A nurse arrives at her job in the psychiatric unit and is given her assignments for the day. She has a patient who is experiencing delirium tremens after alcohol withdrawal and who needs medication, a patient who will be undergoing ECT later that day, a patient with obsessive-compulsive disorder who has not had breakfast yet, and a patient who needs to go to group therapy for patients with eating disorders. Which patient should the nurse see first?


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- The patient with delirium tremens

- The patient receiving ECT later

- The patient who needs breakfast

- The patient going to group therapy


A nurse must prioritize care and organize her time to treat the patients with the highest needs first. In this situation, the patient who is suffering from delirium tremens may be hemodynamically unstable and should be seen first.

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