Hi everyone, I’m Sydnie! I’m relatively new to the studyblr community and figured it was about time for me to write an intro post. I’m 19 years old, and a sophomore nursing student in Boston (minoring in psychology).  I’m currently taking 21 credits and I’m also in clinical one day a week.  On the weekends I tutor high school students in both English and math, but I’m also looking into possibly getting another job (not sure yet).

My aim in starting up this studyblr is to motivate myself and get excited about all the work I have to do, which can sometimes be a struggle.  The amount of studying associated with my courseload is pretty intense so my goal is to make original posts frequently.  I’m obsessed with minimalist stationary (hello MUJI Boston), colorful pens, and washi tape (and I’ve most definitely spent way too much money satisfying these obsessions)

Outside of college and studying, I am interested in art, photography, music, and binging tv shows.   If you have any questions for me about nursing school, how I study, or literally anything else just zoom on over to my ask box :)

My main blog is @lanquid , and you can find me on instagram @sydnie.m (just ask for snap or other social media)!

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anonymous asked:

I start pharmacology in 2 weeks. I'm hoping to get a bit ahead, so I've been reading the medication sections in my Saunders NCLEX prep book. My question is, how the hell do you study all of this and organize it?? It's SO much information! I'll be taking that AND foundations of nursing together and I'm pretty nervous for both!

Hi!! (This turned out longer than I expected, but I hope it’s helpful!)

Reading the medication sections in the Saunders book is definitely a great place to get a general idea of the most important drugs/drug types in nursing! I relied on this type of book to review in preparation for exams throughout the semester.

I don’t know how your course is going to be set up, but mine was split into 5 units, and each of those contained several “categories” of medications.  For example, Unit 2 contained neuropharmacology, mental health pharmacology, opioid analgesics/antagonists, and drugs used for the treatment of Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and seizures.  

For each category, my professor provided a powerpoint and assigned readings in the textbook.  The powerpoints detailed the systems on which those drug categories would be working, how those drugs would affect those systems, and then pointed out the most important medications to know.  

So, for example, in mental health pharmacology, the slides were organized by mental disorder (schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, bipolar, etc.), and the different classes of drugs/specific drugs that are used to treat those illnesses were explained.  

As far as studying and organizing all of the material goes, I would keep drugs within their classes (you will find that many drugs within medication classes function in similar ways), and keep these drug classes associated with the system on which they work.  

I found this method of organization necessary throughout the whole course, but it was especially helpful when tackling larger categories of drugs, such as in neuropharmacology and cardiology.  

***Also, you will see that certain classes of medications can be identified by common prefixes or suffixes: ACE inhibitors end in “-pril” (lisinopril, captopril), cephalosporins (an antibiotic class) usually begin with “cef-” (ceftriaxone, cefaclor)***

For example: 

Within cardiology there are numerous possible diseases/symptoms of diseases that may need to be treated (such as: hypertension, heart failure, edema, high cholesterol, angina, clotting), and each of these diseases has a different set of drug classes associated with it.  After identifying the classes of drugs used to treat different pathologies, you can memorize which specific drugs are within classes.

  • Hypertension, heart failure, and edema can be treated with different combinations of the following drug classes: diuretics (there are many classes of diuretics), drugs that target the RAAS system (ACE inhibitors and ARBs, etc.), calcium channel blockers, vasodilators, inotropic agents, and antidysrhythmics
  • High cholesterol can be treated with statins, nicotinic acid, bile sequestrants, fibric acids
  • Angina is usually treated with nitroglycerine
  • Clots/high risk for clotting can be treated with antiplatelets, anticoagulants, direct thrombin inhibitors, thrombolytic agents, and factor Xa inhibitors

My professor was also kind enough to provide a list of the most important drugs from each unit before exams, and I would go through this list memorizing key information about each drug.  I would make flashcards for each one of these drugs with the drug name on one side, and the most important information about the drug on the other.

For each drug it is usually important to know:

  • pharmaceutical class
  • indication (purpose for medication: what it treats)
  • pharmacodynamics (what the drug does)
  • pharmacokinetics (how drug goes through body: admin route, half life, location of metabolism and excretion)
  • nursing assessments (that should be done when patient is on this drug)
  • lab considerations (drugs like lithium require specific levels in the body)
  • age-related considerations
  • precautions/contraindications
  • possible drug-drug interactions
  • patient teaching if necessary (ex: patients must sit or stand upright for 30 minutes after taking a bisphosphonate because they have the potential to damage the esophagus)
  • any weird and unique side effects

I’m going to lie, there is a TON of information that needs to be studied in Pharmacology but it is totally doable!  Organization is crucial, and you will find the form of organization and studying that works best for you, and fits best with the teaching style and expectations of your professor.  When you get the course syllabus I suggest reading through it and taking note of when the exams will be, and the order in which drug categories will be presented.

Foundations of nursing (at least at my college) was heavily based in A&P so I didn’t find it too difficult, but I did take it the semester before Pharm.  I took Pharm and Med Surg 1 together, and while it was a lot of information, I was able to stay organized and do well in both courses! So don’t be nervous, and if you have any more questions feel free to ask!