Renal function is one of the most important AND most common things you’ll keep an eye on as an RN…that’s because so many things can cause it to take a dive: the meds we give, hypotension, contrast dye, decreased volume states, hemorrhage, dehydration, infection, crush injuries and on and on and on.
Ah, the kidneys…who doesn’t love ‘em? These two little bean-shaped organs will come into play with just about every single patient you deal with. In some cases it will be a chronic and devastating case of renal failure, (such as those patients requiring dialysis), but in most cases it will be moderate and more subtle. In all cases, renal function will tell you volumes about the patient’s fluid balance, electrolytes, blood pressure, infection and perfusion. Keeping an eye on renal function is a basic skill you’ll use every day as a beside RN…so let’s get to it!