Before administering a diuretic, the nurse takes the vital signs and weighs the patient. Current laboratory tests, especially the levels of serum electrolytes, are carefully reviewed. If the patient has peripheral edema, the nurse inspects the involved areas and records in the patient's chart the degree and extent of edema. If the patient is receiving a carbonic anhydrase inhibitor for increased IOP, the patient's description of pain and vital signs are obtained. The preadministration physical assessment of the patient receiving a diuretic for epilepsy includes vital signs and weight. The nurse reviews the patient's chart for a description of the seizures and the frequency of their occurrence.
If the patient is to receive an osmotic diuretic, the focus of the assessment is on the patient's disease or disorder and the symptoms being treated. For example, if the patient has a low urinary output and the osmotic diuretic is given to increase urinary output, the nurse reviews the intake and output ratio and symptoms the patient is experiencing. In addition, the nurse weighs the patient and takes the vital signs as part of the physical assessment before starting drug therapy.
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