Looking for flashcards to help you study Pharmacology? Nothing sends a shiver of cold terror down the spine or gets more groans from nursing students than the subject of pharmacology. With the hope to help you, we have listed the best pharmacology flashcards for nursing students like you.
Pharmacology – destroyer of grade-point averages and haunter of sleepless nights spent studying. Long story short; pharmacology is a hard subject. And not surprising, since you’ve got more than 20,000 drugs and medications approved for use by the FDA. You’ve got to know names – sometimes multiple names, both generic and brand. You’ve got to know what body systems they work on. Their indications; their contraindications.
It seems impossible – and technically it is. There’s no way a person can remember all the information for 20,000-plus drugs. But when you’re studying pharmacology in nursing school or preparing to take the NCLEX exam, there are ways you can learn the most commonly prescribed drugs and what you’re likely to be tested on. And to study smarter, not harder, you can use these simple hacks for remembering Pharmacology.
One of the best ways to study pharmacology is by using flashcards. They’re quick, easy to use and you can take them anywhere for a quick study while you’re waiting to grab a bite or doing laundry. Not only are they quick and easy – flashcards are effective ways to learn new information and commit it to long-term memory.
We’re going to give you the best pharmacology review flashcards out there, and if you want to stick around – we’ll give you some tips and strategies that will take the terror out of studying pharmacology. Plus, we’ll tell you why you should create your own set of flashcards with some pointers on how to make them.
Why Is It Important For Nurses To Understand Pharmacology?
Nurses administer pills, injections, IVs, ointments, drops, vaccinations, and more all day, every day. These medications may have side effects or dangerous interactions with other medications. Patients can have an adverse reaction to a medication.
The main reason nurses need to understand pharmacology is patient safety. Yes, the medications may be doctor prescribed – but the nurse is the one administering them and monitoring their patient’s health.
Keeping patients safe is a nurse’s #1 priority and to safely and effectively administer medications, they have to know everything about that medication: its action on the body, indications, contraindications, interactions, and side effects.
A good understanding of pharmacology helps ensure that a nurse is administering medications correctly and safely while being able to recognize possible adverse reactions to these medications in their patients.
The Best Pharmacology Flashcards
These pharmacology flashcard sets give you everything you need to learn including drug monographs, mnemonic memory aids, interactions, and more. Plus, there’s a bonus supplemental pharmacology study aid to check out.
Mosby’s Pharmacology Memory Notes (BEST OVERALL)
Mosby’s Pharmacology Memory Notecards take the top spot for the variety of learning aids they include in their flashcards. With visual, mnemonics, memory aids, and colorful cartoons, they create a multi-sensory experience to better help you remember the information. These are especially helpful to visual learners.
A very useful feature is the quick-reference drug monographs that break down the information clearly and concisely. However, these aren’t individual flashcards – they’re like a small, spiral-bound notebook.
- Over than 100 original, full-color cartoons
- Thick, spiral-bound pages for durability
- Colored tabs for quick reference
- Mnemonic memory aids
- Need-To-Know sections for easy reviews
- New cards include medication safety, oral antidiabetic drugs, furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide,disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs, and non-insulin injectable agents.
- Easy to carry size
- 224 pages
Pros: colorful, mnemonic aids, good for visual learners
Cons: not as text-heavy
Pharm Phlash!: Pharmacology Flash Cards (MOST COMPREHENSIVE)
The Pharm Phlash!: Pharmacology Flash Cards – if you need absolutely all the information in your flashcards. This set is true, single flashcards featuring a single generic drug or medication group, with details, action, use, pre-administration vital signs, laboratory data assessment, drug levels, patient teaching, and more.
The color-coded tabs are great for quick reference and the “Keep In Mind” sections help remind you of the key considerations when giving a particular drug.
- 468 separate flashcards
- Color-coded tabs
- Comprehensive information
- Common abbreviations
- Alphabetical index
- Crucial concepts
Pros: single flashcards, comprehensive, color-coded alphabetical index
Cons: can be text-heavy
Lange Pharmacology Flashcards, 4th ed. (BEST FOR QUICK STUDY)
Quick, fast, and easy to read – the Lange Pharmacology Flashcard deck is perfect for a quick review or cram session. This pharmacology flashcard set was written by former medical students at Yale University. One of the best features is the application to real-world situations that really helps to bring the information together.
- 266 cards
- Good for coursework and NCLEX
- Created by medical students
- Essential concepts covered
Pros: quick and easy, thinner paper is lighter, essential concepts
Cons: drug class is on one card, not hole-punched
McGraw-Hill’s Top 300 Pharmacy Drug Cards (MOST EXTRAS)
Mc-Graw-Hill’s pharmacology cards give you everything that a good flashcard should: all the drug information, interactions, monitoring and safety parameters, etc. – but you also get some extra aids that are really nice. This set includes pics so you can see what medications and different packaging look like plus and audio Q&A with a discussion about each drug. And wait – there’s more. You’ll also get 15 extra cards on adult and pediatric vaccines.
- 300 individual cards
- Pictures of drugs and packaging
- Audio Q&A
- 15 bonus cards
Pros: quick and easy to read, comprehensive, lots of extras
Cons: a little text-heavy
PharmCards, 5th ed. (EASIEST TO READ)
You get more than 250 cards in the PharmCards 5th ed. Deck. What stands out immediately is the clean design with large print and single, bright colors. You don’t have to squint and they’re pleasing on the eye. But enough about aesthetics – what about the meat and potatoes?
These pharmacology flashcards still have everything you need to know with updated content on the latest, most commonly used drugs. A nice bonus is the online digital format cards if you want to study on your phone.
- 250+ cards
- Good design
- Easy to read
- Everything you need for coursework or NCLEX exam
- Clinically-focused approach to info
- Online version
- Available eBook
Pros: easy to ready, good design, online version
Cons: not as comprehensive as others
BONUS TRACKS: BEST PHARMACOLOGY STUDY SUPPLEMENTS
Nursing Pharmacology (Quick Study Academic)
No, this isn’t a flashcard deck – it’s a tri-fold, laminated guide that’s great to whip out for a quick review (and won’t be harmed by a spilled cup of coffee). It has quick references to drug classes, uses, administration, and side-effects. This is all meat and no filler.
- Laminated, tri-fold (6 pages)
- Written by subject experts
- Quick, effective reference guide
- Lots of facts and info condensed on each page
Pros: easy to carry around, lots of info, low price
Cons: can be hard to read
Pharmacology Made Incredibly Easy
This pharmacology study guide is actually a book by Lippincott – you may recognize their name from the NCLEX review guide they make. The same type of quality and top-notch information goes into this pharmacology guide that’s easy to read, understand, and digest.
Their “Incredibly Easy” style is similar to the “For Dummies” series of how-to books. But don’t let the easiness fool you – you get new and updated information, vaccines, treatments, herbal drugs plus visual aids to help you study.
- 784 pages
- “Incredibly Easy” style that’s easy to read and digest
- Lots of new, updated material
- Visual aids
- Illustrations and diagrams
- Quick-scan format
- Special chapter features
- Multiple-choice Q&A
Pros: easy to understand, reads quickly, lots of updated information
Cons: may not have enough info for some disciplines
Alright, that’s it – the 5 Best Pharmacology Flashcard Sets with various choices that give you a little something extra.
Wanna stick around? If you do, we’ve got some info on why you should be using flashcards to study pharmacology and some clever studying tips that’ll tame the pharmacology beast.
Should You Buy Pharmacology Flashcards?
In our opinion – yes, because the more study methods you have, the easier it is to learn new facts and commit them to memory. Flashcards in particular are a great way to give yourself a quick review when you’re short on time or when you’re prepping for an exam.
What makes flashcards so effective is in the way you use them. Repetition. Studying them over and over until the info is burned into your neural circuits.
Flashcards are ideal for repetition learning. Quick, easy to read and you can study one drug or concept at a time. Plus, because they’re smaller and won’t add yet more poundage to your already suffering backpack – you’re more likely to keep them with you if you can just toss them in your bag.
So the top reasons to use pharmacology flashcards:
- Small, light, and easy to take with you
- Best way to study by repetition
- Can focus on one concept at a time
- Great for reviewing
How Do I Study Pharmacology?
Ok, flashcards are great for a quick review and learning concepts – but what makes them so awesome for learning pharmacology?
In pharmacology, you just have a ton of information on tons of different drugs, medications, and vaccines you have to learn. Seriously, most drugs have multiple names and there’s like 20,000 of them.
When you’ve got to learn a lot of information like that, one of the best ways to do it is through repetition. Repeating something over and over. Going over bevacizumab’s (brand name Avastin) side-effects over, and over until you commit it to memory.
The human brain doesn’t remember most of the information that runs through it every second it is awake. There’s no way it can (or should) remember all that junk data. That’s why we’re hardwired to forget things – quickly.
By repeating something, like shooting a bow and arrow or looking at a drug’s side-effects, the more times we do it, the more strongly the information wires itself into our brains.
It’s a common-sense concept that actually has a lot of science behind it. But you know, the more you do something or the more you study, the easier that thing gets.
Repetition, repetition, repetition.
And if you need to study by repetition – flashcards are the way to go.
How To Study With Flashcards
Well, you just look at them – yeah, no. Yes, you will read them but there’s a way to study that’s been studied by educators and cognitive scientists to provide the max information retention. On average, most people need to repeat something 7 times before it makes its way to long-term memory. 7 times.
Now, you may be thinking – some of those pharmacology flashcard decks have 250+ cards. There’s no way I’m wading through that 7 times. You don’t have to.
Here’s what you do: use the snowball effect.
What’s the snowball effect you say? Well, like a snowball, you start small then work your way up. For example: on a Monday with 10 cards. Review them for 45 minutes to an hour. The next day, add 10 and so on. By Friday you’ll be up to 50 cards and all the days before are new reviews.
So, to recap:
Monday – 10 cards, study for 45 minutes to 1 hour
Tuesday – add 10 cards for a total of 20, study for 45 minutes to 1 hour)
. . . and so on
The following week, start over with 10 new cards on Monday and continue with new cards. That way, you can make it through the entire deck. Now the opposite of the snowball method is the targeted method. You can pick and choose cards in the deck to focus on certain areas of study and do it that way. Say you want to study cancer drugs or diabetes medications or a class like opiods – find the cards that deal with these and make a little mini-deck.
Is Pharmacology Hard In Nursing School?
Yeah, pharmacology is a beast – but every beast has its weakness and we’ve found a few you can exploit to help you study smarter, not harder. We covered a few of these pharmacology study tips in another piece, you can check it out, but here, we’re just going to give you a quick rundown with no fluff.
Here are a few clever pharmacology study hacks:
Study Classes Of Drugs
There are too many drug names to learn – instead, study drugs by their class’ prefixes and suffixes like: -olol, -mycin, -cillin, -oxacin, -pril
Don’t Try To Memorize Trade Names Of Drugs
Lots of drugs have multiple brand names – don’t even try to keep up with them. Instead, learn the generic names – there’s only one to remember.
Learn The Action, Not The Side-effect
Side effects can be similar for a wide range of drugs. Instead of learning each one, focus on learning the drug’s action on the body and it’ll give you an indication of its side effects.
Hey, how about that? Yes whether you buy a set or make your own, flashcards are one of the best ways to learn everything you need to know in pharmacology.
How Do You Make Flashcards For Nursing School?
What’s that? Make your own flashcards you say? Nobody’s got time for that.
Ah yes, but did you know that the act of writing something down activates multiple parts of your brain, creating spatial relations between them. This helps you to more easily commit the information to memory.
So yes it may be time-consuming and your fingers may get sore, but all that writing is giving you a head start on committing all those drug facts to memory. Plus, you can add color, hi-lighting, index tabs, and even little cartoons if you’re so inclined. Personalizing them makes them work even better because you can play off your learning style.
So if you want to make your own set, here’s what you’ll need:
- 8 x 5 notecards
- Colored pens
- Colored index tabs
- Hole punch
These are the raw materials, but let’s go over some pointers on how to best put the information on these cards that’s clear with a couple of tricks to help you commit everything to your memory systems.
No not the band – Keep It Simple Stupid. Don’t clutter up your cards with a ton of different info. Only put one question and answer on each card. Make it easy to read.
Split It Up
If you’ve got a complex topic or concept; split it up into multiple cards. Don’t try to put all your heart medications or cancer drugs together. Split them up into a couple of questions.
Even if you can barely manage to draw a lopsided stick figure – add some pictures to your cards. A visual element is another avenue to help your brain remember something.
Mnemonics Are Your Friend
If you don’t know at least 10 mnemonics by now (ADPIE?) you’ve been sleeping in class. Mnemonics are the easiest way to add another level of correlation to any concept that has a lot of text to remember. Use them for your pharmacology cards. You can find hundreds of them online under nursing or pharmacology mnemonics.
Talk To Yourself
All kidding aside, if you say the answer out loud, it helps to commit the information to memory by activating yet another part of your brain. It’s like by saying it, you bring it into the world – you hear it, making it real. This is a good excuse to have a study buddy so you don’t look like you’re a crazy person talking to themselves.
Forward and Reverse
Don’t just run through the deck Question then Answer, over and over. Mix it up a bit by going backward, reading the answer then trying to get the question. This is a great way to get a firm grasp and understanding of what you’re studying.
Don’t Just Use Flashcards
It may be tempting because they’re so quick and convenient, but you need to add as many different study methods to your routine as possible. Use your textbook, study guides, audio discussions, class notes, nursing podcasts, video tutorials – anything you can get your hands on.
If you know your learning style, like whether you’re an auditory, visual, or tactile learner, you can narrow your focus a little.
Well, you’ve got a good argument here that using flashcards to aid your pharmacology studying will not only help you remember the facts but really grasp the information.
Yeah, pharmacology is no joke – it’s difficult. That’s why you want as many study aids as you can get. Whether you make your own or find one of the pharmacology flashcard sets above to your liking – study often, study well and you’ll do just fine.