In this week’s episode of NCLEX Ready, I am going to be sharing with you six essential mnemonics you need to know if you want to pass the Next Generation NCLEX on your first try.
As many of us know (or even have experienced, like I have), retaining information for the NCLEX can be daunting and overwhelming.
However, one genius way to help you retain what you study is through nursing mnemonics.
These mnemonics are easy to remember and will make studying for the NCLEX soooo much easier for you.
Are you ready to learn more?
Tune in now!
Signs and Symptoms of Hypokalemia
If there’s an L in hypokalemia, there’s going to be Ls everywhere. L for Lethargy, L for Leg cramps, L for Less pooping (think constipation), L for Limp muscles (if a patient is cramping, you can associate that with the limp muscles), L for Less respiration or shallow respiration (think of a respiratory count below average), and L for Lethality of cardiac symptoms such as arrhythmia.
An example of watching out for hypokalemia is when a patient has metabolic acidosis. When you think of metabolic acidosis, you think of changes in potassium levels because potassium is an intracellular cation.
Cardiac symptoms to watch out for includes depressed U waves on the ECG. It is depressing if U get arrhythmia due to hypokalemia.
If administering potassium, it is essential to check renal function first, because the kidneys play a primary role in regulating potassium. To help you remember, just think of the kidney shaped like a potato: Pot(assium) > Pot(ato) > Kidney.
You can remember the treatments by remembering the mnemonic RIPE: R for Rifampin, I for Isoniazid (INH), P for Pyrazinamide (PZA), and E for Ethambutol (Myambutol).
If tuberculosis is RIPE, then you give RIPE medications.
Several medications can be prescribed at once, which reduces treatment time from two years to six months.
After three negative sputum samples, the patient is no longer considered contagious.
PPD testing, also known as Mantoux Skin Test, is read in 48 to 72 hours. A positive result does not automatically mean the patient has tuberculosis, it only means the patient has been exposed, so always confirm with a chest x-ray.
The third nursing mnemonic is the nonstress test. N for Nonreactive, N for Nonstress, and
N for Not good. Three negatives in a row to read the results of a nonstress test.
A nonstress test monitors fetal response to cycles of rest and activity. The mother presses the button every time she feels the baby moving inside of her.
A reactive nonstress test: You want the fetus to react to the test. You’re looking for two or more fetal heart rate accelerations of fifteen beats per minute or more that last at least fifteen seconds from the beginning to the end of the acceleration during a period of twenty minutes.
A nonreactive nonstress test: If the fetus is nonreactive, then it’s not good.
For bleeding precautions, remember RANDI: R for Razor electric/blades, A for Aspirin, N for No needles, D for Decrease in needle sticking if needle sticks are necessary, and I for Injury prevention.
It is important for a RANDI patient to avoid sharp objects that can cause bleeding, such as razor electric blades or needles. Aspirin can also cause an increase in bleeding, and no one wants to have more than the necessary amount of sticks or to intentionally get injured.
For emergency drugs, remember LEAN: L for Lidocaine, E for Epinephrine, A for Atropine sulfate, and N for Narcan. When you need emergency drugs, you can lean on them.
Lidocaine treats irregular heartbeats and relieves the pain by numbing the skin. Patients can use numbing lidocaine cream to decrease the pain of needle insertion.
Epinephrine treats life-threatening allergic reactions by relaxing the airway muscles and tightening the blood vessels. It also increases cardiac output.
You can use atropine sulfate to treat bradycardia, and narcan is used to treat narcotic overdoses.
Finally, when it comes to Lidocaine toxicity, remember SAMS: S for Slurred speech, A for Altered central nervous system, M for Muscle twitching, and S for Seizures.
As I’ve stated before, lidocaine treats irregular heartbeats and relieves the pain by numbing the skin. However, too much lidocaine in the system can cause slurred speech, muscle twitching, seizures, and an altered central nervous system. Other symptoms also include dizziness, visual disturbances, and audio disturbances (tinnitus, which is ringing in the ears).
The first step is to stop the injection immediately and prepare to treat the toxicity. Priority is to stabilize the airways, the heart rate, and the seizure.
The therapeutic drug range for lidocaine is 1.5 to 5 mcg/mL. Lidocaine toxicity is levels greater than 5 mcg/mL.
I discuss all of this in more depth in the episode above, so make sure to give it a listen!