Medical Surgical Sodium Na+ #5

Question

The nurse is evaluating the serum laboratory results on four clients. Which laboratory result should the nurse report first?

Answers

  1. A client with bulimia and a potassium level of 3.6 mEq/L.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because a normal potassium level is between 3.5 to 5.5 mEq/L, making a level of 3.6 mEq/L within the normal range. A client with dehydration and a sodium level of 149 mEq/L requires intervention as the normal range is 135 to 145 mEq/L.

  2. A client with osteoporosis and a calcium level of 10.6 mg/dL.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because the serum calcium level of 10.6 mg/dL is considered normal because the range is 9 to 11 mg/dL. A client with dehydration and a sodium level of 149 mEq/L requires intervention as the normal range is 135 to 145 mEq/L.

  3. A client with renal failure and a magnesium level of 2.5 mEq/L.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because the client with a serum magnesium level of 2.5 mEq/L is at the upper limit of normal; therefore, the level should be monitored but does not require priority reporting.

  4. A client with dehydration and a sodium level of 149 mEq/L.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because the normal range for serum sodium is 135 to 145 mEq/L; therefore, this client is experiencing hypernatremia. Because dehydration is likely to cause serum sodium levels to increase further, this is the laboratory results the nurse reports first.

Overview

Electrolytes play a vital role in maintaining homeostasis in the body. A client with dehydration and a sodium level of 149 mEq/L requires intervention as the normal range is 135 to 145 mEq/L.

Explanation

Learning Outcomes

Electrolytes help to regulate acid-base and fluid balances, cardiac and neurological function, oxygen delivery, and much more. A client with dehydration and a sodium level of 149 mEq/L requires intervention as the normal range is 135 to 145 mEq/L. Because the serum sodium is likely to continue to rise as result of the dehydration, this result should be reported first.

Test Taking Tip

While each of these clients may be experiencing alterations in serum electrolyte levels, consider the client who is at risk for danger without intervention as this is priority and, therefore, reported to the health care provider first.

Video Rationale