Million zillion meds.........

  1. Is it possible there are a million zillion meds out there? I find it hard to get them all straight. I don't know where to sit and memorize most of them or what. For my patient in clinical I look up all there meds and try to make sure I know all about them and what there used for, but for someone reason, they don't stick in my head. Is this common? I'm in pharmacology, and learning about the different types of meds and stuff, but there are sooo many! I feel like I'm not getting what I should be. I would love some advice on this subject. I get worried about it. I make sure before I give my meds in clinicals that I know what I'm giving, but you ask me a week from now and I'lll go "duh, I don't know". I hate that feeling. Am I nuts? I love the fact that I'm going into nursing (later in life, but doing it lol) but I want to know what I know. You know what I mean? Thanks for any input.
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  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   1Tulip
    OK. First, don't panic. When you're an RN and have a job on a specific unit, you will be working from a considerably smaller list of drugs. You'll get comfortable with them because you'll give the same ones (or similar) over and over.

    Second: It sounds that you're putting all the meds into a single big pile and trying to memorize as they come at you, i.e., by whatever your patient of the week is on. And you have to do that, you're doing the right thing by KNOWING the drugs you have to give that day. But that isn't the way to study pharmacology.

    To learn pharm, you learn archetype drugs. For instance: Narcotic analgesics... archetype is morphine. Learn everything there is to know about morphine sulfate. Then when you have to learn about fentenyl, dilaudid, hydrocodone, methadone, etc, etc... you only have to know what sets each drug apart from the archetype. (Fentenyl has an almost instantaneous half life. Methadone has a forever half life, etc.) Beta blockers... archetype would be propranolol. Know that one up one side and down the other. Then, whenever you have another Beta blocker, you only have to know what is different about that one. There are a gajillion ACE inhibitors. Know one (maybe enalapril) really well, then just be able to recognize which other drugs fit in that catagory.

    This is how you sort your way through multiple choice questions and pass a pharm course.

    Hope this helps sort the forests from all the trees.
  4. by   Jessy_RN
    Quote from 1Tulip
    OK. First, don't panic. When you're an RN and have a job on a specific unit, you will be working from a considerably smaller list of drugs. You'll get comfortable with them because you'll give the same ones (or similar) over and over.

    Second: It sounds that you're putting all the meds into a single big pile and trying to memorize as they come at you, i.e., by whatever your patient of the week is on. And you have to do that, you're doing the right thing by KNOWING the drugs you have to give that day. But that isn't the way to study pharmacology.

    To learn pharm, you learn archetype drugs. For instance: Narcotic analgesics... archetype is morphine. Learn everything there is to know about morphine sulfate. Then when you have to learn about fentenyl, dilaudid, hydrocodone, methadone, etc, etc... you only have to know what sets each drug apart from the archetype. (Fentenyl has an almost instantaneous half life. Methadone has a forever half life, etc.) Beta blockers... archetype would be propranolol. Know that one up one side and down the other. Then, whenever you have another Beta blocker, you only have to know what is different about that one. There are a gajillion ACE inhibitors. Know one (maybe enalapril) really well, then just be able to recognize which other drugs fit in that catagory.

    This is how you sort your way through multiple choice questions and pass a pharm course.

    Hope this helps sort the forests from all the trees.
    Although I am not a nurse........Excellent advice.
  5. by   GrnHonu99
    Quote from AnnieJac
    Is it possible there are a million zillion meds out there? I find it hard to get them all straight. I don't know where to sit and memorize most of them or what. For my patient in clinical I look up all there meds and try to make sure I know all about them and what there used for, but for someone reason, they don't stick in my head. Is this common? I'm in pharmacology, and learning about the different types of meds and stuff, but there are sooo many! I feel like I'm not getting what I should be. I would love some advice on this subject. I get worried about it. I make sure before I give my meds in clinicals that I know what I'm giving, but you ask me a week from now and I'lll go "duh, I don't know". I hate that feeling. Am I nuts? I love the fact that I'm going into nursing (later in life, but doing it lol) but I want to know what I know. You know what I mean? Thanks for any input.

    I felt the same way for awhile. During my first semester of clinicals I had to look up the drugs over and over again. Then slowly I started remembering one or two of the ones I saw all the time...phenergan, morpheine, heparin, etc. then slowly you start to remember some of the harder ones and remember what class they are in..propanolol..etc..

    It takes time and just seeing them over and over again to remember, it will come!

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