Pharmacology: Beyond the Drug

Welcome to Pharmacology: Beyond the Drug

Imagine that you are in a small room with 100 children. Some are siblings and some are not. Perhaps, the children were engaged in a school activity or attended a field trip. Now, it is time for all the children to go home and the parents are waiting in the lobby. Prior to the field trip, you tagged every child with their name on their chest. You have the list of the parent’s names but not a list of the children’s names. What are you going to do in this scenario to respectively dismiss the kids to their parents?

  1. Allow the parents to flood in the classroom and find their own child/children.
  2. Allow the children to go to the lobby and find their own parent.
  3. Use the surnames of the parents to match it with the surname of the child and take them to their respective parent yourself. If two surnames are the same, verify with the child and parent.

Hi, my name is Fiskvik Antwi, and I welcome to Pharmacology: Beyond the drug! I am a registered nurse and a Masters in Nursing candidate.

The Importance of Drug Class

You are probably asking yourself, “Why did she use such a weird scenario?” Because I am a product of this mistake.

The parent in the scenario is THE DRUG CLASS. In simple terms, a drug class are a group of medications that have similar compound structure and functions the same way.

For example: Anti-histamine is a drug class, and there is a list of medications under anti-histamine that works in similar ways.

Hence, the children in this scenario are THE LIST OF MEDICATIONS.

I decided to use the analogy of parents and children as a simple for understanding. Children would have certain traits that the parents possess. The list of medications under a drug class have similar compound structure and function.

I got a B+ in pharmacology because I chose (b) as my answer. I learnt the list of medications(children) and then matched them to their respective parent (drug class).

Some might choose (a) as an answer because it might be easier for you to just let the parent (drug class) find their own children (list of medications). If you just place the list of medications under the drug class because of the similar suffix or prefix, you might get majority right, but some medications are exceptions.

The letter (c) is the correct answer. Learn the parents name first (drug class) and then tag the children by grouping them underneath every parent (list of medications under that class). When you verify when you are unsure of the medication, this helps you classify your medications accurately under every drug class. TIP: LEARN THE DRUG CLASS FIRST!

The reason why many nursing students are overwhelmed with pharmacology is because there are a lot of medications to memorize, know and remember.

Here is the truth, you are not going to know every medication or every drug class. Science is not stagnant, and there are so many other medications to come. A nurse working in surgical ward would know her antibiotics and pain medications more than a nurse working in theatre or medical ward.

My point is, pharmacology takes practice and in time, you become an expert of the medications in the field that you work in. So, if your goal, entering your pharmacology class is to know all the medications, I am sorry to tell you, but your approach is wrong.

However, if you begin by knowing your drug class, soon enough you would be able to match drugs underneath these classes during clinicals and further reading.

Welcome to the Subscribers

Once again, I want to welcome each and everyone of you. We have nursing students from Philippines, Norway, Trinidad and Tobago (shout out to USC nursing students), USA, Canada, Pakistan and Ghana.

This community is yours, so I challenge you to use it effectively and share it to another nursing student. If you are not a nursing student, I do write blogs on study tips, student life, stress management and so much more!

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pharmacology cheat sheet

Please Note:

Copyright of content. Any plagiarism and selling of the study guides are prohibited.

We are starting with pharmacology, soon enough we would continue with other courses such as pathophysiology, medical-surgical nursing and NCLEX/RENR questions.


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Pharmacology: Beyond the Drug


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