The Dog Ate My Care Plan…

Just a mom/wife/nursing student extraordinaire trying to make it in the big bad city…

No Crystal Stair

Posted by isntshelovlei on April 28, 2010

We had an exam last night in Maternity/OB (final next Tuesday!). Usually there are not a lot of meds to remember for maternity since technically the patients aren’t “sick.” Other than epidurals and such during labor most of what you’ll see is postpartum—percocet and motrin for pain, maybe a stool softener if mom had a episiotomy. But when something goes amiss—antepartum, intrapartum, or postpartum—that’s when you get hit over the head with all kinds of stuff—pitocin to start or augment labor, tocolytics to stop labor, hydralazine  for hypertension, magnesium sulfate to prevent seizures (in eclampsia), methergine for hemorrhage, and injection-only insulin for diabetics since oral agents are teratogens. It’s enough to make your head spin and this is only scratching the surface of all the meds I need to know!

So needless to say I can already tell that pharm is going to be a beast. Everyone makes it sound like such a “bird course,” and that “it’s just straight memorization”…OK, if you say so. You not only have to learn the names (trade and generic) of about a gillion drugs, but also the actions, interactions, indications, contraindications, side effects, rationale for why you are or aren’t giving it…the list goes on. You have to know all of these things to be able to challenge that brand new resident’s order for your pregnant patient to receive coumadin (which crosses the placenta), or to be able to question why he wrote an order for methergine when your patient’s blood pressure is already 160/100. You have to know all of these things because in the end YOU are giving the patient their medications—YOU are their last line of defense before a potential medication error occurs. Yes, Mr. Resident that wrote the order should have some accountability as well, but everyone will be looking at YOU because YOU should have caught it. 

So although the wonderful world of maternity is coming to a close, I now have to prepare myself for a whole new kind of headache. One of my favorite poems, “Mother to Son” by Langston Hughes, sounds just like the plight of a student nurse. Nursing school for me ain’t been no crystal stair…

5 Responses to “No Crystal Stair”

  1. […] Continued here: No Crystal Stair « The Dog Ate My Care Plan… […]

  2. Jenny said

    i’m also taking maternity in my nursing program this sem and i love it but hate remembering all the meds! thanks for the quick summary. Good luck on your finals!

  3. nurseXY said

    Studying for my only OB exam of the semester, other than the final. I hear you sister.

  4. A Nurse said

    don’t worry,you will realize it will all be a piece of cake once you are looking back on it. Don’t know how I remember all that stuff….ya just do….after a while it is all second nature. I can’t for the life of me remember where I put my cell phone or keys, or if I gave my cat or myself my own meds…..but at work….I could rattle off a series of BPs on 4 different patients for the last hr and half, remember how often each baby ate, what meds I gave and when…..I have no IDEA how I do it…. 😦 you just develop a “nurse brain” that is seperate from your “other world”……….

    • isntshelovlei said

      I already have that syndrome, lol… One day I was so frazzled I lost my keys, threw my iPhone in the trash, but went into class and got a 98 on the exam. Go figure…

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