A client presents to the emergency room with severe pain in the upper right abdomen. The client is nauseated and has a temperature of 102.2°F. Which nursing action would be a priority at this time?

  1. relieve pain
  2. obtain vital signs
  3. administer IV fluids
  4. prepare for surgery
Number 2 is correct.
Rationale: Assessment of the client is a priority in the nursing process; therefore, obtaining vital signs would be a priority. The nurse must assess before performing interventions such as relief of pain, administration of IV fluids, and preparation for surgery.