Pancreatitis, Giving Blood, A contest – Newsletter 1

Hope you had a wonderful 4th of July and welcome to the NCLEX newsletter. Issues are sent out on the 15th and 30th of every month. You subscribed at our website and you can cancel any time that you want.

Each issue will have study tips, things you’ll need to study that are on the NCLEX test, nursing / school life tips and some things that you can do for fun. As we continue to grow we’ll be giving stuff away that you can use.


Study Tips – we talked quite a bit about studying the past couple of weeks. You can find those articles at the following links.

Things on the NCLEX

This section will have a couple of subjects / items that were on the NCLEX. Today we’ll be talking about Pancreatitis and Giving Blood Products. Both of these items were on a test that was given in June.

Infusing Blood Products –


  1. Verify that an order for the transfusion exists
  2. Physical assessment of the patient (including baseline vital signs). Document your findings.
  3. Make sure that the patient has given informed consent.
  4. Teach the patient about the procedure
  5. Check for vascular access.
  6. Make sure necessary equipment is at hand for administering the blood product and managing a reaction, such as an additional free I.V. line for normal saline solution, oxygen, suction, and a hypersensitivity kit.
  7. Know your infusion rate. This depends on the patient (a trauma patient would be different that one with heart failure. Know the type of blood product you’ll be administering.
  8. Who will you contact in case of a reaction?.
  9. Double check the patient’s ID and blood product according to your facility’s policy.
  10. Infuse the blood product with normal saline solution only, using filtered tubing. Document the procedure according to policy.


More information, including reactions that sometimes occur can be found here (a pdf)


Pancreatitis –


The pancreas is a gland behind the stomach and next to the small intestine. The pancreas performs two main job:

  1. Releases digestive enzymes into the small intestine to aid with digestion
  2. It releases the insulin and glucagon. These hormones help the body control how it uses food for energy.

Pancreatitis is a disease in which the pancreas becomes inflamed. Pancreatic damage happens when the digestive enzymes are activated before they are released into the small intestine and begin attacking the pancreas.

Two types Acute and Chronic


Signs and Symptoms – Acute include:


  • Upper abdominal pain that radiates into the back. It may be aggravated by eating, especially foods high in fat.
  • Swollen and tender abdomen.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Fever.
  • Increased heart rate.


Chronic symptoms include:

  • Upper abdominal pain
  • Losing weight without trying
  • Oily, smelly stools (steatorrhea)

Most cases caused by alcohol abuse.




Acute pancreatitis – IVFluids and pain meds in the hospital. Sometimes in ICU because the pancrease can cause damage to other vital organs.


Personal note: I had a few patients in ICU that had acute pancreatitis – one of them was also an alcoholic and went into withdrawal. He was intubated and one of the hardest patients I’ve ever taken care of to keep sedated. Remember patients and their families will be reluctant to talk about alcohol use, it is important that you get that information.


Chronic can be difficult to treat. Doctors usually focus on pain management and nutrition needs.


More information –

Useful Videos –

NCLEX Drug Review


Trivia / Q and A


True or False. A large gauge IV needle is used when giving blood. Why? Which is larger a 24 gauge or 18?


Contest – newsletter subscribers are automatically entered into our summer blast contest. We’ll be drawing for a $25 gift certificate from Amazon on August 30th. During July and August we’ll be giving you additional ways to win (mostly from sharing posts) – you can find our Facebook page here –


Good Deals – This is a section we’ll dedicate to some good deals we find on the web. Unfortunately this deal is good for only one day (July 15). I’m sure you’ve heard of Amazon Prime day. They are giving folks free access to prime, why would you want this? Click here for details. You’ll have 30 days of free shipping, which will come in handy if you’re buying textbooks in August.


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