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What You Need to Know For NCLEX; Respiratory System

Updated on July 16, 2012

All the Important Points for NCLEX

Here is an overview of what you need to know for NCLEX. The key is to have a very broad understanding of the whole system.

You will be asked questions that will ask you what to do, and your response will be something like, "monitor vital signs." This is why studying Assessments with Management is the best way to make these connections.

Weather you are taking the RN or PN, the very best book to practice is EXAM CRAM, because it is well organized, making more sense out of the study time. Sylvesteri is also a good resource. The only complaint from people is that there is so much information that it makes the studying "unfriendly" and boring.

Hay Fever

This is they key to sensitivity to allergic disease of the mucus membranes in the nose and upper air passages induced by external irritation.


rhinitis, catarrh, watery discharge from the eyes, coryza, headach, asthmatic symptoms


epinephrine, antihistamines, nasal sprays, corticosteroids

Nursing Interventions:

remove patient from contact


Tonsillitis is a streptococci inflammation of the tonsils and adenoids.


  • fever
  • sore throat


  • antibiotics


bleeding from the nose.

Management: A nasal packing with gauze strips, cauterization of the site with 10% silver nitrate stick.

Nursing Care: Maintain patent airway; have suction available, control bleeding by pinching nose firmly with fingers on soft part. tilt head slightly forward. Monitor vital signs, and avoid hot fluids


An acute illness caused by inflammation or infection of the lungs and characterized by a productive cough, chest pain, and fever.

Assessment; SOB, dyspnea, painful coughs, elevation of temperature.

Management: Antibiotics, IV fluids, O2 with humidity and analgesics (Codeine-antitussive) expectorants-Robitussin, Phenergan=soft foods &vitamin C- increase protein and carbs


Pus collection in the thoracic cavity, S/S-sharp pain upon inspiration, dyspnea

Patient with Chest Tubes

Drainage tubes that are inserted into the pleural cavity to drain secretions, air, and blood from the thoracic cavity. Closed drainage of the thoracic cavity is accomplished by means of a catheter placed in the pleural space. The catheter is securely connected to an underwater seal apparatus.

INDICATIONS: pleurisy, chest surgery, stab wounds of the chest

NURSING CARE: observe underwater seal system q hour, prevent complications of immobility, assessment of respiratory system, provide oral hygiene q 2 hours, anticipate pain; medicate if necessary, spirometer and breathing exercises

Pulmonary Tberculosis

Chronic, progressive infection; alveoli are inflamed, and small nodules are produced called primary tubercles; the tubercle bacillus is at the center of the nodule (these become fibrosed); becoming calcified, identified on X ray film.

Assessments: Malaise; patient is easily fatigued, elevation of temperature and night sweats, anorexia and weight loss chest pain, chronic coughs, and hemoptysis

Management: antituberculin drugs for 18-24 months- Rifampin, Isoniazid, Streptomycin

Nursing Care: provide rest; assist or provide care; plan rest periods between activities; limit conversion. prevent transmission; ensure respiratory isolation. Avoid chills, avoid sharing personal items

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

COPD- is the obstruction of bronchioles and alveoli caused by A/B/E

ASSESSMENTS: barrel chest, pink skin color due to hypercapnia, hypoxia, SOB dyspnea leading to severe activity intolerance, coughs

Management: Pulmonary function test, ABGs, antibiotics, bronchodilators, 02@2-4L/m

Nursing Care: prevent URI, postural drainage, increase fluid intake, avoid smoking, allergen, and stress


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    • Skarlet profile image

      Skarlet 5 years ago from California

      Hello Frog. Thanks for stopping by. Glad to hear you are normal....:)

      Thank you teaches. I appreciate the vote up.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      I am not a nurse but I can see where this would help in understanding respiratory system concerns. I did enjoy the read. Voted up.

    • The Frog Prince profile image

      The Frog Prince 5 years ago from Arlington, TX

      I seem normal. I better stop reading this stuff...


      The Frog

    • Skarlet profile image

      Skarlet 5 years ago from California

      Thank you Kelley,

      I guess that test, and those hours of studying are something we will never forget.

    • profile image

      kelleyward 5 years ago

      I'm a nurse and I remember studying for the NCLEX. I'm sure this will be helpful to many future nurses! Take care, Kelley