Electrolytes Question #10


The nurse is caring for a client with a serum potassium level of 5.4 mEq/L. Which finding should the nurse expect on the client’s electrocardiogram (ECG)?


  1. ST depression
    • Rationale:
  2. Inverted T wave
    • Rationale:
  3. Prominent U wave
    • Rationale:
  4. Tall peaked T waves
    • Rationale:



The correct answer is D. A serum potassium level greater than 5.1 mEq/L indicates hyperkalemia. Early ECG changes associated with hyperkalemia include tall, peaked T waves with a narrow base. Other ECG changes include flat P waves, prolonged PR intervals, and widened QRS complexes.

NCLEX TIP: Using critical thinking is recommended when reading priority questions. Recognizing key words in the answer choices will allow you to know how to choose the correct answer for the question. Go through each answer choice and decide is it: Maslow’s hierarchy, safety-related, or following the nursing process (ADPIE). Never complete a nursing action that is outside the scope of practice.

Learning Outcomes

Test Taking Tip

Video Rationale