Memorizing Pharmacology Video 1 of 7
Pharmacology is one of the basics of nursing practice. AN introduces you to Tony Guerra, Pharm.D. from Iowa with his tips for studying pharmacology.
It may seem unfair that you would need to watch a series of videos understand your large pharmacology textbook or teacher. I understand. But, if pharmacology is a second language, that is absolutely the best approach. In this 7 video series, I take two hours of content from my bestselling audiobook Memorizing Pharmacology and put it on the whiteboard. This should help you visualize the language of pharmacology especially if you have only had a little bit of chemistry (or remember a little bit of chemistry.)
The most important analogy I can start with is that if you were going to sit down in a foreign language class, it’s better for you to travel to the country where they speak that language the week before. Instead of looking at pharmacology as something to survive, let’s take a quick vacation week to get to know the pharmacology language that can help you in the classroom and clinical.
Instead of hoping a nursing professor doesn't call on you, wouldn't it be nice to have the confidence to be able to pronounce and articulate what you do know about the medication? Saying you don't know something in a specific way shows competence and asking questions shows genuine curiosity - both qualities instructors love hearing from students.
I recommend you ask questions in this way. "I understand that _____, but I'm not clear on _____" For example, I understand bismuth subsalicylate, Pepto Bismol, helps with stomach upset, but I'm not clear why bismuth subsalicylate is unsafe for children." The salicylate is like aspirin and can cause Reye's syndrome is the answer. But, can you see how this two step approach shows your competence, but allows you to ask a question in a way that isn't embarrassing? To get that initial competence, however, you need to do a little, not a lot of preparation for pharmacology class with these videos.
The seven videos are in a specific memorizable (not memorable, but memorizable) system-by-system order of gastrointestinal, musculoskeletal, respiratory, immune, neuro/mental health, cardiovascular, and endocrine. This order isn’t an accident. It’s in order from easiest to hardest based on research articles I’ve read. Remember them with the mnemonic Grand Mothers RINCE kids hair, GMRINCE with the French of rinse, r-i-n-c-e. Intuitively, it should make sense that you’ve used over-the-counter medicine for a stomachache, muscle pain, runny nose, or topical infection so these would be more familiar. Prescription mental health, cardiovascular, and endocrine medications are less familiar and there are many more drugs to know. In your pharmacology class, however, I’m betting most of you will get hit with neuro first and that’s one reason you need to make it through this seven video series.
This gastrointestinal pharmacology video provides some lessons that are foundational to the system.
1) Each drug class has a specific order, for example antacids work faster than H2 blockers, which work faster than Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs), so it goes antacid, H2 blocker, PPI, in that order. Within each class they are alphabetized for easier recall.
2) Anytime a drug has a prefix, infix, or suffix, I underline it to help you learn other drugs related to this one.
3) The temptation is to start making paper or electronic notecards. Notecards work for smaller numbers of drugs, a quiz of 20 for example. However, if you are trying to remember 200 drugs, then 5,000 questions for your boards, you want to employ the serial (in order) techniques I teach in this video as memory anchors. Just as you know in your closet that t-shirts hang in one place, pants in another, when you gain a new t-shirt or new knowledge, you know exactly where to hang it in your mind.
For now, let’s work with this quick 13 minute video to start your journey to thriving in pharmacology class by learning this important foreign language.
Last edit by TonyPharmD on Jul 6, '17 : Reason: Add pathophysiologic class.
Poll: This length of this video was