Acute and Critical Care Pharmacology

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As caregivers increase their focus on high-quality care and patient safety, a misstep in safe prescription or in the administration of medication can have dire consequences. Therefore, it is critical for both advanced practice nurses who prescribe medication and acute and critical care nurses who administer medication to be armed with the latest clinical knowledge.

AACN: Acute and Critical Care Pharmacology offers advanced practice nurses and acute and critical care nurses the latest evidence-based knowledge for the safe prescription and administration of medications frequently used in caring for acutely and critically ill patients.

For nurse leaders, the course helps cultivate a culture of patient safety by providing acute and critical care nurses with current standards established by clinical experts in the nursing, pharmacy, transfusion and cellular therapy fields. The course:

  • Covers vasoactive medications, antidysrhythmic medications, medications for pain and sedation, neuromuscular blockade medications and blood and blood products
  • Addresses patient safety, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics
  • Offers pharmacology CE hours by lesson to assist advanced practice nurses in meeting their CE requirements. APRN considerations appear throughout each lesson
  • Provides in-depth coverage of best practices specific to acute and critical care
  • Engages learners through realistic scenarios with best practices and evidence-based interventions for complex decision-making
  • Explains multifaceted concepts through interactive learning checks and custom animations to confirm and reinforce learning

Content Overview

Pharmacology CE hours are available upon completion of individual lessons and associated tests, offering up to 10.6 CE hours in all. Pharmacology CE for APRNs is available for up to six hours. The course features eight lessons based on current standards and evidence for safe prescription and medication administration as set forth by professional, regulatory and certifying bodies. This course is a collaborative effort between AACN, Elsevier Clinical Solutions and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.

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Course Learning Objectives

After completing this course, learners will be able to:

  1. Identify patient safety issues related to medication administration in acute and critical care
  2. Differentiate pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics, and the effect on individuals or specific patient populations
  3. Describe the actions of vasoactive medications and how to assess patients for intended pharmacodynamic effects and possible adverse reactions
  4. Review the mechanism of action, desired effects, possible adverse effects, and safe dosages of antidysrhythmic medications
  5. Assess patients for pain and anxiety, and the effects of analgesics and sedatives
  6. Manage issues related to use of paralytic medications, and avoid potentially dangerous adverse reactions
  7. Describe common blood products, and implement processes to safely administer them



Technical Requirements