Read this if Pharmacology Scares You

If you’ve ever been a little puzzled about how to approach pharmacology as it relates to the BOC, you’ll want to pay attention.

It’s important that you understand what material is tested on the BOC, and if you haven’t spent time reading and digesting the BOC outline, you’re going to be in trouble.

I totally understand that the BOC Content Outline is a bit vague, but it does give you some direction to at least begin to study some of these more difficult topics.

Now you may be asking yourself, “Why do I need to bother with pharmacology?  As an athletic trainer, I won’t prescribe medicine.

Two thoughts:

  1. While you don’t prescribe the medicines, you are typically the “boots on the ground” when it comes to their effects and side effects. You can provide valuable feedback about how a patient is responding to a certain medication.  A great example would be Baclofen—you get to see and report its effects so that the physician can more accurately alter the dosage as needed.  If you’re not paying attention to medications and their effects, you’re not seeing the whole picture.
  2. These medicines that come with the patient (I’ve read that 11 drugs is the average number of medications that an American is taking) often affect their tolerance and response to exercise. Opioids make them sleepy.  Beta-blockers blunt the heart rate response.  I think you see what I mean.  You need to know what to expect for common medications.

How do I find out what I need to know?

The best and easiest way to go through the medications is to list out the most common diagnoses in each body system and then list the most common medications that would be used to treat it. When you list it all out, it begins to make a lot more sense.  Don’t forget to look for patterns relating to suffixes, names, and mechanisms.

Good luck!

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