Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Journal: back to pharmacology

The last two weeks were the mid-term break for the university, and I was happy to take a break from study.  However, it wasn't a restful time for me, as several babies needed to make their entry into this world of ours, and they all needed me to be on the job through the night.  The early postnatal days are very demanding for the new mother, even after an uncomplicated birth, and the midwife needs to stay focused as we watch and support and at times guide.

We are now in Week 9 of the pharmacology course.  The focus is on writing prescriptions, and working on the second case study.

Today I have listened to the recording of an online tutorial of a session that one of the tutors has put up for students to access.  This is the first 'live' opportunity that any of the students have had to interact with the faculty.  Unfortunately it was attended by only 3 students, who were able to put questions and discussion.

The tutor gave information about the course expectations for the assignments.  I found the tutor's comments useful - would have preferred having this prior to submission of the first case study. The tutor stressed the importance of referencing scholarly articles, and going into depth about the pharmacology of the medications that are being discussed. This is the field that I would like more teaching on. I have read the articles, but find there is a lot of new knowledge to acquire, and I think it's a good learning strategy to hear and discuss a topic as well as to read about it.

For example, when considering the pharmacology of metoclopramide, used to treat nausea, we need to discuss the general pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic actions of the drug, together with the changes that occur as a result of pregnancy.  In addition to the physiological changes in a pregnant woman's digestive system, metoclopramide has an effect on the dopamine receptors in the GI tract, inhibiting some receptors, and activating cholinergic effects leading to increased motility of the GI tract, in addition to the effect of metoclopramide on the central nervous system.  Reference to scholarly papers is needed for each point made.

Much of this language is new to me, and to the midwifery profession as I know it.  I recognise the importance of a strong foundation when establishing a new body of knowledge.  I have written to the tutor requesting more opportunities for live teaching as well as discussion, so that I can hear as well as read and discuss these aspects of the course. 

Thankyou for your comments

1 comment:

  1. In less than a week since I wrote that post things are looking up. A tutor has committed to a series of 3 FLO live sessions, the first of which is to be tomorrow evening (Tues 9th). The discussion will be around PK and PD with focus on pregnancy and trans-placental disposition of drugs – the sort of knowledge that will be very useful for midwife prescribers.
    The marking and grading of my Case Study 1 has been returned to me through the university email system. My grade was 18/20, which is encouraging. A couple of points that I will focus on for the Case Study 2, prompted by the first case study, are the pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics of any drug prescribed, and discussion of professional disagreements in testing or treatment, with reference to scholarly articles.


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