1. Does anyone know of any good sites to help me with acid-base balance? I would really like to get a better grasp on this before I begin nursing clases in the Fall.
  2. Visit student Staci profile page

    About student Staci

    Joined: Mar '02; Posts: 4
    mom and wife first, student second


  3. by   sf5391
    I could use the help as well. Acid base is the one thing in school I had trouble with HELP!
  4. by   2ndCareerRN

    Try a good search engine, such as
    133,000 hits should give you at least one good site to start with.

    good luck

  5. by   Love-A-Nurse
    Originally posted by student Staci
    Does anyone know of any good sites to help me with acid-base balance? I would really like to get a better grasp on this before I begin nursing clases in the Fall.
    I did not go through this entire site but here is one of the several I saw by just typing in "Acid Base Balance"

    I hope this link works and helps.

  6. by   delirium
    Hi Staci:
    I'm in Maryland too. My friend Sonia got this book called 'Acid/Base balance made incredibly easy' or something like that to help her. I didn't have that much of a problem with acid/base/F+E... I thought ABG interpretation was fun.
    Try not to get stuck on a particular area of content, although it is good to brush up on things over the summer. Relax. Remember nobody goes into nursing school knowing everything, and my instructors invariably reviewed A+P and were available for questions if we had problems with the content.
    Take care, and good luck.
  7. by   student Staci
    Thanks everyone for the reply. That was my first post ever and I really appreciate the responses. Rebecca, you have no idea how helpful your reply was, I was in the middle of a freak out. I was thinking if I can't get this down now what am I going to do next semester when they expect me to know this stuff already. Where in Md are you? Can anyone try to prepare me for the first semester of nursing classes?
  8. by   delirium
    I'm on Solomon's Island, which is southern Calvert county. I'm in an ADN program, just finished the first year... two more semesters to go.
    You know, we didn't have a reading list or anything like that to prepare us. The best thing you can do is relax over the summer, because you'll have plenty to focus on once school starts. An important thing for me was time management and stress reduction (!).
    Do you have a good orientation? At ours, they taught us about test-taking strategies and other stuff; some was helpful, some was not.
    Generally speaking, in my program, the first semester was basic stuff like skin integrity, Maslow's hierarchy of needs, basic pharmacology, dosage calculations, infection control... on a very basic level. Towards the end of the semester we moved on to things like wound care and fluid and electrolytes. Last semester was more interesting (it is more interesting for me to study disease processes than abstract concepts), we learned endocrinology, chronic airway limitations like copd and asthma, heart failure, hypertension, etc.
    The important thing to remember is that everything builds on the foundation. You'll be building your foundation when you start school (actually, you started building it with A&P, if you've already taken that). Understanding the simple stuff will make the complex stuff much easier.
    Let me know if I can help you at all.
  9. by   snbrcc
    Hey! acid/base is a good review. You should try looking into some of the disorders that cause trouble with acid/base. It helps to be able to think of things in everyday terms. Look over metabolic and respiratory acidosis/alkalosis. It is great that you are trying so will be rewarded, keep it up! btw also look at some of the buffer systems that the body has, bicarb etc. it's always nice to look at the big picture!
  10. by   StudentSandra This is a great site for learning how to recognize what is respiratory acidosis, etc.
  11. by   spburn
    I just graduated and still have trouble with acid-base. One of my instructors had an easy way of remembering acid-base by the word ROME (Respiratory Opposite, Metabolic Equal). When you understand what the normal for pH, pCo2, and HCo3 you will understand. Example: IF pH and Co2 are going the opposite way then it would be respiratory. If they are all the same it is metabolic. I know that it may be confusing but hopefully that will help you. I think if you search on the internet you may find other sites to help you.
    Best of luck, spburn
  12. by   delirium
    A nurse taught me an easy way to read ABGs.
    First, normal values:
    pH 7.35-7.45
    Co2 35-45
    HCo3 22-26

    Look at pH first. If it is normal, it is fully compensated. If it is abnormal, it is not.
    For example:
    pH 7.20
    PCo2 25
    HCo3 8
    Po2 40
    SaO2 52%

    Disregard the last two values. You don't care about them. Well, you might, but you don't need to evaluate them to determine acid/base status.

    The pH is lower than normal, so it is more acidic than normal. We know already it is not fully compensated.

    The PCo2 is 25, that is also lower than normal. However, a low value of Co2 means that it is more alkalotic than normal, not more acidotic. A value of higher than 45 is acidotic.

    So far we have an acidotic pH and an alkalotic Co2.

    Ok, the bicarb is 8, that is much lower than the normal value of 22-26. We can safely say that is acidotic, a number higher than 26 would be alkalotic, or basic.

    So we have an acidic pH and an acidic bicarb level. We can presume that the Co2 is basic to compensate for the acidotic state, so this is:
    partially compensated metabolic acidosis

    it is not fully compensated because the pH is abnormal
    if the pH was abnormal, and the Co2 was normal, then it would be uncompensated.

    Does this make sense to anyone?
    I usually look at it, and draw an arrow next to the values as to whether its normal or abnormal, acid or base, and go from there. Its really fairly simple.

    Hopefully this will help you. If you need anything else let me know. If it confuses you more, just ignore it. )
    You'll learn all this from your own nursing instructors next year.

    Take care,
  13. by   berry
    I had a doc and nurse in the ER explain it to me like this

    "In the land of ABGs all the babies have two dads and three names all you have to answer is whose your daddy

    baby abg's names 1 (fully/partially) compensated or uncompensated
    2 respiratory or metabolic
    3 acidosis or alkalosis

    Example (normal ranges)
    Ph -------7.14 (7.35-7.45) lower number = more acidic
    PaCO2---55 (35-45) higher number = more acidic
    HCO3----28 (22-26) lower number = more acidic

    baby abg _____1______ _____2_____ ____3_____

    First what's the last name are they in acidosis or alkalosis
    since the ph is decreased they are in acidosis

    baby abg ______1_____ ___2______ acidosis

    Second which system is the daddy who is moving the ph since a increasing CO2 will decrease our ph we have

    baby abg _____1_______ respiratory acidosis

    Last we find the first name compensated (fully or partially) or uncompensated
    since the opposite system is out of range in an attempt to compensate we know it is compensated but the ph is still out of range so it is

    baby abg ---- partially compensated respiratory acidosis