first a background: I am a 19 yr nurse but have been out of acute care for the last 7yrs. I have recently applied for my old job back in the ED. Every thing looks good for the job except I'm told I have to take a medication test. SCAREY! There are so many new drugs out in the last 7 years I don't know where to start. Does any one have any idea what I can expect on this type of test. Would appreciate any help.
Mar 7, '01
You'll be fine! (And this from me who would have the same anxiety if I had to do the same not having been in a clinical area for 6 or so years now.)
Get some info. Is this a test for ED nurses or a test that all new hires (ie new grads) are asked to perform on? If it is the latter, you are likely going to see a very general test that will ask you information based on knowledge of common categories of drugs and will look at your ability to figure med doses. If it is ED specific, it is going to ask about common categories of drugs used in the ED including code and trauma drugs. And it would look at figuring drug doses, since this is still a common source of error in med administration. I, like you, if I were heading back would be scrambling to try to get a handle on what I need to know that's new. And clinical knowledge changes all of the time but some of it stays the same. Here are drug categories I would expect to see on a general test:
antibiotics, heart drugs, pain meds (PCA questions), insulin questions, meds in solution. Current practitioners, please add your comments.
An ED test will have the same and add code drugs and emphasize acute pain management in the ED. Current practitioners, please add your comments.
I know I would be reviewing meds like crazy if I were in your boots. ED's usually have big on unit stocks and I would review these big time and emphasize anything I didn't know. I would retake ACLS as soon as I could. I would review med protocols for SVT and treatable PVC's/VT since I think they don't resemble anything I remember (esp SVT).
Good luck. Part of me envies what you are doing (though I love my weekends and evenings home with my 9 year old too much to look back).
Mar 7, '01
thanks for the vote of confidence. this is a general med test for all new hires and my biggest worry is that I have been out so long I don't know the new medications. I will be re-certing in ACLS soon and I worked ER so long before I stopped that isn't my worry. I know there are two chemo drugs on the test but I can't name a one. I've worked ER and home care for the last 11 years!I regularly take rhythm strip tests and dosage calculation tests just to stay sharp. BUT WHAT KIND OF DRUGS THERE ARE OUT THERE I HAVE NO IDEA.
Mar 7, '01
I'd review chemo drugs as a group, but again this isn't going to be too horrible I don't bet. If you were really going to be giving chemo drugs in large quantity you'd need that certification. I've heard murmurings that a lot of these general medicine administration tests reflect the feelings of some practice environments that all too many nurses come to them unprepared to do basic safe practice and it sounds like you have lots of experience doing basic safe practice and knowing your limitations (home health). In order to not be discrimminatory, it is a general hiring practice. My money's on ya... Good luck.
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