A.H. is a 70-year-old retired construction worker who has experienced lumbosacral pain, nausea, and upset stomach for the past 6 months. He has a history of heart failure, high cholesterol, hypertension (HTN), sleep apnea, and depression. His chronic medical problems have been managed over the years with benazepril (Lotensin) 5 mg/day, fluoxetine (Prozac) 40 mg/day, furosemide (Lasix) 20 mg/day, potassium chloride (KCl) 20 mEq (20 mmol) bid, and atorvastatin 40 mg each evening.

A.H. has just been admitted to the hospital for surgical repair of a 6.2-cm abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) that is now causing him constant pain. On arrival to your floor, his vital signs (VS) are 109/81, 61, 16, and 98.3 ° F (36.8 ° C). When you perform your assessment, you find that his apical heart rhythm is regular, and his peripheral pulses are all 2+. His lungs are clear, and he is awake, alert, and oriented. There are no abnormal physical findings; however, he has not had a bowel movement for 3 days. His electrolytes, blood chemistries, and clotting studies are within normal range, except his hematocrit is 30.1%, and hemoglobin is 9 g/dL (90 g/L).

1. When you perform A.H.’s abdominal assessment, you do not hear any bowel sounds when auscultating his abdomen. What should you do?


A.H.’s recovery is uneventful. While preparing him for discharge, you talk to him about health promotion and lifestyle change issues that are pertinent to his health problems.

2. Name 4 health-related issues you might discuss with him and what you would teach in each area.

3.  A.H. will be receiving follow-up visits from the home health care nurse to change his dressing and evaluate his incision. What can you discuss with A.H. before discharge that will help him understand what the nurse will be doing?

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