Electrolytes Question #14


The nurse notes that a client has a serum potassium level of 3.2 mEq/L. Which finding should the nurse expect on the client’s electrocardiogram (ECG)?


  1. U waves
    • Rationale:
  2. Absent P waves
    • Rationale:
  3. Elevated T waves
    • Rationale:
  4. Elevated ST segment
    • Rationale:



The correct answer is A. A serum potassium level less than 3.5 mEq/L is hypokalemia. Hypokalemia is a potentially life-threatening electrolyte imbalance that can cause inverted T waves, ST segment depression, and prominent U waves.

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