Electrolytes Question #13


The nurse reviews a client’s recent laboratory values. For which reason should the nurse suspect the client is a risk for developing a deficit in serum potassium?


  1. Has renal failure.
    • Rationale:
  2. Requires nasogastric suction.
    • Rationale:
  3. Has a history of Addison's disease.
    • Rationale:
  4. Is taking a potassium-sparing diuretic.
    • Rationale:



The correct answer is B. Nasogastric suction increases the risk for developing hypokalemia. Nasogastric suction is used to remove any solids, liquids, or gasses from the stomach or small intestines, which will pull potassium rich substances from the client before they can be absorbed by the body. The risk for hyperkalemia is greater in renal failure, Addison’s disease, and when taking a potassium-sparing diuretic.

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