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Question about meds

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by russianbear russianbear (Member)

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I'm a new grad RN who hopes to become an NP someday :) I'd like to work as a hospitalist. Anyhow, I'm curious, how do you learn about meds in the sense of which ones to prescribe for various conditions? I'm told there are pretty strict guidelines for hypertension, but what about antibiotics, or diabetic meds? I guess what I'm asking is how do you learn this one and not that one type stuff? I like to understand l that process better for my own edification and for when patients ask why they are not taking the same meds as someone else who has same problems.

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twozer0 has 10 years experience.

1 Article; 290 Posts; 4,583 Profile Views

I'm a new grad RN who hopes to become an NP someday :) I'd like to work as a hospitalist. Anyhow, I'm curious, how do you learn about meds in the sense of which ones to prescribe for various conditions? I'm told there are pretty strict guidelines for hypertension, but what about antibiotics, or diabetic meds? I guess what I'm asking is how do you learn this one and not that one type stuff? I like to understand l that process better for my own edification and for when patients ask why they are not taking the same meds as someone else who has same problems.

Your first line says it all. You're a new grad with no experience. Be an RN for a while and you'll start to understand meds a little more. I would say you're a ways out from understanding the prescription side of things since you dont have any experience giving basic things. Give yourself some time as a nurse first and I think this question will answer itself in time.

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traumaRUs has 27 years experience as a MSN, APRN and specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU.

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I've been an APN for 9+ years and still look things up! However I have a group of meds that I give on a daily basis and know those meds. It just takes time....

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BostonFNP specializes in Adult Internal Medicine, Hospitalist.

3 Articles; 5,223 Posts; 54,450 Profile Views

I'm a new grad RN who hopes to become an NP someday :) I'd like to work as a hospitalist. Anyhow, I'm curious, how do you learn about meds in the sense of which ones to prescribe for various conditions? I'm told there are pretty strict guidelines for hypertension, but what about antibiotics, or diabetic meds? I guess what I'm asking is how do you learn this one and not that one type stuff? I like to understand l that process better for my own edification and for when patients ask why they are not taking the same meds as someone else who has same problems.

This is what graduate school is for! The mix of clinical and didactic in your NP program will teach you what meds we use and more importantly why we use them.

As you gain RN experience you will get exposed to what meds are used for what patients. Guidelines exist to guide practice but nothing is black and white; as you enter clinical practice you will see how guideline are implemented.

The most important thing (IMHO) that you can do as you gain RN experience to help you in this process is to start learning medicaiton classes and mechanisms of action and PK/PD. If you can understand the mechanism of action and the PK/PD then you will understand what the medication can be used for, what adverse actions to expect, and what to monitor for.

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8,863 Posts; 46,557 Profile Views

There are algorithms for many of the common conditions you are inquiring about, try google. I love that you are interested in finding out more about the medications you will be administering and think the more research and information you learn the better.

Be careful however that you aren't overstepping your scope when educating patients. Expected effects or side effects is fantastic but please refer them to their prescriber if they have specific questions about doses and why they are on a certain medication as opposed to what someone else is taking.

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178 Posts; 4,470 Profile Views

If you want a leg up on everybody else youtube the pharmacology of the most common medicines. Just by putting effort forth you will outpace 99.999999999999999999999999999999999999999% of nurses because most don't put any effort into anything.

Study your butt off and work hard= success

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PG2018 specializes in Outpatient Psychiatry.

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There are few strict guidelines about anything. Regarding hypertension, you could view JNC-8. Read a lot. Have a look at algorithms. Much of what you'll do as a hospitalist is algorithmic. Here's the deal though, you'll end up prescribing whatever you want. Some meds are better for certain conditions in certain populations. You'll learn that, but instead of 14 different options you'll know from common experience perhaps three of those really, really well then you'll have an awareness of some on the other end of the spectrum. You'll look things up. All clinicians do. You're can't learn and retain all there is.

Regarding knowing meds, you can know them, but you don't really know them until you know the body. In my role, I find a lot of NPs know what meds tend to work for what conditions but can't say anything regarding any detailed, intricate knowledge. Likely, the best only have an intricate knowledge of the stuff they tend to use. Of all the psychotropic medications, I use about 40 of them and have pushed myself to learn the ins and outs of those. You'll do the same, but you'll need to know more about more meds. Don't be afraid to use meds. Just know why you're giving them and how to dose them.

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206 Posts; 3,303 Profile Views

Some really sound advice and cautions here for me to consider. I guess I figure one can never know too much and I've been curious how physicians choose which med to start someone on. I know with psych meds it's pretty much trial and error.

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2 Articles; 2,806 Posts; 41,028 Profile Views

Some really sound advice and cautions here for me to consider. I guess I figure one can never know too much and I've been curious how physicians choose which med to start someone on. I know with psych meds it's pretty much trial and error.

It's not so much trial and error as to which one to use as it is how will the patient and drug get along.

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PG2018 specializes in Outpatient Psychiatry.

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Yep, for psych meds, tailor the side effects. I wish I could take credit for that phrase.

Also, knowing about drug-drug interactions is helpful in reaching optimal effect.

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BCgradnurse has 9 years experience and specializes in allergy and asthma, urgent care.

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And once you know all of that, you will then prescribe whatever the patient's insurance will pay for.....:sarcastic:

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BostonFNP specializes in Adult Internal Medicine, Hospitalist.

3 Articles; 5,223 Posts; 54,450 Profile Views

And once you know all of that, you will then prescribe whatever the patient's insurance will pay for.....:sarcastic:

I always love it when an insurance company denies a PA then withholds 10% from reimbursement because patient not at quality measure goal.

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