Things aren't going so well (VENT) (LONG)

  1. well, today i failed my 3rd pharmacology test. we get 4 chances (the date and time for each test is determined by the school, not by the students.) if we don't pass by at least the fourth test, we are dropped from all our classes. i'm so upset i don't know what to do. for one thing, i really studied hard all during spring break for this test. they don't teach pharmacology, for one thing. they post a file on a web-site, with 220 drugs in "card" format, so you can print it off & make your own flash cards. then you are expected to know the excruciating minutiae. such as this drug causes which side effect....a) diarrhea b) nausea c) itching d) nervousness
    how can anyone cram that much info into their brain!?! doesn't almost every drug cause some of those for someone who takes it? there were 5 or 6 of these "side effect" questions on the test...so out of 20 drug questions, 25% or more more this type. (10 questions are math.)

    for the fourth test, they are making us drive into the city to take the test, a very difficult to navigate, not driver friendly city i might add. then they are going to tell us what we made after we take the test. (to put us in the best frame of mind...as we drive home...after being kicked out of the program for failing the pharm test...because to pass you must get 90% correct, and only 30 questions are on the test). i feel like getting kicked out of nursing school will probably feel like a cross between a) getting fired from a job that you had felt good about b) getting booted out of seminary. either way, i think i'm on the edge of a nervous breakdown. i don't know how to study any harder than i do! i retyped all the drugs, with my own analysis about the side effets, contra-indications, nursing implications, etc. i can really picture myself swerving off a bridge if i get a 26 right on this next test, instead of the 27 required to pass (only if i was sure my car wouldn't land on anyone else). the tests are written by a different person than the one who wrote up the drug cards, so sometimes there is info in the test question or correct answer that we were never presented with. it just gets worse and worse. after my second failed pharm test, i really needed to stay for lecture, but i just couldn't do it. i think i'm losing it. especially after they told us this...

    they are also taking away the bonus points they used to offer on each lecture test. they say it's because too many people were failing out of 3rd semester that had passed 2nd semester. with those points i was making a 90. without those points, my grade on future tests would translate into a 81.8 (grade "c".) that's assuming the new material doesn't get harder! i really should try to go to sleep, since tomorrow i have to go to the hospital to gather patient info, write a care plan, attend skills lab for 2 hours, and work for 4 hours at my job. but i don't see myself sleeping very well. wonder why...

    semester ends may 10, but i just don't see how i will make it until then. then time i spend cramming for this pharm test...assuming best case scenario, that i pass it...will be less time to study for a lecture test....which i need to study for desparately, with the bonus points being taken away...

    anymore, it feels like i just live on slimfast (not to lose weight, but because i'm always running from here to there), coffee, anti-depressants and tictacs. this is no way to live!!!! i hate my life-style!! or lack thereof. student nurse, care for thyself!!! but i don't have time for better nutrition or exercise. i don't see it getting any better, either. :stone

    i know. i'm whining now.
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   RainDreamer
    ((((((((((hugs))))))))))) for you. I'm so sorry you're all stressed out right now. That's a lot to have to worry about. Have you talked with the instructors about the pharm test? How do they suggest you study for it? I really don't know what to tell you as far as how to study, it sounds like you're doing everything. How many questions did you miss? Were you at least able to review your test?

    On the pharm tests we were required to pass with a 90% they were just drug calculations, that's it ... none of the side effect questions, so I really feel for you there. Just try to think positive, I know it's hard. But don't even think about "what if I don't pass". You'll get to that point if it comes up, but for now there's no need in worrying about it. Just say to yourself that you WILL pass this test!

    I hope you're able to get some sleep. It seems like I always feel a little better after sleeping some. Hang in there
  4. by   Tony35NYC
    Nikki,

    When I took Pharm, I found it easier to study the drugs by class first, then I familirized myself with the names of more popular ones in each class. After that I would find some silly way to associate something with each of these drugs to help me remember them. If you organize your studying this way it might help you because most drugs within the same class have similar indications/contraindications, side effects, etc. For example, opioid analgesics/opioid agonists come in all different names and doses, but the important thing to remember about them is that they relieve moderate to severe pain. And because they depress the nervous system common side effects are drowsiness, seizures, and constipation, and the most important nursing implication is to monitor for respiratory depression. Now that you have this down, look up some of the more common opioids (dilauded, vicodin, percocet, morphine...) Its always easier to remember the side effects if you think of what the drug does to body instead of thinking about the drug itelf.

    There are certain drugs that you have to put a bit more effort into that just that though, and these would include drugs like digoxin and lithium whereas you need to draw serum levels and the dosing is very carefully monitored, and neuroleptics that can cause EPS, etc. These types of drugs I separated from the rest and studied differently.

    If you try to memorize every little detail about the drugs by going from A-Z with drug cards it will be a lot more difficult.
  5. by   happytobehere96
    pharmacology is tough, period. i don't believe anyone can remember all that info at one time. do you know what other types of questions you were asked on previous tests. usually they are looking for the specific side effect for that drug, since most drugs cause nausea are vomiting i would guess those would be ruled out except for specific drugs (which i can't remember). digoxin= yellow/green vision or halos , specific to that drug. so, as far as side effects questions, find ones specific or really important to know about that drug. you should also know the side effects for the class of drugs, ex: anticholinergics cause dry mouth, decreased urine etc. you can only do the best you can do. try not to be to hard on yourself. try to have someone quiz you outloud over and over night before the test. i found this method to really help me. you are definitely at a disadvantage by not have pharmacology in a class setting. i think that is not a reat route for taching pharmacology, personally. good luck to you on your test, you can do it.

    p.s. if you can remember an actual test question, that may be more helpful in assessing what they are asking you.





    Quote from nikki730
    well, today i failed my 3rd pharmacology test. we get 4 chances (the date and time for each test is determined by the school, not by the students.) if we don't pass by at least the fourth test, we are dropped from all our classes. i'm so upset i don't know what to do. for one thing, i really studied hard all during spring break for this test. they don't teach pharmacology, for one thing. they post a file on a web-site, with 220 drugs in "card" format, so you can print it off & make your own flash cards. then you are expected to know the excruciating minutiae. such as this drug causes which side effect....a) diarrhea b) nausea c) itching d) nervousness
    how can anyone cram that much info into their brain!?! doesn't almost every drug cause some of those for someone who takes it? there were 5 or 6 of these "side effect" questions on the test...so out of 20 drug questions, 25% or more more this type. (10 questions are math.)

    for the fourth test, they are making us drive into the city to take the test, a very difficult to navigate, not driver friendly city i might add. then they are going to tell us what we made after we take the test. (to put us in the best frame of mind...as we drive home...after being kicked out of the program for failing the pharm test...because to pass you must get 90% correct, and only 30 questions are on the test). i feel like getting kicked out of nursing school will probably feel like a cross between a) getting fired from a job that you had felt good about b) getting booted out of seminary. either way, i think i'm on the edge of a nervous breakdown. i don't know how to study any harder than i do! i retyped all the drugs, with my own analysis about the side effets, contra-indications, nursing implications, etc. i can really picture myself swerving off a bridge if i get a 26 right on this next test, instead of the 27 required to pass (only if i was sure my car wouldn't land on anyone else). the tests are written by a different person than the one who wrote up the drug cards, so sometimes there is info in the test question or correct answer that we were never presented with. it just gets worse and worse. after my second failed pharm test, i really needed to stay for lecture, but i just couldn't do it. i think i'm losing it. especially after they told us this...

    they are also taking away the bonus points they used to offer on each lecture test. they say it's because too many people were failing out of 3rd semester that had passed 2nd semester. with those points i was making a 90. without those points, my grade on future tests would translate into a 81.8 (grade "c".) that's assuming the new material doesn't get harder! i really should try to go to sleep, since tomorrow i have to go to the hospital to gather patient info, write a care plan, attend skills lab for 2 hours, and work for 4 hours at my job. but i don't see myself sleeping very well. wonder why...

    semester ends may 10, but i just don't see how i will make it until then. then time i spend cramming for this pharm test...assuming best case scenario, that i pass it...will be less time to study for a lecture test....which i need to study for desparately, with the bonus points being taken away...

    anymore, it feels like i just live on slimfast (not to lose weight, but because i'm always running from here to there), coffee, anti-depressants and tictacs. this is no way to live!!!! i hate my life-style!! or lack thereof. student nurse, care for thyself!!! but i don't have time for better nutrition or exercise. i don't see it getting any better, either. :stone

    i know. i'm whining now.
  6. by   NurseFife
    Hang in there. It going be alright. relax, take a few beath, pray.
    i know how you feel. You will pass on this go round. Be encouage.
  7. by   Jade_D
    I know how you feel. I'm in the same situation too but it's for a different course. My is Nursing Care for Adult. This is my second semester and I think I'm losing my motivation. I just took a test this afternoon and things aren't going as well. The course require 75% average on all five exams before HW or research paper grade can be add to it. Anyhow, I'm so bordeline right now that I don't know if I will make it or not. I'm so depress today after the test. My problem with the test is that we have multiple instructors (at least 7) for the course that we don't know what to expect for the exam. Also, the questions for the exam came out of nowhere, not related to the lecture at all. Anyway, after the test today, I really freak out and start going through the possibility of what would happen if I don't pass...I have to wait a whole year before the course will be offer again! Ahhhh.....(sigh) I just want to tell you that I know what you feel and I'm there with ya!
  8. by   medsurgnurse
    Quote from nikki730
    well, today i failed my 3rd pharmacology test. we get 4 chances (the date and time for each test is determined by the school, not by the students.) if we don't pass by at least the fourth test, we are dropped from all our classes. i'm so upset i don't know what to do. for one thing, i really studied hard all during spring break for this test. they don't teach pharmacology, for one thing. they post a file on a web-site, with 220 drugs in "card" format, so you can print it off & make your own flash cards. then you are expected to know the excruciating minutiae. such as this drug causes which side effect....a) diarrhea b) nausea c) itching d) nervousness
    how can anyone cram that much info into their brain!?! doesn't almost every drug cause some of those for someone who takes it? there were 5 or 6 of these "side effect" questions on the test...so out of 20 drug questions, 25% or more more this type. (10 questions are math.)

    for the fourth test, they are making us drive into the city to take the test, a very difficult to navigate, not driver friendly city i might add. then they are going to tell us what we made after we take the test. (to put us in the best frame of mind...as we drive home...after being kicked out of the program for failing the pharm test...because to pass you must get 90% correct, and only 30 questions are on the test). i feel like getting kicked out of nursing school will probably feel like a cross between a) getting fired from a job that you had felt good about b) getting booted out of seminary. either way, i think i'm on the edge of a nervous breakdown. i don't know how to study any harder than i do! i retyped all the drugs, with my own analysis about the side effets, contra-indications, nursing implications, etc. i can really picture myself swerving off a bridge if i get a 26 right on this next test, instead of the 27 required to pass (only if i was sure my car wouldn't land on anyone else). the tests are written by a different person than the one who wrote up the drug cards, so sometimes there is info in the test question or correct answer that we were never presented with. it just gets worse and worse. after my second failed pharm test, i really needed to stay for lecture, but i just couldn't do it. i think i'm losing it. especially after they told us this...

    they are also taking away the bonus points they used to offer on each lecture test. they say it's because too many people were failing out of 3rd semester that had passed 2nd semester. with those points i was making a 90. without those points, my grade on future tests would translate into a 81.8 (grade "c".) that's assuming the new material doesn't get harder! i really should try to go to sleep, since tomorrow i have to go to the hospital to gather patient info, write a care plan, attend skills lab for 2 hours, and work for 4 hours at my job. but i don't see myself sleeping very well. wonder why...

    semester ends may 10, but i just don't see how i will make it until then. then time i spend cramming for this pharm test...assuming best case scenario, that i pass it...will be less time to study for a lecture test....which i need to study for desparately, with the bonus points being taken away...

    anymore, it feels like i just live on slimfast (not to lose weight, but because i'm always running from here to there), coffee, anti-depressants and tictacs. this is no way to live!!!! i hate my life-style!! or lack thereof. student nurse, care for thyself!!! but i don't have time for better nutrition or exercise. i don't see it getting any better, either. :stone

    i know. i'm whining now.
    it is not unusual to be expected to know side effects of drugs. as a nurse you will need to know. i don't undestand why you have to drive to another city to take a test though. and most importantly, even if you did fail, and i'm sure you will not, it is not worth driving off a bridge. guess what, there are other nursing schools out there. you may have to take take a different road to reach your goal but the diestination is the same. good luck.
  9. by   ER-RN-2B
    I agree with Tony, I learned the drug classes first also, and now when I learn a new drug I like to know what class it's in so I can understand it more. There are certain major side effects that go along with some drug classes. I would buy a pharmacology textbook and read it. I never made a single drug card, I just read my pham. text over and over again. Also, don't be hard on yourself, all of the pressure behind the test is a big factor on your performance. It's not that you can't do it, and not that you didn't study hard enough, you might just need to relax so you can think clearly. And if worse comes to worse there are other nursing schools. My nursing school would never kick someone out for a bad grade on a test, the teachers are extremely encouraging and supportive. Maybe you would be better off not having to put up with the type of program that is constantly threatening to "kick you out" there is enough pressure without that garbage!
    Quote from Tony35NYC
    Nikki,

    When I took Pharm, I found it easier to study the drugs by class first, then I familirized myself with the names of more popular ones in each class. After that I would find some silly way to associate something with each of these drugs to help me remember them. If you organize your studying this way it might help you because most drugs within the same class have similar indications/contraindications, side effects, etc. For example, opioid analgesics/opioid agonists come in all different names and doses, but the important thing to remember about them is that they relieve moderate to severe pain. And because they depress the nervous system common side effects are drowsiness, seizures, and constipation, and the most important nursing implication is to monitor for respiratory depression. Now that you have this down, look up some of the more common opioids (dilauded, vicodin, percocet, morphine...) Its always easier to remember the side effects if you think of what the drug does to body instead of thinking about the drug itelf.

    There are certain drugs that you have to put a bit more effort into that just that though, and these would include drugs like digoxin and lithium whereas you need to draw serum levels and the dosing is very carefully monitored, and neuroleptics that can cause EPS, etc. These types of drugs I separated from the rest and studied differently.

    If you try to memorize every little detail about the drugs by going from A-Z with drug cards it will be a lot more difficult.
    Last edit by ER-RN-2B on Mar 23, '05
  10. by   grinnurse
    Our school doesn't have "pharm" class either. All the drugs are mixed in with the lecture notes so we have to dig back through notes to get the names/class etc. I also have a pharm test coming up on Monday and the way that I intend to approach it is how we did it for last semester.

    I am part of an excellent study group and we start studying tomorrow. Last semester, on the first day that we got together we listed all the drugs and classes on a separate sheet of paper in a spiral notebook and from memory filled out what we could. Then the next day, on the same sheet of paper we went to books, notes, etc. to get specific information on how it affects each body system and separate out (highlighter) what is the adverse effect (worst) and what an expected side effect of the drug would be. We also right down what the levels are that we need to be aware of at this time. Then, and this has been very successful for me personally, we discuss out loud each drug's effect on the body sytems, what we would see if a patient was having an adverse reaction (such as dig. tox) and what would we teach the patient. For the really hard drugs that you might have a problem with try making up a silly song to go with it! We did a song for digoxin and the song stuck so has the drug! The sillier the better!! :chuckle

    I also had a book with questions in it about the different classess of drugs and at the very end we did those to reinforce and see where each persons weak areas where so that night before going to bed, we could really go over those again. I don't know if it will work this semester b/c all the questions have become harder :uhoh21:. But we all passed the pharm test last semester even if it was a 79.

    Hang in there. Maybe you studied too hard before!! That can happen too. You've got to pick yourself up and tell yourself that you will do better on the next one!! NOTHING in NS is worth driving your car off a bridge!!

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