Best ways to teach pharm?


Can anyone give some tips on how best to teach pharm? We don't have a stand alone pharm course and have to integrate it in class. I notice that my students can't seem to apply pharm to clinical and have trouble making judgements on what to assess prior to giving meds to determine if they should give it, hold it, clarify the order, etc. even with a lot of guidance.

CraigB-RN, MSN, RN

1,224 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care, Emergency, Education, Informatics. Has 40 years experience.

Pharm is one of those topics with a mix of pure rote memorization and then concepts based on classification.

I tend to start with the classification, and present in the structure of nursing dx. (yes I admit it) what are you trying to accomplish with this chemical. Increase perfusion, etc. I don't get into specific medications until phase 2. Once they have a good understanding of the actually mechanics.

Was just teaching on AKI and talked loop diuretics and how they functioned and the long term actions. After discussing that then I asked what are the names of some loop diuretics and discuss how they are different.

The hard part if squeezing it into the available time.


163 Posts

I found that the most helpful part of pharm in clinicals was looking at a "sample patient" and their dx, labs, etc. Then we would list goals of where we wanted the pt. to be. For example--if the pt. had a Potassium of 6.7, we would discuss what is the normal Potassium range and do we want to increase or decrease the pt's potassium. Only after we had a list of "goals" for the patient did we each take a goal and research what medication we would give and why. It helped keep the knowledge "fresh" so to speak. We would also talk about what side effects to expect with the medication. IE: If insulin was given to lower potassium, what would we need to do first? What about if kayexalate was given?

It took A LOT more time but it helped really firm up the reason why different medications were given.