Introduction to Common Electrolyte Abnormalities

1h 30m of CPD
Darren Wake
15 Aug 2017

This Course provides an easy-to-understand introduction to the science of the two most common electrolytes, sodium and potassium, and their main functions in the body. Common problems associated with electrolyte abnormalities are examined and treatment options are discussed.


Discuss sodium and potassium electrolyte abnormalities


Identify common complaints or symptoms which might indicate these electrolyte abnormalities


Explain the nursing assessment and care of these common electrolyte abnormalities


Describe potential treatments of sodium and potassium abnormalities


Darren Wake

Peripatetic and always intellectually restless, Darren Wake has pursued varied careers in journalism, media production, academic philosophy and nursing. As a nurse, he worked in the speciality areas of critical care, community care, remote area healthcare and education. As a formally qualified academic philosopher Darren taught undergraduate units in law and ethics in healthcare, although his principle research focus revolved around logic and the philosophy of language. Darren’s media production output can be found scattered about the Ausmed website and in his long forgotten days as a word monkey, he wrote for European publications such as The Scotsman, The Great Outdoors, Country Walking and The Times. In 2014 Darren consulted to the Department of Health for the development of Consumer Directed Care policy and guidelines for remote area communities in the Northern Territory. These days he is the managing editor of a small independent publishing company based in the United Kingdom, and lives in Tasmania. In his spare time, Darren is currently studying a formal course in celestial navigation, just in case the inevitable zombie apocalypse messes with the world’s GPS satellite system.


James Brown16 Sep 2018
Great education

Debbie Mitschuinig26 Aug 2018
Elecellent relevant electrolyte information for a better patient outcome. Thank you

Donna Hope09 Aug 2018
An insightful explanation of sodium and potassium imbalances.

Jenna He07 Aug 2018
This is a fantastic and timely delivery of learning to aid my current practice!

Catherine Tume02 Aug 2018

Nicole Lynch31 May 2018
interesting topic

Wendy Boehringer31 May 2018
the educator was good.

Kerrie Myhill30 May 2018
A lot of new information for me.

Robert Martin28 May 2018
Very informative

Anna Medley26 May 2018
Very succinct and informative.

Nomalanga moyo24 May 2018
I enjoyed this course ,it was so informative and it is the learning that l need for my job.Every content was clearly explained and understood.

Gillian Carne22 May 2018
Monotone speaker whom you can hear breathing! Very distracting

Elizabeth Uhlmann20 May 2018
Had to rewind the video a few times to get my head around this but it is a complicated subject. Good info for the RN on acute ward.

Leigh Labinsky19 May 2018
A solid refresher

rosemary britt6217 May 2018
Very informative VLA

Kelly Bidlake04 May 2018

Denise Johnson03 May 2018
Very interesting

Jason Ballard18 Mar 2018
This course was excellent. It was thorough, well scaffolded and relevant to my nursing practice. I also liked the fact that the presenter related this theory to real life common situations encountered in healthcare as this made it more real and easier to understand and place into my mental schema.

Patricia Nelissa Ho06 Mar 2018
Very informative and easy to understand and apply.

Dave James01 Mar 2018
I have received a comprehensive introduction to the most common electrolyte disturbances that present in patients within my clinical environment.

Sajana Manandhar10 Jan 2018
Very informative

Course Overview

Topics include:

  • The science and pathophysiology behind the most common of the electrolytes: sodium and potassium
  • Disease mechanisms that lead to abnormal levels
  • How to identify the signs and symptoms associated with electrolyte disturbances
  • Nursing assessment and interventions, including the identification of risk factors
  • Common medical interventions

Target audience

All health professionals, but those practising in the following fields may find it of particular relevance:

  • Acute care
  • Aged care
  • Community care
  • Critical care
  • Emergency care


Review and introduce the theoretical and practical basis of sodium and potassium disturbances, and explain their causes, assessment and treatment.


Electrolyte disturbances are a surprisingly common occurrence in the healthcare system, in particular, sodium and potassium. Both these electrolyte disturbances pose severe health risks to patients. Treatment protocols are well established, but for them to be effective it is essential that health professionals are able to identify and understand the mechanisms that mediate these disturbances, how they manifest, and the means by which they can be treated. Therefore, all health professionals need to have a working knowledge of the most common electrolyte disturbances they may encounter.

Health professionals in Australia that are registered with AHPRA are required to obtain continuing professional development (CPD) hours/points each year that relates to their context of practice, in order to comply with mandatory regulatory requirements.