Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Lab Normals

My nursing school celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which made for a lovely long weekend. However, I had to write a "care plan" on last week's patient which mostly consisted of saying "make him stop smoking" in 14,000 different ways with research to support my outlandish claim.

I am currently torturing myself by committing "lab normals" to memory. Lab normals are the acceptable ranges for various tests e.g. your potassium blood level should be 3.5 to 5.0 millequivalents per decileter. You will never, ever (ever x 14,000) receive a lab report that doesn't include normal values in addition to whatever a patient's actual results are. However, everyone must make a show of memorizing these values only to forget them the day after the licensing exams. There are about 25 or so and they're damned difficult to remember. I have brightly colored flashcards but not even these snappy neon colors are making the process any easier or fun.

Like The Unlikely RN? Candid thoughts on (actual) nursing can be found at Code Brown by Nurse C (no relation).


Blogger Ilan Muskat said...

Quick! What is the average (blood normal value for insulin) of an unladen swallow?

11:45 AM  
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