Osmosis & Diffusion in Nursing?? Please Help!!

  1. 0
    Hey everyone..

    Im pre nursing school, taking my prereq's, and I am currently on a chapter about diffusion & osmosis in cells, and my teacher has us writing an essay on how this will be used in a real life situation in our medical carrer.. I'm stuck.. this is what I have so far:


    A situation in which diffusion and osmosis will be used frequently in a medical field would be in dialysis. The definition for the procedure is the separation of substances in a solution by diffusion through semipermiable membranes. Dialysis is used in cleaning wastes and toxins from the blood. This is often used when kidneys are no longer able to function.

    I haven't been in the field yet, so I dont know of any examples... If anyone has any ideas PLEASE let me know!!!!

    Thank you so much!
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  4. 2 Comments so far...

  5. 0
    I don't want to give you the answer outright but go back and study the definition of diffusion and osmosis and try it again.
  6. 0
    there are many, many, many places in nursing where osmosis and diffusion are applicable.

    dialysis is certainly one, albeit a complicated one.

    there are others that are probably going to be easier. i'm going to give you some examples to get you started:

    third spacing of fluid (esp in people with low albumin levels)
    blood transfuisons: use ns only (never d5)
    hypertonic vs isotonic vs hypotonic solutions.
    tpn can only go through a central line


    ok, as i type this, i'm looking at your background and i realize that as a prenursing student, some of this probably doesn't make much sense, right?

    so to help some more (i hope), try focusing on the blood stream -- a mix of plasma, electrolytes, blood cells. what happens to the blood cells (and the cells lining the blood vessels) if you pour a concentrated (hypertonic) solution in via an iv? what happens if you infuse a very dilute solution (hypotonic)? if i tell you that tpn is very hypertonic, does that tell you anything?

    hmmm, i'm probably causing more confusion than i'm helping -- sorry about that. it is tough for me to figure out how much to help since i'm not sure what your backgound/base knowlege is. i just really don't want to do the assignment for you, but i'll help as much as you need.

    let me know if this helps, or how much i need to explain the above, if you'd like.


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