Electrolytes Question #49
The nurse reviews the serum electrolyte levels for a client. Which result would the nurse immediately report to the health care provider?
- Calcium 8.9 mg/dL
- Magnesium 1.8 mEq/L
- Potassium 2.1 mEq/L
- Sodium 138 mEq/L
The correct answer is C. A potassium level of 2.1 mEq/L is low, and the client has hypokalemia. Hypokalemia can cause cardiac dysrhythmias, fatigue, digestive problems and breathing difficulties. The other laboratory values are within normal limits.
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.