The nurse is caring for a client who has been diagnosed with pulseless electrical activity (PEA). Following effective CPR and administration of epinephrine, which is the next priority nursing action?

  • check for a pulse
  • insert a urinary catheter
  • prepare to shock the client
  • administer a bolus of sodium bicarbonate
Number 1 is correct.
Following CPR, the most important priority is to check the client for a pulse. Often the cardiac monitor may display normal sinus rhythm when there is no pulse present. A urinary catheter would not be the first priority. PEA is never shocked. Once airway is established, the client should be monitored for a pulse, regardless whether the monitor displays an organized rhythm or not.