A nurse is working in the intensive care unit caring for a patient who is status post-radical neck resection including thyroidectomy. The nurse knows routine daily monitoring of laboratory values for this patient will include which of the following?
•A patient who has had a thyroidectomy has also had the parathyroid glands removed. The parathyroid glands are responsible for the calcium and phosphate levels in the blood. These patients will require regular monitoring of calcium and phosphate levels.
•The normal calcium level is between 9.0 and 10.5 mg/dL. A calcium level below 9.0 is called hypocalcemia and may cause tetany (painful contractions of muscles) and cardiac dysrhythmias.