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Tutor profile: Samantha A.

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Samantha A.
Registered Nurse, BSN, in school for PMHNP
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Questions

Subject: Health and Medicine

TutorMe
Question:

How do ACE-inhibitors lower blood pressure?

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Samantha A.
Answer:

ACE-inhibitor drugs like lisinopril lower blood pressure by acting on the angiotension converting enzyme (ACE). To understand how this works, we have to go back to our anatomy and physiology knowledge of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system. Renin is released by the kidneys which then causes angiontenSINOGEN (which is already circulating in the blood) to convert to angioTENSIN I. Then, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) converts angiotensin I to angiotensin II- this is the form that causes vasoconstriction. Medications like lisinopril prevent the conversion from angiotensin I to angiotensin II and therefore allow for vasodilation instead of vasoconstriction, resulting in lowered blood pressure.

Subject: Nursing

TutorMe
Question:

Can you help me prepare for NCLEX questions? I'm having a hard time determining which answer is the "most correct"!

Inactive
Samantha A.
Answer:

I can definitely help you study for the NCLEX! This exam is notorious for giving multiple "correct" options, but it is up to you to decide which one is the "most correct" or the top priority. I can help you learn to dissect the question to determine what they are really looking for, as well as help you learn to prioritize what interventions should be performed first. Just knowing the material is only the first step, the next step is learning how to apply what you know and use critical thinking skills.

Subject: Study Skills

TutorMe
Question:

How do I study pharmacology in nursing school? There's so much to learn in such a short period of time!

Inactive
Samantha A.
Answer:

You are absolutely right- there is a lot of of information being thrown at you in a pharmacology course, which can be very overwhelming. Finding how you learn best will be the key to succeeding in this notoriously difficult course. Prior to nursing school, I learned best by writing; however, this didn't work well in nursing school due to the sheer volume of work- I would've been writing all day every day just to keep up. Flash cards work well in a pinch, but those really only help you memorize something in the short-term. While that may be fine for nursing theory courses (sorry, Flo), they aren't great for topics that you need to retain long term, like pharmacology. Remember, this is stuff you're going to have to know inside and out so that when a patient asks "what's that for?", you'll be able to answer confidently. With pharmacology, there are two key tips for being successful: learning the drugs by class, rather than individually, and understanding the underlying pathophysiology. In general, drugs in a class act in very similar manners. If you understand how a drug affects the body, you will understand both how the drug causes the intended effect and how it causes common side effects. This means no more memorizing each medication's potential side effects, but rather learning how an entire drug class works! Yes, you still might need to use flash cards to remember which drugs belong to which class, but there are often tricks for this in the names of the drugs themselves. So how do you learn the underlying pathophysiology? Your textbook is a good reference to have on-hand, but I've found that YouTube videos are great at explaining complex topics and usually with some visual aids to help learning as well. Just do a search for the specific drug class you are studying + pathophysiology and you are sure to find plenty of videos all with different teaching styles. Another study method is to organize a study group with some of your classmates, but this has to be done carefully otherwise you may end up socializing instead of studying! Since there is so much information to learn all at once, a study group can be a good way to divide and conquer- each member is assigned a set of drugs or drug classes to study and then everyone takes turns teaching the others. This reduces the amount of work you have to do in reading about each drug class, and gives you an opportunity to learn by teaching. However, the biggest drawback of this method is the possibility that some members of the group may not be as committed or they may have misunderstood the topic and portrayed it inaccurately. My favorite study method is actually to teach someone else. It doesn't have to be another student, it could be a family member, a friend, or even a pet! The point is to just be able to verbalize what you learned so that someone else could understand it. Oftentimes I thought I had a topic down, only to stumble over the words in explaining it to someone else. That proved to me that I didn't understand it as well as I thought I did and highlighted some of my knowledge gaps. Hopefully these study tips are helpful for you in studying pharmacology and they are also useful in other courses as well!

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