Which is an example of a first-order priority need when providing patient care?


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- Maintaining a patient's airway

- Managing a patient's nausea

- Starting an IV

- Providing pain medications


Maintaining a patient's airway is correct because first-order priority needs are situations that threaten the patient's safety. Without meeting first-order priority needs, the patient could experience severe harm or even death. An example would be establishing an open airway for a patient: without an open airway the patient cannot breathe, and no other interventions can be done until the patient is able to breathe and obtain oxygen.
Managing a patient's nausea is incorrect because nausea does not threaten the patient's safety or survival. Nausea is related to comfort, which is an example of a second-order priority.
Starting an IV is incorrect because, although IV access is important, this is not a situation that threaten the patient's safety or survival.
Providing pain medications is incorrect because pain does not threaten the patient's survival. Pain medication falls into the comfort category, and therefore is a second-order priority.

Wywialowski, E. F. (2004). Managing client care. St. Louis, MO: Mosby. p. 93

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