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Reading Comprehension

A Closer Look at the Complete Blood Count

Read the text and answer the following questions:

 

A complete blood count (CBC) is one of the most useful and requested types of  analysis in medical practice.  A CBC searches for all the cells that exist in the blood, which are divided into three basic types: white blood cells (leukocytes), platelets, and red blood cells (erythrocytes). All of these blood cells are produced in the bone marrow and correspond to a specific exam, integrated in the CBC: erythrogram, leukogram, and thrombogram.

The erythrogram studies red blood cells. Amongst other tests, it includes a red blood cell count, a hematocrit, and hemoglobin. When these levels are low, the patient may be suffering from anemia, which can be caused by anything from heavy menstrual bleeding to Addison’s disease. A diagnosis of  polycythemia may be made if the number of red blood cells is increased.

The leukogram is the test that evaluates the number of white cells present in the blood, which should vary between 4,000 and 10,000 cells per cubic millimeter in most adults. High values of white blood cells are seen with infection or severe emotional/physical stress, while AIDS and chemotherapy are two causes for low values.

The thrombogram is the analysis of platelets, the cells responsible for coagulation. The main function of platelets is to help stop bleeding by helping form a clot. They do this by secreting proteins from their surface that allow them to stick to vessels and each other. Low values of platelets are seen with pregnancy or an enlarged spleen, whereas high values are seen with cancers or iron deficiency.

Questions

1) What are the names of the three basic blood cells?

  1. Red cells, white cells, and platelets
  2. Leukocytes, platelets and erythrocytes
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. None of the above

Answer: Both 1 and 2

2) What is the name of the disease characterized by a high amount of red blood cells?

  1. Thrombocytopenia
  2. Anemia
  3. Polycythemia
  4. This condition was not mentioned in this passage

Answer: Polycythemia

3) Which of the following can correctly be inferred from this passage?

  1. A complete blood count is the same as a general blood exam
  2. The cells that exist in the blood are divided into three basic types: leukocytes, white cells, and platelets
  3. The three basic blood cells are produced in the bone marrow
  4. A complete blood count is the best way to detect anemias

Answer: The three basic blood cells are produced in the bone marrow

Allergic Reactions: The Importance of a Correct Diagnosis

Read the text below and answer the following questions:

Allergies are defined as an “immunological hypersensitivity to a specific external stimulus,” or, more simply put, an exaggerated response of the immune system to a substance that is foreign to the body. Patients with allergy are called “atopic” or, more popularly, “allergic”. The diagnosis an allergy is mainly clinical and it can be aided by skin allergy tests and laboratory examinations.

Skin allergy tests are fast and practical and can be done in an allergy and immunology office. While skin tests are generally sufficient to confirm a diagnosis, doctors may also request complementary laboratory studies for further confirmation. These blood tests may look for an increase in white blood cells or antibodies to common allergy triggers such as pet dander, grasses, and molds. Blood tests may help confirm or exclude the possibility of an allergy and consequently reduce adverse reactions caused by unnecessary medication. A correct diagnosis, along with proper treatment based on the valid results of allergy tests, will help reduce or eliminate the incidence of symptoms and improve the patient’s quality of life.

Questions

1)  Why is it important to be tested for allergies if they are suspected?

  1. To exclude certain allergies and explore the possibility of others
  2. To reduce adverse reactions caused by unnecessary allergy medications
  3. To reduce the incidence of allergy-related symptoms
  4. All the above

Answer: All the above

2) Which of the following options cannot be inferred from this passage?

  1. Patients with an allergy are usually called “atopic” or “allergic”
  2. A correct diagnosis and treatment can help improve the patient’s quality of life.
  3. An increase in white blood cells confirms an allergic diagnosis
  4. The diagnosis of allergy can be aided by skin allergy tests

Answer: An increase in white blood cells confirms an allergic diagnosis

Nurses and Their Ability to Deal with Pain and Pain Assessment

Read the following text passage and answer the questions below:

 

A quantitative descriptive study focused on the attitudes of nurses towards chronic pain found in the cancer patient population. The study sample was composed  of 93 nurses from three hospitals with an average age of 30.54 years. Of these, 45.2% had a bachelor’s degree.

Throughout their professional careers, 91.4% of the nurses said they had acquired training in the assessment and treatment of pain. A small percentage, 18.3%, acquired this training through postgraduate studies or equivalent. However, 76.5% of these nurses found their training insufficient and experienced difficulties in the assessment of chronic pain in cancer patients.

Independent variables were not found to influence the attitudes of the nurses in this study.  The study concluded that many nurses have little knowledge about  cancer-related pain in the areas of pain assessment, pain management, psychological pain, spiritual pain, and the side effects of analgesic therapy. The results suggest the need for more training in the area of pain and pain assessment in this population.

Questions

1) What is the main conclusion you can make from this text?

  1. Nurses are totally prepared to take care of patients with chronic pain
  2. Nurses are scared of chronic pain
  3. Nurses can’t deal with their patients’ pain
  4. Nurses need more training in order to take care of patients in pain

Answer: Nurses need more training in order to take care of patients in pain

 

2) Which of the following is not in this article?

  1. Nurses need more training in the area of pain
  2. A small percentage of nurses acquired their training through postgraduate studies
  3. This study was influenced by independent variables
  4. More than 30% of the nurses that participated in the study have a bachelor’s degree

Answer: This study was influenced by independent variables

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