Interpreting Lab Results

  1. Hi! I was just wondering if anyone has any ideas for me on interpreting lab results? I am a new graduate to nursing and am finding that half the time I am looking information up to see what it means and if it's important enough to notify the doctor. Is there any easier way to do this? Or do I have to memorize it all right away? Does this make any sense? lol Any help would be greatly appreciated!
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   RNIAM
    I would memorize the important ones. The ones you see all the time. Then look up the others. I bet over time you'll get better at remembering.
  4. by   jnette
    Originally posted by rhona1
    I would memorize the important ones. The ones you see all the time. Then look up the others. I bet over time you'll get better at remembering.
    Agree !

    Takes time and practice. Before you know it, you'll know them like the back of your hand. In the meantime, though, it makes one feel pretty darn stoooooooooopid, right?

    This, too, shall pass.
  5. by   Sarah, RNBScN
    get a good lab book

    lab analysis for dummies...I think they have one. Check indigo.ca or amazon.ca
  6. by   ICUNeuroNerd
    As with many things, you will start learning to your specialty. You will learn by repetition when the doctor treats and when they don't and unfortunately when they give you a look for not being notified of a value. Until then, use your resources...the nurses around you probably know the right answer and if you ask them before you call a doctor you will learn their opinion, and feed on their experience. If they can tolerate new grads (I know there are some RNs that arent too welcoming) ask them why that is the right answer? Just like the 3-year-old with all the why questions, you are in a learning mode. You are a sponge.
    One more thing with the lab values....what was it last time? That can save you too...establish if the patient is stable or dropping or are they improving but still out of range.
  7. by   baseline
    I agree with all the above posts, and would add you may want to start with your basic Chem 6 (lytes, bun,cr,glu) and then move on from there. Cbc also. Most of it you are bound to catch on to as you work along.

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