In more ways than is probably appreciated, critical care nurses deal with clinical situations that involve abnormalities in endocrine function. Endocrine emergencies frequently precipitate patient admissions to critical care units. More common, however, is the deleterious impact of critical illness and prescribed therapies on endocrine function. The manifestations of endocrine pathology are typically subtle and often go undetected until exacerbations and serious medical consequences ensue. To ensure prompt diagnosis and proper therapy, a general understanding of the endocrine function and hormone regulation is essential. It is also important that critical care nurses broaden their repertoire of assessment skills and become more attuned to the consequences of hormonal imbalance

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