In 22 different states nurses are responsible for administering medications to patients throughout the day. In addition to learning about human anatomy and physiology, nurses must also have a comprehensive understanding of how drugs work in the body. The skills nurses learn in a clinical pharmacology course will be used throughout their careers and help them provide better patient care.
Clinical pharmacology is a branch of pharmacology
Clinical pharmacology is an area within the field of pharmacology that focuses on the safe, effective, and economical delivery of medicines to achieve optimum health outcomes for patients. In other words, clinical pharmacology courses, such as the ones covered in the UIndy DNP-FNP program, are concerned with the use of drugs in humans.
Pharmacology encompasses the study of drugs (both natural products and synthetic compounds) as well as their physiological effects and mechanisms. Pharmacologists study drugs that affect function or structure at different levels — from genes to cells to organs to whole organisms.
Learning beyond human anatomy and physiology
A comprehensive knowledge of drugs and how they affect the body is vital because it enables nurses to understand why medications are prescribed for patients and how they will affect their health. Nurses will also be able to recognize the adverse drug reactions (ADRs) that can occur when a patient receives an incorrect medication or dose, or if they have an allergy or other condition that makes them sensitive to a particular drug.
Nurses must also be able to administer medications safely using various delivery forms, such as oral ingestion, IV, inhalation through a nebulizer/aerosol mist device for asthma treatment, etc.
Nurses administer multiple medications regularly
Nurses administer multiple medications so to ensure their patients’ safety, they must understand the impact of those medications. Nurses must also know how a drug affects different populations (children and pregnant women). This knowledge is crucial when administering vaccines or other immunizations to individuals with compromised immune systems.
Additionally, many medications have side effects, so knowing what side effects might occur beforehand could reduce any negative consequences from occurring during treatment time (this could include hospital visits due to severe allergic responses).
Prescribe medication according to a patient’s needs
Clinical pharmacology is integral for providing holistic care because it allows nurses to assess patient needs and determine which medications may be beneficial based on each individual’s health history and current condition.
Communicate well with other health professionals
Clinical pharmacology allows for better communication between physicians, nurses, and patients about drug prescriptions that will improve compliance with treatment plans, and this leads to better outcomes.
Clinical pharmacology is an essential clinical skill for providing holistic care. It influences how many nurses select and administer medications. It guides the decision about which drug therapy is most appropriate for a patient. Clinical pharmacology helps nurses understand how physical, emotional, social, and environmental factors may affect medication use. Additionally, it provides valuable information about both commonly used medications and those that are less familiar.