Newbie LPN- need drug help!

  1. I'm a new lpn I will be working on a med- surg unit, I have some questions.

    1. What are common med- surg drugs I should be particularly aware of?

    2. Any good websites for medication administration etc...

    3. What are some tips you have for meds, and med administration?

    4. I'm a newbie, have any advice?
  2. Visit gt4everpn profile page

    About gt4everpn

    Joined: Sep '06; Posts: 737; Likes: 140
    LPN; from GY
    Specialty: Licensed Practical Nurse


  3. by   GingerSue
    3. Tips - and administration: check the 5 rights
  4. by   meandragonbrett
    Antibiotics, BP Meds, Dig, etc. There are a ton of meds....any of which might be ordered for your patients. Med administration? Refer to your textbooks.
  5. by   njrnc
    i am an rn working on a med-surg for 14 years. the best thing i can say is keep a drug book handy. we use a "pyxis" for our meds and our hospital has downloaded lexi-comp to clarify meds and we use our floor pharmacist as a back up. there are so many new meds coming on to the market it is very hard to keep up. use the 5 rights and especially if you are unsure, double check the dosage, even pharmacy makes mistakes. good luck with your career.
  6. by   Cobweb
    We memorized lots of drugs in school but one thing that was never made clear to me was that drugs are divided into classes, and if you know the classes and what class your drug is in, you know a whole ton about it without a lot of extra memorizing. I use Pharmacology for Nursing Practice by Gutierrez as well as the nursing drug book and this has helped me a ton.

    Hope that helps
  7. by   clee1
    Learn your insulins: Humulin, HumuLOG, 70/30, Lantus, etc. GOD HELP YOU if you screw these up. Forget "mixing" that they taught in school; shoot 'em separate (safer that way). Don't forget the oral antiglycemics like altace and gliburide and glipizide.

    Learn the IV ABX: Levaquin, Ancef (kefzol), Zosyn, Vanco

    ALL of my pts have been on one or more antihypertensives: Lopressor, Norvasc, atenolol, enalipril, hydralazine, clonipin; more than a few have been on lipitor, zocor, lopid, and/or zetia.

    Digoxin, levothroid, protonix, and all the pain meds - morphine, demerol, dilaudid, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and codeine.

    Find the old patch before applying a new one. DON'T handle nitropaste w/o gloves (you'll be sorry if you don't). Be double-darned careful when administering blood products.

    The most important thing to remember beyond the 5 rights is when NOT to give a med; like dig w/ a HR < 60 or an antihypertensive with a SBP < 100
  8. by   RN4PatientCare
    WOW Clee1 - you must work on my floor!
    Those are the meds I see most frequently as well!
  9. by   GingerSue
    Benadryl and Adrenalin
  10. by   queenjean
    To clee's post I would add:

    anticoagulants (like heparin and lovenox)

    anti-depressants--people will be taking their regular home meds in addition to anything added for their acute medical issue, so whatever meds people often take at home, you will need to know as well.

    ativan, valium, xanax, sleepers like ambien and benadryl

    pain meds: morphine, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, fentanyl, etc

    gi drugs--nexium, pepcid

    While you are at work, it might help to keep a list of the drugs that you give most, and really look them up and learn them well. Like someone else mentioned, pay attention to the classes as well, so that you can learn the common characteristics.

    I work as an LPN on a medical floor--good luck! I love it.
  11. by   Agnus
    Never ever be afraid or embarrassed to look up even common drugs. Call pharmacy and ask them about drugs you can not find information you need on. occassionally Even after years of nursing I will look up a very common drug for various reasons.

    You may think you apear foolish looking up common drugs. You will look even more foolish if you give something that you don't have enough information ablout.

    You will begin to see certain drugs apear over and over depending on the type of med surg patient you see most. I can not tell you what drugs you will see most often as every med sug floor is different. Though there are some that tend to show up most anywhere. I think these have already been mentioned.
    Last edit by Agnus on Apr 22, '07
  12. by   P_RN
    Psssst "Don't forget the oral antiglycemics like altace " I think you might be thinking of actos? Altace is a bp med.
  13. by   clee1
    Quote from P_RN
    Psssst "Don't forget the oral antiglycemics like altace " I think you might be thinking of actos? Altace is a bp med.
    Quite right..... I was still asleep when I posted.:trout:
  14. by   purplemania
    Be sure you know how to use the reference material. No way you can memorize everything and new drugs come out every year. I give med/math tests to new hires and on a few questions they are allowed to use PDR. Some do not know how to look up a med!