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NCLEX Review Shownotes:

Understand that the Nervous system includes the Central Nervous System (CNS), the Peripheral Nervous Sytem (PNS) and the Autonomic Nervous System or the (ANS).

When I say the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM, We can simplify at as the BRAIN and the SPINAL CORD.

The PERIPHERAL NERVOUS SYSTEM on the other hand, contains the CRANIAL NERVES and the SPINAL NERVES.

  • WHEN WE TALK ABOUT THE AUTONOMIC NERVOUS SYTEM, WE ARE BASICALLY TALKING ABOUT THE “SYMPATHETIC” (FIGHT OR FLIGHT) SYSTEM OR THE “PARASYMPATHETIC” SYSTEM.
  • .THE BASIC COMPONENT OF THE NERVOUS SYSTEM IS THE NERVE CELL OR NEURON

NEURON

– is the primary component of the nervous system.

– it is composed of cell body (gray matter), axon and dendrites.

BRAIN  (Central Nervous System: Brain and Spinal Cord).

CEREBRUM- Outermost area (cerebral cortex) is gray matter, deeper area is composed of white matter

  • TWO HEMISPHERES: LEFT AND RIGHT AND EACH HEMISPHERE IS DIVIDED INTO TWO LOBES.

FRONTAL LOBE

  • PERSONALITY, BEHAVIOR
  • HIGHER INTELLECTUAL FUNCTIONING
  • BROCA’S AREA: (MOTOR SPEECH AREA)

PARIETAL LOBE

  • POSTCENTRAL GYRUS: REGISTERS SENSATION (TOUCH, PRESSURE)
  • INTEGRATES SENSORY INFORMATION

TEMPORAL LOBE

  • HEARING, TASTE, SMELL (HINT: LOCATION OF EARS – CLOSE THE TEMPLES)
  • WERNICKE’S AREA: SENSORY SPEECH AREA
  • (UNDERSTANDING, FORMATION OF LANGUAGE)

OCCIPITAL LOBE

  • VISION

Peripheral Nervous System- composed of Spinal Nerves (31)

Autonomic Nervous System- part of the Peripheral Nervous System

  • REGULATES FUNCTIONS OCCURRING AUTOMATICALLY IN THE BODY.
  • ANS REGULATES SMOOTH MUSCLE, CARDIAC MUSCLE AND GLANDS.

IT IS NOT NECESSARY TO KNOW EVERY PHYSIOLOGY FOR EVERY SINGLE PART OF THE BRAIN.  BUT JUST IN CASE WE END UP GETTING LOW LEVEL QUESTIONS ON THE EXAM, THEN IT IS IMPORTANT THAT WE UNDERSTAND THE BASIC CONCEPT AND FUNCTION OF EACH AREA. IT WOULD ALSO BE A GREAT IDEA TO KNOW THE CRANIAL NERVES.

Quick NCLEX Overview:

EYE AND EAR DISORDERS

GLAUCOMA

Glaucoma: there is an increased of intraocular pressure in the eye.

There are two types:

  1. OPEN ANGLE GLAUCOMA OR “PRIMARY” GLAUCOMA
  2. PRIMARY ANGLE GLAUCOMA.

Open angle glaucoma is slow in onset and chronic, while the primary angle glaucoma needs immediate treatment.

Open Angle Glaucoma

Bilateral

Acute Angle-closure Glaucoma

Unilateral

TREATMENT

Beta Adrenergic Blockers

Cholinergic Agents (Pilocarpine) ♣ (Make sure to know this for the NCLEX)

AVOID ANTICHOLINERGICS (Atropine)

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NCLEX Review Notes:

NCLEX Review on Cardiac Diseases: Heart Failure

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– It is an insufficiency and the inability of the pumping ability of the heart.

LEFT SIDED HEART

– Failure of the left side of the heart to pump enough blood to meet the metabolic demands of the body.

  • THERE IS AN IMPAIRED OXYGENATION AND A DECREASE IN MYOCARDIAL WORKLOAD IN THE HEART.

ASSESSMENT FINDINGS in patients with Left Sided heart failure.

  • CRACKLES
  • DYSPNEA
  • GALLOP RHYTHM: S3, S4

NCLEX Review on Heart Failure Cont.

What we would usually find in patient with left sided heart failure  is that there is an INCREASE IN PULMONARY CONGESTION and there would be a left ventricular hypertrophy.
MANAGEMENT

  • LOW SODIUM DIET
  • SEMI FOWLERS POSITION ON PT.
  • WEIGHT PATIENT DAILY
  • ADMINISTER IV, OXYGEN AND MEDS AS ORDERED.
  • MONITOR VITALS, I/O

RIGHT SIDED FAILURE

– Failure of the right side of the heart to pump enough blood to meet the metabolic demands of the body.
Causes:

  • LEFT SIDED HEART FAILURE
  • COPD
  • ATHEROSCLEROSIS
  • PULMONARY HYPERTENSION

Assessment:

  • JUGULAR VEIN DISTENTION
  • DEPENDENT EDEMA
  • WEIGHT EDEMA

Diagnostic Procedures:

  • B- Type Natriuretic Peptide (BNP)  Levels= Elevated
  • ABG’s indicates hyposemia and hypercapnia.
  • Hemodynamic Monitor= Increase CVP

TREATMENT:

  • Oxygen Therapy
  • Paracentesis
  • Thoracentesis

Drug Therapy:

  • Cardiac Glycoside (Digoxin) Lanoxin
  • Inotropic Agents (Dopamine, Dobutamine)
  • Diuretics: Furosemide (Lasix)
  • Human BNP: (Nesiritide (Natrecor)

Interventions:

  • Keep Ct. in semi- fowlers position to increase chest expansion
  • Assess cardiovascular status and vital signs
  • Weigh the client daily: A weight gain of 1 to 2 lbs. indicates fluid gain.

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NCLEX Review: Neurological System

[youtube http://youtu.be/5AHvjKjCJhA w=400&h=300]

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Show Notes:

Lou Gehrig’s Disease/ Amyothropic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

Degeneration of the nerves that controls the voluntary muscles.

ASSESSMENT:

  • Muscle Weakness and Twitching
  • Fatigue
  • dysphagia
  • dysarthia (difficulty swallowing)
  • cramping

– Lowe extremities are usually involved late in the disease.

Treatment:

Riluzole (Rilutek)

Side Effects:

  • nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite
  • dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice
  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms

Antispasmodics

  • baclofen
  • diazepam

Interventions:

Conserve energy by spacing activities.

Small frequent feedings.

The Nervous System

NCLEX Review on the Neurological System

Time Management:

  • Make sure to read and understand the overview of the Nervous System:
  • Focus in understanding the causes and logic behind each disease.
  • Have an understanding of the signs and symptoms of the disease.
  • Know the medications and the rationale behind using those meds.

Understand that the Nervous system includes the Central Nervous System (CNS), the Peripheral Nervous Sytem (PNS) and the Autonomic Nervous System or the (ANS).

When I say the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM, We can simplify at as the BRAIN and the SPINAL CORD.

The PERIPHERAL NERVOUS SYSTEM on the other hand, contains the Cranial NERVES and the SPINAL NERVES.

  • WHEN WE TALK ABOUT THE AUTONOMIC NERVOUS SYSTEM, WE ARE BASICALLY TALKING ABOUT THE “SYMPATHETIC” (FIGHT OR FLIGHT) SYSTEM OR THE “PARASYMPATHETIC” SYSTEM.
  • .THE BASIC COMPONENT OF THE NERVOUS SYSTEM IS THE NERVE CELL OR NEURON

NEURON

– is the primary component of the nervous system.

– it is composed of cell body (gray matter), axon and dendrites.

BRAIN (Central Nervous System: Brain and Spinal Cord).

CEREBRUM- Outermost area (cerebral cortex) is gray matter, deeper area is composed of white matter

  • TWO HEMISPHERES: LEFT AND RIGHT AND EACH HEMISPHERE IS DIVIDED INTO TWO LOBES.

FRONTAL LOBE

  • PERSONALITY, BEHAVIOR
  • HIGHER INTELLECTUAL FUNCTIONING
  • BROCA’S AREA: (MOTOR SPEECH AREA)

PARIETAL LOBE

  • POSTCENTRAL GYRUS: REGISTERS SENSATION (TOUCH, PRESSURE)
  • INTEGRATES SENSORY INFORMATION

TEMPORAL LOBE

  • HEARING, TASTE, SMELL (hint: location of ears – close the temples)
  • WERNICKE’S AREA: SENSORY SPEECH AREA
  • (UNDERSTANDING, FORMATION OF LANGUAGE)

OCCIPITAL LOBE

  • VISION

Peripheral Nervous System- composed of Spinal Nerves (31)

Autonomic Nervous System- part of the Peripheral Nervous System

  • REGULATES FUNCTIONS OCCURRING AUTOMATICALLY IN THE BODY.
  • ANS REGULATES SMOOTH MUSCLE, CARDIAC MUSCLE AND GLANDS.

IT IS NOT NECESSARY TO KNOW EVERY PHYSIOLOGY FOR EVERY SINGLE PART OF THE BRAIN. BUT JUST IN CASE WE GO END UP GETTING LOW LEVEL QUESTIONS ON THE EXAM, THEN IT IS IMPORTANT THAT WE UNDERSTAND THE BASIC CONCEPT AND FUNCTION OF EACH AREA. IT WOULD ALSO BE A GREAT IDEA TO KNOW THE CRANIAL NERVES.

The CRANIAL NERVES

GLASCOW COMA SCALE

INCREASED INTRACRANIAL PRESSURE

MENINGITIS

ENCEPHALITIS

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How to Pass the NCLEX Exam

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Show Notes:

Now I have been getting plenty of questions lately and most of these questions pertains obviously mostly on how to pass the NCLEX Exam.  So, what I did was I did some research outside of the actual “Nclex review content” scenario  and took a step back and really look at the reasons why some people passed there NCEX Exam, the first time they take it.  Its quite obvious that the answer for that would be that the ones that pass on the first time really did studied hard invested plenty of time, energy and effort into the to the review while others, well…  Let me ask you this, have you noticed how some people are just really good in taking exams?. There are usually those people in our lives that just really good at taking exams.  On the outside it doesn’t seem like they’re really are studying that hard or investing that much time (which can be true) or we might not really know how much they’ve studied or how much time they invested yet at the end of the day they still pass their exam on the first try…

Sometimes it boggles our minds and we can even get quite jealous.  Now I think for the most part these people really did invest plenty of the time and energy and resources in passing this exam (which I personally did, and it paid off ) but I also believe that these people do have a good amount of test taking skills because for me personally I really did invest plenty of time, effort, energy and sacrifice in order to pass the NCLEX Exam the first time I took it about three years ago.  Anyhow,  I also believe that these people unconsciously were able to adapt to a certain strategic approach on learning that worked on their own specific learning styles.

I did my own research on most of these test takers and found out that these people are more analytic in their review methods than I thought.

nclex study review pass guides

And this is what I have learned:

You need to learn a deeper level way of studying that is complimentary to our learning style.  When we just try to memorize words it’s what researchers have called the, “shallow level of processing,” basically you are just looking at the words and trying to memorize them without making any connections or understanding (in depth) by looking and analyzing the bigger picture.  Instead, we need a more “deep level processing” way of reviewing the NCLEX.  This can be accomplished by trying to connect it with our own experience and also understanding more in depth the NCLEX Review Contents.

What can really enhance the deeper level processing way of reviewing for the NCLEX Exam  is by allowing your brain to match your learning style whether you are an (auditory learner, visual learner or a tactile learner).  So this includes looking at NCLEX Review Videos (HERE IS THE LINK), maybe even playing an AUDIO NCLEX Review CD in your car while driving (HERE IS THE LINK) or just trying to connect, what you are learning with your everyday experience.

Attention and Interest is an important subject when studying for the NCLEX.  Sometimes, reviewing for the NCLEX exam can just become too tedious and boring.  There are plenty of times when we are reading unconsciously just word after word without actually retaining and understanding the content (which is counter productive).

Therefore, there is no reason for our NCLEX Review not to be fun and interesting (while learning at the same time).  We need to look at other ways such as media (audio and video) and websites to enhance our NCLEX Review.

Don’t settle for boring, check out some stuff below…  : )

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“Pharmacology Review”

Lets start with the definition of Pharmacology: Pharmacology is the study of the mechanism of action, uses, side effects and fate of drugs in the body.

Pharmacodynamics is how the biologically active compounds do in the body.

Pharmacokinetics is  how the body reacts the drugs.

Most of the drugs are synthetic in origin which means that they are made and discovered in the laboratory.  Although others can still be obtained from natural sources.  Any drug can have a chemical name, a generic name and a brand or trade name.

Usually, the generic name of a drug is suggested by the manufacturer, and accepted by the international committee.

Drugs, hormones and neurotransmitters that activate receptors are called agonists.

How the drug is being affected affects the body and the patient’s response is called the effect.

Efficacy refers to the degree to which a drug is able to induce it’s maximal effects.

Adverse Effect is any unexpected or unintended response to a therapeutic use of a drug, it is also called side effect.

First I want to talk about drugs that are used to treat infections:

ANTIBIOTICS

– basically an antibiotic is a drug that us used to treat infectious diseases.

B Lactam Antibiotics-  are antibiotics that have a B-Lactam ring in their molecule.  Example of B Lactam Antibiotics would include Penicillins and Cephalosporins.

I just want to go over the two basic types of Penicillin Antibiotics:

  1. Natural Penicillin (penicillin G pottasium)- used to treat moderate to severe infections.
  2. Broad Spectrum penicillin (amoxicillin)- also used to treat mild and moderate infections.

Contraindications: penicillins are contraindicated for patients with a history of allergic reaction to any penicillin or cephalosporins (this is always very important to know).

Adverse Reaction: Like I have mentioned before, penicillins are one of the most common cause of drug allergy.  Hypersensitivities to penicillins may appear in the form of rash, pruritis, fever, wheezing, severe dyspnea, nausea and vomiting.  It is also important to note that adverse effects of penicillins generally involves the gastrointestinal (GI) system with glostitis, mouths sores (stomatitis, abdominal bleeding.

Toxicity: Toxicity for penicillin involves  the neurologic, nephrologic,  and hematologic system.

Penicillins, when given with anticoagulants, increases bleeding time.

Nursing Interventions to take note when giving Penicillins:

  • It is very important to be aware of any allergies to penicillins
  • Take the drugs on an empty stomach with water.
  • Do not take with fruit juices or soft drinks.
  • Make sure to give patient an adequate hydration.

Aminoglycosides

  • gentamycin sulfate (garamycin)
  • kanamycin sulfate (kantrex)

Aminoglycosides are batericidal, they both bind irreversibly to both the 30 S and 50S ribosomes to prevent bacterial protein synthesism.  Aminnoglycosides are used to treat serious nosocomial infections (ie. gram negative bacteria, peritonitis, pneumonia).

– Aminoglycosides should be administered with caution in neonates because of their immature renal systems.

Nursing Responsibilies

  • Administer an aminoglycoside and penicillin at least 2 hours apart
  • draw peak and trough levels periodically throughout the therapy.
  • encourage patient to take the full course of treatment.

Tetracycline

– is used as a treatment of gram positive and gram negative infections.

– Remember: That a use of tetracycline with oral contraceptives leads to breakthrough bleeding, altered GI bacterial flora, decreased contraceptive effectiveness and an increased risk of pregnancy.

Now, I want to talk about drugs that are used to treat Nervous System Disorders:

The Sypathetic Nervous System: Hormones (norepinephrine and epinephrine) activate the sympathetic nervous system.  The sympathetic nerces release both of these hormones whereas tha drenal gland also releases epinephrine.    There are four types of receptor that is found in the autonomic nerve pathways:

  1. Alpha 1 Adrenergic
  2. Alpha 2 Adrenergic
  3. Beta 1 Adrenergic
  4. Beta 2 Adrenergic

You have to understand that several physiologic responses results when each type of receptor is activated.

Alpha 1 receptors affects:

  • pupil dilation
  • gastrointestinal tract motility
  • vasoconstriction of arterioles
  • bladder contraction, prostate contraction

Alpha 2 affects:

  • gastrointestinal motility
  • vasoconstriction of arterioles

Beta 2  receptors affects:

  • Heart rate
  • contractility, automaticity and conduction

Beta 2 receptors affects:

    • bronchodilation (breathing)
    • heart rate contractility
    • uterus (relaxation)

Adrenergic Agonists (Adrenergics or sympathomimetic agents)

  • Adrenergic Agonists can stimulate any one or any combination of Alpha or beta receptors.  Adrenergic agonsits that stimulate beta receptors are called Beta adrenergic agonists.
  • Example of adrenergic agonists drugs includes: phenylephrine (neo-synephrine): used to treat shocj and nasal congestion
  • Ephidrine (ephedsol) temporary relief for nasal and sinus congestion
  • Albuterol (Proventil) bronchospasm associated with asthma or bronchitis.

So, basically we can say that Adrenergic agonsists are used primarily for three reasons: hemodynamic compromise such as (hypotension resulting from shock or CHF, bronchospasm and nasal or sinus congestion)

  • Contraindications includes: For Phenylephrine, it is contraindicated in patients with pheochromocytoma.  Alpha agonists are contraindicated in patients who have tachycardia and severe hypertension because stimulation of the alpha receptor can further cause vasoconstriction and cause more potentiating hypertension.  Because alpha-agonists causes pupil dilation (mydriasis), they are contraindicated in patients with glaucoma.

Remember: Adrenergic agonists should be avoided in patients with cardiac diseases beacause these agents may precipitate angina or myocardial infarction (MI).

Adrenergic Antagonists

Adrenergic Antagonists: inhibits or blocks the effects of the sympathetic nervous system neurotransmitters and are antagonists to the adrenergic agonists.  Adrenegic antagonists are also sometimes calle antagonist blockers because they block the sympathetic effects of the body.

  • The action of the alpha adrenergic antagonists inclcudes:
  • pupil constriction (miosis), increase GI tract motility, vasodilation of arterioles which can result in a decrease in Blood pressure, and prostate relaxation.
  • Alpha adrenergic antagonists are used primarily to treat five conditions:  hypertension, migraine headaches, alzheimer’s disease and benign prostatic hyperthrophy
  • Examples of these drugs includes: doxazosin mesylate (Cardura) which is used for treatment of hypertension.

When administering  alpha adrenergic antagonist medications, always try to: monitor for orthostatic hypotension, monitor for tachycardia, and tell patient to report any gain of 1 to 2 pounds accompanied with peripheral edema.

Parasympathetic Nervous System Drugs

The parasympathetic Nervous System drugs is primarily concerned with conserving energy and promoting digestion.  Several responses of stimulation of the parasympathetic drugs includes: pupil constriction, lacrimation, salivation, bronchoconstriction, a decrease in heart rate, conduction, automaticity and contraction of the bladder and relaxation of the sphincter.  The parasympathetic nervous system drugs includes:

  1. Direct acting cholinergic agonists
  2. cholinesterase inhibitors
  3. anticholinergics
  4. Dopaminergics

Knowing your pharmacology is essential for the nclex.  The proper way to study pharmacology and the drugs for the nclex exam is to understand the interaction of the drug with our body.  Memorizing the purpose and side effects of this drugs without understanding fully the rationale of its actions will set you to fail the nclex exam.  Therefore, to prepare for the nclex, a firm understanding and knowledge of pharmacology is essential, and yes there will be a lot of “drug” related questions in the nclex exam.  In this nclex review, we will start with the Central Nervous System:

Local Anaesthetics includes Lidocaine (xylocaine). It is an anesthetic that blocks nerve conduction; metabolized by hepatic enzymes.

Non- narcotic analgesics and antipyretic: This group would include your aspirins, and your antipyretic.  Acetysaalicylic Acid (aspirin) (ASA):  Action: Analgesia: inhibits formation of prostaglandins invlolved with pain. It is important to understand for the nclex, that an analgesia acts on the body by acting on the hypothalamus and blocking the generation of the pain impulses.  An antipyretic inhibits the formation of prostaglandins in production of fever.  The aspirin acts on the hypothalamus (as you remember from nursing school, is the thermostat on the body).   What it can do when inside the body: It is used for moderate pain, control fever, it is also used as an anti inflammatory and helps reduce the risk for MI in men with unstable angina.

  • Adverse reaction includes: tinnitus, confusion, dizziness, drowiness and bleeding (this is big for the nclex).
  • Other type of non narcotic analgesic: Acetaminophen (Tylenol).

A sample nclex review question:

  • Which condition is an indication for aspirin use?
  • 1. Asthma
  • 2. TIA    (correct answer) due to aspirin’s antiplatelet effect, aspirin can be use to decrease TIA.
  • 3.  Gout
  • 4. Nasal Polyps

Other Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS) for the nclex includes:

  • Ibuprofen
  • Indomethacin (Indocin)
  • Ketorolac (Toradol)
  • Celecoxib (Celebrex)

Now we can talk about Narcotic Analgesics:

One of the most commonly used Narcotic Analgesic in the nclex is morphine or morphine sulfate:

  • Morphine Sulfate: acts on opiod receptors in the CNS and induces sedation, analgesia, and euphoria.  It is used to relief moderate to severe pain. Such as pain from an MI or myocardial infarction (big in the nclex).
  • Adverse effects can include: sedation, confusion, euphoria and impaired coordination.   A big adverse reaction to know (nclex) is respiratory depression, hypotension, tachycardia and bradycardia.
  • Observe for signs of tolerance with prolonged use  (nclex)
  • monitor respiratory rate and depth before giving the drug and periodically thereafter. (nclex)
  • Always remember to have narcotic antagonist (naloxone) Narcan available on hand.

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