Electrolyte Study Tips?

  1. I am taking NCLEX on Feb. 15. I have taken Kaplan, bought the Saunder's book w/ CD-ROM and have pages of handwritten notes covering test question content that I need to study. Some stuff is finally starting to sink in, however, I can't seem to get the hypo/hyper electrolyte info along with causes, s/s, and associated ekg changes. I have so much more to study. Between the electrolytes, pharm, and adrenal probs, I'm starting to get concerned.

    Also, having multiple sources for lab values is flipping me out as well. Mosby lab manual (which I used all thru NS for care plans) and Kaplan list totally different AST/ALT values. Having memorized Mosby: ALT 4-36 & AST 0-35 and then Kaplan says they are both 8-20.........

    Thanks.
    •  
  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   Leilah75_RN
    different books have different normal values... what i am currently working on right now is to jot down electrolytes names and what kind of disease it is associated with if its hypo or hyper.
    .ie
    ...................sodium
    hyponatremia ...........hypernatremia.
    s/s of hypo ..............s/s of hyper
    diseases that ............diseases that
    will cause .................will cause
    hypona .....................hyper na
    rx ...........................rx

    etc
    its confusing but hopefully i will be able to understand it more soon. i just started writing it today. goodluck...
  4. by   mom2michael
    Something I learned from Hurst - break it down and make it really simple. Don't sweat the big stuff - get a basic grasp of F/E but don't make them worse than they really are.

    ADH = H2O (3 letters in each).

    Aldosterone (lots of letters - must mean Sodium AND H20)

    Sodium is the only thing your brain cares about. Too much or too little and you'll see some neuro changes.

    Your heart likes Calcium and Potassium - so when those are out of whack - you will see EKG changes, heart problems, etc.......

    Mag and Calcium - act like a sedative. Think about giving that Mag to a mom in pre-term labor - what happens when she gets too much Mag? She gets sleepy, but not only does she get sleepy, she looses all of her reflexes because they are asleep, she stops breathing because she has too much sedative. Now go the opposite direction - what happens when you don't have enough sedative - everything is hyperactive, tense and you run a HUGE risk of having seizures at this point and time because everything has tensed up from lack of the sedative.

    How do you fix it? Guess it depends on the cause. If they don't have enough - you need to give them some. If they have too much - you need to dilute it (or them). When giving any electrolye by IV - you'll always hook up the patient to an EKG and for NCLEX sake - you'll always stop the infusion when there are any changes from your baseline.

    Lab values for NCLEX, don't stress. Your values on NCLEX will be obviously out of whack or obviously normal. This is a national test - many things are taken into consideration. Know your main lab values and don't stress on the small ones....WBC, RBC, PT, PTT, INR, etc......are all good ones to know.
  5. by   ella1972
    Thank-you...so much easier to understand from that kind of perspective as opposed to the on-going lists from multiple sources that use synonyms that mean the same thing but throw me off when I am looking for a specific wording.

    I wish I had someone here at my house to talk me through some of this stuff and remove the textbook jargon and deliver it to me in a meaningful way.

    Sounds like Hurst may have been a better option for me than Kaplan.

    Thanks again.

close