9908-14 Clinical Significance of Sodium and Potassium in Blood
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Course includes study material and exam

Description: Review, refresh and update your knowledge and understanding of the significance of sodium and potassium results and how disease might affect their levels in the blood.  This update includes a component exploring correct specimen collection and handling for these very important electrolytes.  All of this is done with the goal of enhancing the release of excellent sodium and potassium results to physicians.

Course/Activity Information

Learning Outcomes:

  • Discuss the terms used in relation to electrolytes
  • Explain electrolyte balance in terms of the total of the anions and cations in the body fluid compartments
  • Explain the differences between the fluid volume, fluid concentration and fluid composition imbalances
  • Explain the regulation of sodium and potassium in terms of input and output in the body
  • List important functions of sodium and potassium
  • List causes sodium and potassium excess and deficit
  • Explain why sodium and potassium are important determinations for the physician
  • List the most serious symptoms of potassium deficit and explain why extreme hypokalemia is a medical emergency
  • Discuss correct specimen collection and handling of blood when testing for sodium and potassium
  • Explain why the potassium levels are especially sensitive to errors
  • Provide typical reference ranges and critical values for sodium and potassium in blood samples


Author: Eleanor Hooley

Version Date: December 2014


PEP hours: 20.5

CPS credits: 0

*Note: PEP hours and/or CPS credits will only be awarded upon successful completion of Final Exam. 

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