor urine output, wt, serum labs, hypovolemia
c. Correct fluid deficit
d. Hypotonic solutions
CCRN: Test Prep
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Syndrome of Inappropriate Anti-diuretic Hormone (SIADH)
1. Etiology
a. Neurogenic
b. Ectopic tumor
c. Nephrogenic
d. Pulmonary
e. Hypoxia, stress, multifactorial in ICU patient
2. Clinical Presentation
a. Oliguria: urine output less than 0.5 ml/kg/hr
b. Urine Specific Gravity: > 1.030
c. Clinical indications of overhydration
d. Anorexia, N+V, diarrhea
e. Dyspnea and pulmonary edema
f. HA, personality changes, altered LOC
g. Seizures
h. Muscle weakness or cramps
i. Serum Na <120mEq/liter
j. BUN ↑↑
k. Serum osmolality ↑↑
l. Serum ADH level ↑↑ if neurogenic
3. Treatment
a. Detect SIADH
b. Monitor urine output, specific gravity
c. Treat cause
d. Surgery to remove malignancy
e. Demeclocycline, phenytoin, lithium to inhibit the effect of ADH on the
renal tubule
f. DC causative drugs
g. Correct fluid volume excess
h. Correct electrolyte imbalance
i. Institute seizure precautions
CCRN: Test Prep
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Diabetes (DM, DKA, HHNK)
Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA)
1. Presentation
a. Glucose
b. Na, K
c. Ketones, BUN/creatinine
d. Serum osmolality
e. Metabolic acidosis from ketosis
f. WBC’s
g. N/V, abdominal pain
h. Polyphagia, polydipsia, polyuria
i. Dehydration
j. Tachycardia, orthostatic hypotension
k. Kussmaul’s breathing
l. Lethargy progressing to coma
2. Treatment
a. Identify and treat cause
b. Correct fluid volume deficit
c. Normalize serum glucose
d. Replace electrolytes
e. Correct acid-base balance
f. Maintain safety
g. Treat infection
3. Complications
a. CV
b. Neurologic
c. Renal
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic Syndrome (HHS)
1. Etiology
a. Dehydration
2. Clinical Presentation
a. Tachycardia, orthostatic hypotension, volume deficit, neurologic
b. Glucose >> 600-2000
c. Na, K, Serum osmolality
d. ABG’s: metabolic acidosis from hypotension
3. Treatment
a. ABC’s
b. Identify cause
c. Correct fluid deficit
d. Normalize serum glucose level
e. Correct electrolyte imbalance
f. Safety
g. Monitor for complications
Mild to Moderate
Treatment: restore normal serum glucose
Serum Sodium Serum Osmolality Urine Osmolality
Diabetes Insipidus
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
Endocrine Pearls
SIADH = low sodium levels
Fluid restrict
DI = neurological injury
Volume replacement
Vasopressin = ADH = Pitressin
Normal serum osmolality = 275-295
Acidosis causes shift of cellular K to serum
American Diabetes Association: www.diabetes.org
Endocrine Web: www.endocrineweb.com
Thyroid Today: www.thyroidtoday.com
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
Professional Caring and Ethical Practice (20%) 30 questions
1. Resiliency is the patient’s ability to:
a. Avoid illness
b. Adapt to his illness
c. Accept his illness
d. Recover from his illness
2. The extended family of a critically-ill patient wants to stay at his bedside around
the clock. Hospital policy limits visiting times and number of visitors. The best
response from the nurse is to:
a. Explain the policy and ask them to leave
b. Bring in cots and chairs for the family to stay
c. Find a local hotel for the family
d. Allow one or two family members to stay
3. In communicating with the family of a dying patient it is important to:
a. Find little improvements to give them hope
b. Provide accurate information
c. Direct all questions back to the physician
d. Reassure them that it is God’s will
4. Your patient is diagnosed with anoxic brain injury. The family overhears a
physician stating that dialysis would improve the patient’s condition. Your best
response to the family would be:
a. Explain to them that this physician does not have all the facts
b. Reinforce the diagnosis, and the limited value of dialysis
c. Speak to the physician about his comments and the patient’s prognosis
d. Ignore the concern and ask the family to sign a DNR form
5. Which statement best describes the nursing process?
a. Assessment, planning, implementation, and evaluation
b. Planning, implementation, and teaching
c. Diagnosing and evaluation
d. Charting and staffing
6. The most common cause for the patient to file a nursing negligence claim is:
a. Medication errors
b. Sloppy work by the nurse
c. Ineffective communication
d. Poor outcomes
CCRN: Test Prep
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7. Having a responsibility to a patient describes which essential element of
a. Duty
b. Negligence
c. Causation
d. Proximal cause
8. A patient can file a negligence claim if:
a. They perceive a bad outcome as a result of care
b. You actually made a mistake
c. Your unit was understaffed
d. They suffer from residual pain
9. In order to meet the standard of care required during your treatment of a patient,
you must:
a. Deliver exceptional care
b. Use the most up-to-date equipment and treatments
c. Act as a reasonable and prudent nurse would
d. Meet all of the patient’s expectations
10. In error, you give your patient a medication that was meant for another patient.
Your best response would be to:
a. Ignore the error, it probably won’t hurt him
b. Tell the physician, but not the patient
c. Tell the patient about the error, chart it, and consult with the physician
d. Call pharmacy and ask for an antidote
11. The role of the staff nurse in the research process is to:
a. Test hypotheses
b. Develop research questions
c. Perform statistical analysis
d. Test theories
12. A new research study shows that an intervention would help your critically-ill
patient. The best action to take would be:
a. Implement the strategy, even though it is contrary to hospital policy
b. Ask the physician to order the intervention
c. Request a policy change from administration
d. Bring the study results to the attention of the physician and administration
CCRN: Test Prep
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13. If you feel that one of your hospital’s policies is outdated and ineffective, the best
action to take is to:
a. Complain loudly about it
b. Learn how to navigate the system to change it
c. Tell your patients about it
d. Ridicule it publicly on an internet discussion group
14. If the critical-care nurse has questions about a patient’s response to therapy, it is
his responsibility to:
a. Seek the education to fully understand it
b. Not let it bother him
c. Ignore it, this is the physician’s realm
d. Refuse to treat the patient
15. Mr. Squash has a subdural hematoma with increased intracranial pressure. He is
very anxious and wants his wife to stay at the bedside. In order to decrease his
stimuli and treat his increased intracranial pressure, the nurse should:
a. Ask his wife to leave, so he can sleep
b. Leave his wife at the bedside and decrease the room brightness
c. Check his pupils often for changes
d. Have his wife come in frequently for support
16. Ms. Regal was involved in a motor-vehicle accident (MVA) and is in critical
condition. Her mother is at the bedside and is found applying a homeopathic
cream to her forehead. Your best response would be:
a. Immediately wash off the cream and ban the mother from unsupervised
b. Explain that homeopathic treatments are of limited value
c. Obtain more information about the treatment
d. Call security
17. During your admission assessment, you find that your patient takes the herbal
preparation Ginseng daily. Your assessment should include:
a. Assessing for hypotesnion
b. Watching for bleeding
c. Analyzing blood lipid levels
d. Evaluating for depression
18. The physician orders prone positioning for a patient with ARDS. As his nurse
you recognize that his safety will be maintained by:
a. Assuring that adequate personnel are available to position the patient
b. Disconnecting the ventilator during positioning
c. Explaining the need for prone positioning to the family
d. Preparing for CPR in the prone position
CCRN: Test Prep
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19. A nurse new to your unit is having trouble using your monitors. Your best
response is to:
a. Provide the operational manual for the monitor
b. Assist her with the operation of the monitor
c. Set up the monitor for her
d. Answer her questions as she sets up the monitor
20. You are asked to float to a unit you are unfamiliar with. Your responsibility to
that unit will be to:
a. Provide care at the level of the regular employees on that unit
b. Provide basic nursing care that is consistent with your licensure
c. Provide care that is consistent with your units standards
d. Provide only the care that you wish to
21. A float nurse is assigned to your unit. You can best support her by:
a. Providing her with a brief orientation
b. Telling her to call on you with any questions
c. Giving her your policy manual
d. Assigning her to the least acute patients
22. One of your colleagues is having difficulty with a patient’s family. As a
professional nurse, you should:
a. Offer to take the assignment
b. Suggest active listening techniques
c. Tell her to ignore the family
d. Talk to the family yourself
23. Professional education and development is the responsibility of:
a. Your hospital
b. Your manager
c. Your state nursing association
d. Yourself
24. Members of the nursing staff are developing written patient education materials
for a group of patients with diverse reading abilities. It would be most effective for
the staff to:
a. Design individual handouts for each patient
b. Develop a computer-based education series.
c. Write the materials at a fourth-grade reading level.
d. Limit text and provide color pictures.
CCRN: Test Prep
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25. The best method for assuring patient compliance with changing negative health
behaviors is to:
a. Ask the patient which behaviors he would like to change
b. Tell the patient which behaviors he needs to change
c. Emphasize the dangers of negative health behaviors
d. Provide written materials that tell him where to follow-up
26. The nursing staff is resisting being assigned to a disruptive patient. An
appropriate resolution would be to:
a. Request the physician to transfer the patient
b. Rotate the patient assignment among staff.
c. Confront the family and demand an end to the disruptive behavior.
d. Hold a nursing team conference to discuss possible alternatives
27. A nurse who is able to synthesize multiple data sources and respond to a dynamic
situation is at which level of professional practice?
a. Novice
b. Advanced beginner
c. Expert
d. Retired
28. Your patient’s family has requested to be present during CPR. Your best
response is to:
a. Let them stay if they are out of the way
b. Explain that they have to leave for legal reasons
c. Follow your hospital policy
d. Call security
29. You learned about a new procedure at a nursing conference. The most effective
method to assure its implementation at your hospital is to:
a. Obtain references and present the information to hospital administration
b. Tell your physicians that they are providing poor car and need to be
c. Ask your administration to look into the subject
d. Forget it, things will never change around here
30. The most important value of seeking certification is:
a. To prove that you’re better than your co-workers
b. The process leads to higher levels of professional conduct
c. To validate your clinical skills
d. You will be worth more to your hospital
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
Basic Information About the AACN Synergy Model for Patient Care
The core concept of the reconceptualized model of certified practice - the AACN Synergy Model
for Patient Care - is that the needs or characteristics of patients and families influence and drive
the characteristics or competencies of nurses.
All patients have similar needs and experience these needs across wide ranges or continuums
from health to illness. Logically, the more compromised patients are, the more severe or complex
are their needs. The dimensions of a nurse's practice are driven by the needs of a patient and
family. This requires nurses to be proficient in the multiple dimensions of the nursing continuums.
When nurse competencies stem from patient needs and the characteristics of the nurse and
patient synergize, optimal patient outcomes can result.
NOTE: The point of the Synergy Model, and its incorporation into the CCRN and CCNS exams, is
not to have nurses memorize the various patient or nurse characteristics, or their levels; they are
presented here to help you begin to comprehend the model. Test questions will not cover the
terminology of the Synergy Model.
The Synergy Model was developed by the AACN Certification Corporation to link certified practice
to patient outcomes. The fundamental premise of this model is that patient characteristics drive
nurse competencies. When these characteristics and competencies are matched, optimal patient
outcomes are realized. The integration of the Synergy Model into AACN CertCorp’s credentialing
programs puts an emphasis on the patient, and says to the world that patients come first! Nurses
make a unique contribution to the quality of patient care, containment of costs, and patient
Patient Characteristics
Each patient and family is unique, with a varying capacity for health and vulnerability to illness.
When seeking healthcare, each person brings a set of unique characteristics to the care situation.
These patient characteristics span the continuum of health and illness:
Resiliency--the capacity to return to a restorative level of functioning using
compensatory coping mechanisms; the ability to bounce back quickly after an insult.
Level 1 - Minimally resilient - Unable to mount a response; failure of
compensatory/coping mechanisms; minimal reserves; brittle
Level 3 - Moderately resilient - Able to mount a moderate response; able to initiate some
degree of compensation; moderate reserves
Level 5 - Highly resilient - Able to mount and maintain a response; intact
compensatory/coping mechanisms; strong reserves; endurance
Vulnerability--susceptibility to actual or potential stressors that may adversely affect
patient outcomes.
Level 1 - Highly vulnerable - Susceptible; unprotected, fragile
Level 3 - Moderately vulnerable - Somewhat susceptible; somewhat protected
Level 5 - Minimally vulnerable - Safe; out of the woods; protected, not fragile
Stability--the ability to maintain a steady-state equilibrium.
Level 1 - Minimally stable - Labile; unstable; unresponsive to therapies; high risk of death
Level 3 - Moderately stable - Able to maintain steady state for limited period of time;
some responsiveness to therapies
Level 5 - Highly stable - Constant; responsive to therapies; low risk of death
Complexity--the intricate entanglement of two or more systems (e.g., body, family,
Level 1 - Highly complex - Intricate; complex patient/family dynamics; ambiguous/vague;
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
atypical presentation
Level 3 - Moderately complex - Moderately involved patient/family dynamics
Level 5 - Minimally complex - Straightforward; routine patient/family dynamics;
simple/clear cut; typical presentation
Resource availability--extent of resources (e.g., technical, fiscal, personal,
psychological, social) the patient, family and community bring to the situation.
Level 1 - Few resources - Necessary knowledge and skills not available; necessary
financial support not available; minimal personal/psychological supportive resources; few
social systems resources
Level 3 - Moderate resources - Limited knowledge and skills available; limited financial
support available; limited personal/psychological supportive resources; limited social
systems resources
Level 5 - Many resources - Extensive knowledge and skills available and accessible;
financial resources readily available; strong personal/psychological supportive resources;
strong social systems resources
Participation in care--extent to which the patient and family engage in aspects of care.
Level 1 - No participation - Patient and family unable or unwilling to participate in care
Level 3 - Moderate level of participation - Patient and family need assistance in care
Level 5 - Full participation - Patient and family fully able to participate in care
Participation in decision-making--extent to which the patient and family engage in
Level 1 - No participation - Patient and family have no capacity for decision-making;
requires surrogacy
Level 3 - Moderate level of participation - Patient and family have limited capacity; seeks
input/advice from others in decision-making
Level 5 - Full participation - Patient and family have capacity, and makes decision for self
Predictability--a summative characteristic that allows one to expect a certain trajectory
of illness.
Level 1 - Not predictable - Uncertain; uncommon patient population/illness; unusual or
unexpected course; does not follow critical pathway, or no critical pathway developed
Level 3 - Moderately predictable - Wavering; occasionally-noted patient population/illness
Level 5 - Highly predictable - Certain; common patient population/illness; usual and
expected course; follows critical pathway
For example:
A healthy, uninsured, 40-year-old woman undergoing a pre-employment physical could be
described as an individual who is (a) stable (b) not complex (c) very predictable (d) resilient (e)
not vulnerable (f) able to participate in decision-making and care, but (g) has inadequate resource
On the other hand: a critically ill infant with multisystem organ failure can be described as an
individual who is (a) unstable (b) highly complex (c) unpredictable (d) highly resilient (e)
vulnerable (f) unable to become involved in decision-making and care, but (g) has adequate
resource availability
Nurse Characteristics
Nursing care reflects an integration of knowledge, skills, experience, and attitudes needed to
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
meet the needs of patients and families. Thus, continuums of nurse characteristics are derived
from patient needs. The following are levels of expertise ranging from competent (1) to expert (5):
Clinical judgment--clinical reasoning, which includes clinical decision-making, critical
thinking, and a global grasp of the situation, coupled with nursing skills acquired through
a process of integrating formal and experiential knowledge.
Level 1 - Collects basic-level data; follows algorithms, decision trees, and protocols with
all populations and is uncomfortable deviating from them; matches formal knowledge with
clinical events to make decisions; questions the limits of one's ability to make clinical
decisions and delegates the decision-making to other clinicians; includes extraneous
Level 3 - Collects and interprets complex patient data; makes clinical judgments based
on an immediate grasp of the whole picture for common or routine patient populations;
recognizes patterns and trends that may predict the direction of illness; recognizes limits
and seeks appropriate help; focuses on key elements of case, while shorting out
extraneous details
Level 5 - Synthesizes and interprets multiple, sometimes conflicting, sources of data;
makes judgment based on an immediate grasp of the whole picture, unless working with
new patient populations; uses past experiences to anticipate problems; helps patient and
family see the "big picture;" recognizes the limits of clinical judgment and seeks multidisciplinary collaboration and consultation with comfort; recognizes and responds to the
dynamic situation
Advocacy/moral agency--working on another's behalf and representing the concerns of
the patient, family, and community; serving as a moral agent in identifying and helping to
resolve ethical and clinical concerns within the clinical setting.
Level 1 - Works on behalf of patient; self assesses personal values; aware of ethical
conflicts/issues that may surface in clinical setting; makes ethical/moral decisions based
on rules; represents patient when patient cannot represent self; aware of patients' rights
Level 3 - Works on behalf of patient and family; considers patient values and incorporates
in care, even when differing from personal values; supports colleagues in ethical and
clinical issues; moral decision-making can deviate from rules; demonstrates give and
take with patient's family, allowing them to speak/represent themselves when possible;
aware of patient and family rights
Level 5 - Works on behalf of patient, family, and community; advocates from
patient/family perspective, whether similar to or different from personal values; advocates
ethical conflict and issues from patient/family perspective; suspends rules - patient and
family drive moral decision-making; empowers the patient and family to speak
for/represent themselves; achieves mutuality within patient/professional relationships
Caring practices--the constellation of nursing activities that are responsive to the
uniqueness of the patient and family and that create a compassionate and therapeutic
environment, with the aim of promoting comfort and preventing suffering. These caring
behaviors include, but are not limited to, vigilance, engagement, and responsiveness.
Level 1 - Focuses on the usual and customary needs of the patient; no anticipation of
future needs; bases care on standards and protocols; maintains a safe physical
environment; acknowledges death as a potential outcome
Level 3 - Responds to subtle patient and family changes; engages with the patient as a
unique patient in a compassionate manner; recognizes and tailors caring practices to the
individuality of patient and family; domesticates the patient's and family's environment;
recognizes that death may be an acceptable outcome
Level 5 - Has astute awareness and anticipates patient and family changes and needs;
fully engaged with and sensing how to stand alongside the patient, family, and
community; caring practices follow the patient and family lead; anticipates hazards and
avoids them, and promotes safety throughout patient's and family's transitions along the
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healthcare continuum; orchestrates the process that ensures patient's/family's comfort
and concerns surrounding issues of death and dying are met
Collaboration--working with others (e.g., patients, families, healthcare providers) in a
way that promotes and encourages each person's contributions toward achieving optimal
and realistic patient goals. Collaboration involves intra- and interdisciplinary work with all
Level 1 - Willing to be taught, coached and/or mentored; participates in team meetings
and discussions regarding patient care and/or practice issues; open to various team
members' contributions
Level 3 - Seeks opportunities to be taught, coached, and/or mentored; elicits others'
advice and perspectives; initiates and participates in team meetings and discussions
regarding patient care and/or practice issues; recognizes and suggests various team
members' participation
Level 5 - Seeks opportunities to teach, coach, and mentor and to be taught, coached and
mentored; facilitates active involvement and complementary contributions of others in
team meetings and discussions regarding patient care and/or practice issues;
involves/recruits diverse resources when appropriate to optimize patient outcomes
Systems thinking--the body of knowledge and tools that allow the nurse to appreciate
the care environment from a perspective that recognizes the holistic interrelationship that
exists within and across healthcare systems.
Level 1 - Uses a limited array of strategies; limited outlook - sees the pieces or
components; does not recognize negotiation as an alternative; sees patient and family
within the isolated environment of the unit; sees self as key resource
Level 3 - Develops strategies based on needs and strengths of patient/family; able to
make connections within components; sees opportunity to negotiate but may not have
strategies; developing a view of the patient/family transition process; recognizes how to
obtain resources beyond self
Level 5 - Develops, integrates, and applies a variety of strategies that are driven by the
needs and strengths of the patient/family; global or holistic outlook - sees the whole
rather than the pieces; knows when and how to negotiate and navigate through the
system on behalf of patients and families; anticipates needs of patients and families as
they move through the healthcare system; utilizes untapped and alternative resources as
Response to diversity--the sensitivity to recognize, appreciate, and incorporate
differences into the provision of care. Differences may include, but are not limited to,
individuality, cultural differences (e.g., in child rearing, family relations), spiritual beliefs,
gender, race, ethnicity, disability, family configuration, lifestyle, socioeconomic status,
age values, and alternative medicine involving patients and their families and members of
the healthcare team.
Level 1 - Assesses cultural diversity; provides care based on own belief system; learns
the culture of the healthcare environment
Level 3 -Inquires about cultural differences and considers their impact on care;
accommodates personal and professional differences in the plan of care; helps
patient/family understand the culture of the healthcare system
Level 5 - Responds to, anticipates, and integrates cultural differences into patient/family
care; appreciates and incorporates differences, including alternative therapies, into care;
tailors healthcare culture, to the extent possible, to meet the diverse needs and strengths
of the patient/family
Clinical inquiry or Innovator/Evaluator--the ongoing process of questioning and
evaluating practice, providing informed practice, and innovating through research and
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© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
experiential learning. The nurse engages in clinical knowledge development to promote
the best patient outcomes.
Level 1 - Follows standards and guidelines; implements clinical changes and researchbased practices developed by others; recognizes the need for further learning to improve
patient care; recognizes obvious changing patient situation (e.g., deterioration, crisis);
needs and seeks help to identify patient problem
Level 3 - Questions appropriateness of policies and guidelines; questions current
practice; seeks advice, resources, or information to improve patient care; begins to
compare and contrast possible alternatives
Level 5 - Improves, deviates from, or individualizes standards and guidelines for
particular patient situations or populations; questions and/or evaluates current practice
based on patients' responses, review of the literature, research and education/learning;
acquires knowledge and skills needed to address questions arising in practice and
improve patient care; (The domains of clinical judgment and clinical inquiry converge at
the expert level; they cannot be separated)
Facilitator of learning of patient/family educator--the ability to facilitate patient and
family learning.
Level 1 - Follows planned educational programs; sees patient/family education as a
separate task from delivery of care; provides data without seeking to assess patient's
readiness or understanding; has limited knowledge of the totality of the educational
needs; focuses on a nurse's perspective; sees the patient as a passive recipient
Level 3 - Adapts planned educational programs; begins to recognize and integrate
different ways of teaching into delivery of care; incorporates patient's understanding into
practice; sees the overlapping of educational plans from different healthcare providers'
perspectives; begins to see the patient as having input into goals; begins to see
Level 5 - Creatively modifies or develops patient/family education programs; integrates
patient/family education throughout delivery of care; evaluates patient's understanding by
observing behavior changes related to learning; is able to collaborate and incorporate all
healthcare providers' and educational plans into the patient/family educational program;
sets patient-driven goals for education; sees patient/family as having choices and
consequences that are negotiated in relation to education
From the AACN Cert Corp website: www.certcorp.org © 2004 AACN
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
Clochesy, J.M., Breu, C., Cardin, S., Rudy, E.B., & Whittaker, A.A. (1996). Critical
Care Nursing. Philadelphia: Saunders.
Dantzker, D.R., & Scharf, S.M. (1998). Cardiopulmonary critical care, 3rd Ed.
Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders.
Kinney, M.R., Dunbar, S.B., Brooks-Brunn, J., Molter, N. & Vitello-Cicciu, J. M. (1998).
AACN’s clinical reference for critical-care nurses, 4th Ed. St. Louis: Mosby.
Kruse, J.A., Fink, M.P. & Carlson, R.W. (2003). Saunders manual of critical care.
Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders.
Swan, H. J. C. (1998). In Brown, D.L. (Ed.), Cardiac intensive care (pp. 635-646).
Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders.
Woodruff, D.W. (2003). Protect your patient while he’s receiving mechanical
ventilation. Nursing 2003, 33(7), 32hn1-32hn4.
Woodruff, D.W. (1999). Managing complications of mechanical ventilation. Nursing
99, 29, 11, 34-40.
Alspach, J.G. (1998). Core curriculum for critical care nursing. 5th Ed. Philadelphia:
Dennison, R.D. (2000). Pass CCRN! 2nd Ed. St. Louis: Mosby.
Ahrens, T. & Prentise, D. (1998). Critical Care Certification. 4th Ed. Stamford, CT:
Appleton & Lange.
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
Certification Exam Planner
Read the question carefully
If the most logical answer is readily apparent, choose it
If not, re-read the question and start eliminating obviously wrong answers
Then narrow the remainder down to what makes the most sense
You will have 1 minute, and 12 seconds for each question, use that time wisely.
Your action plan:
Decide which test to take
Request time off
Get study materials
Emergency planning
Study guide #1
Study guide #2
Study guide #3
Areas to study:
Where will you study?
When will you study?
What study aids do you plan to get?
Where will you get them?
How will you test your progress?
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
Who will cover on-call/emergencies?
Who will work the night before the test?
Who will manage the kids/pets?
When will you shop for healthy foods?
Who will you get to care for ill kids, pets,
or husbands/wives?
What will you do if the car doesn’t start?
What if you get a flat tire?
What will you do if traffic is bad?
What alternate routes are available to the
testing site?
When do you need to go to bed the night
What will you eat the morning of the
What content will you study the night
before the exam?
Will you need a hotel room the night
before the exam?
How will you pace yourself during the
How will you reward yourself for
preparing and taking the exam?
The night before the exam it is OK to study subjects that need memorization, or to briefly
review your notes. Don’t start a new topic or study difficult content.
It is generally not a good idea to study the day of the exam.
Relaxation Tips the Day of the Exam:
• Slow, deep breathing is relaxing and restores oxygen to the brain.
• Gentle stretching or walking stimulates circulation and increases oxygen delivery
to the brain.
• Listen to music that you like
• Avoid ingesting alcohol, cold medications, or unusual amounts of caffeine.
• Proper preparation will clear your mind of unnecessary details the day of the
Find more certification resources at:
CCRN: Test Prep
© 2004 Ed4Nurses, Inc.
Thanks for attending “CCRN: Test Prep”!
Additional resources are available from Ed4Nurses, Inc. that will help you prepare for the
The Critical Care Skills Package
High-acuity patients often bring along critical care
equipment like ventilators, central lines,
pacemakers and chest tubes. Proper management
of these patients is vital to prevent complications.
The Critical Care Essentials Package
Critically ill patients are everywhere these days – on
the med-surg floor, in the ICU, the PACU, the ED,
even long-term care! A good working knowledge of
these essential concepts is indispensable.
The Critical Care Mastery Package
Critical Care Mastery will give you a strong
foundation, while integrating tips, timesavers, and
stories about real nurses who make a difference in
their patient’s lives.

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