sent by Mrs. Sheila Marie Subong-Gernade

REWORD THE QUESTION (find out what each question is really asking)

Step 1. Read each question carefully from the first word to the last word. Do not skim over the words or read them too quickly.

Step 2. Look for hints in the wording of the question stem. The adjectives MOST, FIRST, BEST, and INITIAL indicate that you must establish priorities. The phrase FURTHER TEACHING IS NECESSARY indicates that the answer will contain incorrect information.  The phrase "CLIENT UNDERSTANDS THE TEACHING" indicates that the answer will be correct information.

Step 3. Reword the question stem in your own words so that it can be answered with a "yes" or a " no" or with a specific bit of information. Begin your questions with "what", "when", or "why".


A 6 yr. old girl with a fractured femur is brought to the ER by her parents. When asked how the injury occurred, her parents state that she fell off the sofa. On examination, the nurse finds several lesions on the child’s buttock. Which of the following statements most appropriately reflects how the nurse should document these findings?

1.  Read the question stem carefully.

2.  Pay attention to the adjectives. "Most appropriately" tells you that you need to select the best answer.

3.  Reword the question stem in your own words. In this case, it is: "What is the best charting for this situation?"

A 47 year old male construction worker is admitted to the hospital for treatment of active tuberculosis. The nurse teaches the patient about tuberculosis. Which statement, if made by the patient, would indicate to the nurse that further teaching is necessary?

1. Read the question stem carefully.

2.  Look for hints. Pay particular attention to the statement "further teaching is necessary". You are looking for negative information.

3.  Reword the question stem in your own words. In this case, it is: "What is incorrect information about tuberculosis?"

  • Sixth senses don’t work!!! – do not answer questions based on feelings or hunches.
  • Do not look for a specific answer choice….eliminate wrong answers. If you eliminate three answer choices, the fourth answer choice must be the correct answer.
  • No second chances! Eliminate only what you know is wrong. However, once you eliminate an answer choice, do not retrieve it for consideration. You may be tempted to do this if you do not feel comfortable with the one answer choice that is left. Resist the impulse!
  • Do not focus on unnecessary information. Focus on the question, not the background information.

    Don’t look for the "ideal" answer choice that your expecting.


    The nurse describes the procedure for collecting a clean-catch urine for culture and sensitivity to a male patient. Which of the following explanations, if made by the nurse, would be most accurate?

    A.  "The urinary meatus is cleansed with an iodine solution and then a urinary drainage catheter is inserted to obtain urine."
    B.   " You will be asked to empty your bladder one half hour before the test; you ill then be asked to void into a container."
    C.  "Before voiding, the urinary meatus is cleansed with an iodine solution and urine is voided into a sterile container; the container must not touch the penis."
    D.  "You must void a few drips of urine, then stop; then void the remaining urine into a clean container, which should be immediately covered."

    Reworded question: "What is true about a clean-catch urine specimen for culture and senstivity?"

    Correct answer is letter C. Many students will select letter D because they see the expected words ""Void a few drops; stop; continue voiding." Be careful. This question is a good example of why scanning for expected words could get you into trouble. You may see expected words in an answer choice that is not correct. (remember sterile specimen is needed for C/S test….using just a clean container is incorrect)

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    Tips & Articles for Registered Nurses

    pyright 2002 by Parvae Lucies Domini (http://www.ann2.net/pld)
    Thanks to Mrs. Sheila Subong-Gernade for sending these tips