When it comes to learning electrolytes in nursing school, sodium is one you’ll probably talk about a lot and phosphorus is one you might not talk about much at all. But once you start working, especially if you’re in critical care, you’ll be talking sodium AND phos all the live-long day. Well maybe not ALL day, but probably MOST days 🙂
If you’re a nursing student (or about to be) there’s one thing that comes up over and over and over…electrolytes. Having an understanding of how electrolytes work, why they’re important, and what to do when they’re off-kilter is a huge part of your job. In this guide, we’ll take a quick look at some electrolyte pearls of wisdom.
In this podcast episode we talk about the basics of hyponatremia:
- What is hyponatremia?
- Common causes including neuro injury, psych disorder, even just plain ol’ poor judgment
- The signs/symptoms of hyponatremia
- How you treat it a
As usual, this podcast and blog are not intended to replace current evidence-based practice or your institutions policies and procedures. It is intended for educational purposes only.
A few years ago a local radio station had a contest…Hold Your Wee for a Wii. The contest rules dictated that the contestants would drink copious amounts of water and whoever could hold their pee the longest, won a Wii game console. Despite numerous physicians and nurses calling in to the switchboard to tell them how dangerous this was, their pleas were ignored. They undoubtedly thought…”It’s water…what’s the big deal?” Well, the big deal was that the winning contestant went to bed that afternoon and never woke up. It was an enormous tragedy and absolutely beyond heartbreaking. I can’t imagine what her loved ones went through to have someone close to them die from such an avoidable event. Hyponatremia is deadly serious…and here’s what we’re going to do about it.
So, you’re looking at your BMP and your calcium is low. Are you nervous? It depends. That’s because calcium can be a wee bit confusing due to its propensity to bind itself to albumin…so next you look at your albumin level and then people start throwing around terms like “corrected calcium” and “ionized calcium.” Don’t worry…it’s not as rough as it seems. Here’s the skinny.