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NCLEX Review & Nursing School

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The Respiratory System has the following basic functions:

  • Movement of air in and out of the lungs
  • Exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide
  • Helping maintain acid-base balance

Diagnostic Tests:

  • Bronchoscopy
  • Pulmonary Angiography
  • Thoracentesis
  • Lung Biopsy
  • Pulmonary Function Test

Respiratory Treatments:

  • Chest Physiotherapy
  • Giving Oxygen
  • Mechanical Ventillation

COPD (Asthma, Bronchitis)

– Refers to respiratory conditions that causes obstruction in the airflow, such as:

  • Asthma
  • Emphysema
  • Bronchitis

A complication of C.O.P.D is cor pulmonale (right sided heart failure).

Remember for NCLEX:

♣ NEVER give Beta Blockers to patient’s with asthma (causes bronchospasms.)


– enlargement and destruction of the alveolar tissue.


  • Use of accessory muscles during respiration.
  • Early symptom is dyspnea.


  • known as “Blue Bloaters” because of the dyspnea

Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome

Acute Respiratory Failure (ARF)

– The lungs are unable to adequately exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide due to an insufficient ventilation.


  • Dyspnea (difficulty breathing)
  • Use of accessory muscles when breathing
  • Coughing
  • Cyanotic


– An infectious disease caused by several microorganisms.  Most common organism that cause this infection, includes: Staph. aureus, Strep. pneumoniae, Hemophilus influenza and etc.


  • Cough w/ green rust colored sputum
  • Rales or crackles
  • Fever, Chills, Chest Pains
  • Tachycardia, cyanosis

Nursing Interventions:

  • Medication Regimen/ Antibiotic Therapy


– An infectious disease that is spread through an airborne route.


  • Weight Loss
  • Blood Tinged Sputum
  • Anorexia
  • Night Sweats

Pulmonary Embolism

– An obstruction within the lungs due to a thrombus (blood clot) causing an impairment of gas exchange within the respiratory system.

  • When a thrombus is loose and travels within the circulation, it is called an embolus.


  • Dyspnea
  • Tachycardia
  • Chest Pain
  • Tachypnea

Lung Cancer

Laryngeal Cancer


Lung Procedures

Respiratory Medications:

  • Antihistamines
  • Nasal Decongestants
  • Expectorants & Mucolytic Agents
  • Antitissives
  • Tuberculosis Medications
  • Bronchodilators
  • Anticholinergics
  • Glucocorticoids (Corticosteroids)

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