what do these labs mean-totaaly confused n overwhelmed

  1. First semester of med-surg. totally overwhelmed by labs needed for care plan. Cant find out where to look to confirm why labs are not normal. Patient having seizures for many years, in hospital to control seizures. low lab levels include RBC, HGB, HCT, creatinine, albumim, T. Bil, D.Bil and free T4. High results include potassium, co2, glucose. Medications are numerous- synthroid 150 mcg po, cymbalta 60mg, remeron 15mg, zocor 10mg, keppra 1000 mg IV, cerebyx 400mg IV, Protonix 40 mg IV, depacon 1000mg IV, zestril, 10mg po, vimpat 200mg po, solu-cortef 50 mg IV, d5w/ 0.9% NS 1000ml IV, Lexapro 10mg po, Heprin 5000 units subq, risperdone 1.5mg po, lopressor 25mg po and aspirin 81mg po. Was given this patient last week and have until Monday to finish care plan. Need some direction please. thanks
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    About midnite49

    Joined: Apr '10; Posts: 2


  3. by   klone
    Do you have a lab book? Most nursing programs require that you have one. It should talk about abnormal values, and what they could mean. Likewise, a nurse's drug guide should tell you if certain medications tend to skew lab results.

    Good luck!
  4. by   marissa795
    I would start off by looking at each medication and identifying what it is used for. Then I would look up each lab and what low/high levels indicate. For example, low RBC and low H&H can indicate bleeding, hemorrhage, anemia. This will give you a better overall idea of what may be going on with your patient. Try getting the big picture and that will help you to pick out your priority diagnoses. I have Mosby's Manual of Diagnostic & Laboratory Tests and I find it has been very useful.
  5. by   missdeevah
    just in case you don't own a lab book, this site really helped me while i was in school:


    just look up each test, what a high or low could mean, and then try to relate it to your patient's disease processes. good luck!
  6. by   shoegalRN
    Look up your meds and the reasons why your pt is taking them.

    Then look up your lab values and try to come up with reasons why each lab is either too low or too high. I will give you a freebee, glucose is high because pt is taking D5NS. This is how you relate medications and lab values. You need to do the rest on your own.

    Then come up with interventions and outcomes.

    Good luck!
  7. by   shiccy
    Alternatively you can search on google. There will *always* be labs you have NO idea what they're for. Google to the rescue!

    Just type the lab into google and zoom!

    PS- You have to type in "postassium" and not "K", "hgb" might work, but hemoglobin might be more inclusive.

    Be creative w/ your search.... "Normal hemoglobin human" or "Normal Hemoglobin" or "Normal Serum Hemoglobin"

    Finally, don't use the title bar to search. Sometimes going to Google and typing in the blank will give you potential search results. These are super helpful - I think google was made for healthcare sometimes