Lesson 2: Importance and Relevance of Pharmacology in Nursing, History of Pharmacology
Now that we have understood the basics of our course we may start wondering of what relevance the subject matter is to us as nurses. The health service opearates largely on team work. The doctors do the diagnosis and prescrition and the pharmacy department is well equiped to dispense the drugs. The importance of the course will bring sharply into focus our role in drugs, therapeutics and of course pharmacology.
Importance and or relevance of studying Pharmacology
- Understand drugs and how they can affect living things
- Know the right dosage of drugs and not just quantity
- Identify and respond to drug interactions, reactions and side effects and treat accordingly
- Know when to use drugs because some conditions do not need drug therapy
- Understand the process of drug intake, absorption, distribution, metabolism and elimination.
- Identify the properties of ideal drugs and otherwise
- Know the application of pharmacology in nursing with regards to the 5 right of;
- Use right drug
- Give to right patient
- Give right dose
- Give by right route
- Give at right time.
History of Pharmacology
Drugs have been used to treat diseases ever since the existence of man e.g. roots herbs, tree bark, animal parts, plant seeds etc. Sometimes people died after using certain plant and animal products. There was no rational use, choices were through observation and faith and some of the ingredients were absurd e.g. cowries chain for convulsion etc. The mode of action was not known, there was no therapeutic effect but most patients had psychological relief. With time and by trial and error, they began to differentiate between those that were poisonous and those not. Present day pharmacy dates back to the middle of the 19th Century through the isolation of specific active agents from their complex mixtures. It started with observing the effects of the drug on the whole animal or human patient. This progressed to the possible investigation of action on isolated organs e.g. ergometrine on the uterus. The researches then identified these basic attributes of pharmacology
- The dose and effect relationship
- The process involved in intake, absorption, distribution, transformation and excretion of drugs
- The localization of the site of action
- The mechanism of drug action
- The relation ship between chemical structure and biological activity of substances.
Modern pharmacology began in the early 19th century and the 20th century brought further progress including development of serums, vaccines and many synthetic drugs. Pharmacy got recognized as a profession and legislations promoted to control experimentation, manufacture and sale of food and drugs.
Aakwaamensah 16:05, 28 February 2007 (CET)