Honestly, just how helpful is o-chem?

  1. I ended up auditing o-chem (for obvious reasons!) but know that I will most likely have to at least get a C in it before applying to CRNA schools. For you CRNAs and SRNAs out there, honestly, how is o-chem helpful to know? I understand that you have to have an extensive knowledge base concering the anesthetic agents you use but dont you get all the info you need in the core classes concerning the drugs you deliver? I have heard CRNAs laugh and say "I remember this much about o-chem" as they hold their two fingers like 1 centimeter apart.... what agony to go thru, and for what? I realize each school have their specific requirements, all i can say is, i will be keeping my eye open for the one who might not require o-chem, if there IS even one... but then again, I will be going for a Masters of Science in Anesthesia, right?... i think i may have no choice here! please shed some light on this so I can take the o-chem with a purpose in mind! (other than obtaining my CRNA!) Thanks
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  2. 20 Comments

  3. by   keermie
    Whether organic is of help or not is a little bit irrelavent in that it is usually a requirement. It is another step in the 100 stories you'll climb in your quest to become a C.R.N.A. Organic is just a part of the process established by educators and programs. The application process is also very competetive, so not only are others taking organic; they are getting B's and A's to replace C's.
  4. by   keermie
    I left out the main point I was going to make, and that is one should choose their school for other reasons than whether to take organic or not. All things being equal, sure go to the one that does not require it. I just think by having organic it makes you a stronger candidate to those schools that do not require it and you keep your options open to those that do. Good luck with your decision.
  5. by   WntrMute2
    At my school, organic chem was the lead in for biochem. Not that comprehensive a course but sutable and applicable to anesthesia. As keermie alluded to if your starting to complain about why this and why that at this point, you might want to rethink either your choice of carreers or your response to tasks set out before you. Once in school the hoops are smaller, made out of concertina wire and on fire. Get used to it.
  6. by   Katnip
    Have you looked at courses for anasthesia schools? The ones I looked at all require a lot of chemistry and physics. Organic is the least of your worries.
  7. by   alansmith52
    well, I know of many that do not require ochem or pysics, infact I aplied to about ten schools like that. they do exist. and hey you gotta apply where you qualify. if you qualify this year to many that don't require it don't wait till next year just for one class. apply to the ones you are qualified for. its all the same in the end.
  8. by   yoga crna
    I think that organic chemistry is very useful as a basis for pharmacology. Every day as a CRNA I am faced with patients who are on new medications that I have never heard of. When I research them, my background knowlege makes it easier to understand. You will study a lot of things that you think you will never use, but that is part of what makes us professionals instead of technicians. Learn as much as you can, you will never regret it.
    YogaCRNA
  9. by   Rhon1991
    keermie, are you a srna or crna? just curious. first of all, i am just asking for understanding here, not merely whining for the sake of it (wntrmute). as an icu nurse, when i ask a question to understand something, my *least* favorite answer is 'just because' or 'its always been done that way'. i will just ask someone else or research the answer myself if it is important enough for me to know. is this that case? no. if i passionately want to be a crna, then yes, i will agonize through o-chem if that is a requirement of the school I want to attend.

    Thank you yoga and alan for shedding some light on the matter.

    Dont worry wntermute, i wont whine in anesthesia school, i understand the 'keep your head low and mouth shut' mindset... but i will always ask questions if i feel the need... even if im going to get yelled at!
  10. by   Qwiigley
    O-Chem helps you to understand a lot of pharmacology. I am going to a school that does not require o chem, but when you get in you teach yourself physics, etc. Having o chem (and getting an A) helped me to get thru my first semester. Now that I am just finishing my 1st yr, I find myself doing what Lois suggested. My background is Pediatric ICU. MAny of the everyday drugs adult ICU nurses give, I've never heard of. But I am able to figure out their mechanism of action d/t my o chem and pharmacology classes. Our pharmacology is taught by John NAgelhout. I'm sure you will have one or more of his books in any program that you are accepted into. He is a WONDERFUL instructor and person, too!
    Good Luck!
  11. by   keermie
    Rhon,
    I am a S.R.N.A. for curiosity's sake. I am sorry if you felt offended by my post. I was just trying to let ya know some things that you obviously already understood, and in that light I may have come across condescending. Otherwise if you read the post I still think it has good advice in that "you keep your options open." Lastly, I did not allude to the fact that you were "whining," but my $.02 were that it is a heavy science class deemed important by a majority of programs and thus would help prepare you. I am in my first year and have not seen the benefit as of yet, but I anticipate it helping. Good luck with your decision.
  12. by   Rhon1991
    Thanks, Keermie. I think I may have over reacted. Yes, I understand o-chem is required or stongly recommended, I just didnt understand WHY when it seemed that it played a small part into understanding further material. But thats why I asked the board and found some testimonials that it DID help with pharmacology. When I said I agonized over o-chem, I left out the fact that it was a SUMMER course, which was crazy to take in the first place because then it was a 'crash course'. so maybe it will be better when i take it during a regular semester.

    I would be HIGHLY interested when you do find that o-chem is finally helpful to you. so let me know, ok? i can understand how it seems pointless in surveying how it helps, ect when im going to end up taking it anyway.

    i just like to know why i am doing something especially when its extremely challenging. so, so far i can tell myself that it will help me understand the pharmacolgy better and maybe get through other material easier. AND increase my chances of getting into the school I want.
    Thanks
  13. by   Gump
    I will paraphrase what my o-chem instructor told me: 'You will not find it written in a program's catalog, but a lot of programs use prerequisite classes such as o-chem as one tool to help weed out the students who are not "ready" or who simply do not have what it takes to pass at such a higher level of training and education.'
    It kind of surprised me to hear him tell me this, but I guess it makes a little sense. However, I definitley see the benefits in broadening one's knowledge base. Thanks for letting me share.
  14. by   WntrMute2
    Organic chem dealt with topics such as pKa, krebs cycle, glycolosys, enzymes, antagonists (competitive, non-competitive), solvents, cellular membranes, 1st messenger, 2nd messenger proteins, G-proteins, a variety of cellular membrane pumps, electron transport, ADP, ATP, NAD, etc. These are all topics that one needs to be familiar with when deciding on drug choices. Why pick Inocor when coming off pump vs. Dobutrx for instance helps if a little O-chem is understood. Sorry if I came across harsh.

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