A patient in septic shock has orders for a continuous phenylephrine IV infusion to increase blood pressure. The nurse initiating the infusion should


• Phenylephrine is an alpha agonist. Stimulation of alpha receptors causes vasoconstriction, which will increase blood pressure. This is especially helpful during septic shock, when arteries are dilated. 

• Phenylephrine can become unstable from light exposure and should be protected with an opaque cover. 

• Incorrect: A baseline glucose or adding a dextrose solution is not necessary with phenylephrine. 

• Incorrect: A new physician order is not needed after the initial IV bag is empty. If the physician orders a continuous infusion for phenylephrine, the nurse should continue the infusion until the patient's blood pressure is stable. 

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