Osmosis & Diffusion in Nursing?? Please Help!!

  1. 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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    About DaughteroftheKing

    Joined: Feb '07; Posts: 215; Likes: 63
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  3. by   Dixiecup
    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.
  4. by   CritterLover
    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.