Electrolytes Question #38


A client recovering from a thyroidectomy reports numbness and tingling around the mouth and the tips of the fingers. Which intervention should be implemented first?


  1. Notify the health care provider immediately.
    • Rationale:
  2. Tap the cheek about two (2) centimeters anterior to the ear lobe.
    • Rationale:
  3. Check the serum calcium and magnesium levels.
    • Rationale:
  4. Prepare to administer calcium gluconate IVP.
    • Rationale:



The correct answer is B. Tingling and numbness around the mouth are signs of hypocalcemia. Assessing the Chvostek’s sign is done by tapping the cheek about 2 centimeters anterior to the ear lobe. A positive sign would be twitching of the facial muscle and eyelid which indicates hypocalcemia. The health care provider can be notified after assessing the Chvostek’s sign. The serum calcium and magnesium levels can be assessed after checking for the Chvoste’s sign. The health care provider determines the medication used to treat hypocalcemia.

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