Welcome back to my blog ♥
It’s one of those days where I’m having a writers block and I don’t remember how to start a blog post. And then I refer back to my old blog posts and… I’m still stuck. So hi, how are you doing? I hope you are all doing super well. Last week, I successfully made it through pharmacology without remediating and it was the best feeling ever. It was a lot of loud sighing and silent crying but hey, I’m done with that now! I vlogged during the week of the exam 🙂 Check it out below! 👇
Today, I thought I’d talk about how I studied for pharmacology. I was going to make a video about it but I can’t seem to get pass the insecurities and formalities of a sit down video so I thought I’d at least write about. 🙂 But before we get into the fun stuff, let me break down what pharmacology was like for me!
Since I am in an accelerated program, pharmacology is only 2 weeks. Wait what? 2 weeks? Yep, you read that right. Don’t worry, I thought the designer of this program was crazy too. I had about 8/10 days to learn/study/memorize a lot of drugs. It was a struggle. I think I studied about 18 hours a day… now if you told high school Tiffany that I’d be doing that, she’d laugh in your face. It was non-stop learning, reviewing, and memorizing.
There were no actual textbooks for this block. Most of the learning materials were on ATI. It’s an online tutorial website that my school uses as supplemental instruction. It’s also the company that makes the TEAs exam. Each day, we were assigned certain modules to watch and that’s what we used to learn our drug information. The professors provided drug charts from the ATIs and I mainly used those to study for the exam.
At first, I went through every assigned section of the ATIs but that took up 4+ hours of my day. I personally felt like I was wasting time so instead, I decided to focus on the drug charts. I used the ATIs to look at the “expected drug action” and took some notes. Since I have really bad memory, the best way for me to memorize drugs is by understanding how they work.
At orientation, we were given the Nurse’s drug handbook. It’s basically a dictionary for drugs and it includes pretty much everything in the drug chart plus more. I used the handbook as an extra source to double check my information before memorizing them.
To help me understand and remember the drug uses, I purchased Mosby’s Pharmacology Memory NoteCards: Visual, Mnemonic, and Memory Aids for Nurses, 4e (here) from amazon prime for about $18. I thought it was really helpful because I am a visual learner so looking at the quirky pictures and mnemonics helped me understand the drug uses. BUT I do think it’s better to primarily use the information that the professor provides because a lot of these extra sources give you way more information than you actually need to know at the moment. …I started panicking a little. Oops, self inflicted pain.
TIFF TIP: focus on the information that your professor wants you to focus on. Use the extra resources as a guide but ya know, don’t rely on it.
The best thing about this block was that our professors had a review for each module. There was a review session almost everyday and it helped me a lot. There’s a lot of information to learn and sometimes I don’t know what I’m doing. So the reviews kind of guided me and gave me an idea of what the professor wants us to focus on. I wish all professors did that. Below is an example of notes I took for respiratory drugs.
Using the information on the drug chart, I made flashcards to drill the information into my brain. I only included the drug name (Brand + generic name), drug classification, drug therapeutic use, and side effects. I assumed that was what the professors wanted to us to focus on. I mean my brain can only handle so much information, right? A lot of the side effects and related nursing interventions were similar so I learned the main ones and were able to apply them without writing them onto my tiny notecard.
TIFF TIP: Minimize the writing on your notecards because a lot of words is just overwhelming and then your brain will be like OHMERGERD WHAT IS HAPPENING?! True story. Happened way too many times.
A lot of these drugs have several side effects so one thing that helped me remember them was putting them into alphabetical order. I also highlighted the crap out of my drug charts and notecards to make the words pop. I used a different color for different purposes. For example, yellow was drug classification, pink was therapeutic use, and mint green was side effects. The colors on the notecards matched the drug chart so it was easier to identify.
Now, it’s time to memorize them! Ugh the most dreaded part…am i right? I memorize things by writing them over and over again. I have a big white board from Costco for about $20 and I bought the costco pack of dry erase markers. I split up the notecards into small sections. Having too many notecards will become too overwhelming so try to split it up. Baby steps! I go through each notecard and I write EVERYTHING down. I keep repeating the same notecard until I get it right without help. Then I cycled through the small batch of cards until I get it right. This process takes forever but I say it’s worth it.
And that is how I studied for pharmacology! It’s a lot stuff to remember so do not procrastinate. Also, I recommend reviewing what you’ve memorized everyday. I had to do that a lot because again, short term memory… #struggle but if this sad goldfish can do it, you definitely can too!
If you guys saw my vlog (linked above..and here..) you guys would know how I started to freak out before the exam. The exam was 80 questions and we had 2 hours to complete it. This was our first 80 question exam. During the exam, oh boy… First of all, I didn’t know I could sit still for that long. Second of all, I really had to pee during the exam but people kept going so I held it the whole 1.5 hours I had left. #firstworldproblems I’m not going to lie, the exam was like a scary movie and I was the one who wasn’t going to make it out alive. I guessed on so many of them and I lost count of how many I got wrong during Evidence Based Review (EBR). I expected to see myself at remediation but somehow I saved my own butt from remediating. It was a miracle! ✨ YAY PHARMACOLOGY IS OVER!
The weird part is that my friends and I have been talking about pharmacology since block 1 and here we are, after pharmacology making our way through block 5. Time goes by so fast! We have to remember the information we learned in pharmacology for block 5: adult health. Everything is built off each other and eventually, it will all make sense. I can’t wait until the day where I can go, OHHHH I SEE WHAT THEY MEANT without having a 2007 Britney Spears moment. But for now, signing off from this blog post.. I hope you learned something or got inspiration for how to study! I hope you have a beautiful day and don’t forget to shine bright, you’re beautiful!
❤ , TIFF
Real Nurse (R.N.) in the making.
psst…it’s already February?!
psst… check out my last post here!
psst…Let’s get to know each other! Today’s question is…Who has impressed you most with what they’ve accomplished? For me, it’s my older brother. He continues to impress me everyday and I love bragging about him! haha
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