Need help understanding lab values


I am getting very frustrated trying to get a comprehensive understanding of lab values- how they related to each other and the patient and how can I use them to help me provide nursing care. We don't really talk much about it in school and the lab book we have sucks!! Does anyone have any advise??

Specializes in M/S, Tele, Sub (stepdown), Hospice. Has 13 years experience.

I don't think you can really get the whole picture from one day's worth of need a trend and even then...sometimes it's hard!! Our lab book is ok....I just try not to base a lab on the disease itself but on other things as well....stress from hospitalization (elevated glucose), meds, etc.

Was there something specific you were wondering about?


112 Posts

We were required to get the Mosby's Manual of Laboratory And Diagnostic by Pagana. it's very helpful, but it is still difficult to pull together information without getting several day's values....

classicdame, MSN, EdD

2 Articles; 7,255 Posts

Specializes in Hospital Education Coordinator.

What does the MD suspect is going on (admitting diagnosis)? Why did the MD order those labs, and not something else? If you go online to WebMD or you will find plenty of lab discussed in lay language. That may help you pull it together. Also, ask plenty of questions.

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