Nurse practitioners have higher responsibilities in the health care ranks. This includes senior mandates like those of carrying out diagnosis and giving prescriptions to patients. To be competent in their areas of practice, they must keep abreast with changing trends and developments in the areas of pharmaceutical drug treatments and other medications.
Usually with time, some drugs are banned out of the market while other times, novel drugs with better efficacy are introduced in the market. It is the responsibility of nurse’s practitioners to learn all the new pharmacological trends prevailing in the market. This updates are now easily available through pursuing nurse’s practitioner pharmacology continuing education courses.
Aspects of Pharmacology
Pharmacology is the study of what happens to drugs when they get into the body. It includes the study of absorption of drugs, their metabolism and ultimate excretion from the body. Pharmacology also includes the study of how ingested drugs are distributed in the body and how they function in elimination of diseases. It also tries to expound on how drugs are delivered to the target organs or systems in the body.
Samples of Pharmacology Continuing Education Courses for Nurse Practitioners
There are numerous pharmacology CEs available for various disease classes or sub groups of patients. Nurse Practitioners should therefore look for CEs that suit their current practice and what specialty of nursing they handle. Below are the most essential pharmacology continuing education units from the various pharmacological approaches:
Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics CEUs
i) Drug Administration , Absorption and distribution
This pharmacology CE unit covers the areas of how drugs are administered and the various routes they should be administrated through. These include drug admin routes like IV, ID, IM or oral admin. It also includes training on specific drug absorption and their ultimate bioavailability in the blood system. In bioavailability, NPs are informed of how much of the drugs reaches the blood system and how long it stays there. The course also includes studies on drug elimination/excretion routes and toxicity of remnant residues.
ii) Drug Metabolism CE
In drug metabolism, nurse practitioners are informed of what happens to the drug after it is absorbed in the body. It covers deep study of drugs kinetics and what aspects of the body are affected after drugs ingestion. Kinetics involves effects of drugs to functionality and production of enzymes, hormones, body fluids and other biological pathways.
Respiratory System Drugs
This category of pharmacology CE targets nurse practitioners who deal with respiratory disorders patients like chronic asthma, rhinitis, bronchitis, coughs, TB among others. The course aims at teaching the NP on how their patients should manage their chronic respiratory conditions. Knowledge is given on what conditions the patient should avoid to keep away acute attacks. Intervention measures like use of inhalers and lung unblockers are also taught.
Insulin and Diabetes Mellitus Pharmacology CEUs
They cover major aspects of diabetes treatment measures using insulin. NPs who deal with geriatric patients and other susceptible groups are the more suitable for this CE course. New developments on both type I and ii diabetes are taught.
Proteins Synthesis Inhibitors/ Antibiotics
Antibiotics are the most widely used of all drugs classes. NPs from all nursing specialties must therefore learn the use of all antibiotics and any new changes. Antibiotics function by blocking protein synthesis of many microbial organisms like viruses, bacteria and fungi.
Apparently, there is an increased observation of antibiotic resistance among patients. This leads to many antibiotics being banned from use after resistance is noticed. NPs must be kept abreast with all new antibiotics recommend for various drugs and those whose use have been banned.
Hormone Replacement Therapies
Hormones are the sole regulators of body functions and systems. Hormone study is therefore vital in helping NPs decide the type of therapy most suitable for patients. Specific areas covered include hormone replacement or down regulation therapies,
Toxicology is taught to NPs so that they can assess the effect of drugs after use by patients. The study aims at informing the nurse practitioner on what interventions should be done in case of drug overdose, poisoning, under dose or timely accumulation of drugs in the body system.
Other vital pharmacology continuing education units recommend for nurse practitioners include:
- Top Nurse Specialty prescriptions
- Prescribing controlled substances
- Drug-Receptors Interactions
- Adrenergic agonist drugs
- Antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial drugs mechanisms
- Antidiuretic and diuretics
- Cholinergic drugs mechanisms
- Anxiolytics and Hypnotics Drugs
- Anti-arrhythmic drugs
- Gastrointestinal and antiemetic drugs
- Anti-inflammatory drugs –NSAIDS,SAIDS and anti-rheumatics