Electrolytes Question #2


A patient has a potassium level of 9.0 mEq/L. Which nursing intervention is priority?


  1. Prepare the patient for dialysis and place the patient on a cardiac monitor
    • Rationale:
  2. Administer spironolactone
    • Rationale:
  3. Place patient on a potassium-restricted diet
    • Rationale:
  4. Administer a laxative
    • Rationale:



The correct answer is A. Dialysis is used to help failing kidneys to be able to filter out waste, salt, and even extra water to prevent them from building up in the body, which will also help to keep the potassium levels down. Cardiac monitoring is required to monitor the heart activity related to the high potassium level. High potassium levels can increase the risk of ventricular and supraventricular arrhythmia, and if left untreated, can lead to sudden cardiac death.

NCLEX TIP: Using critical thinking is recommended when reading priority questions. Recognizing key words in the answer choices will help you 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