A nurse is caring for a patient in skeletal traction. In order to prevent bony fragments from moving against one another, the nurse should caution the patient against which of the following actions?

Answer Explanation: To prevent bony fragments from moving against one another, the patient should not turn from side to side; however, the patient may shift position slightly with assistance. Bearing down and coughing do not pose a threat to bone union.

A nurse is assessing a patient who is receiving traction. The nurses assessment confirms that the patient is able to perform plantar flexion. What conclusion can the nurse draw from this finding?

Answer Explanation: Plantar flexion demonstrates function of the tibial nerve. It does not demonstrate the absence of DVT and does not allow the nurse to ascertain adequate circulation. The nurse must perform more assessments on more sites in order to determine an absence of peripheral neurovascular dysfunction.

The nurse is helping to set up Bucks traction on an orthopedic patient. How often should the nurse assess circulation to the affected leg?

Answer Explanation: After skin traction is applied, the nurse assesses circulation of the foot or hand within 15 to 30 minutes and then every 1 to 2 hours.

A patient is scheduled for a total hip replacement and the surgeon has explained the risks of blood loss associated with orthopedic surgery. The risk of blood loss is the indication for which of the following actions?

Answer Explanation: Many patients donate their own blood during the weeks preceding their surgery. Autologous blood donations are cost effective and eliminate many of the risks of transfusion therapy. Orthopedic surgery does not necessitate cardiopulmonary bypass and blood is not salvaged postoperatively. Transfusions are not given prophylactically.