Medical Surgical Sodium Na+ #6

Question

A client has a hematocrit of 56% and a serum sodium level of 152 mEq/L. For which health problem should the nurse expect this client to receive treatment?

Answers

  1. Anemia.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because the hematocrit would be low, not elevated, in anemia. In dehydration, the client’s serum sodium level is elevated and the amount of body fluids are inadequate thereby leading to an elevated hematocrit level.

  2. Renal failure.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because the potassium, not serum sodium, level would be elevated in renal failure. In dehydration, the client’s serum sodium level is elevated and the amount of body fluids are inadequate thereby leading to an elevated hematocrit level.

  3. Dehydration.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because this client is experiencing dehydration based on the elevated hematocrit and serum sodium levels.

  4. Overhydration.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because the serum sodium would be low, not high, in overhydration. In dehydration, the client’s serum sodium level is elevated and the amount of body fluids are inadequate thereby leading to an elevated hematocrit level.

Overview

Planning is a deliberative, systematic phase of the nursing process that involves decision-making and problem solving based on the client’s current clinical data. Dehydration occurs when the client’s intake is much less than output, water is lost, and the serum sodium level becomes elevated.

Explanation

Learning Outcomes

It is essential that the nurse be able to identify potential client problems based on the results of laboratory data. The normal range for hematocrit varies by gender (female clients 35.5 to 44.9%; male clients 38.3 to 48.6%) while the normal range for serum sodium is 135 to 145 mEq/L. Regardless of this client’s gender, the hematocrit and serum sodium levels are elevated in this scenario. In dehydration, the client’s serum sodium level is elevated and the amount of body fluids are inadequate thereby leading to an elevated hematocrit level.

Test Taking Tip

Consider the pathophysiology of each choice to answer this question correctly.

Video Rationale