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While the nursing assistant is helping residents to eat in the dining room, a resident suddenly stands from their seat and starts clutching their throat while coughing silently. Which of the following actions should the nursing assistant perform first?

A Ask the resident if they are choking.

It is significant to assess whether or not the patient is choking. Air is still moving through the trachea if they are able to answer. If they nod yes, but are unable to speak, it is time to begin the Heimlich maneuver. The Heimlich should not be performed on anyone who is able to cough or speak.