You clicked on this article, which most likely means that you are preparing to take the TMC Exam soon. If that’s true then you’re definitely in the right place.
That is because, we’ve created some of the best tips, tricks, insights, and hacks that students are using to pass the TMC Exam.
And below — we’re going to share some of those with you, all on the topic of Pharmacology. These tips are very important, so please be sure that you truly know and understand this information, especially if you want to pass the TMC Exam on your next attempt.
So if you’re ready, let’s go ahead and dive right in!
🔒 Do you want to get access to this cheat sheet as a downloadable PDF — that way you can study while on the go? If so, you can get a free copy by Clicking Here.
Here Are Some of Our Best Pharmacology Tips for the TMC Exam:
1. Basics of Pharmacology
There will be several questions on the exam that involve pharmacology in some way, shape, or form.
So plain and simple — you MUST know your medications!
I realize that you’ve already covered all of this stuff in Respiratory Therapy School. So the goal of this article isn’t to re-teach you all of the medications again. Instead, the goal to bring the most important topics to your attention so that you can make sure you know it and prepare adequately for the TMC Exam.
So I’m not going to list out every single medication that you need to know.
But in general, just be sure to remember:
- Ultrashort acting medications
Example – Epinephrine
- Short-acting medications
Example – Albuterol
- Long-acting medications
Example – Arformoterol (Brovana)
- Ultralong acting medications
Example – Tiotropium bromide (Spiriva)
Also, it should go without saying, but definitely be sure that you know all of the inhaled beta-agonist and anticholinergic bronchodilators.
- Short-acting beta agonists are rescue drugs used to relieve acute bronchospasm.
- Long-acting beta agonists are controller or maintenance medications.
Again, we’re not going to list them all out for you here. Just be sure to spend some time looking over this information in your study guide. If you don’t already have access to a study guide that covers all the information for the exam, you can consider getting access to our TMC Study Guide.
2. Drug Doses
I think you’ll be happy to hear this tip.
You do not need to worry about memorizing the specific doses for all the different types of drugs. The NBRC typically doesn’t ask for the specific dose in the questions on the exam.
I know, right, hallelujah! 🙏
However, there is one exception to this rule..
It may be a good idea to remember that a standard SVN dose for albuterol because it has been seen on a few versions of the exam.
Albuterol SVN: 0.5 mL (2.5 mg) given 3–4 times per day.
3. Anti-Infective Agents
You may see a question about some of the anti-infective medications.
Here are a few things that I want you to remember:
- TOBI – Tobramycin is used to treat cystic fibrosis patients.
- Ribavirin – Used to treat RSV in children. It must be administered with a SPAG.
- Pentamidine – Often used for the treatment of AIDS.
If you’ve been reading this website for any amount of time, then you already know this — but whenever you have a patient with fluid overload, you need to recommend a diuretic (like Lasix).
The signs of fluid overload include:
- Peripheral edema
- Jugular venous distention
- Crackles on auscultation
- Shortness of breath
If the patient is wheezing due to fluid overload, giving a bronchodilator is not going to do any good. You should recommend a diuretic medication instead.
Inside of the course, we share our BEST tips, tricks, and insights that can help you pass the TMC Exam. It’s like the tips that are listed here in this post — except better.
5. Pain Medicine
Analgesics are medications that control or block pain. You should be familiar with the common narcotic drugs that are given for pain — like Morphine.
You will see a question from this section on the exam, so keep reading.
A common problem that we see as Respiratory Therapists is patients with a narcotic overdose. This is a serious situation because a narcotic overdose causes apnea and respiratory depression which may result in the need for intubation and mechanical ventilation.
What should you recommend for a patient with a narcotic overdose? Do you know?
Remember this for the exam:
You can reverse a narcotic overdose with the drug Narcan.
I can almost guarantee that you will see a question about Narcan (naloxone) on the exam, so prepare accordingly.
6. Endotracheal Instillation
There are certain drugs that can be given or distilled directly down the endotracheal tube into the airway.
To make it easier to remember, you can learn the NAVEL mnemonic.
Here are the drugs:
- N – Naloxone (Narcan)
- A – Atropine
- V – Vasopressin
- E – Epinephrine
- L – Lidocaine
And of course, don’t forget that surfactant can also be directly instilled in neonates with RDS.
Remember that when directly instilling medications down the ET tube, you have to administer 2–2.5 times more of the medication than the normal dose in order for it to be effective.
Also, you must dilute the drug with 10 mL of saline or sterile water.
🔒 Again, you can download and get access to this FREE cheat sheet by Clicking Here.
7. Xanthine Drugs
This are another type of medication that you could possibly see a question about on the exam.
The two types include:
This is a short tip. I just wanted to at least mention this here for you. The main thing I want you to remember is that these two drugs is this:
They can be used to treat apnea or prematurity in infants.
Also, theophylline is effective in treating patients with Cheyne-Stokes breathing as well.
So there you have it! That wraps up this guide with some of our best Pharmacology tips for the TMC Exam. I truly hope that you found this information to be helpful.
I’ll be honest with you…
This is only a small sample of what we really want to share with you. We have tips and tricks (similar to the ones you just read) for every single section that will be on the TMC Exam.
That’s right — we want to share with you the most important stuff that you MUST know in order to pass the exam. And the good news is this:
🔒 It can all be found inside of our Hacking the TMC Exam video course.
Inside the course, we reveal our most important tips, tricks, and insights that you absolutely need to know to increase your chances of passing the exam. And that is why so many students are having success after going through the course.
So if you’re interested, Click This Link and I can’t wait to share this information with you.
Thanks again for reading all the way to the end! I wish you the best of luck and as always, breathe easy my friend.