• Are we preparing student nurses for final practice placement

      Morrell, Nicola; Ridgway, Victoria; University of Chester (Mark Allen Healthcare Ltd, 2014-05-21)
      The aims of this research were to illuminate student nurses’ perceptions of preparedness for final practice placement, and to ascertain factors that supported and hindered preparation for final placement practice. This phenomenological qualitative research was carried out in a UK higher education institution (HEI) with eight adult branch student nurses maintaining written diaries for the first 4 weeks of their final 10-week practice placement. Data were then analysed by means of an interpretive phenomenological approach (IPA). Results showed that students felt ill-prepared for placement. Eight clear themes emerged, including: being used as ‘an extra pair of hands’; mentors appearing to treat student practice documentation as unimportant; and high staff expectations. Other themes were: mentor importance; students feeling that they lacked knowledge; and students feeling unsupported and stressed. In conclusion, although students felt that they lacked knowledge and were used as an extra pair of hands, they did show clinical competence.
    • First Pass Metabolism

      Robertson, Deborah A. F.; University of Chester (Mark Allen Healthcare Ltd, 2017-06-08)
      In this article in the series of ‘bite sized’ pharmacology, we will look at the concept of first pass metabolism. All drugs given by the oral route undergo a degree of first pass metabolism either in the gut or the liver, with some drugs being destroyed before they reach the systemic circulation. This pharmacokinetic process affects the bioavailability of drugs administered by this route and is an important consideration for the prescriber. Knowledge of first pass metabolism can assist the prescriber when deciding on doses and dose schedules to ensure that patients receive their medications at the correct dosing, by the correct route for optimum therapeutic effect. It also helps the prescriber understand why dose adjustments are made for some drugs when switching the route of administration from oral and why some drugs cannot be given by the oral route.
    • Introduction to Pharmacodynamics

      Robertson, Deborah A. F.; University of Chester (Mark Allen Healthcare Ltd, 2017-04-16)
      In this second article in the series of ‘bite sized’ pharmacology we will start to look at the principles of pharmacodynamics. It is important that prescribers are aware of the actions their drugs have in the body after administration. They should know the SITE of action (where the drug works), the MODE of action (how the drug works) and the time to ONSET and DURATION of action (when the drug starts to work and how long for). This helps prescribers decide on drug choice, drug dose and the dose schedule as well as the length of time the drug needs to be prescribed for. This knowledge can also assist the prescriber in prediction and prevention (or minimising) of adverse drug reactions and to help educate their patients on possible side effects. In this article we will look at SITEs of action; receptors, ion channels, enzymes, and transport systems. We will also introduce the concepts of agonism and antagonism and their relationship to MODE of action.
    • Introduction to Pharmacokinetics

      Robertson, Deborah A. F.; University of Chester (Mark Allen Healthcare Ltd, 2017-03-16)
      Pharmacology is an area many nurse prescribers tell me that they worry about. This is whether they are prescribing students or qualified prescribers. They are very aware of the importance of pharmacological knowledge and its impact on safe prescribing. They typically want to know how much information they need to know and what depth and breadth that information should take. Another area they worry about is how many drugs they need to be familiar with? This series of pharmacology articles will explore some concepts in pharmacology to support the prescriber in developing that knowledge. This article begins by examining the basic concepts of pharmacokinetics to allow the reader to improve their understanding of drug handling within the body. It will explore the processes of absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion to chart a drugs ‘route’ from administration to elimination.