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Starting ABSN in August. suggestions on how to start studying for Pharmacology now.

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by Fav1892 Fav1892 (Member)

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I'm starting an ABSN this fall and have been advised to start studying for pharmacology right now because of how challenging it is. I'll be getting all my books in a couple of weeks, but I was wondering if there were any apps or online resources that I can start using to study.. The classes for my program are 8 weeks long, I just want to be extremely prepared while going into this. 

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KrysyRN has 28 years experience.

241 Posts; 4,090 Profile Views

You may want to see if your school library, or even regular library, has the "Pharmacology Made Incredibly Easy" or "Pharmacology Demystified" books for nurses. These books are easy to read and will give you general info, but enough info, to give you a bit of a head start before you get your required books.

You may also want to look at YouTube vids that show you how to do dimensional analysis to calculate dosages. After that, search websites that have practice exams.

 

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adventure_rn is a BSN and specializes in NICU, PICU.

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I'm going to take this topic in a slightly different direction, but...

Have you taken pathophysiology? Some schools require it as a pre-req, but many students take it concurrently in their first semester along with pharmacology.

The reason I ask is that having a solid understanding of physiology and pathophysiology will make your pharm class infinitely easier. To be successful at pharmacology, you have to understand how the drugs act on the different body systems; you can't understand how the drugs act on the body systems if you don't actually understand the body systems themselves (or how they malfunction when people are chronically ill).

I took pharm and patho my first semester of nursing school; my pharm teacher was ok, but my patho teacher was pretty terrible. The hardest part of pharm for me was that I had to simultaneously teach myself patho in order to understand the different drugs.

All of that to say--if you don't have any background in patho, it is going to be really, really hard for you to teach yourself pharmacology before your class begins. Honestly, your time may be better spent boning up on patho so that you can hit the ground running in pharm. In addition, it's probably way easier to teach yourself patho than pharm using online resources; I'm sure there are plenty of video series on the internet that review the different body systems, as well as patho made easy books.

Once you start pharm, the biggest thing will be staying on top of your studying. Clear up any confusion about the underlying pathophys ASAP. Make drug cards and start reviewing them early. However, I wouldn't recommend making any drug cards now. If you make them now, they won't have any context, so you probably won't remember the information. In contrast, once you have context for the drug mechanism related to the underlying patho, the act of making the drug card will actually help you solidify it in your memory.

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NuggetsHuman specializes in Clinical Social Worker.

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Echoing adventure_RN, BSN that staying on top of studying for pharm is really important. I had a couple lapses last semester in pharm and getting back on top of it was more challenging than keeping up with it... not unlike laundry and dishes, now that I think of it.

I think how you study might depend on how you learn best combined with how your course will be taught.

Rote memorization is tough for me, but writing things out makes it easier. Something you could do now if you're not a great memorizer is to start writing out lists of drugs by category and if there's a common word part (stem/suffix etc). For example, all the ACE inibitors end in -pril and all the ARBs end in -sartan. But all the monocolnal antibody drugs have "mab" somewhere in their name, not just at the end.

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46 Posts; 1,614 Profile Views

My vote is for the Mosbys pharmacology notecards on Amazon.  Helpful For visual learners with some cartoony type graphics and pneumonics to help

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myoglobin has 11 years experience as a ASN, BSN, MSN and specializes in ICU, trauma, neuro.

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Do everything on Khanacademy.org including pathophysiology, biology, NCLEX, MCAT, A&P and you will be well ahead of the game.  Of course it is all free, and has many integrated quizzes.  You can also ask questions (or answer them) at the comment section at the end of the videos. Also watch all of Paul Bolin's video's on Youtube along with Chubby Emu's (also on Youtube).  

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