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Drug sheets or cards

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by cjungen cjungen (New Member) New Member

cjungen works as a student.

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Our pharmacology teacher told is we will learn about 30 drugs this semester and we have to learn 6 by the first test. Do we really have to know every side effect (some are a page long) and every method of dosage (some of these go on for a page too)? Surely when a nurse gives an unfamiliar drug she looks it up in the drug book, the chances of making an error are so great when you rely on memory. Exactly what is expected out of the drug sheets? How do you learn it all?:confused:

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6,032 Visitors; 559 Posts

Of course you will look up the drug before you give it. That way you'll be able to determine if there's something not quite right with the dosage...maybe an error was made in translation, who knows!

As far as learning all of the drugs...the way I do it is I group them by prototype. Just looking at it right off the bat is a little scary, but it's probably not as bad as you think. And you probably know more than you think. So, learn in groups. Then you know all of them, with a few differences, instead of memorizing every drug effect as a unique unit. Then you'll start to see similarities, and it will get even easier!

My advice is not to freak out about pharm. I am NOT a good memorizer. I never have been. So I read pharm to learn it. You know? In my experience there are a lot of drama queens in NS and you just need to avoid them and go about your business. Pharm may be hard for them, but it may not be for you. You just never know!

Hopefully you'll have a great teacher who will point out drugs that you NEED to know. Trust your teacher. Mine is outstanding...though all I heard about him before I started was a bunch of complaining. When he tells me to know something, I learn it.

Good luck. BREATHE. :)

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not.done.yet has 8 years experience as a MSN, RN and works as a Professional Development Specialist.

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Know the disease process a particular class of drug treats and the drugs in that class. Know the MAJOR (most common) side effects and any potentially fatal side effects. Then ask yourself what makes XYZ drug different from the others that would prompt a doctor to prescribe it over another drug in the same class. (ie: why would a doctor prescribe warfarin instead of Lovenox? Both are blood thinners - how are they different?). Know the receptors a class of drugs acts on and you will always know what any drug that acts on the same receptors does - and what the side effects may be.

Truly it is not as hard as it looks. I have found studying a text like Pharmacology by Lehne far easier than trying to study Davis or Mosby's drug books. The chapter summaries at the end put the important info together quite neatly. Also the ATI Pharmacology study guide (you can find it for a penny or so on Amazon) is a good supplement to studying, though I would not rely on it by itself.

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I would suggest readying about the different classes of drugs in a pharm boo and then getting the Davis drug book that comes with a CD and you can type in the name of the drug and then print out all the same info that is in the book on to a sort of "drug card thing" but it has all the info on it. Go through and high light very important stuff like class, usage, action, and major side effects! makes it so much easier that going throught the book and trying to make your own med cards which take hours and hours!

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14,833 Visitors; 2,642 Posts

Yes, an RN will look up a drug before giving it....but your first goal is to do well on the exam. For that, I'd ask the Prof what facts (and how much detail for each) you're supposed to learn for their exams.

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CRIMSON works as a RN.

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When you learn drugs:

Know what class/how drug works

Most common/severe SE

Nursing Indications, things to watch for

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