Medical Surgical Calcium Ca+ #4

Question

A client with hypoparathyroidism reports numbness and tingling in the fingers and around the mouth. For which electrolyte imbalance should the nurse assess this client?

Answers

  1. Hyperkalemia
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because the parathyroid glands do not participate in the balance of serum potassium within the body; therefore, the nurse does not assess the client for hyperkalemia.

  2. Hyponatremia
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because the parathyroid glands do not participate in the balance of serum sodium within the body; therefore, the nurse does not assess the client for hyponatremia.

  3. Hypocalcemia
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because PTH is responsible for regulating serum calcium levels within the body; therefore, the nurse assesses the client for hypocalcemia.

  4. Hypermagnesemia
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because hypocalcemia may cause hypomagnesemia; however, it will not cause hypermagnesemia. Therefore, the nurse does not assess the client for hypermagnesemia based on the current data.

Overview

Hypoparathyroidism is a condition in which the body produces abnormally low levels of parathyroid hormone (PTH). PTH is key to regulating and maintaining a balance of two minerals within the body — calcium and phosphorus.

Explanation

Learning Outcomes

PTH is key to regulating and maintaining a balance of two minerals within the body — calcium and phosphorus. Manifestations of low serum calcium levels include numbness and tingling in the fingers, mouth, tongue and feet, as well as muscle aches, spasms of the muscles in the throat (leading to difficulty breathing), stiffening, and spasms of muscles (tetany), seizures, and abnormal heart rhythms. Therefore, the nurse assesses this client for hypocalcemia (i.e., low serum calcium).

Test Taking Tip

Consider the relationship between the parathyroid hormone and calcium to answer this question correctly.

Video Rationale