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Need help in pharmacology

I apparently am not grasping what is being taught based on my first two tests and failing them. By failing I mean a 70% on the first and a 69% on the one from today. The way I am studying is not working. Any suggestions? I write all of the drugs our instructor puts onto the blueprint for the tests and then study basic info for the different classes but it isn't working... any ideas would be much appreciated. Oh and I only have four weeks to fix this with another two tests in there.

Banana nut, BSN, RN, EMT-B

Has 2 years experience.

I'm in pharm right now 3 weeks in with an A....so far (I plan on keeping it). The main thing I would suggest is study what ever material the teacher gives you. I personally hate flash cards and do not use them. I study the lecture objectives and the chapters related to them. If you want to pm me we can discuss the nitty gritty of the actual content you need to go over. Good luck.

I'm in pharm right now 3 weeks in with an A....so far (I plan on keeping it). The main thing I would suggest is study what ever material the teacher gives you. I personally hate flash cards and do not use them. I study the lecture objectives and the chapters related to them. If you want to pm me we can discuss the nitty gritty of the actual content you need to go over. Good luck.

I would pm you but don't have enough posts yet... our instructor has certain drugs she wants us to specific information on is the only reason I do flashcards. I go over lecture notes and take the end of chapter quizzes in our book. I'm just having a hard time applying book knowledge to test questions, I think.

Banana nut, BSN, RN, EMT-B

Has 2 years experience.

Have you taken a physiology class? What specific drugs are you studying right now? When you can relate the phys with the pharm things may start clicking.

Have you taken a physiology class? What specific drugs are you studying right now? When you can relate the phys with the pharm things may start clicking.

I took physiology 2 years ago. That may be my problem because I am having a hard time linking it all together.

Banana nut, BSN, RN, EMT-B

Has 2 years experience.

You may need to start reviewing physiology by body system as they relate to the specific drug class you are studying. Use active listening skills while you play physiology lectures on YouTube. Dr.Fink on YouTube has amazing phys lectures. Also do you understand how enzyme binding/ aleosteric binding / inhibition and signal transduction works? These are some things that will help you understand how drugs work in general (there is a lot more to itthan just that). You will need to brush up on cellular phys and all the stuff I just said for pharm to start making sense. I'm currently in pharm and need a study buddy so let me know If you want to review physiology or pharm with me I would be happy to go over some things.

Best of luck to you.

Physiology is a huge part of pharmacology. When I took it for my PN program (the same pharm class for the RN program in Canada), I made sure to relate to physiology. You can go over the drugs of each category and then subcategorize them. I would take the info your teacher has and make your own flashcards from that. I know nrsing academy has a pharm class that is around $60 and has videos that explain pharm well. I would look at that and see if Khan academy online has anything as well.

Rocknurse, MSN, APRN, NP

Specializes in Critical Care and ED. Has 31 years experience.

I just completed a graduate level pharmacology class and got an A thanks to You Tube. I watched video lectures on every conceivable topic and they're great because they condense what you need to know into a visual chunk and I found it easier to remember things. Check out Khan Academy. Search for videos on classes of drugs and mechanisms of action.

I have a really easy way to learn pharm. I make Concept Maps as my "drug cards". The 'main idea' is the general information that applies to 95% of the drugs in that class. What it tells you is as follows...

Tx (Treatment for)

MOA (Mechanism of action)

SEs (Side Effects)

ARs (Adverse Reactions)

CIs (Contraindications)

Pt Ed. (Patient Education or Patient Teaching)

Tip: It may help to incorporate the ADPIE model at the end so you walk through the nursing process and become more well-rounded.

If you can fill these out and eventually think through the drugs in this order, the top will guide you to rationalizing the subsequent points :)

Then, you draw lines, also called stems, outward and write one the end of each the drug names you're assigned to learn.

So what you have so far is a basic drug class card and the need to know drugs that the main idea bubble applies to. Don't forget to add little mnemonics or drawings on the sides of the information to help you remember points better.

Then, you put information that applies only to each specific drug, under that drug name. This makes the drug card more visual in your mind when testing yourself and when taking your exams. You can better generalize, and at the same time distinguish drugs this way, and it will help you with process of elimination when you are stuck on test questions. I suggest using practice questions with each chapter to see how well this works for you.

If anyone would like a sample of this, PM me with your email, and I will be happy to share!

Edited by NeoNatMom
good tip I almost forgot

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