How does chemistry apply to your RN position?

  1. Hello there. I am currently taking Intro to Chemistry as a pre req to the RN program. We were asked to find out how chemistry is used in the field of registered nursing. I picked three topics. 1. Acids and Bases being the main one. I understand that this is important to know for counter actions with drugs but can anyone give me more details on this topic. Also if you have any other information on how chemistry is used in nursing would be greatly appreciated. Of course converting between the system of measurements is a topic. Unfortunately this topic is excluded.
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    Joined: Apr '13; Posts: 1


  3. by   Tait
    I would look up information on Arterial Blood Gases if you want to know how acid/base imbalances fit tightly into nursing

    Oh and don't be offended when people tell you they won't do your homework for you on here LOL

  4. by   jadelpn
    I would also look up how a urinalysis pertains to alkaline/acidity.
    Also IV fluids based on alkaline/acidity.
    Also diabetes and alkaline and acidity.
    Sounds like an interesting project--good luck!!
  5. by   rn undisclosed name
    I don't find the chemistry course per se to be helpful. They do cover the parts of chemistry you need to know in your other courses. What I remember most from chemistry is doing the calculations. They always got the best of me and I'm pretty good when it comes to math.
  6. by   MN-Nurse
    Look up "Basic Metabolic Panel" (blood chemistry test) and look at the levels given.

    Then look up the effects and treatments for ranges that are too high or low for each result and you will see a whole lot of nursing content.
  7. by   MN-Nurse
    Quote from rn undisclosed name
    I don't find the chemistry course per se to be helpful. .
    I found the chemistry extremely helpful.
  8. by   anon456
    I agree about acid/base balance! Huge part in nursing. I work on a respiratory unit and we look at blood gasses very closely on the patients as a measure of how well they are moving air and processing it. It allows a very good look at how a patient is doing-- oftentimes they look okay but their blood gas may tell a story of compensating for now, but better do something about it before they crash.
  9. by   Guttercat
    Look at the elements chart.

    How many can you find in the human body?

    We (humans) are chemistry. As an RN, you will be constantly looking at some of those elements (lab values) in your patients.
  10. by   mappers
    Acid Base is great. I love Arterial Blood Gases and figuring that stuff out. You can also look up electrolytes and how they effect the electrical activity of muscles especially the heart.

    Chemistry was one of my favorite pre-nursing courses, next to patho-physiology. I find it very useful in my nursing practice.
  11. by   brownbook
    I loved chemistry so probably I am biased. Unfortunately I have forgotten most of it but I still manage to give decent nursing care.

    As guttercat said we (humans) are chemistry. The whole reason our heart contracts (well...I know I am messing this up badlly) but the positive and negative charges of sodium and potassium (I think) going in and out of the cell wall (I think) is why the heart muscles contracts!

    The whole universe....big bang....stars, planets, everything, is atoms, nitrogen, oxygen, carbon, etc., interacting. Just marvel at the wonder of it.
  12. by   eatmysoxRN
    Having a general understanding of basic chemistry can help you piece together the pathophysiology of disease processes so you can teach and understand why treatment is what it is. No, you won't be balancing chemical equations or performing advanced labs. However, understanding how things work on that cellular level can assist you in seeing the bigger picture. I loved chemistry.

    ~ No One Can Make You Feel Inferior Without Your Consent -Eleanor Roosevelt ~
  13. by   Palliative Care, DNP
    Chemistry and statistics are much more helpful than all of the waste my time with Nursing theory classes that I have had to sit through. Chemistry can definitely assist with understanding acid/base balances or fluid and electrolytes. Statistics comes in handy for all of the research you will be doing. So far Nursing Theory has come in handy for.......oh that's right just taking my money. I have never found myself questioning if only Neuman, Parse or Pender was here they would know what to do? As you can tell the theory BS is what drives me insane about our education. It continues on into graduate programs as well.
  14. by   Morainey
    Don't forget the sodium-potassium pump. Also, you could write about hyper, hypo, and isotonic solutions.

    I wish my ADN program had chemistry and biology - I think it's so fundamental, and it gets brushed off by the wayside.