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Hypertonic vs. Hypotonic, Osmolality, and Other Fun Nursing Concepts

Hypertonic vs. Hypotonic, Osmolality, and Other Fun Nursing Concepts

The basic concepts underlying the body’s mechanisms for keeping systems functioning are complex processes involving the ebb and flow of fluid and molecules controlled by several systems.

It is a delicate balance and one that we all learn in basic nursing education, but then usually recall little of it when we practice.

We hang fluids with varying concentrations of electrolytes in response to specific lab results, but how much do we actually remember what is going to happen physiologically?

We know the protocol of what to infuse when, but we’re hard-pressed to explain the science underlying our practice.

This is a concern because nurses are usually the first ones to review laboratory results and need to understand the implications of abnormal results and what might be an urgent concern requiring immediate action.

Patients may also ask why—and we should know the answer.

CriticalCare.news
January 21, 2020

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