Way Confused When Reviewing Lab Results!!

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    I'm a fairly new RN with a few months experience on a med/tele floor. I get anxious every morning around 6am towards the end of my shift. Not because of med pass, but because of the lab results that come through on the EPR for the blood draws that were done about 90 minutes or so beforehand. I confess that I sometimes don't know what I am supposed to be looking for when these come through. I do know basic ones depending on the patient, like watching H&H levels on a pt that received 2 units PRBCs the night before, or watching the potassium level on someone that is on Lasix. However, I get flustered when I see a pt has a HI value for their MCV or something like this, wondering if there is something I should be thinking about with regards to the pt care that I should alert the next RN at shift report. Also, are there any resources out there or here on allnurses that will make me more confident in saying "Hmm, this pt's albumin is low, I should ______."

    Thanks in advance!
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  4. 3
    Quote from Paco-RN
    I'm a fairly new RN with a few months experience on a med/tele floor. I get anxious every morning around 6am towards the end of my shift. Not because of med pass, but because of the lab results that come through on the EPR for the blood draws that were done about 90 minutes or so beforehand. I confess that I sometimes don't know what I am supposed to be looking for when these come through. I do know basic ones depending on the patient, like watching H&H levels on a pt that received 2 units PRBCs the night before, or watching the potassium level on someone that is on Lasix. However, I get flustered when I see a pt has a HI value for their MCV or something like this, wondering if there is something I should be thinking about with regards to the pt care that I should alert the next RN at shift report. Also, are there any resources out there or here on allnurses that will make me more confident in saying "Hmm, this pt's albumin is low, I should ______."

    Thanks in advance!
    http://www.amazon.com/LabNotes-Guide...ues+for+nurses is a small reference book I've seen that can be helpful for review. A good, more in depth book for free time home study (ha! free time!) that I used in nursing school was http://www.amazon.com/Comprehensive-...ues+for+nurses. It all comes with experience, in my opinion. Just make sure you look up information on your patient's conditions whenever they're in with something you're not very familiar with, and maybe try to make friends with a well-seasoned RN on your unit who can help guide you towards looking at lab values that are important for various conditions.
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    Thanks for your reply! I was thinking of getting this one, as someone seems to say it has better explanations of the interpretations.

    Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests (8th Edition): Joyce LeFever Kee: 9780135074053: Amazon.com: Books

    Either way, I figured most of it comes with experience, but I tend to be an impatient one


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