15.1 Fluids and Electrolytes Introduction

Open Resources for Nursing (Open RN)

Learning Objectives

  • Describe risk factors for fluid, and electrolyte disturbances
  • Identify cues related to fluid/electrolyte balance
  • Identify diagnostic tests and lab values indicative of a disturbance inĀ  fluid and electrolyte disturbances
  • Identify essential nutrients
  • Identify supplements to enhance nutrition alterations
  • Contribute to a plan of care for clients with an alteration in nutrition and fluid and electrolyte disturbances

The human body maintains a delicate balance of fluids and electrolytes to help ensure proper functioning and homeostasis. When fluids or electrolytes become imbalanced, individuals are at risk for organ system dysfunction. If an imbalance goes undetected and is left untreated, organ systems cannot function properly and ultimately death will occur. Nurses must be able to recognize subtle changes in fluid or electrolyte balances in their patients so they can intervene promptly. Timely assessment and intervention prevent complications and save lives.


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