MED cheat sheet for clinicals!

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    To all of you wonderful students and nurses out there, thanks for all of the help you give to us other students. But, I come to you once again for some much needed advice.

    Night before clinical we have to come in and get all of our clinical prep done. Chart work is fine with me, but med stuff if total hell. I have tried to find ways of making meds memorization easier, but when you have to look up the five rights on each drug, tell how it effects that pt, and do this for 30 different meds, it makes for a long night with little to no sleepwhen its all said and done. I want to be able to tell my pt everything about the drugs they are taking, but now can't seem to get everything together. Have any of you found any cheater methods for med help? I am really needing some help if any of you have any answers.

    Do you keep a cheat sheet of the same meds you look up th night before with you when you pass meds? I am only in first qtr and am trying to find cheater methods already.

    ANy other help would be appreciated. Gotta go study for a dosage quiz.

    scott
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  3. 21 Comments so far...

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    We have to create drug cards for each med we will be adminstering to our assigned pt for each week of clinicals....these will accumulate and will hopefully be reusable as we go on through the next 3 semesters....we are allowed (well, required) to bring these with us for admin....

    I don't consider that cheating....eventually we will hear some of these over and over again and they will sink in...as I understand it, even RNs on the floor use the Drug Guides in their work...
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    we not only have to look up meds we administer, but all meds, prn and any allergy meds included.
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    Aren't you allowed to use a PDA database? I would be lost without mine, and I haven't even started clinicals. I can bookmark drugs for quick access, and link it to my patient tracking software. There are paper quick fact-type books as well, but I don't know how great they are in practice.

    ~Mel'
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    I'm in the same boat, but we at least have a few days with our patients beforehand this semester. We have to know all the info about all drugs, prn and regular. Also have to know why client's getting it and when we would want to hold it.
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    On our prac's we kinda get thrown into it, being that we have no idea who are patients are going to be just that we have the 4 or 5 per day. It's a good idea to know the popular narcotics, analgesia, anti-emetics, AB's that your hospital/ward uses plus a general idea of the cardiac drugs for HTN, cholesterol, asthma/respiratory disease etc. It really depends on your clinical area that you are in ie if your in a surgical ward then have a general idea of the uses, side effects, adverse effects, contraindicators of the opiod analagesia, anti-emetics, anti-coag's etc as these will be the ones used more oftern. Then the ones I dont know I look up at the bedside with my drug handbook (or PDA if you have one - not popular in Aus). If I have never given a particular drug before I will seek further advice but it's really about using your iniative and knowing when to seek guidance but Im guessing you will always have an RN by yourside anyway. Hope this helps - I find that by doing the med profiles it doesnt really stay in my head till Im actually physically looking up that drug at the bedside or before and using it pretty often. Hope this helps.
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    You're lucky you get your pt the day before. We did not know what our pt was going to be like until that morning. Then we had to look up all the drugs that morning before we could give them. Finally our last semester instructors (OB/Peds) got smart and gave us a list of drugs the first day of class that we had to make up drug cards for. Any drug that we did not have a card for we still had to look up. You will over time find that you give a lot of the same drugs over and over so you will learn them. Good luck to you all.
  10. 0
    Quote from Melina
    Aren't you allowed to use a PDA database? I would be lost without mine, and I haven't even started clinicals. I can bookmark drugs for quick access, and link it to my patient tracking software. There are paper quick fact-type books as well, but I don't know how great they are in practice.


    ~Mel'

    You are so right.........I use my pda for clinicals, so far it has helped me tremendously. Even my instructor has asked me to look up drugs. I could live without it, but why make life more complicated than it needs to be?
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    A number of us bought those medication review cards that come in a box - just pulled the ones we needed for the clinical, reviewed them, and carried them in our pocket during clinical. Was helpful when we knew the drugs we'd need to know and be able to look up.

    For those other drugs you didn't know you'd need - I would just go nuts without my drug guide on my palm pilot - I use it several times per shift.
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    The most helpful thing for me when I was in school years ago was to start with the drug action, then the method used to achieve that action. This gives you a wealth of information without a lot of research.

    Anti-diabetic med. Works by increasing the body's own insulin production. From this big picture, you will be able to deduce more.

    For starters, you can look at the signs/symptoms any med is supposed to address and know that some of the adverse effects will fall at the OPPOSITE end of the spectrum. Antidiabetic med? Think hypoglycemia. HTN med? Hypotention. Antispasmodic? Constipation. Too much of a good thing.

    Keep this in mind when looking at contraindications, too. Nitro? Angina med. Dilates blood vessels. Contraindication--anything that also dilates blood vessels, such as Viagra or Cialis.

    Malybe this is too elementary for you guys, but I always liked to assemble the millions of details into a bigger, simpler picture. By knowing what the drug was supposed to do and how it was supposed to do it, I was able to see patterns that kept me from having to reinvent the wheel each time.
    redzy, suzi-Q, and crazensweet like this.


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