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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

End of Semester!

So, I am sorry that I have not blogged. It's not that I've fallen off the wagon or anything. I've just been studying for the pharmacology final ever since I got back from Thanksgiving break.

The pharm final is the big hurdle for the first year of my program. We have lots of midterms and exams through this big first year, when we do the bulk of the classroom work for the 28 month nurse anesthesia program. But this pharm final is a really big deal. It covers all the pharmacology that we have learned in our first 3 semesters of school. I realize that if you haven't had to study pharmacology, a lot of this is Greek, but I'll share with you anyway. The topics include:

Basic pharmacology concepts
Inhalation anesthetic agents
Anesthesia induction agents (paralytic medications, hypnotics used for "induction")
Opioids and benzodiazepines
Autonomic nervous system agonists and antagonists
Cardiovascular drugs: vasopressors, catecholamines, antihypertensives, drugs for congestive heart failure, diuretics, etc...
Local anesthetics
Antiemetics, prokinetic (GI) drugs
Antipsychotics and antidepressants

I might be missing something there. Anyway, that's hundreds of drugs to know what they do, what receptors they work on or what their cellular mechanism of action is, what are the drug interactions, how are they metabolized, how are they cleared, etc. etc....so that's why I've been MIA.

The final was today. Our instructor said he is spending the day correcting the exams and plans on giving us our grades tonight by email (there are only 8 of us in our class). I'm really anxious to hear how I did...the way he tests, it's very difficult to know. There are a total of 295 points possible in the class, and the final is 200 of them. The other 95 are everything else we did in the last 2 semesters (the first semester was graded separately, we get the same grade for summer and fall semesters): that includes 5 midterms, 6 or 7 quizzes and our big teaching project/presentation that we each did a few weeks ago. It's kind of unfair that so much is riding on this one exam, but that's how it goes. At least we are forced to go back through all the material and make sure that we know it (or relearn it, as we tend to forget everything after the exam). Then we'll have to do it again when we take our boards in 18 months. Each time you go back through the material, of course, you learn it a little better. That's the reason we do the big giant painful final.

So...sometime soon I'll find out if I passed. I'll try to blog more now that I'm on break. It's snowing like crazy here in Spokane. Hubby has been stuck in Portland for weeks because of overtime and weather. I'll be glad when we don't have to be so far apart.

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