Medical Surgical Potassium K+ #13

Question

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

Answers

  1. Urine output
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because sodium polystyrene does not affect urine output. Kayexalate works to lower potassium through bowel movement, usually loose stools.

  2. Respiratory rate
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because sodium polystyrene does not affect the client’s respiratory rate. Kayexalate works to lower potassium through bowel movement, usually loose stools.

  3. Bowel movements
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because 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.

  4. Tall peaked T waves on cardiac telemetry
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because sodium polystyrene does not affect cardiac rhythm. Sodium polystyrene or Kayexalate causes potassium to be exchanged for sodium in the intestines and excreted through bowel movements.

Overview

Sodium polystyrene (Kayexalate) is a medication that is used to treat hyperkalemia (i.e., increased amounts of potassium in the body). A normal serum potassium level is between 3.5 to 5.5 mEq/L.

Explanation

Learning Outcomes

A normal serum potassium level is between 3.5 to 5.5 mEq/L. Kayexalate may be given to exchange potassium for sodium in the intestines to lower the serum potassium level. If the client does not have stools, the drug cannot work properly. Therefore, the nurse monitors the client’s bowel movements to determine the effectiveness of the medication.

Test Taking Tip

Consider the mechanism of action for the prescribed medication to answer this question correctly.

Video Rationale