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September 2023

Question Title

* A patient who is newly prescribed cinacalcet (Sensipar) asks the nurse about common side effects of the medication. The nurse's response should include

The correct answer is a. nausea.

Rationale: The most common side effects of Sensipar are gastrointestinal: nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.  (Constipation, however, may also occur.)  Less common side effects include hypocalcemia and hypertension.

References: Shields, K. M., Fox, K. L., & Liebrecht, C. (2023).  Pearson Nurse's Drug Guide 2023, pages 363-364; Counts, C. S. (2020). Core Curriculum for Nephrology Nursing, 7th ed., page 482.
April 2023

Question Title

* A patient arrives for hemodialysis and, after treatment is initiated, covers up with a blanket and falls asleep. The patient becomes extremely hypotensive and progresses to cardiac arrest. This event most likely resulted from

The correct answer is a. exsanguination.

Rationale: The patient’s vascular access site, bloodline connections, and face must be visible to a staff member throughout the hemodialysis treatment. A covered access site or line connection provides an opportunity for accidental needle dislodgement or line disconnection to go undetected. The dislodgement or disconnection can result in exsanguination and death in minutes.

References: Counts, C. S. (2020). Core Curriculum for Nephrology Nursing, 7th ed., page 590; Bodin, S. (2022). Contemporary Nephrology Nursing, 4th ed, pages 271-272; CMS Conditions for Coverage for ESRD Facilities - Interpretive Guidance. (2008). V tag 407.
November 2022

Question Title

* When reviewing protocols of continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) with the ICU nurse, it is essential to emphasize which of the following?

The correct answer is c. When the blood pump stops, the citrate pump must be stopped.

Rationale: It is essential that IV infusions of calcium and citrate stop whenever the blood pump is stopped. This prevents backflow, which would result in direct administration of citrate and/or calcium to the patient.

Reference: Reference: Counts, C.S. (Ed.). ANNA Core Curriculum for Nephrology Nursing, 7th ed., page 1412.
June 2022

Question Title

* A patient hospitalized with AKI has a central venous catheter that is locked with heparin. On day three of his admission, the patient’s platelet count drops from 110,000/mm3 to 50,000/mm3. Which of these plans of action would most effectively address his thrombocytopenia?

The correct answer is d. Discontinue all heparin, including lock, and monitor for thromboembolism.

Rationale: If heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) is suspected, all heparin use must be stopped, even before laboratory tests are available confirming the presence of antibodies. Within 2-3 days of heparin therapy, direct heparin-induced degradation of platelets can result in a modest reduction of platelet count.

Reference: Counts, C. (Ed.) Core Curriculum for Nephrology Nursing, 7th ed., page 1013.
January 2022

Question Title

* By regulating the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS), healthy kidneys control which of these functions?

The correct answer is b. blood pressure. 

Rationale: A healthy kidney can contribute to blood pressure control via the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS).  RAAS activation leads to blood vessel constriction, as well as salt and fluid retention, which raise blood pressure.

Reference: Bodin, S. (Ed.) Comprehensive Nephrology Nursing, 3rd ed., pages 426-427; Kallenbach, J.Z. (2021). Review of Hemodialysis for Nurses and Dialysis Personnel, 10th ed., page 34

August 2021

Question Title

* In patients who have CKD Stage 5 and are on kidney replacement therapy, a major risk factor linked to acquiring infection with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) is the

The correct answer is d. number of years receiving hemodialysis treatments.

Rationale: The number of years on hemodialysis is the major risk factor independently associated with higher rates of HCV infection in patients with CKD Stage 5 who are receiving kidney replacement therapy.  

Reference: Bodin, S.M. (2017). Contemporary Nephrology Nursing, 3rd ed., p. 884
March 2021

Question Title

* A patient who has been taking cinacalcet (Sensipar) is being switched to etelcalcetide (Parsabiv). When initiating treatment with Parsabiv, the Sensipar must be

The correct answer is a. discontinued for 7 days prior to administering Parsabiv.

Rationale: Sensipar should be discontinued for at least 7 days prior to starting Parsabiv, which should then be initiated at a starting dose of 5 mg.  Also, a corrected serum calcium level at or above the lower limit of normal must be ensured prior to Parsabiv initiation.

Reference: Amgen package insert for etelcalcetide (Parsabiv), 2017, p. 3
October 2020

Question Title

* One helpful patient education technique is the Teach-Back method, which allows the nurse to

The correct answer is d. confirm that the patient understands the content.

Rationale: Teach Back is a way to confirm that the nurse has explained to the patient and/or family what they need to know in a manner that was understood. The understanding is confirmed when they explain the information back (Teach Back) to the nurse.

Reference: Bodin, S.M. (2017). Contemporary Nephrology Nursing, 3rd ed., pp. 145-146.
May 2020

Question Title

* Water softeners in dialysis water treatment systems are used to

The correct answer is b. increase the life‑span of the reverse osmosis membrane.

Rationale: If feed water contains calcium and/or magnesium, these elements must be removed to prevent scaling of the reverse osmosis (RO) membrane. The softened water increases the life span of the RO membrane.

 Reference:  Bodin, S.M. (2017). Contemporary Nephrology Nursing, 3rd ed., p. 176
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