well, today i failed my 3rd pharmacology test. we get 4 chances (the date and time for each test is determined by the school, not by the students.) if we don't pass by at least the fourth test, we are dropped from all our classes. i'm so upset i don't know what to do. for one thing, i really studied hard all during spring break
for this test. they don't teach pharmacology, for one thing. they post a file on a web-site, with 220 drugs in "card" format, so you can print it off & make your own flash cards. then you are expected to know the excruciating minutiae. such as this drug causes which side effect....a) diarrhea b) nausea c) itching d) nervousness
how can anyone cram that much info into their brain!?! doesn't almost every drug cause some of those for someone who takes it? there were 5 or 6 of these "side effect" questions on the test...so out of 20 drug questions, 25% or more more this type. (10 questions are math.)
for the fourth test, they are making us drive into the city to take the test, a very difficult to navigate, not driver friendly city i might add. then they are going to tell us what we made after we take the test. (to put us in the best frame of mind...as we drive home...after being kicked out of the program for failing the pharm test...because to pass you must get 90% correct, and only 30 questions are on the test). i feel like getting kicked out of nursing school will probably feel like a cross between a) getting fired from a job that you had felt good about b) getting booted out of seminary. either way, i think i'm on the edge of a nervous breakdown. i don't know how to study any harder than i do!
i retyped all the drugs, with my own analysis about the side effets, contra-indications, nursing implications, etc. i can really picture myself swerving off a bridge if i get a 26 right on this next test, instead of the 27 required to pass (only if i was sure my car wouldn't land on anyone else). the tests are written by a different person than the one who wrote up the drug cards, so sometimes there is info in the test question or correct answer that we were never presented with. it just gets worse and worse. after my second failed pharm test, i really needed to stay for lecture, but i just couldn't do it. i think i'm losing it. especially after they told us this...
they are also taking away the bonus points they used to offer on each lecture test. they say it's because too many people were failing out of 3rd semester that had passed 2nd semester. with those points i was making a 90. without those points, my grade on future tests would translate into a 81.8 (grade "c".) that's assuming the new material doesn't get harder! i really should try to go to sleep, since tomorrow i have to go to the hospital to gather patient info, write a care plan, attend skills lab for 2 hours, and work for 4 hours at my job. but i don't see myself sleeping very well. wonder why...
semester ends may 10, but i just don't see how i will make it until then.
then time i spend cramming for this pharm test...assuming best case scenario, that i pass it...will be less time to study for a lecture test....which i need to study for desparately, with the bonus points being taken away...
anymore, it feels like i just live on slimfast (not to lose weight, but because i'm always running from here to there), coffee, anti-depressants and tictacs. this is no way to live!!!! i hate my life-style!! or lack thereof. student nurse, care for thyself!!! but i don't have time for better nutrition or exercise. i don't see it getting any better, either. :stone
i know. i'm whining now.
Mar 23, '05
I agree with Tony, I learned the drug classes first also, and now when I learn a new drug I like to know what class it's in so I can understand it more. There are certain major side effects that go along with some drug classes. I would buy a pharmacology textbook and read it. I never made a single drug card, I just read my pham. text over and over again. Also, don't be hard on yourself, all of the pressure behind the test is a big factor on your performance. It's not that you can't do it, and not that you didn't study hard enough, you might just need to relax so you can think clearly. And if worse comes to worse there are other nursing schools. My nursing school would never kick someone out for a bad grade on a test, the teachers are extremely encouraging and supportive. Maybe you would be better off not having to put up with the type of program that is constantly threatening to "kick you out" there is enough pressure without that garbage!
Quote from Tony35NYC
When I took Pharm, I found it easier to study the drugs by class first, then I familirized myself with the names of more popular ones in each class. After that I would find some silly way to associate something with each of these drugs to help me remember them. If you organize your studying this way it might help you because most drugs within the same class have similar indications/contraindications, side effects, etc. For example, opioid analgesics/opioid agonists come in all different names and doses, but the important thing to remember about them is that they relieve moderate to severe pain. And because they depress the nervous system common side effects are drowsiness, seizures, and constipation, and the most important nursing implication is to monitor for respiratory depression. Now that you have this down, look up some of the more common opioids (dilauded, vicodin, percocet, morphine...) Its always easier to remember the side effects if you think of what the drug does to body instead of thinking about the drug itelf.
There are certain drugs that you have to put a bit more effort into that just that though, and these would include drugs like digoxin and lithium whereas you need to draw serum levels and the dosing is very carefully monitored, and neuroleptics that can cause EPS, etc. These types of drugs I separated from the rest and studied differently.
If you try to memorize every little detail about the drugs by going from A-Z with drug cards it will be a lot more difficult.
Last edit by ER-RN-2B on Mar 23, '05