Lab Values Cheat Sheet




  • Calcium is a cation absorbed into the bloodstreamfromdietary sources and functions in bone formation, nerve impulse transmission, and contraction ofmyocardial and skeletal muscles.
  • Calcium aids in blood clotting by converting prothrombin to thrombin.

Lab Value:

8.6 to 10 mg/dL

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Nursing considerations

  • Instruct the client to eat a diet with a normal calcium level (800 mg/day) for 3 days before the test.
  • Instruct the client that fasting may be required for 8 hours before the test.



  • Magnesium is used as an index to determine metabolic activity and renal function.
  • Magnesium is needed in the blood-clotting mechanism, regulates neuromuscular activity, acts as a cofactor that modifies the activity of many enzymes, and has an effect on the metabolism of calcium.


Lab Value:

1.6 to 2.6 mg/dL

 Nursing considerations

  • Prolonged use of magnesium products causes increased serum levels.
  • Long-term parenteral nutrition therapy or excessive loss of body fluids may decrease serumlevels.



  • Phosphorus is important in bone formation, energy storage and release, urinary acid-base buffering, and carbohydrate metabolism.
  • Phosphorus is absorbed from food and is excreted by the kidneys.
  • High concentrations of phosphorus are stored in bone and skeletal muscle.

Lab Value:

 2.7 to 4.5 mg/dL

Nursing considerations:

Instruct the client to fast before the test.

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