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Goals and Learning Outcomes

Hypotension (systolic blood pressure < 90 mmHg) is often considered the defining hallmark of shock, but it can also be a late or deceptive sign. Therefore, other signs and symptoms must be identified early to detect and respond to a patient’s deteriorating state before irreversible shock ensues. The pathophysiologic process of shock is complicated, which makes nursing management challenging. An understanding of the pathophysiology, aspects of diagnosis, and effective interventions are crucial to patient survival. Knowledge of the different states of shock and evidenced-based interventions is important for nurses as they play a vital role in promoting timely detection and treatment. Such knowledge can help the clinical nurse promote care that is based on the latest guidelines. 

The goal of this course is to educate nurses about how to recognize and treat different types of shock.

After taking this course, you should be able to:

  • Identify the alterations in tissue perfusion and cellular metabolism that occur in shock states
  • Identify evidence-based nursing guidelines for the treatment, identification, management, and outcomes of patients with shock states
  • List two risk factors for the development of cardiogenic shock
  • Distinguish the stages of hypovolemic shock
  • Describe the clinical presentation of anaphylactic shock
  • List three risk factors for the development of septic shock
  • Describe how septic shock can lead to multiple organ dysfunction syndrome
  • Discuss the pathophysiology of sepsis, including the role of proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory mediators in the systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS)
  • Identify changes in circulation, perfusion, and cellular function that take place during shock.
  • Differentiate five subtypes and four stages of shock.
  • List evidence-based nursing guidelines for the identification and treatment shock states.

Course Termination Date: Not yet determined

Content Expiration Date: 12/31/24

Course Originally Released On: 05/01/21

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Accreditation Information


In support of improving patient care, Relias LLC is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.

Provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, CEP#13791

Disclaimer: Not all courses will provide California Board of Registered Nursing approval. Per California Assembly Bill No. 241, continuing education courses related to direct patient care shall address at least one or a combination of the following:(1) Examples of how implicit bias affects perceptions and treatment decisions of licensees, leading to disparities in health outcomes; or (2) Strategies to address how unintended biases in decision-making may contribute to health care disparities by shaping behavior and producing differences in medical treatment along lines of race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, socioeconomic status, or other characteristics.



Relias LLC reports to CEBroker for the following boards (Provider # 50-1489): Arkansas State Board Of Nursing, District Of Columbia Board Of Nursing, Florida Board Of Nursing, Georgia Board Of Nursing, New Mexico Board Of Nursing, South Carolina Board Of Nursing and  West Virginia Board Of Examiners For Registered Professional Nurses


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None of the planners/faculty, unless otherwise noted, for this educational activity have relevant financial relationship(s) to disclose with ineligible companies whose primary business is producing, marketing, selling, re-selling, or distributing healthcare products used by or on patients.