Endocrine Question #2


The nurse is caring for a client who has undergone subtotal thyroidectomy. Which post-operative assessment should receive the highest priority?


  1. Swallowing reflex
    • Rationale:
  2. Swelling in lower extremities
    • Rationale:
  3. Respiratory rate of 22 breaths/min
    • Rationale:
  4. Heart rate of 98 beats/min
    • Rationale:



The swallowing reflex is important to assess following subtotal thyroidectomy. Impaired swallowing may occur related to edema or laryngeal nerve damage that could result from the surgical procedure. Swallowing difficulty related to edema may also affect airway. The nurse should assess for inspiratory stridor, respiratory difficulty, and hoarseness.

Learning Outcomes

Test Taking Tip

Video Rationale