Pharmacology Analgesic Question #2

Question

A patient is receiving opiates for pain therapy following postoperative surgical inguinal hernia repair. Which nursing diagnosis has the highest priority for the patient receiving opiate therapy?

Answers

  1. Alteration in comfort.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because the highest priority when a patient is on opiate therapy is not alteration in comfort. The risk for impaired gas exchange is priority since the airway and gas exchange is priority above pain or discomfort.

  2. Risk for impaired gas exchange.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because opiates can cause significant respiratory depression. Decreased respiratory rate and oxygen saturation would indicate respiratory depression in patients. The nurse should monitor the patient’s level of consciousness and vital signs while the patient is on opiates. If an overdose of opiates occurs, the antidote or antagonist is naltrexone.

  3. Risk for injury.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because risk for injury is not priority over risk for impaired gas exchange. Opiates can cause significant respiratory depression. Decreased respiratory rate and oxygen saturation would indicate respiratory depression in patients. If an overdose of opiates occurs, the antidote or antagonist is naltrexone.

  4. Alteration in urinary elimination.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because although urinary retention is associated with opiate use, risk for impaired gas exchange. Opiates can cause significant respiratory depression. Decreased respiratory rate and oxygen saturation would indicate respiratory depression in patients. If an overdose of opiates occurs, the antidote or antagonist is naltrexone. Additional side effects associated with opiate therapy include sedations, euphoria, constipation, urinary retention, nausea, and vomiting.

Overview

Opiate therapy causes CNS and respiratory depression, which places the patient at risk for impaired gas exchange.

Explanation

Learning Outcomes

Opiate therapy is given for treatment of pain. Opiates can cause significant respiratory depression. Decreased respiratory rate and oxygen saturation would indicate respiratory depression in patients. Additional side effects associated with opiate therapy include sedations, euphoria, constipation, urinary retention, nausea, and vomiting. The nurse should monitor the patient’s level of consciousness and vital signs while the patient is on opiates. If an overdose of opiates occurs, the antidote or antagonist is naltrexone.

Test Taking Tip

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