1. Barker, Nancy EdD, RN, CHSE
  2. VonColln-Appling, Christina PhD, RN, CNS

Article Content

Fluid and electrolytes can be challenging content for students to grasp, yet it is important content that they will need to understand in clinical practice. Faculty presented information related to the various electrolyte imbalances in a short lecture. Students were then provided with a list of symptoms that aligned with various electrolyte disorders, such as elevated T waves or muscle weakness. Students had to associate approximately 3 symptoms unique to specific electrolyte disorders and were instructed to place the correct symptoms with the correct imbalance. Students worked in teams and could only progress, green light, when they had the correct symptoms with the correct electrolyte imbalance until they completed all 8 imbalances. The electrolytes included calcium, potassium, magnesium, and sodium. Once students progressed through all the green lights, they were then instructed to move on to the next activity. Students were provided with 5 nursing interventions when caring for patients with a specific electrolyte imbalance, such as hypokalemia. Students had to select the top 2 nursing interventions out of the 5. This assignment was intended to foster clinical reasoning and stimulate discussion about nursing prioritization. This activity could be incorporated with other content areas such as fluid volume imbalances or medication administration. Students reported improved comprehension of the content with this activity, and the mean for examination grades improved in comparison with previous cohorts.