The nurse is caring for a patient after undergoing a right thoracotomy. When caring for this patient with a chest tube, the nurse should


•A thoracotomy is a surgical procedure that gains access to the pleural or lung tissue. A lung biopsy, wedge resection, or procedure on the pleural may be completed.

•Coughing and deep breathing should be encouraged to facilitate drainage and prevent pneumonia.

•The chest tube should not be clamped unless ordered by the physician.

•Never "milk" a chest tube because this can generate extreme negative pressures in the tube. Instead, clots may be squeezed and released along the tubing to help move them into the collection chamber.

•Fluctuations in the water seal chamber are normal and should not be communicated to the physician.

Visit our website for other NCLEX topics now!