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Drowning in fluids..and electrolytes...

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by ShelbyDee ShelbyDee (New) New

450 Profile Views; 6 Posts

Okay, so I'm in my second semester of nursing school. And I just started my 8 week med-surg 1 class.

And I am completely lost when it comes to fluids and electrolytes. We had ONE lecture on it, and she gave us a power point. That's it. We were told to memorize all the lab values, to know all the manifestations of highs and lows when it comes to hypokalemia/hyper, hypocalcemia/hypo, etc etc. On top of EVERYTHING else in this chapter. I am completely and utterly overwhelmed. I don't feel like I can know all of this for one test, especially when there is 4 other chapters needing to be studied for exam 1.

ANY advice for this? Anything would be helpful :( I'm almost in tears because of the stress. But it wouldn't be the first time in nursing lol.

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5 Posts; 445 Profile Views

It depends how you learn but for me, I like silly phrases such as CATS go numb for hypocalcemia. Convulsions arrhythmias tetany and paresthesias. I also think its easier to remember what is different from one another because symptoms can be so similar. For example sodium imbalances often = confusion or irritability. Potassium imbalances you better watch for heart trouble! That sort of thing. For urine specific gravity if you're dryer its higher. Silly but they work! Sorry for any bad grammar or spelling im on my mobile

Edited by Kristine-RN
bad grammar and spelling

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kbrn2002 has 25 years experience as a ADN, RN and specializes in Geriatrics.

2,973 Posts; 29,182 Profile Views

if it is still in print the only thing that got me through is "electrolytes for dummies." Part of a very popular for dummy series of books several years ago. It really saved my bacon!

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258 Posts; 3,905 Profile Views

I would always highlights the important stuff and them rewrite it in a notebook.........it is a lot of information but keep at it. I always found the workbook was always helpful.

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TheNGTKingRN specializes in General Surgery.

208 Posts; 4,702 Profile Views

For most people memorizing and understanding concepts and being expected to apply them is pretty hard. That's pretty much nursing school. You can't know it all though! Your professors know that. There's MAIN things you want to be aware of and understanding what these things are is key to success in the theoretical portion of your nursing studies. These are usually things that STAND OUT (yeah caps for the drama of it).

What I mean is this, a lot of conditions may cause similar signs and symptoms. Look for what stands out.

For example, it is imperative to remember that Calcium and Magnesium act like sedatives. They R E L A X! This is why they give a Mag Drip to women that are in preterm labor. Magnesium will relax the muscle/uterus. Yes? Makes sense. So now if Calcium and Magnesium both act as sedatives/relax what would lack thereof do? Let's say insufficient Calcium, otherwise known as hypocalcemia. If Calcium relaxes what does a lack of calcium do? It can cause twitches? spasms? Make sense?

When that pregnant lady in preterm labor is getting that Mag Drip those antepartum nurses better keep checking those Deep Tendon Relfexes to make sure she's not too relaxed.

Sometimes with more pathophysiology knowledge the F&E starts to click.

Why is Calcium so important? Because you may have a patient with a Thyroid&Parathyroidectomy. Remember that the Parathyroids control calcium levels. =)

This is an example of how I studied in nursing school.

NGTKing, RN =)

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NurseLCoop specializes in CNA Certified.

50 Posts; 2,534 Profile Views

try learningnurse.com its everything you will ever need throughout Nursing school ;)

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