Nursing students can find pharmacology a difficult nursing class to pass in nursing school. Advancements in technology have created an increase in marketing and discovering of medical and non-medical drugs. For this reason, nursing students and nurses must be trained to meet the changing challenges these discoveries create. When any type of drug enters the bodies of human beings, they become the focus of the area of pharmacology. Nurses must know the side effects of various drugs, and how these drugs interact in the body of humans.
What is Pharmacology?
Pharmacology is the study of drugs interactions and actions within a living system. When any type of drug enters that body, the living organism becomes the study of pharmacology. Pharmacology studies drugs that alter the living organism’s ability to function. These drugs can encompass medicinal or non-medicinal drugs.
How Nurses Use Pharmacology on the Job
Nurses use pharmacology on the job to treat their patients and carry out the requests of the patient’s physician. Nurses also use pharmacology to administer drug dosages that the doctor prescribes. Hospitals and clinics prefer nurses who have received training in pharmacology because they receive additional training in drugs and dosing. For example, if nurse administers the wrong dosage of medication to their patients, they could be putting the patients’ lives in danger. Nurses must have a solid understanding of drugs to perform their jobs effectively.
Nurses also use pharmacology to determine the effects of certain drugs of their patients. Many drugs can counteract with one another if prescribed to the patient to take together. Nursing students must study all information related to these drugs to determine their effects on patients. Additionally, nurses must know the effects of medicinal drugs with non-medicinal drugs to determine their effects on patients who may be using non-medicinal drugs but require the prescribed drugs for medicinal purposes.
Nurse must know the drug’s toxicology to decide upon its use for therapy and medicine for each of their patients. They must also have a clear understanding of how all drugs affect the body’s biological functioning.
How to Pass Pharmacology-Great Study Guide
As with most difficult nursing classes, it is a good idea to use a study guide to help you study. Pharmacology textbooks are packed with so much information that it is difficult to decide on what material you will be tested on. Study guide books help show you the material that is most important and what type of information you can expect to be tested on.
A great study guide with practice questions for nursing students who are taking pharmacology is a book by Mary Ann Hogan called “Prentice Hall Reviews & Rationales: Pharmacology“. Here is what it looks like:
Tips on How to Study for Pharmacology in Nursing School
Studying for pharmacology can be extremely difficult due to the overwhelming amount of information to memorize such as drug side effects, target lab values, drug interactions and more. Although the task is difficult, nursing students can follow a few easy steps to help them pass the course.
Use acronyms to study
Acronyms can help nursing students remember the names of drugs. To memorize common drugs, students may use the first letter of each drug name to memorize the drugs. The first letter of each drug can form a word that is easy for the nursing students to remember.
Memorize the names of drugs
It will be a waste of time to try to remember an abundance of drug names at one time. The brain is not capable of retaining such a massive amount of information. It is a better idea to study and memorize a maximum of three drugs at once before studying and memorizing another set of drugs.
Use audio assistance
Students should use a recorder in class help with studying drug information. It may ever be a good idea for individuals to record themselves reading information about drugs and pronounce the names correctly.
Make flashcards with visual cues
Flash cards are great tools that students can use to memorize information related to drugs. Students can also create visual representations on the flashcards that help them associate certain drugs with the parts of the body in which they correspond. Students should make sure that the flashcard and visual cues are easy to remember, and that they have some value to them.
Group drugs that are similar
Grouping drugs into classes may make them easier to remember. Try to learn all of the similarities about the drugs in the group so it is only necessary to learn the exceptions to the rules.
Study as much as needed
It takes a great deal of studying information about drugs to do well in pharmacology courses. Make sure that there is time set aside for breaks so that the studying can be effective. One to two hours of studying at a time is approximately how long nursing students should study before taking a break.
Pharmacology is very important to the success of nurses. In addition to the wealth of information that nurses need to know to help their patients, they must also know the effects of all types of drugs on the human body so that they can provide the best care possible for each of their patients.