Published Jul 1, 1999
Does your school require hand written medication cards for use during clinical rotations? Do you feel hand writing this information helps you integrate concepts or do you feel like you are only doing busy work? Are you graded on preparation work for your clinical rotations including doing medication look up?
We were reguired to look up all drugs and write up the action, and any nursing considerations. This does help to learn about specific drugs. We were only required to write up the drugs that our patients were taking. We were not graded on this, but we could not participate in clinical if it was not done.
My school requires that we have med cards for every med that our patient is taking. We can either buy them preprinted or else we can hadn write them. Hand writing them takes a very logn tiem though because they want a lot of stuff on the cards. At my school, clinical is only a pass or fail. We cannot enter clinical for the day unless we have our care plans done as well as our med cards done and any other information we might need. I feel that this does help somewhat.
Wow, just like deja vu!! I'd forgotten about med cards!!!
They may be busy work, but repetition is a good learning tool and besides they are recyclable. You will find that often, during your rotations, certain drugs will keep on surfacing and you will use the same drug card over and over.
Drug administration is one of the most serious duties a nurse has and also one that is the most massive because of the ever burgeoning mass of pharmaceuticals. Your instructors are trying to drive home the necessity to always know enough about a drug that you are truly comfortable and competent in administering. If you haven't been in school long enough to appreciate the sheer mass of that task, you soon will. Drug cards are a good way to help you get a hold on and organize and learn that huge mass of info.
Hang in there.
We were never required to hand write drug cards, but in the clinical area we had to have either our drug book or preprinted drug cards. Some instructors required you to know most of the info on the cards, while others just wanted to know whether you bothered to familiarize yourself with drugs you would be administering. Yet I think that hand writing drug cards would aid in memorization, more than be busy work. Clinical was a pass/fail evaluation. Learning info about drugs aided me in pharmacology and other classes.
[This message has been edited by ltm (edited July 05, 1999).]
We are also required to research each med that our assigned patient is taking. It is amazing how many times the same drug comes up week after week. Using the med cards really helped me learn what med I was giving and WHY I was giving it. They are especially useful when learning what side effects to look for and which are potentially serious. I know they're a pain to write (or type) out, but I found that doing it that way helped me learn much more than reading pre-printed cards.
Like most of you, we were not allowed to administer any meds that were not thoroughly researched.
Good luck next semester all.......
med cards were a good way for me to learn about drugs I was administering, you have to hand write them so instructor knows they are your original work (not copied).
caroladybelle, BSN, RN
Welcome to nursing school - I had to do that.
I've always thought that handwritten med cards was a nursing school ritual.
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