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Physiological Adaptations

The Physiological Adaptations section of the NCLEX-RN assesses a nurse’s ability to manage and provide care to chronically ill patients. Below is a list of terms and concepts covered on the exam.

Alterations in Body Systems

  • phototherapy
  • central line dressing
  • client wound healing
  • surgical wound drains
  • chest tube suction
  • central line placement
  • biopsy, debridement
  • peritoneal dialysis
  • chest physiotherapy
  • spirometry
  • nasopharyngeal suctioning
  • endotracheal
  • tracheostomy tube
  • complications of pregnancy/labor
  • eclampsia, precipitous labor
  • increased intracranial pressure

Fluid and Electrolyte Imbalances

  • client fluid imbalance
  • client electrolyte imbalance


  • decreased cardiac output
  • diminished peripheral pulses
  • hypotension,cardiac rhythm strip abnormalities
  • sinus bradycardia
  • premature ventricular contractions (PVCs)
  • ventricular tachycardia
  • fibrillation
  • pacemaker
  • biventricular pacemaker
  • implantable cardioverter defibrillator
  • arterial lines
  • telemetry monitoring
  • cardiac arrhythmias
  • hemodialysis
  • arteriovenous (AV) shunt
  • fistula
  • graft

Illness Management

  • gastric lavage
  • cast placement

Infectious Disease

  • AIDS treatment
  • tuberculosis treatment

Medical Emergencies

  • cardiopulmonary resuscitation
  • Heimlich maneuver
  • respiratory support
  • automated external defibrillator
  • wound disruption
  • evisceration
  • dehiscence
  • restoration of breathing
  • restoration of pulse


Radiation Therapy

  • effects of radiation therapy
  • response to radiation therapy

Unexpected Response to Therapies

  • increased intracranial pressure
  • hemorrhage
  • unexpected hematopoietic changes
  • urinary tract infection

Return to the main NCLEX Study Guide page

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 6 years ago


    Check all vital signs qh, keep wounds and dressings clean, give medications at the time they are to be given.Keep the patient comfortable and turned to help prevent bedsores.

  • Mary2_max50


    over 7 years ago


    Thank you for the information I have three more semesters to go and afterwards I take the NCLEX exam. Please share tips and any other information that will help me through it.

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