Easier?

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    I've given meds before as a medic, but the sheer amount of drugs I now have access to is overwhelming. I'm using a combination of textbook, powerpoints, notes, ati drug cards(thanks AN), ati drug tutorials, and saunder's to get them down. It has gotten a lot easier to remember what each drug class is used for etc, but I feel like I still have to look up interactions, adverse effects, and contraindications/precautions every time I give meds because they are all still so new(safety 1st).

    I get that I'll never know every drug out there and I have seen experienced nurses looking things up so I'm not afraid to do that, but does it ever get to the point where you know all of them or am I doomed to keeping looking up the meds?
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    I'm a new nurse but I don't believe anyone will ever know drugs in the real world like we knew them in school. In the real world I have a drug reference right at my fingertips. In the electronic medical record program Cerner it is so quick to find drug info it's crazy.
    loriangel14 likes this.
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    It is impossible to know all meds, not even doctors know all meds. But take heart, it will get easier! The general meds will eventually become second nature to you: the basic diabetes, blood pressure, cholesterol, and pain meds, for example. And you are good to be studying drug classes too as that will be helpful. I really like that you are not afraid to look up meds and question what a med is being used for - that's one of the keys to being a good nurse, to investigate/question before bringing a med or treatment to the patient.
    loriangel14 likes this.
  6. 1
    No, you will not EVER know ALL meds. You will know the most common ones you give and their doses. Working in neurology/neurosurgery, I knew the doses for post-op pain meds (in mg/kg since it was pediatrics) off the top of my head as well as doses for antiepileptics. I know very little about drugs that are common for other populations (cardiac meds, HIV meds, cholesterol meds,etc).
    loriangel14 likes this.
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    You will never know them all or will you be expected to.That's why most places have books so you can look up the stuff you can't remember.
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    Thanks, I feel better knowing that I won't be responsible for trying to cram it all in my head. I'm pretty good at being an encyclopedia in regards to science and fundamentals/med surg nursing trivia, but pharm feels like pure memorization and I don't memorize things so much as understand them. Going to take my pharm test in a few days I'll let you know how it goes.
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    Even after 34 years at the bedside there are meds I look up. There will be the ones that you will use frequently that will be a part of the routine just like when you first became a medic.
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    Every shift I work, I give a med with which I am not familiar. Sometimes I say to myself "yeah, I've heard of this but I have never given it before" and if I only heard about it once in school, chances are I will not remember what it is for. In that case, I look it up in a drug book or I ask our unit pharmacist about it...What is it for (nothing looks worse than tell a pt you are giving them a certain drug, but you don't know why)? Any interactions of which you need to be aware? Any special considerations for administration (e.g. push very slowly, dilute in 100 mL NS, etc.)? You will never know all the drugs, and it is not a sign of weakness to have to look up a drug.
  12. 0
    Like others have said, you'll probably see a lot of repetition in meds given on the unit on which you work. Ex. We give metoprolol and synthroid like candy. Our drug guide is computerized so it's easy to look up meds. Also, don't hesitate to call your pharmacist--they are a great resource.


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