In my blog post from last week, we talked about how to identify assessment versus analysis type NCLEX questions, and how that can help you decide what type of answer choice you should be looking for. Last week, we decided that our example question required an assessment, so let’s review the question and look at the answer choices.
Question: The client has asked for their next dose of morphine. The medication order is for 2mg q4h prn for pain, and it has been four hours since the client’s last dose. Which of the following would be the best nursing action to take?
A) Notify the doctor that the client is still having pain.
B) Assess the client’s respiratory rate and heart rate.
C) Ask the client to rate their pain on a scale of 1-10.
D) Teach the client a deep breathing exercise.
Now that you’ve looked at the answers, put yourself into the situation and ask yourself even more questions. What kinds of things should you be thinking about? What do you know about morphine? What do you know about pain management? Should you go ahead and give him the morphine, or should you do something else first? What do you think this question is trying to test you on? Here’s a hint: test writers want to know if you can be a safe and effective BEGINNING nurse, they’re really not trying to trick you.
Since we decided last week that this seems like an assessment question, we already know that we need to gather more information before we can safely administer the morphine. That means you can eliminate “A” and “D” right away, because both of them are interventions, not assessments to gather information.
That leaves “B” and “C.” Which to do? Keep asking yourself some questions, and imagine yourself in that situation. Both are things that you would do eventually, but when they ask for the “best” nursing action to take, then you can only pick one! This is what makes NCLEX-type questions so difficult…there are usually more than one correct answers available, but you need to pick the BEST correct answer.
Ok, so I narrowed it down to 2 options for you…which do you think? Leave a comment below with your educated guess and rationale…then maybe I’ll tell you the answer 🙂