03.02 Absolute Words

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Alright, the second NCLEX testing strategy we’re gonna talk about is something called Absolute Words. Now, this is a pretty simple one to apply, it’s really easy to use when you’re taking this test and so it’s important to talk about it. So, let’s simply talk about what these absolute words are and how to use this strategy when taking NCLEX test. First of all, I want you to understand that when we talk about absolute words, what we’re talking about are words that are red flags. Okay, these are words that if you see these in an answer option, chances are, it’s probably wrong. Okay, I’m gonna give you 2 exceptions to that. But generally, when we see one of these words in an answer option, it’s usually gonna be, it’s wrong, you can avoid it, you can move on and skip it. These words that I want you to have and I want you to write down, it’s in the lecture notes here, but these words are always, never, none, all, every and can sometimes be the word only, as well. Okay, the reason that these are usually words that you can avoid is that it’s really hard to say that a specific option applies to every situation, every patient, always. And now, you really have to go with that. If the answer option says do something or never do something, then you have to say, you have to go with what’s in that question. And it literally means that you should always do that in every situation, always. Whether you’re working out as an emergency room tech, or whether you’re in an operating room, it’s something that you should always, always do. And so, because of that absolute word, generally these are things that you can avoid, you can skip, and you can run. Now, I want to tell you 2 exceptions to this rule. Sometimes, you might see an option that has absolute word. It looks really right to you and you’re like I feel like I always should wash my hands or something like that. You need to ask yourself 2 questions. First of all, is it a safety issue? Is it something that should always be done or should never be done out of safety for the patient and cannot be applied to many kinds of patients across multiple spectrums of health care? Okay, let’s give an example. Never lift a Foley bag above the bladder. Okay, that’s a safety issue. Alright, if we lift a Foley bag up above the bladder, the urine could back flow back into the bladder, cause bladder infection, cause urinary tract infection, and so, that’s something we really want to avoid. That’s a safety issue. Now we can also apply to a peds patient, OB patient, MedSurg patient, anywhere in the ED, in the OR, on the floor, in a home health, it’s something we can always apply. So, that goes, you know, again, with like hand hygiene. We wanna wash our hands, that’s an always issue because it’s a safety issue and it applies to multiple kinds of patients. So, really, that’s how you can determine if one of these absolute words possibly might be a correct answer but generally, what I want you to do, is if you see one of these absolute words in an answer option, ask yourself number 1 - Is it a safety issue?, number 2 - Can it be applied to multiple kinds of patient? I’m not talking about can it be applied to one or two settings? Can it be applied to every setting in health care? Alright, so it’s really what you have to say, can it be applied to every kind of patient and is it a safety issue? Otherwise, you just gotta, you gotta avoid these types of answer options, okay.

Now, let’s do, let’s read an example here. This is a pretty easy example, but let’s read this example to help you kinda see how this can be applied. The question is, how can the nurse best improve circulation when giving a patient a bath? Option 1, Apply soap to the washcloth. Number 2, keep the patient covered. Number 3, Use only hot water. Number 4, use firm strokes. Now, there’s a lot of things that we can apply here. There’s knowledge that we can apply here, a lot of different things that we can use to try to answer these questions but let’s choose the strategy we’re talking about here which is an absolute word. Which of these answer options has an absolute word in it? Obviously, if you look at option number 3, the absolute word is only. So, it’s saying, you can improve circulation for a patient by using only hot water. Now, what that saying is in every situation, every setting always you can improve circulation with hot water. Alright, in certain kinds of patients, it could burn the skin, it can be contraindicated in really young patients and patients with frail skins, or burned patient. We’re not gonna wanna use hot water on that kind of patient. So, since we can’t use it in every situation, and since using hot water is not a safety issue, we can automatically eliminate option number 3. Alright, so, option 4 on this one would be correct, using firm strokes, helping to promote circulation. Option 1 Apply soap to the washcloth is not gonna improve circulation. Option 2 Keeping patient covered is not gonna improve circulation. So, option 3, we automatically eliminate because it’s using an absolute word.

You guys, that’s really how it works. I want you to have these words familiar. You can also add only to the list in a lot of instances. Always, never, none, all, every. The only time one of these words can be correct if it’s safety and it can be applied across the health care spectrum. Alright guys, otherwise, hope this strategy helps.
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