01.12 The SOCK Method – K

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SOCK Method for learning pharm (Cheat Sheet)

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And now we're onto the K, the must-know medications. This is one of the most important elements of the SOCK method because it's so possible to try to learn every medication that you've ever heard of in your entire life, but that is just simply not required. It's not necessary to know all medications. You must know the most common medications. Now, this is going to be unit specific or area specific. If you're taking, like in school right now, and you're taking OB, you need to understand the most common OB medications. If you're working on a neuro floor, there's going to be certain medications that you're giving to every patient that you might not give to other patients. For example, in a work neuro, we gave nicardipine a lot. Nicardipine wasn't used that much in other ICUs. So this becomes very, very specific to your unit, to your floor, and this helps you understand how to learn those medications that you need to know.
Now, the SOCK method really helps you eliminate unnecessary medications, or I say unnecessary, I mean those that you just do not need to learn. The FDA has approved nearly 2000 medications as of 2014. Now, it would be entirely impossible to intimately understand every single one of those medications, unless you were the most incredible pharmacist in the entire world. So the medications that we've pulled out for you, these are based on medications that are prescribed most often, they're based on the medications that are tested most often in nursing schools, and they're based on the medications that we've seen given most often. So reported by the FDA, ones that we've given most often, and then also ones that are tested on most often.
so medications are generally given that are low-cost, low-risk, are common. There's rare drugs that are used in very rare cases, like cancer drugs. And then we really focus on NRSNG on something called the 80-20 rule that you really try to find those most common things that are given. So 20 percent of your medications are going to be given 80 percent of the time. Now, that's not a hard and fast rule, but there's only a handful that are going to be given most of the time. Every one of your patients is going to be on insulin, everyone's going to have Tylenol, everyone's going to have Protonix. You need to understand those medications very well. To help you with this, we did develop the 140 must-know meds, which you have access to inside NRSNG, which pulls out those medications that the FDA says are given most often, and those medications that we see tested most often.
Again, like I said, this is going to be very, very unit-specific. Patients are going to rely on the nurse's knowledge of those medications. So we really want you to become very intimately aware and understand those medications that you are giving most often. While you could try to learn every medication there is, it's just simply not possible. So focus your attention on learning very, very deeply those medications that you are giving and those medications that your patients do need. We call this must-know. K is for know, or must know. Understand and focus on those most common medications.
Now that's going to be unit based. So whatever unit you're working on, whatever floor you're working on, understand those medications really well. Whatever medications you're seeing tested most often, really focus on those medications and then use our list of the 140 must-know medications and use our list of commonly-prescribed medications. Those are both cheat sheets that you have access to inside NRSNG. One thing that I did and I would recommend you guys to this as well, is start a little Google Doc, and inside that Google Doc, every time you give a medication, every time you're tested on a medication, note that medication down and just start keeping a note of those medications that you're giving most often. Then with that, you can go to your drug cards that we talked about at the C portion of SOCK method and you can start making cards for those medications.
As you make those cards, focus on the major organ systems, the side effects, the things that you need to be aware of with those medications that you're giving most often. This is where the SOCK method really starts coming together. Once you know what medications you need to know, then you build those cards, build those classes, build those considerations, look at those organ systems and look at those side effects. This is where it all starts to come together. You guys can master and learn the medications that you need to know, and we really recommend you use the SOCK method for getting there. Alright? I want you guys, with that, to go out and be your best selves today. Happy nursing.
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