1. C.

Rationale: A fluid volume excess is also known as overhydration or fluid overload and occurs when fluid intake or fluid retention exceeds the fluid needs of the body. Assessment findings associated with fluid volume excess include cough, dyspnea, crackles, tachypnea, tachycardia, elevated blood pressure, bounding pulse, elevated CVP, weight gain, edema, neck and hand vein distention, altered level of consciousness, and decreased hematocrit. Dry skin, flat neck and hand veins, decreased urinary output, and decreased CVP are noted in fluid volume deficit. Weakness can be present in either fluid volume excess or deficit.

2. B.

Rationale: The normal serum potassium level is 3.5 to 5.0 mEq/L (3.5 to 5.0 mmol/L). A potassium deficit is known as hypokalemia. Potassium-rich gastrointestinal fluids are lost through gastrointestinal suction, placing the client at risk for hypokalemia. The client with tissue damage or Addison’s disease and the client with hyperuricemia are at risk for hyperkalemia. The normal uric acid level for a female is 2.7 to 7.3 mg/dL (0.16 to 0.43 mmol/L) and for a male is 4.0 to 8.5 mg/dL(0.24 to 0.51 mmol/L). Hyperuricemia is cause of hyperkalemia.

3. A, B, D, E, F.

Rationale: Potassium chloride administered intravenously must always be diluted in IV fluid and infused via an infusion pump. Potassium chloride is never given by bolus (IV push). Giving potassium chloride by IV push can result in cardiac arrest. The nurse should ensure that the potassium is diluted in the appropriate amount of diluent or fluid. The IV bag containing the potassium chloride should always be labeled with the volume of potassium it contains. The IV site is monitored closely because potassium chloride is irritating to the veins and there is a risk of phlebitis. In addition, the nurse should monitor for infiltration. The nurse monitors urinary output during administration and contacts the health care provider if the urinary output is less than 30 mL/hour.

4. A, B, D

Rationale: The normal serum sodium level is 135 to 145 mEq/L (135 to 145 mmol/L). A serum sodium level of 150 mEq/L (150 mmol/L) indicates hypernatremia. Based on this finding, the nurse would instruct the client to avoid foods high in sodium. Peas, nuts, and cauliflower are good food sources of phosphorus and are not high in sodium (unless they are canned or salted). Peas are also a good source of magnesium. Processed foods such as cheese and processed oat cereals are high in sodium content.

5. A

Rationale: The normal serum calcium level is 9 to 10.5 mg/dL (2.25 to 2.75 mmol/L). A serum calcium level lower than 9 mg/dL (2.25 mmol/L) indicates hypocalcemia. Signs of hypocalcemia include paresthesia followed by numbness, hyperactive deep tendon reflexes, and a positive Trousseau’s or Chvostek’s sign. Additional signs of hypocalcemia include increased neuromuscular excitability, muscle cramps, twitching, tetany, seizures, irritability, and anxiety. Gastrointestinal symptoms include increased gastric motility, hyperactive bowel sounds, abdominal cramping, and diarrhea.

6. A

Rationale: The normal serum sodium level is 135 to 145 mEq/L (135 to 145 mmol/L). A serum sodium level of 130 mEq/L (130 mmol/L) indicates hyponatremia. Hyponatremia can occur in the client taking diuretics. The client taking corticosteroids and the client with hyperaldosteronism or Cushing’s syndrome are at risk for hypernatremia.

7. C

Rationale: The normal serum sodium level is 135 to 145 mEq/L (135 to 145 mmol/L). Hyponatremia is evidenced by a serum sodium level lower than 135 mEq/L (135 mmol/L). Hyperactive bowel sounds indicate hyponatremia. The remaining options are signs of hypernatremia. In hyponatremia, muscle weakness, increased urinary output, and decreased specific gravity of the urine would be noted.

8. A.

Rationale:  The normal serum phosphorus (phosphate) level is 3.0 to 4.5 mg/dL (0.97 to 1.45 mmol/L). The client is experiencing hypophosphatemia. Causative factors relate to malnutrition or starvation and the use of aluminum hydroxide– based or magnesium based antacids. Renal insufficiency, hypoparathyroidism, and tumor lysis syndrome are causative factors of hyperphosphatemia.

9. C

Rationale: Insensible losses may occur without the person’s awareness. Insensible losses occur daily through the skin and the lungs. Sensible losses are those that the person is aware of, such as through urination, wound drainage, and gastrointestinal tract losses.

10. A

Rationale: A fluid volume deficit occurs when the fluid intake is not sufficient to meet the body’s fluid needs. Causes of a fluid volume deficit include vomiting, diarrhea, conditions that cause increased respirations or increased urinary output, insufficient intravenous fluid replacement, draining fistulas, and the presence of an ileostomy or colostomy. A client with heart failure or on long-term corticosteroid therapy or a client receiving frequent wound irrigations is most at risk for fluid volume excess.

11. A

Rationale: A fluid volume deficit occurs when the fluid intake is not sufficient to meet the body’s fluid needs. Assessment findings in a client with a fluid volume deficit include increased respirations and heart rate, decreased central venous pressure (CVP) (normal CVP is between 4 and 11 cm H2O), weight loss, poor skin turgor, dry mucous membranes, decreased urine volume, increased specific gravity of the urine, increased hematocrit, and altered level of consciousness. Lung congestion, increased urinary output, and increased blood pressure are all associated with fluid volume excess.

12. D

Rationale: mmol/L). A serum potassium level higher than 5.0 mEq/L (5.0 mmol/L) indicates hyperkalemia. Clients who experience cellular shifting of potassium in the early stages of massive cell destruction, such as with trauma, burns, sepsis, or metabolic or respiratory acidosis, are at risk for hyperkalemia. The client with Cushing’s syndrome or colitis and the client who has been overusing laxatives are at risk for hypokalemia.

13. A.

Rationale: Signs of infiltration include slowing of the infusion and swelling, pain, hardness, pallor, and coolness of the skin at the site. If these signs occur, the I.V. line should be discontinued and restarted at another infusion site. The new anatomic site, time, and type of cannula used should be documented. The nurse may apply a warm soak to the site, but only after the I.V. line is discontinued. Parenteral administration of fluids should not be stopped intermittently. Stopping the flow does not treat the problem, nor does it address the client’s needs for fluid replacement. Infiltrated I.V. sites should not be irrigated; doing so will only cause more swelling and pain.

14. C

Rationale: Electrolyte imbalances associated with Addison’s disease include hypoglycemia, hyponatremia, and hyperkalemia. Salted bouillon and fruit juices provide glucose and sodium to replenish these deficits. Diet soda does not contain sugar. Water could cause further sodium dilution. Coffee’s diuretic effect would aggravate the fluid deficit. Milk contains potassium and sodium.

15. D.

Rationale: Polystyrene sulfonate, a cation-exchange resin, causes the body to excrete potassium through the gastrointestinal tract. In the intestines, particularly the colon, the sodium of the resin is partially replaced by potassium. The potassium is then eliminated when the resin is eliminated with feces. Although the result is to increase potassium excretion, the specific method of action is the exchange of sodium ions for potassium ions. Polystyrene sulfonate does not release hydrogen ions or increase calcium absorption.

16. A.

Rationale: Gelatin desserts contain little or no potassium and can be served to a client on a potassium-restricted diet. Foods high in potassium include bran and whole grains; most dried, raw, and frozen fruits and vegetables; most milk and milk products; chocolate, nuts, raisins, coconut, and strong brewed coffee.

17. A.

Rationale: Crackles in the lungs, weight gain, and elevated blood pressure are indicators of excess fluid volume, a common complication in chronic renal failure. The client’s fluid status should be monitored carefully for imbalances on an ongoing basis. Although the client has ineffective breathing, the primary cause is related to renal failure. There are no data to suggest ineffective tissue perfusion or lack of knowledge.

18. B.

Rationale: The normal serum potassium level is 3.5 mEq/L to 5.0 mEq/L. A potassium deficit is known as hypokalemia. Potassium-rich gastrointestinal fluids are lost through gastrointestinal suction, placing the client at risk for hypokalemia. The client with tissue damage or Addison’s disease and the client taking a potassium-retaining diuretic are at risk for hyperkalemia.

19. A.

Rationale 1: The internal vasoconstrictive compensatory reactions within the body are responsible for the symptoms exhibited. The body naturally attempts to conserve fluid internally, specifically for the brain & heart.
Rationale 2: A diuretic would cause further fluid loss, & is contraindicated.
Rationale 3: Rapidly infused intravenous fluids would not cause a decrease in urine output.
Rationale 4: The manifestations reported are not indicative of cardiac failure in this pt.

20. D

Rationale: Treatment of severe hypokalemia requires treatment with IV infusion of potassium. Clients may experience burning along the vein with IV infusion of potassium in proportion to the infusion’s concentration. If the client can tolerate the fluid, consult with the physician about diluting the potassium in a larger volume of IV solution. Oral potassium may not be enough in severe cases of hypokalemia. Hypokalemia requires treatment with potassium and not any other electrolyte.

21. D

Rationale: The normal reference range for serum calcium is 9 to 11 mg/dl. A serum calcium level of 12 mg/dl clearly indicates hypercalcemia. The client’s other laboratory findings are within their normal ranges, so the client doesn’t have hypernatremia, hypochloremia, or hypokalemia.

22. A, B, C

Rationale: A clear liquid diet consists of relatively transparent foods to light and are clear and liquid at room and body temperature. These foods include items such as water, bouillon, clear broth, carbonated beverages, gelatin, hard candy, lemonade, ice pops, and regular or decaffeinated coffee or tea. The incorrect food items are items that are allowed on a full liquid diet.

23. A

Rationale: The clinical findings of edema are consistent with fluid excess in the interstitial compartment. The extracellular compartment consists of fluid in two locations, the interstitial (tissue) spaces and plasma (intravascular) spaces. Fluid shifts within the extracellular compartment can occur either from the plasma space to the interstitial space, or from the interstitial space to the plasma space. When fluid shifts from the plasma space into the interstitial space, usually as a result of abnormal retention of fluids in such conditions as heart failure or renal failure, edema results. The intracellular compartment consists of fluid within the cells.

24. A.

Rationale: Low potassium can cause an imbalance at the cellular level, leading to dysrhythmias and cardiac arrest. Hyperglycemia is caused by elevated blood sugar. Hypertension is unrelated to potassium levels. Increased energy is unrelated to potassium levels.

25. D.

Rationale: Hypokalemia is one of the most common causes of digoxin (Lanoxin) toxicity. It is essential that the nurse carefully monitor the potassium levels of clients taking digoxin to avoid toxicity. Low serum potassium levels can cause cardiac dysrhythmias.


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Nhiña Sandeep de Rosas, MAN, DIH, DSHRM, RN currently works for the Department of Health CHD Mimaropa as a Training Specialist. She is also a Nurse Licensure Exam and NCLEX-RN reviewer on her free time. She has her USRN licenses in New York and Vermont, having passed the NCLEX-RN in 2007.Since 2006, she has been a nurse educator and worked as a clinical instructor and classroom lecturer for Unciano Colleges (College of Nursing) in Antipolo City. She has earned her Master’s Degree in Nursing and Diploma in International Health at the University of the Philippines Open University; and her Diploma in Strategic Human Resource Management at the Ateneo de Manila University.



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