Electrolytes Question #16


A client recovering from a thyroidectomy reports a new onset of numbness and tingling around the mouth. Which finding indicates the client’s serum calcium level is low?


  1. Bone pain
    • Rationale:
  2. Depressed deep tendon reflexes
    • Rationale:
  3. Positive Chvostek's sign
    • Rationale:
  4. Nausea
    • Rationale:



The correct answer is C. Signs of hypocalcemia include numbness and tingling, typically around the mouth, tongue, fingers and feet, bone pain, nausea, and depressed deep tendon reflexes. If the facial muscles contract when the facial nerve in front of the ear is tapped, this is considered a positive Chvostek’s sign, a positive indication of hypercalcemia.

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