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1. The newly admitted client has burns on both legs.

The burned areas appear whi

te and leather-like. No blisters or bleeding are present, and the client states
that he or she has little pain. How should this injury be categorized?
A. Superficial
B. Partial-thickness superficial
C. Partial-thickness deep
D. Full thickness
2. The newly admitted client has a large burned area on the right arm. The burne
d area appears red, has blisters, and is very painful. How should this injury be
A. Superficial
B. Partial-thickness superficial
C. Partial-thickness deep
D. Full thickness
3. The burned client newly arrived from an accident scene is prescribed to recei
ve 4 mg of morphine sulfate by IV push. What is the most important reason to adm
inister the opioid analgesic to this client by the intravenous route?
A. The medication will be effective more quickly than if given intramuscularly.
B. It is less likely to interfere with the client s breathing and oxygenation.
C. The danger of an overdose during fluid remobilization is reduced.
D. The client delayed gastric emptying.
4. Which vitamin deficiency is most likely to be a long-term consequence of a fu
ll-thickness burn injury?
A. Vitamin A
B. Vitamin B
C. Vitamin C
D. Vitamin D
5. Which client factors should alert the nurse to potential increased complicati
ons with a burn injury?
A. The client is a 26-year-old male.
B. The client has had a burn injury in the past.
C. The burned areas include the hands and perineum.
D. The burn took place in an open field and ignited the client s clothing.
6. The burned client is ordered to receive intravenous cimetidine, an H2 histami
ne blocking agent, during the emergent phase. When the client s family asks why th
is drug is being given, what is the nurse s best response?
A. To increase the urine output and prevent kidney damage.
B. To stimulate intestinal movement and prevent abdominal bloating.
C. To decrease hydrochloric acid production in the stomach and prevent ulcers.
D. To inhibit loss of fluid from the circulatory system and prevent hypovolemic s
7. At what point after a burn injury should the nurse be most alert for the comp
lication of hypokalemia?
A. Immediately following the injury
B. During the fluid shift
C. During fluid remobilization
D. During the late acute phase
8. What clinical manifestation should alert the nurse to possible carbon monoxid
e poisoning in a client who experienced a burn injury during a house fire?
A. Pulse oximetry reading of 80%
B. Expiratory stridor and nasal flaring
C. Cherry red color to the mucous membranes
D. Presence of carbonaceous particles in the sputum
9. What clinical manifestation indicates that an escharotomy is needed on a circ
umferential extremity burn?
A. The burn is full thickness rather than partial thickness.
B. The client is unable to fully pronate and supinate the extremity.
C. Capillary refill is slow in the digits and the distal pulse is absent.
D. The client cannot distinguish the sensation of sharp versus dull in the extre

10. What additional laboratory test should be performed on any African American
client who sustains a serious burn injury?
A. Total protein
B. Tissue type antigens
C. Prostate specific antigen
D. Hemoglobin S electrophoresis
11. Which type of fluid should the nurse expect to prepare and administer as flu
id resuscitation during the emergent phase of burn recovery?
A. Colloids
B. Crystalloids
C. Fresh-frozen plasma
D. Packed red blood cells
12. The client with a dressing covering the neck is experiencing some respirator
y difficulty. What is the nurse s best first action?
A. Administer oxygen.
B. Loosen the dressing.
C. Notify the emergency team.
D. Document the observation as the only action.
13. The client who experienced an inhalation injury 6 hours ago has been wheezin
g. When the client is assessed, wheezes are no longer heard. What is the nurse s b
est action?
A. Raise the head of the bed.
B. Notify the emergency team.
C. Loosen the dressings on the chest.
D. Document the findings as the only action.
14. Ten hours after the client with 50% burns is admitted, her blood glucose lev
el is 90 mg/dL. What is the nurse s best action?
A. Notify the emergency team.
B. Document the finding as the only action.
C. Ask the client if anyone in her family has diabetes mellitus.
D. Slow the intravenous infusion of dextrose 5% in Ringer s lactate.
15. On admission to the emergency department the burned client s blood pressure is
90/60, with an apical pulse rate of 122. These findings are an expected result
of what thermal injury related response?
A. Fluid shift
B. Intense pain
C. Hemorrhage
D. Carbon monoxide poisoning
16. Twelve hours after the client was initially burned, bowel sounds are absent
in all four abdominal quadrants. What is the nurse s best action?
A. Reposition the client onto the right side.
B. Document the finding as the only action.
C. Notify the emergency team.
D. Increase the IV flow rate.
17. Which clinical manifestation indicates that the burned client is moving into
the fluid remobilization phase of recovery?
A. Increased urine output, decreased urine specific gravity
B. Increased peripheral edema, decreased blood pressure
C. Decreased peripheral pulses, slow capillary refill
D. Decreased serum sodium level, increased hematocrit
18. What is the priority nursing diagnosis during the first 24 hours for a clien
t with full-thickness chemical burns on the anterior neck, chest, and all surfac
es of the left arm?
A. Risk for Ineffective Breathing Pattern
B. Decreased Tissue Perfusion
C. Risk for Disuse Syndrome
D. Disturbed Body Image
19. All of the following laboratory test results on a burned client s blood are pr
esent during the emergent phase. Which result should the nurse report to the phy
sician immediately?

A. Serum sodium elevated to 131 mmol/L (mEq/L)

B. Serum potassium 7.5 mmol/L (mEq/L)
C. Arterial pH is 7.32
D. Hematocrit is 52%
20. The client has experienced an electrical injury, with the entrance site on t
he left hand and the exit site on the left foot. What are the priority assessmen
t data to obtain from this client on admission?
A. Airway patency
B. Heart rate and rhythm
C. Orientation to time, place, and person
D. Current range of motion in all extremities
21. In assessing the client s potential for an inhalation injury as a result of a
flame burn, what is the most important question to ask the client on admission?
A. Are you a smoker?
B. When was your last chest x-ray?
C. Have you ever had asthma or any other lung problem?
D. In what exact place or space were you when you were burned?
22. Which information obtained by assessment ensures that the client s respiratory
efforts are currently adequate?
A. The client is able to talk.
B. The client is alert and oriented.
C. The client s oxygen saturation is 97%.
D. The client s chest movements are uninhibited
23. Which information obtained by assessment ensures that the client s respiratory
efforts are currently adequate?
A. The client is able to talk.
B. The client is alert and oriented.
C. The client s oxygen saturation is 97%.
D. The client s chest movements are uninhibited
24. The burned client s family ask at what point the client will no longer be at i
ncreased risk for infection. What is the nurse s best response?
A. When fluid remobilization has started.
B. When the burn wounds are closed.
C. When IV fluids are discontinued.
D. When body weight is normal.
25. The burned client relates the following history of previous health problems.
Which one should alert the nurse to the need for alteration of the fluid resusc
itation plan?
A. Seasonal asthma
B. Hepatitis B 10 years ago
C. Myocardial infarction 1 year ago
D. Kidney stones within the last 6 month
26. The burned client on admission is drooling and having difficulty swallowing.
What is the nurse s best first action?
A. Assess level of consciousness and pupillary reactions.
B. Ask the client at what time food or liquid was last consumed.
C. Auscultate breath sounds over the trachea and mainstem bronchi.
D. Measure abdominal girth and auscultate bowel sounds in all four quadrants.
27. Which intervention is most important for the nurse to use to prevent infecti
on by cross-contamination in the client who has open burn wounds?
A. Handwashing on entering the client s room
B. Encouraging the client to cough and deep breathe
C. Administering the prescribed tetanus toxoid vaccine
D. Changing gloves between cleansing different burn areas
28. In reviewing the burned client s laboratory report of white blood cell count w
ith differential, all the following results are listed. Which laboratory finding
indicates the possibility of sepsis?
A. The total white blood cell count is 9000/mm3.
B. The lymphocytes outnumber the basophils.
C. The bands outnumber the segs.

D. The monocyte count is 1,800/mm3.

29. The client has a deep partial-thickness injury to the posterior neck. Which
intervention is most important to use during the acute phase to prevent contract
ures associated with this injury?
A. Place a towel roll under the client s neck or shoulder.
B. Keep the client in a supine position without the use of pillows.
C. Have the client turn the head from side to side 90 degrees every hour while a
D. Keep the client in a semi-Fowler s position and actively raise the arms above t
he head every hour while awake.
30. The client has severe burns around the right hip. Which position is most imp
ortant to be emphasized by the nurse that the client maintain to retain maximum
function of this joint?
A. Hip maintained in 30-degree flexion, no knee flexion
B. Hip flexed 90 degrees and knee flexed 90 degrees
C. Hip, knee, and ankle all at maximum flexion
D. Hip at zero flexion with leg flat
31. During the acute phase, the nurse applied gentamicin sulfate (topical antibi
otic) to the burn before dressing the wound. The client has all the following ma
nifestations. Which manifestation indicates that the client is having an adverse
reaction to this topical agent?
A. Increased wound pain 30 to 40 minutes after drug application
B. Presence of small, pale pink bumps in the wound beds
C. Decreased white blood cell count
D. Increased serum creatinine level
32. The client, who is 2 weeks postburn with a 40% deep partial-thickness injury
, still has open wounds. On taking the morning vital signs, the client is found
to have a below-normal temperature, is hypotensive, and has diarrhea. What is th
e nurse s best action?
A. Nothing, because the findings are normal for clients during the acute phase o
f recovery.
B. Increase the temperature in the room and increase the IV infusion rate.
C. Assess the client s airway and oxygen saturation.
D. Notify the burn emergency team.
33. Which intervention is most important to use to prevent infection by autocont
amination in the burned client during the acute phase of recovery?
A. Changing gloves between wound care on different parts of the client s body.
B. Avoiding sharing equipment such as blood pressure cuffs between clients.
C. Using the closed method of burn wound management.
D. Using proper and consistent handwashing.
34. When should ambulation be initiated in the client who has sustained a major
A. When all full-thickness areas have been closed with skin grafts
B. When the client s temperature has remained normal for 24 hours
C. As soon as possible after wound debridement is complete
D. As soon as possible after resolution of the fluid shift
35. What statement by the client indicates the need for further discussion regar
ding the outcome of skin grafting (allografting) procedures?
A. For the first few days after surgery, the donor sites will be painful.
B. Because the graft is my own skin, there is no chance it won t take .
C. I will have some scarring in the area when the skin is removed for grafting.
D. Once all grafting is completed, my risk for infection is the same as it was be
fore I was burned.
36. Which statement by the client indicates correct understanding of rehabilitat
ion after burn injury?
A. I will never be fully recovered from the burn.
B. I am considered fully recovered when all the wounds are closed.
C. I will be fully recovered when I am able to perform all the activities I did b
efore my injury.
D. I will be fully recovered when I achieve the highest possible level of functio

ning that I can.

37. Which statement made by the client with facial burns who has been prescribed
to wear a facial mask pressure garment indicates correct understanding of the p
urpose of this treatment?
A. After this treatment, my ears will not stick out.
B. The mask will help protect my skin from sun damage.
C. Using this mask will prevent scars from being permanent.
D. My facial scars should be less severe with the use of this mask.
38. What is the priority nursing diagnosis for a client in the rehabilitative ph
ase of recovery from a burn injury?
A. Acute Pain
B. Impaired Adjustment
C. Deficient Diversional Activity
D. Imbalanced Nutrition: Less than Body Requirements
39. Nurse Faith should recognize that fluid shift in an client with burn injury
results from increase in the:
a. Total volume of circulating whole blood
b. Total volume of intravascular plasma
c. Permeability of capillary walls
d. Permeability of kidney tubules
40. Louie, with burns over 35% of the body, complains of chilling. In promoting
the client s comfort, the nurse should:
a. Maintain room humidity below 40%
b. Place top sheet on the client
c. Limit the occurrence of drafts
d. Keep room temperature at 80 degrees
Answers & Rationale
1. Answer: D
The characteristics of the wound meet the criteria for a full-thickness injury (
color that is black, brown, yellow, white or red; no blisters; pain minimal; out
er layer firm and inelastic).
2. Answer: B
The characteristics of the wound meet the criteria for a superficial partialthic
kness injury (color that is pink or red; blisters; pain present and high).
3. Answer: C
Although providing some pain relief has a high priority, and giving the drug by
the IV route instead of IM, SC, or orally does increase the rate of effect, the
most important reason is to prevent an overdose from accumulation of drug in the
interstitial space during the fluid shift of the emergent phase. When edema is
present, cumulative doses are rapidly absorbed when the fluid shift is resolving
. This delayed absorption can result in lethal blood levels of analgesics.
4. Answer: D
Skin exposed to sunlight activates vitamin D. Partial-thickness burns reduce the
activation of vitamin D. Activation of vitamin D is lost completely in fullthic
kness burns.
5. Answer: C
Burns of the perineum increase the risk for sepsis. Burns of the hands require s
pecial attention to ensure the best functional outcome.
6. Answer: C
Ulcerative gastrointestinal disease may develop within 24 hours after a severe b
urn as a result of increased hydrochloric acid production and decreased mucosal
barrier. Cimetidine inhibits the production and release of hydrochloric acid.
7. Answer: C
Hypokalemia is most likely to occur during the fluid remobilization period as a
result of dilution, potassium movement back into the cells, and increased potass
ium excreted into the urine with the greatly increased urine output.
8. Answer: C
The saturation of hemoglobin molecules with carbon monoxide and the subsequent v
asodilation induces a cherry red color of the mucous membranes in these clients. T
he other manifestations are associated with inhalation injury, but not specifica

lly carbon monoxide poisoning.

9. Answer: C
Circumferential eschar can act as a tourniquet when edema forms from the fluid s
hift, increasing tissue pressure and preventing blood flow to the distal extremi
ties and increasing the risk for tissue necrosis. This problem is an emergency a
nd, without intervention, can lead to loss of the distal limb. This problem can
be reduced or corrected with an escharotomy.
10. Answer: D
Sickle cell disease and sickle cell trait are more common among African American
s. Although clients with sickle cell disease usually know their status, the clie
nt with sickle cell trait may not. The fluid, circulatory, and respiratory alter
ations that occur in the emergent phase of a burn injury could result in decreas
ed tissue perfusion that is sufficient to cause sickling of cells, even in a per
son who only has the trait. Determining the client s sickle cell status by checkin
g the percentage of hemoglobin S is essential for any African American client wh
o has a burn injury.
11. Answer: B
Although not universally true, most fluid resuscitation for burn injuries starts
with crystalloid solutions, such as normal saline and Ringer s lactate. The burn
client rarely requires blood during the emergent phase unless the burn is compli
cated by another injury that involved hemorrhage. Colloids and plasma are not ge
nerally used during the fluid shift phase because these large particles pass thr
ough the leaky capillaries into the interstitial fluid, where they increase the
osmotic pressure. Increased osmotic pressure in the interstitial fluid can worse
n the capillary leak syndrome and make maintaining the circulating fluid volume
even more difficult.
12. Answer: B
Respiratory difficulty can arise from external pressure. The first action in thi
s situation would be to loosen the dressing and then reassess the client s respira
tory status.
13. Answer: B
Clients with severe inhalation injuries may sustain such progressive obstruction
that they may lose effective movement of air. When this occurs, wheezing is no
longer heard and neither are breath sounds. The client requires the establishmen
t of an emergency airway and the swelling usually precludes intubation.
14. Answer: B
Neural and hormonal compensation to the stress of the burn injury in the emergen
t phase increases liver glucose production and release. An acute rise in the blo
od glucose level is an expected client response and is helpful in the generation
of energy needed for the increased metabolism that accompanies this trauma.
15. Answer: A
Intense pain and carbon monoxide poisoning increase blood pressure. Hemorrhage i
s unusual in a burn injury. The physiologic effect of histamine release in injur
ed tissues is a loss of vascular volume to the interstitial space, with a result
ing decrease in blood pressure.
16. Answer: B Decreased or absent peristalsis is an expected response during the
emergent phase of burn injury as a result of neural and hormonal compensation t
o the stress of injury. No currently accepted intervention changes this response
, and it is not the highest priority of care at this time.
17. Answer: A
The fluid remobilization phase improves renal blood flow, increasing diuresis and
restoring fluid and electrolyte levels. The increased water content of the urine
reduces its specific gravity.
18. Answer: C
During the emergent phase, fluid shifts into interstitial tissue in burned areas
. When the burn is circumferential on an extremity, the swelling can compress bl
ood vessels to such an extent that circulation is impaired distal to the injury,
necessitating the intervention of an escharotomy. Chemical burns do not cause i
nhalation injury.
19. Answer: B

All these findings are abnormal; however, only the serum potassium level is chan
ged to the degree that serious, life-threatening responses could result. With su
ch a rapid rise in the potassium level, the client is at high risk for experienc
ing severe cardiac dysrhythmias and death.
20. Answer: B
The airway is not at any particular risk with this injury. Electric current trav
els through the body from the entrance site to the exit site and can seriously d
amage all tissues between the two sites. Early cardiac damage from electrical in
jury includes irregular heart rate, rhythm, and ECG changes.
21. Answer: D
The risk for inhalation injury is greatest when flame burns occur indoors in sma
ll, poorly ventilated rooms. although smoking increases the risk for some proble
ms, it does not predispose the client for an inhalation injury.
22. Answer: C
Clients may have ineffective respiratory efforts and gas exchange even though th
ey are able to talk, have good respiratory movement, and are alert. The best ind
icator for respiratory effectiveness is the maintenance of oxygen saturation wit
hin the normal range.
23. Answer: C
Clients may have ineffective respiratory efforts and gas exchange even though th
ey are able to talk, have good respiratory movement, and are alert. The best ind
icator for respiratory effectiveness is the maintenance of oxygen saturation wit
hin the normal range.
24. Answer: B
Intact skin is a major barrier to infection and other disruptions in homeostasis
. No matter how much time has passed since the burn injury, the client remains a
t great risk for infection as long as any area of skin is open.
25. Answer: C
It is likely the client has a diminished cardiac output as a result of the old M
I and would be at greater risk for the development of congestive heart failure a
pulmonary edema during fluid resuscitation.
26. Answer: C
Difficulty swallowing and drooling are indications of oropharyngeal edema and ca
n precede pulmonary failure. The client s airway is in severe jeopardy and intubat
ion is highly likely to be needed shortly.
27. Answer: A
Cross-contamination occurs when microorganisms from another person or the enviro
nment are transferred to the client. Although all the interventions listed above
can help reduce the risk for infection, only handwashing can prevent crossconta
28. Answer: C
Normally, the mature segmented neutrophils ( segs ) are the major population of circ
ulating leukocytes, constituting 55% to 70% of the total white blood count. Fewe
r than 3% to 5% of the circulating white blood cells should be the less mature ba
nd neutrophils. A left shift occurs when the bone marrow releases more immature n
eutrophils than mature neutrophils. Such a shift indicates severe infection or s
epsis, in which the client s immune system cannot keep pace with the infectious pr
29. Answer: C
The function that would be disrupted by a contracture to the posterior neck is f
lexion. Moving the head from side to side prevents such a loss of flexion.
30. Answer: D
Maximum function for ambulation occurs when the hip and leg are maintained at fu
ll extension with neutral rotation. Although the client does not have to spend 2
hours at a time in this position, he or she should be in this position (in bed o
r standing) more of the time than with the hip in any degree of flexion.
31. Answer: D
Gentamicin does not stimulate pain in the wound. The small, pale pink bumps in t

he wound bed are areas of re-epithelialization and not an adverse reaction. Gent
amicin is nephrotoxic and sufficient amounts can be absorbed through burn wounds
to affect kidney function. Any client receiving gentamicin by any route should
have kidney function monitored.
32. Answer: D
These findings are associated with systemic gram-negative infection and sepsis.
This is a medical emergency and requires prompt attention.
33. Answer: A
Autocontamination is the transfer of microorganisms from one area to another are
a of the same client s body, causing infection of a previously uninfected area. Al
though all techniques listed can help reduce the risk for infection, only changi
ng gloves between carrying out wound care on difference parts of the client s body
can prevent autocontamination.
34. Answer: D
Regular, progressive ambulation is initiated for all burn clients who do not hav
e contraindicating concomitant injuries as soon as the fluid shift resolves. Cli
ents can be ambulated with extensive dressings, open wounds, and nearly any type
of attached lines, tubing, and other equipment.
35. Answer: B
Factors other than tissue type, such as circulation and infection, influence whe
ther and how well a graft takes. The client should be prepared for the possibility
that not all grafting procedures will be successful.
36. Answer: D
Although a return to preburn functional levels is rarely possible, burned client
s are considered fully recovered or rehabilitated when they have achieved their
highest possible level of physical, social, and emotional functioning.
37. Answer: D
The purpose of wearing the pressure garment over burn injuries for up to 1 year
is to prevent hypertrophic scarring and contractures from forming. Scars will st
ill be present. Although the mask does provide protection of sensitive newly hea
led skin and grafts from sun exposure, this is not the purpose of wearing the ma
sk. The pressure garment will not change the angle of ear attachment to the head
38. Answer: B
Recovery from a burn injury requires a lot of work on the part of the client and
significant others. Seldom is the client restored to the preburn level of funct
ioning. Adjustments to changes in appearance, family structure, employment oppor
tunities, role, and functional limitations are only a few of the numerous life-c
hanging alterations that must be made or overcome by the client. By the rehabili
tation phase, acute pain from the injury or its treatment is no longer a problem
39. Answer: C
In burn, the capillaries and small vessels dilate, and cell damage cause the rel
ease of a histamine-like substance. The substance causes the capillary walls to
become more permeable and significant quantities of fluid are lost.
40. Answer: C
A Client with burns is very sensitive to temperature changes because heat is los
s in the burn areas.