Can You Answer These Basic Nursing Questions?

By: Todd Betzold
Estimated Completion Time
5 min
Can You Answer These Basic Nursing Questions?
Image: Morsa Images/DigitalVision/Getty Images

About This Quiz

When you go to the doctor's office or hospital, you often think the most important person you will see that day is the doctor. is that really the case? Nurses are pretty much doctors, but only a little nicer!

On a daily basis, nurses are there to help patients make their way through a visit. They do the brunt of the work and are not always appreciated for it. They are compassionate and kind, but at the same time, total bad a**es! I mean, they pretty much have to know everything going on in the hospital or doctor's office for every patient. They don't get to mess around and are doing it all with a smile.

While you may struggle making your way through this quiz, nurses know it like the back of their hand. They know all the vital signs and where your blood pressure should be. They know what to do in an emergency, not only to keep the patient calm but also help alleviate the situation.

Nurses are rock stars, so do you think you can compare to them? Try taking this nursing quiz and see how you would rate compared to come of the best in the industry!

What is the normal resting heart rate for an adult?
20 to 40 beats per minute
40 to 60 beats per minute
60 to 100 beats per minute
Over 100 beats per minute
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The normal heart rate for an adult is 60 to 100 beats per minute. A lower rate means more efficient heart function and better cardiovascular fitness, so athletes can fall below 60 and be fine.

A nurse is caring for a patient with MRSA, so wearing a gown and gloves. When should they dispose of the gown and gloves to go care for another patient?
In the hallway
In the current patient's room
In the break room
In the next patient's room before touching them
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

By disposing of the gown and gloves in the patient's room with MRSA, it lowers the chance of spreading the infection to staff or other patients.

After receiving an antibiotic, a patient is developing hives. What are they experiencing?
Drug allergy
Drug idiosyncrocasy
Drug tolerance
Drug synergism
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

After taking a drug, you can experience a rash, hives or even difficulty breathing. This is the result of a drug allergy.


When should a nurse weigh a patient to obtain the most accurate weight?
Right after eating
2 to 3 hours after eating
At the same time every day
Right when they wake up
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The nurse should weigh the patient at the same time every day. Most likely, the patient will be in similar circumstances as the day before and so on.

If a resident is suffering from chest pains, do all of the following except which one?
Call for immediate help
Offer support and reassurance
Place them in a downright position and have them take small sips of water.
Remain and act calm
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

If a patient is suffering from chest pains, no food or drinks should be consumed until they are assessed by a doctor. They should also not be put in a prone position when experiencing chest pains.

When doing documentation, which of the following qualities are relevant?
All of the above
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Documentation must leave no room for interpretation. The information must be thorough, accurate and organized for anyone who will be reading it in the future.


Which of the following would be the best option to decrease swelling?
Heat compression
Moist bandages
Dry bandage pressure
Cold compression
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

To reduce swelling, cold packs are used. Heat compressions are normally used when trying to reduce pain, like in the back.

How long should a nurse wait before taking a patient's temperature orally after they just finished a cold drink?
Immediately, as a cold drink would not affect an oral thermometer.
3 to 5 minutes after drink was finished
15 minutes after drink was finished
20 to 30 minutes after drink was finished
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The oral cavity needs a little time to return to a more accurate temperature. The 15 minutes should be enough time to allow that to happen.

What is the normal internal body temperature?
98.6°F (37°C)
99.9°F (37.7°C)
96°F (35.6°C)
100.4°F (38°C)
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The average body temperature is normally 98.6°F (37°C). If your temperature goes over 100.4°F (38°C), you have an illness or infection.


What is hypertension a medical term for?
High blood pressure
High anxiety
Tense muscles
High stress
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The medical term for high blood pressure is called hypertension. When the blood pressure is low, it's called hypotension.

While preparing a sterile field for a dressing change, which of the following constitutes a break in the sterile technique?
Not using sterile gloves to touch the outside wrapper of sterilized material.
Placing the sterile items into the sterile field.
Placing sterile object on the edge of the sterile field.
Using sterile forceps to handle a sterile object instead of sterile gloves.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The edges of a sterile field are considered to be contaminated. Therefore, anything that touched the edges would be considered contaminated also.

What is palliative care?
Improving the quality of life for an elderly patient
Using surgery to cure a patient
Improving the quality of life for patients with a serious illness
24-hour care for a patient
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Palliative care is focused on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of a serious illness. This care has a goal of improving the quality of life for both the patient and their family.


Which nerve is compressed when carpal tunnel syndrome is present?
Axillary nerve
Median nerve
Optic nerve
Trochlear nerve
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common condition that causes numbness, tingling and pain in the hand and arm. This happens when the median nerve, one of the major nerves to the hand, is squeezed or compressed.

Before a blood transfusion, what blood tests should be done?
Clotting time
Blood typing and cross-matching
Coagulation time
Check for infections
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Before the transfusion, the blood type of the donor and recipient must be checked for compatibility. Blood typing determines a person's blood type and cross-matching determines the compatibility of their blood after their blood types are matched.

Which of these is considered Stage 4 of a decubitus ulcer?
Redness on the skin
An open area with redness
Superficial ulcer that looks like a deep crater
Open area with damage reaching to the bone, joint or tendons
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The damage to the bone, joint or tendons signals Stage 4. Redness would be Stage 1, both redness and an open sore would be Stage 2 and the crater-like appearance would be Stage 3.


Which field of nursing focuses on the utmost care of critically ill or unstable patients?
Critical care nursing
Home health nursing
Forensic nursing
School nursing
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Critical care nurses work with the critically ill or unstable patients. You can find critical care nurses in intensive care units, burn units, pediatrics and more.

What is the last step in making a bed?
Move the call light
Mitering the corners
Wash your hands.
Adjusting the height of the bed
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

With so many germs on beds and in sheets, you should wash your hands when finished. The others are part of the process, but not the final step.

A 2-month-old just had cleft lip repair done. What type of restraint would you put them in?
Clove hitch
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The elbow restraint will stop the baby from being able to touch the surgical site. However, it will not stop movement of other parts of their body.


Which of these is not a sign of impending death?
Cooled extremities
Labored breathing
Unstable blood pressure
Increase in appetite
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

When a body is shutting down, it experiences all of these things except the increase in appetite. You lose your appetite instead.

Which of the following statements is incorrect with regard to wearing gloves?
Peel the glove away from you so it comes off inside out.
Always wash your hands before putting on and after removing gloves.
Don't let the outer layer of the glove touch your skin after removing them.
Latex gloves are the most permeable, so always wear them.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Latex gloves are not the best option, as people have latex allergies. There are plenty of other glove materials around.

Which of the following patients is at greater risk of contracting an infection?
A patient with leukopenia
A patient that was just diagnosed with diabetes
A patient that just underwent orthopedic surgery
A patient receiving broad-spectrum antibiotics
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

A patient with leukopenia has a decreased number of leukocytes or white blood cells. These are important when fighting off infections.


Which of the following is not a good source for Vitamin A?
Butternut squash
White potatoes
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Vitamin A plays a vital role in vision. Potatoes are a good source of vitamin C and B6 and even fiber, but not vitamin A.

Why is taking a patient's temperature orally the most common way of doing it?
It is more cost effective than other methods.
It gives the most accurate reading.
It offers the easiest access and the least inconvenience for the patient.
It's the only way patients will do it.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

This is the easiest way to take a temperature, which is why this is the most desirable way. It gives patients a bit more control.

How is the influenza vaccine administered?
Intranasal spray application
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Normally, the regular season flu shot would be injected into the muscle, so it's done intramuscularly.


What is the medical term for burping or passing gas?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Flatus is the medical term for intestinal gas. Another word for a fart would be (of course) flatulence.

What's the most accurate way of measuring core temperature?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Various studies have been conducted and they have determined that the most accurate core temperature reading is done rectally.

What are Korotkoff sounds?
Functional heart murmurs
Sounds heard while measuring blood pressure
Sounds heard on an ultrasound
Pathological heart murmurs
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Korotkoff sounds are blood flow sounds that nurses observe when taking a patient's blood pressure. The sounds appear and disappear when the blood pressure cuff is inflated and deflated.


What is considered to be the standard fifth vital sign?
Blood pressure
Blood glucose
Heart rate
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The four primary vital signs are body temperature, blood pressure, pulse and breathing rate. Depending on the clinical setting, they may also include a fifth vital sign, which would be pain.

All of these help prevent pressure sores except which one?
Giving them extra blankets
Making sure no wrinkles in the sheets
Changing positions regularly
Changing soiled sheets quickly
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Providing a resident with extra blankets will not prevent pressure sores. The other options all help in preventing them.

Which of the following is epinephrine not used to treat?
Cardiac arrest
High blood sugar
Life-threatening allergic reaction
Anaphylactic shock
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Epinephrine is a medication and hormone that is also known as adrenaline. It is used to treat all of these except high blood sugar.


To avoid a back injury, which muscles should a nurse use when moving a patient from the bed to a chair?
Back muscles
Cardiac muscles
Leg muscles
Upper arm muscles
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The leg muscles are the strongest muscles in the body. Because of this, they should bear most of the lifting.

When is sterile technique used?
Terminal disinfection is performed
Strict isolation is required
Invasive procedures are performed
Protective isolation is necessary
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Any invasive procedures, like surgery, require sterile technique to maintain a sterile environment. This helps prevent any infections being transmitted.

A patient is to have 240 milliliters of juice every 2 hours. Which of these is best to meet that requirement?
16 oz. can of juice
12 oz. can of juice
8 oz. can of juice
4 oz. can of juice
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

There are approximately 30 milliliters in one ounce, so an 8 oz. can of juice would work best here.


Which option is the best time to use an alcohol-based sanitizer?
When your hands are not visibly soiled
When you are putting in a catheter
When your hands are visibly soiled
When your hands are cut and have blood on them
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

When your hands don't look soiled, an alcohol-based sanitizer works best. If they are soiled, soap and water is your best bet.

What are antiembolism stockings primarily used for?
Their stylish looks
To prevent dependent edema
To provide external warmth
To promote circulation in the veins
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Also known os TED (Thrombo-Embolic Deterrent) hose, they are used to support the venous and lymphatic drainage of the leg. They are used to distribute an equal amount of compression at the ankle and up the leg.

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