4 Mnemonics Every Nursing Student Should Know For Hyperkalemia & Hypokalemia

Mnemonics! These little nuggets are some of the greatest ways to memorize information. I know before I started nursing school, I never could have imagined the true scope of just HOW MUCH stuff would be stored up in that brain of mine! Hyper or Hypo?? What symptom goes with what? Pulling out of hair had commenced! SO…in order to hopefully make your life a little easier, I have compiled some of the Mnemonics regarding Hyperkalemia and Hypokalemia. Causes of Hyperkalemia M-A-C-H-I-N-E Meds (ACEI, Beta Blockers) Acidosis Cellular Destruction Hypoaldosteronism, hemolysis Intake, excessive Nephrons, renal failure Excretion, impaired Signs of Hyperkalemia M-U-R-D-E-R Muscle weakness Urine (oliguria or anuria) Respiratory Distress Decreased cardiac contractility EKG changes (peaked T waves or small P waves) Reflexes (hyper or hypo) Causes of Hypokalemia G-R-A-P-H-I-C I-D-E-A GI losses Renal Aldosterone Periodic paralysis Hypothermia Insulin excess Cushing’s Syndrome Insufficient intake Diuretics Elevated beta-adrenergic activity Alkalosis Signs of Hypokalemia 6 L’s Lethargy Lethal cardiac arrhythmia Leg cramps Limp muscles Low, shallow respirations Less stool (constipation) If nothing else, you can always pull this stuff out at a dinner party and sound really smart, right??? You can find TONS of these great mnemonics in the full version of NCLEX Mastery! Happy studying friends! You are getting closer!!! -Daphne Neuhaus, RN