Dumbfounded with Pharmacology

  1. I am in Pharmacology 1 and I don't understand what I should study. I know it is important to know the drugs, the dosages, effects...etc...but these teachers are about to kill me! Can anyone help me with a good way to understand drugs and how to study. I have made note cards with the contraindications, side effects, adverse reactions, dosages, and any other pertinent info I thought should be know. Can anyone give me some advice?
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   Nrs_angie
    Hello,

    It is hard to answer your question because it is so broad. Maybe you could ask something more specific that is troubling you. But for now here is what I recommend.

    1) Know a little pathophysiology of the disorder the drug is meant to treat.
    For example: If you understand how the body reacts to hypotension (low BP) or hypovolemia (low blood volume) thru the angiotensin-renin-aldosterone system, then you will understand how ACE-Inhibitors work.

    2) Know what drug classication the medication falls into. A hint will be in the suffix of the drug name.
    For example:
    [INDENT] olol = Beta Blockers
    [INDENT] epam = benzodiazepines

    Knowing the drug class will also help you understand how the drug works.

    3) Know why your patient is taking the drug. DO they have a history of hypertension?

    Ok hope this helps a little,

    Angie
  4. by   EDoyalSAU
    I took the Pharm mid-term and made a 85%...The teachers were so picky on it, though. In the clinical setting, what is most important to remember? One of the questions on the test said something to the effect of "60-80% of this drug is excreted by urine. How will this affect the drug?" One of the answers was change the half life of the drug and that is what I picked. Are things like that truly what needs to be known in a clinical setting or were the teachers just being picky? Thanks for the help you've given me so far! :wink2:
  5. by   augigi
    Quote from EDoyalSAU
    I took the Pharm mid-term and made a 85%...The teachers were so picky on it, though. In the clinical setting, what is most important to remember? One of the questions on the test said something to the effect of "60-80% of this drug is excreted by urine. How will this affect the drug?" One of the answers was change the half life of the drug and that is what I picked. Are things like that truly what needs to be known in a clinical setting or were the teachers just being picky? Thanks for the help you've given me so far! :wink2:
    The example you gave is exceedingly important to know. It can affect how long the drug effects last, what vital signs you expect to see as it wears off, when you readminister etc.

    Congrats on your results - sounds like you're doing fine!!
  6. by   lab211
    Hello fellow nursing student,

    Here are some things that help me study medications;

    1. side effects= know what affects the ABCs (airway, breathing and circulation) first

    2. group the meds into their perspective classifications, indications, contraindications, patient teaching, nursing implementations, etc.
    (it is easier for me to know the meds by their family)

    3. mind map- this has helped me to solidify my understanding of concepts, details, etc. I have not been practicing it enough but from other classmates it works for them.

    4. Know antidotes. What to do in case of overdose.
    5. Many drugs of the same class end in the same few letters, e.g alol,
    pine

    hope this helps,
    lab211
  7. by   rll28
    I have made an 88 on my first two pharm I tests. To be honest i think you need to figure out what your teacher wants out of your tests. Try to go talk to her and review your wrong answer. Im almost in the same boat you are trying to figure out what the hell nursing teachers want but i also try to learn all the material in the chapters and notes even though it not might be on the test. I figure the more i learn now the better off i am for later. Good Luck!
  8. by   AfloydRN
    Get yourself a pocket reference book and flip through it frequently. Carry it w/ you to work and it can be a great resource. Noone knows everything- we all forget things we don't use often.
  9. by   dani_girl
    My clinical instructor has us make cards, which honestly at first just aggravated us.. our group was the only ones making them.. but our group is alot better off med wise thanks to her.. my suggestion.. get index cards and a little binder for them.. WRITE your own cards.. you remember 80% of what you write 30% of what you read..
    **our cards have the following.. Drug name (generic & common), Drug Classification, Drug Action (usually you can just write the therapuetic), Normal Dosage (Adults only- smallest-largest range.. so you can quickly see.. wow my pt is way out of range.. Adverse reaction- (life threatening- usually the are RED Caps in book) Side effects-most common, Nursing Considerations (labs, assessments) and Proper Administration.)

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