Nursing encompasses many responsibilities like performing diagnostics, patient care, administering medications, educating patients, etc.
Additionally, it requires practical expertise and critical thinking. Normally, students who pursue medical professions take common courses.
You’re probably wondering; Do you need chemistry for nursing? Well, chemistry is the basis for the nursing profession.
It’s divided into four categories -general chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, and pharmacology.
When we say general chemistry, nurses need basic knowledge of how drugs affect the body after administration.
For example, if a patient takes ibuprofen and aspirin simultaneously, the interactions could trigger adverse side effects.
Another good example is how proteins, vitamins, and antacids interact with common foods.
Nurses should also understand the effects of drugs when combined with assorted beverages.
On a more complex level, nurses should know how bodies metabolize glucose.
Through your efforts, you will help patients lead more independent and fulfilled lives.
Let’s dig deeper into this exciting topic.
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Why Do Nurses Need to Understand Chemistry?
The study of chemistry is indispensable for nursing professionals.
Nurses should understand the composition of the drugs doctors prescribe to patients. They should read the label and understand the ingredients.
Normally, medicines feature several chemical properties like water-soluble, oil-soluble, etc.
With some chemistry knowledge, you can predict drug interactions. Some patients take glucose without knowing how their body responds to it.
In specific circumstances, patients should know how to blend different medications to recover fully.
Secondly, nurses use chemistry to monitor vital signs as they administer IVs. You must give the correct dosage – any mistake could harm the patient. Beyond that, nurses should know the compounds in medications and those that can be in the same group.
Another aspect of chemistry is understanding the chemical reactions in the body.
Nurses should know how food is converted to energy, how to determine the PH in the blood, and how oxygen flows in your bloodstream.
If you understand chemistry, you’ll have no issues explaining the basics to your patients.
Do Nurses Need Organic Chemistry?
Yes. If you plan to pursue a nursing course, your program will feature chemistry, pharmacology, biochemistry, and organic chemistry.
Chemistry helps nurses to understand the condition of patients and administer proper dosage.
Additionally, nurses use organic chemistry to determine how the body reacts to molecules.
A good example is determining when a patient’s blood PH is basic or acidic. A patient could have alkalosis or acidosis, or both.
If you have no clue, you may not understand the electrolytes (K, Na, Ca, etc.).
Organic chemistry assists nurses in understanding nutrients, proteins, drugs, fats, sugars, etc.
You also get a better understanding of how the production of carbohydrates interacts with the medication you administer to your patients.
As a nurse, you’ll be giving IV fluids to your patients. If you make a mistake, that could put them in danger.
Nurses also use organic chemistry to understand the cellular level of patients.
Other than that, medical professionals should know the oxygen levels to determine the best treatment.
Organic chemistry also considers compounds that contain molecules.
That said, nursing candidates should gain proficiency between carbon molecules and hydrogen particles.
You should know how oxygen goes to the lungs.
How Is Chemistry Used in Nursing?
At its core, nursing combines different substances and matter.
It analyzes atoms, molecules, and other forms of matter.
Nurses should know the importance of oxygen, carbon dioxide, potassium, bicarbonate, and chloride.
Also, if you don’t understand terminologies like alkalosis or acidosis, patients can die under care.
Once you understand chemistry, you should know about prescribed procedures.
Additionally, you should perform simple tasks like changing a sterile dressing, placing a catheter, starting an IV, sanctioning a tracheotomy, etc.
Chemistry will help you know how to administer drugs and dosages. More specifically, you should understand drugs by name and their side effects.
Conclusion: Do You Need Chemistry for Nursing?
As a nurse, you should understand how chemistry relates to your profession.
In summary, nurses care for patients, so they should have sufficient knowledge of specific aspects of chemistry.
They can better understand how a drug interacts with patients and the side effects.
Also, the subject helps medical professionals administer the correct dosage.
To some extent, nurses use organic chemistry to determine how patients metabolize glucose in the body.
Nursing is about proper care, so you need basic chemistry to attend to your patients.
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