Which of the following is part of the plan for the preparation and administration of the potassium?
A nursing student needs to administer potassium chloride intravenously as prescribed to a client with hypokalemia. The nursing instructor determines that the student is unprepared for this procedure.
Rationale: Potassium chloride administered intravenously must always be diluted in IV fluid and infused via a pump or controller. The usual concentration of IV potassium chloride is 20 to 40 mEq/L. Potassium chloride is never given by bolus (IV push). Giving potassium chloride by IV push can result in cardiac arrest. Dilution in normal saline is recommended, but dextrose solution is avoided because this type of solution increases intracellular potassium shifting. The IV bag containing the potassium chloride is always gently agitated before hanging. The IV site is monitored closely because potassium chloride is irritating to the veins and the risk of phlebitis exists. The nurse monitors urinary output during administration and contacts the physician if the urinary output is less than 30 mL/hr.
Test-Taking Strategy: Use the process of elimination and knowledge regarding the administration of potassium chloride intravenously. Noting the strategic word UNPREPARED in the question and BOLUS in option D will direct you to the correct option. Review the administration of potassium chloride if you had difficulty with this question.