Electrolyte Balance - Sodium : Nursing Course


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The normal range of sodium that should be present in the body is:

135-145 mEq/L

Rationale: The normal range for sodium in the blood is 134-145 mEq/L. Sodium is measured with other elecrolytes in a blood test called a basic metabolic panel. It is important to look at all other electrolyte levels when measuring sodium levels, because if sodium is unbalanced, other electrolytes may be as well. Sodium levels that are too high or too low can cause numerous neurological problems, as well as muscles weakness and twitching. If a sodium level is too high or too low, prompt treatment is essential to prevent permanent damage to the body.


When a patient is hypernatremic because of vomiting and diarrhea, the main treatment is:

fluid replacement

Rationale: Treating hypernatremia requires focus on correcting the underlying situation. For most patients, this is usually fluid replacement. For mild hypernatremia, the fluid may be replaced orally by encouraging patients to drink an increased amount of fluids. IV fluids may also be necessary to replenish the fluid directly into the body a little more quickly. For complex hypernatremia, which may occur with patients that have an extensive past medical history, dialysis may be required. As a nurse, it is essential to monitor sodium levels, and closely administer fluids based on the results. It is important to not over hydrate the patient to avoid other medical complications.


Patients that have mild hyponatremia should be placed on:

fluid restrictions

Rationale:

When caring for a patient that has had vomiting and diarrhea for 2 days, you recognize that they are at a high risk of developing:

hypernatremia

Rationale:

Treatment for severe hyponatremia is to administer:

hypertonic saline (3% NaCl)

Rationale:

A patient that has had an excessive amount of fluid intake is at risk of developing:

hyponatremia

Rationale:

Controlling fluid, electrolyte, and acid-base balances in the body is the job of the:

kidneys

Rationale:

Severe hyponatremia, with a sodium level below 110mEq/L, can result in:

permanent neurological damage

Rationale:

The most abundant electrolyte in the extracellular fluid that plays an important role in fluid balance is:

sodium

Rationale:

The main symptoms that a patient with hypernatremia may present with are:

thirsty, tachycardic, and lethargic

Rationale:

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