"I'm terrible at chemistry but I know I can be a great nurse. It's so wrong that this one subject - which doesn't even really matter - is keeping me away from my dream."
"Why do I have to wasted time with classes like chemistry? Do nurses ever use chemistry?"
In the years that I've been on this forum, I've heard these kinds of statements over and over. I used to respond with various reasons why chemistry matters but have long since started to ignore them.
Last night, I had an experience in which I used something straight out of the organic chem lab and thought I'd share it as an example.
I had two patients who were receiving IV antibiotics and I was spending most of the time back and forth reconstituting meds and preparing bags. If you've ever mixed vanco, you know that it's not highly soluble in H20 or NS so getting it dissolved in the vial can take awhile... which can be frustrating when you're really busy.
Drawing on my strong chemistry background and knowledge of solubility, I was able to expedite the process, I first tried putting the solvent in the fluid warmer and, as expected, the vanco dissolved much more readily in the warm fluid.
Next time, I thought about solubility versus solute saturation and (using a Vial-Mate and a 250 bag of NS), squeezed in 5 cc, swirled for a second, and then pulled it back out and then repeated it each time, thereby keeping the vanco concentration down for each "aliquot" and hence promoting solubility. It worked the charm, as well, and the total time to prep the bag was probably 1/5 of how long it normally takes to prep a vanco bag.
The point is, you never know when knowledge is going to benefit you and yes, chemistry is directly applicable to day-to-day nursing. Have a good attitude and learn all you can.