The Dog Ate My Care Plan…

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

Posts Tagged ‘pharmacology’

Stuff and Dump

Posted by isntshelovlei on July 14, 2010

I’ve gotten to that point of the semester where I’m absolutely positively fried. It really feels like I’m just stuffing and dumping information now. Especially in pharmacology—we have four exams, the content doesn’t overlap, and the last exam (technically the final) is NOT cumulative (a rarity). So now that I’m studying the meds for Exam 3, I feel like what I learned for Exams 1 & 2 has already floated off to the Bermuda Triangle of my mind never to be seen again. And with the pharm HESI right around the corner (and you know I don’t take an opportunity for free/extra points lightly), that is so not a good thing. So I’m hoping that I really have retained some of this stuff, and that it’s just laying dormant somewhere in my hippocampus ready to spring into action…

July 23rd UPDATE: The pharm exam last night was beastly!! To add insult to injury, our professor told us that the class average for this particular exam is usually about a 73—but keep in mind that anything less than a 75 in my program is an F!! Now everyone gets to wait, obsessively checking Blackboard every few hours, to see if the grades are posted—and hoping that we passed!

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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…

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