Electrolytes Question #66


A client with hyperkalemia is prescribed sodium polystyrene. Which will the nurse monitor after giving the client the medication?


  1. Urine output
    • Rationale:
  2. Respiratory rate
    • Rationale:
  3. Bowel movements
    • Rationale:
  4. Tall peaked T waves on cardiac telemetry
    • Rationale:



The correct answer is C. Sodium polystyrene or Kayexalate causes potassium to be exchanged for sodium in the intestines and excreted through bowel movements. If the client does not have stools, the drug cannot work properly. Sodium polystyrene does not affect urine output, respiratory rate, or cardiac rhythm.

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