How to Prepare for Next Semester's Pharmacology Class

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    Pharm is very important to nurses. You have to know medications, interactions, usual dosage ranges and other information. However....once you have a system down, you can usually figure it out.

    How to Prepare for Next Semester's Pharmacology Class

    You’ve heard pharmacology is a tough class and maybe even know someone who had to repeat it. What isn’t common knowledge is what you can do about preparing for pharmacology class to not just pass, but thrive in a class that can really help you in clinical and other classes like Mental Health. In this video I’ll answer three specific questions:

    1. Why is Nursing Pharmacology hard?
    2. What is the Curse of Knowledge?
    3. What can you do to pass pharmacology?

    1. Why is Nursing Pharmacology hard?


    The short answer: Nursing students take pharmacology much sooner than pharmacy or medical students and they often take it without organic chemistry. While most pharmacy and medical students complete their undergraduate coursework before they take biochemistry then pharmacology, nursing students take pharmacology as part of undergrad usually in their second year. This isn’t as much of an issue if the pharmacology instructor recognizes the nursing path is rooted strongly in the biological and social sciences. However, if the instructor comes from the physical sciences without acknowledging the biological component, the Curse of Knowledge may create a divide between instructor and student.

    2. What is the Curse of Knowledge?


    The Curse of Knowledge recognizes that as one becomes an expert, their brain changes. As nursing students learn to think like a nurse, brain changes resulting in more efficiency and better results follow. As nurses progress through the curriculum, they should be careful not to talk over the comprehension of their patients. Similarly, a pharmacology instructor who teaches for a long time may find it difficult to meet the students where they are. What may seem foundational to the Ph.D. or experienced clinician may be a topic or experience students need to review before moving forward.

    3. What can you do to pass pharmacology?


    If you first treat pharmacology as a language, it becomes a lot easier to know the steps to take to build strong foundational layers. The language of pharmacology is not medical terminology; rather it comes as a unique subset of chemistry. What students can learn before pharmacology class is mnemonics and drug endings that lead to better retention of a drug’s purpose, mechanism or class. Careful, many online videos have presenters that derive their own drug endings. If you see –ine, -azole, -pam, -lam, and so on, it’s likely that video host didn’t consult the established lists. However, if you see complete stems like –triptyline, -conazole, -prazole, -azepam, -azolam, that match the World Health Organization’s (WHO) or United States Adopted Names Council (USANC) lists, then you can have more confidence in those lists.

    In the coming weeks, I’ll release a 7 article video series that will provide guidance on drug endings, mnemonics, and serial memory to help you be as prepared as you can for next semester’s pharmacology class.

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    2 Comments

  3. by   Ddw1995
    Where can I find the rest of these videos??
  4. by   hgrimmett
    if you click the link in the blue bio box that says "Read my articles" you will go to a page with all of them.

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