Respiratory Question #17


The nurse assesses a client with pneumonia after the unlicensed health assistive personnel reports the client is having chest pain. The nurse determines the client may have pleuritic chest pain based on which finding?


  1. Rapid, shallow, painful respirations.
    • Rationale:
  2. Coughing that triggers muscle spasm.
    • Rationale:
  3. Chest pain that worsens on inspiration.
    • Rationale:
  4. Complaints of mild but constant aching in the chest.
    • Rationale:



Pleuritic chest pain is pain that usually worsens on inspiration because of friction between the pleural layers. Pain occurs on inspiration and expiration due to chest wall movement; however, it is worse on inspiration. It is not described as rapid shallow respirations, and is not caused by coughing spasms. The pain is usually sharp and not mild or achy.

Learning Outcomes

Test Taking Tip

Video Rationale