Drug Help Needed

ResTech

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I have been racking my brain trying to memorize the in's and out's of the pre-hospital drugs and I am starting to go crazy! They all seem to want to run together especially the side effects.

So any help that anyone can give that may help would be extremely appreciated. I bought a really good "Paramedic's Medication Audio Study Review" CD from the firefightersbookstore.com that I play on my MP3 player which is helpful, but still difficult.

Is it really necessary to memorize ALL the drug info verbatim or just learn the most common facts of the drug and have a good understanding of how the specific class's of drugs work?

I guess perhaps no matter which way you look at it they are hard to memorize.
 

rescuecpt

Community Leader Emeritus
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I was having a really hard time with the drugs until we did ACLS. Then it started to click - seeing it in algorithms format helped me understand when and why to use the drugs, and the rest fell into place. Have you done ACLS yet? If not, I could mail you copies of the algorithms. The protocols for your area might be helpful too - now it's all classified in my brain as what drugs treat what things, why, and how they do their job.
 
OP
ResTech

ResTech

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No, we have'nt done ACLS yet. That is coming up in the Fall semester in Medical Emergencies I & II. I am really hoping that it all clicks and comes together. Our drug test's that we take in class are expected to be verbatim of what is on our drug review sheet's and that is alot of stuff to memorize. Our compency is 90% to get checked off on the drug.
 

Firechic

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Drug info such as indications, contraindications & precautions, dosages, routes, and side effects should all be memorized. It is a lot of stuff to remember, but necessary if you are going to administer that drug because you are responsible for the outcome.
Understanding pathophysiology helped me a great deal with learning medications. It made the side effects and contraindications easier to remember.
Good luck!
:)
 

rescuecpt

Community Leader Emeritus
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It's usually easier to memorize when you have something practical to relate the information to... I couldn't for the life of me memorize everything about the drugs until we started running mega codes in ACLS.

The other approach that works for me is to learn one a week. Inside and out, use flash cards, whatever... put it on your night table, look at it first thing in the morning, during the day, last thing at night, and for one week, think about no other drugs. Then next week, move on to a new one, and on the last day of that week review all of the drugs that you've already learned... Rinse & Repeat as necessary.
 

croaker260

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"Is it really necessary to memorize ALL the drug info verbatim or just learn the most common facts of the drug and have a good understanding of how the specific class's of drugs work? "

Ask your self this...if it was your family, would you want someone who knew the basics of the drug giving it to your family...or someone who took the effort to learn it all?

Not to sound condescending...but even the oldest and most common drugs have little know interactions and quirks that you should know, that you are expected to know, that is what separates us (medics) from some other allied health professions.

Example: did you know that Demerol has lethal interactions with an "old school" anti-depressant class known as MAOI's.
Do you see MAOI's any more...only rarely..but they are out there.

Did you know that trycyclic drugs, Amioraderone, and Procainamide are mutually contraindicated, as they all prolong the QT interval.

Did you know that a pt using Beta Blocker drugs is more likely to become hypoglycemic when using insulin?

All these things are things that are little quirks, the small print, that nobody expects you to know...at least not until you have a problem, then everyone is pointing at you and saying why didnt you know this???


Can you learn everything before you get out of medic school? No...but you need to try. As you see different drugs in clinicals, LOOK THEM UP as a review. TAKE A DRUG A WEEK TO LEARN INSIDE AND OUT.

The other posters are right...the more you see them used on real pt's , and in ACLS and PALS, the more it will make since. Just remember..just because you see it being used...doesn’t mean its being used right. ALWAYS double check what you see and read. Your'll learn it better that way.
 

MedicMan

Forum Probie
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Outstanding post Mr. Cole !

I am a new member as of today and I would like to add a story to this discussion. The story really has nothing to do with specific medications, but reiterates the point I sense Mr. Cole is making.

I attended an EMS convention many moons ago. At this convention there was a person that addressed our group. The man stood before us and spoke quite loudly, saying "How dare you!" Then he told us this story.
He said - I just bought a new house. I bought this house for 11 million dollars. Now this house was new to me, but was not new contruction. When I bought this house I knew that it needed a new roof. I searched diligently to find the appropriate contractor. I took time to research estimates, past work, licensure, insurance, etc. I finally found a contractor, he was a little more expensive, however I was confident in his work. One thing in this world that is more valuable to me than my house, is my 10 year old grand-daughter. When she walks out the front gate and gets hit by a car I have only 1 number to call. I have no choice in who responds. I have no way to confirm training, grades, disciplinary problems, work history, or even how hard they studied in paramedic school. How dare they not be the best!!!

I certainly don't mean to scare anyone away from this awesome profession. I welcome all to join. I do however, for your and my family's sake, want everyone to give their best or walk away.

Love the group by the way, keep up the good work.
Scott
 

ma2va92

Forum Lieutenant
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MEDIC MAN

very well put..

ty
jim
 

bisho1p

Forum Ride Along
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Try this on for size:

Shock, Shock, Shock (200,300,360J)

Everybody Shock (Epinephrine, Shock 360J)

Little Shock (Lidocaine, Shock 360J)

Big Shock (Bretylium, Shock 360J)

Mama Shock (Magnesium, Shock 360J)

Papa Shock (Procainamide), Shock 360J
 

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