Discouraged LVN - need help guys!

  1. I guess I just need some advice, support here guys. I am a new LVN (49 years old) yeah I know. I have three prereqs to do to get into the LVN-Bridge program. This semester I took anatomy and micro together. Well I failed my first lab practical and even though I was at a B in the class I am now at an F. So I'm dropping the anatomy and will concentrate on micro now. But I am so discouraged. I still need physiology and wanted to be done before my 50th birthday in August. This is the second time I have had to drop anatomy. Am considering taking it (alone) over the summer, but so afraid I just cannot do that class. Maybe it's my menopause brain, but I cannot remember all the parts of those bones, etc. and I blank out even after studying 24/7. Has anyone had trouble like this with anatomy. Now I have a fear of trying it again. I think I can pass micro, but the anatomy scares me to death now. I will definiately not take the same instructor. At our college in Lancaster, CA, the science courses are University level and some say they are geared towards pre med students. I just don't feel smart enough to pass this class and feel like I can never become an RN now. My 22 year old daughter is graduating with her RN in June, but her mom is an idiot!!!! If anyone has any thoughts, suggestions. I would appreciate it. I am soooooooo discouraged right now. Thanks guys. You are all my heros. Sincerely, old gal LVN in California :
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  2. 15 Comments

  3. by   rayjay
    First of all, keep your chin up!
    I am 49 and have found some things just take longer. Did you have the
    same instructor both times? Sometimes I don't "click" with certain instructors. I have also found to lower my course load when I have a tough class so that I can focus on one area. Have you tried study groups? They helped me. Worst case, go to another school just to get the A&P.

    Hang in there! You CAN do it.

    Ray
  4. by   Little Panda RN
    I am so sorry you are feeling so down and out. Anatomy can be a hard one to get down. I do not have any great advice, but when I took this class I would tape "me" reading my lecture notes (that were given by the teacher). I would concentrate on what I was having a difficult time with.Then I would listen it too it at night when I would go to bed. I read that what you hear just before you go to bed, your brain will think about through the night and you have a better chance of remembering the information. In my opinion this is true, it helped me while I was in school. Give it a try, the worst that could happen is it does not work for you. Good luck and I hope things get better. Remember you can do it!
  5. by   MimismomRN
    Thanks so much for your comments and advice guys. ND mom, I am going to get a better recorder and try what you said when I have the guts to tackle this class again . I just feel like a big failure right now and need to regroup and get the negative thoughts out of my mind. I had even went to one day a week working at the hospital to concentrate on school, only to fail anyway. But I still have micro to get through (did not drop that one). I think it is just harder getting through these classes at this age. I find it so hard to focus when I am studying. Then when I get the test, I blank out and cannot think. My exams are all essay, yuk. Anyway, thanks for the support and encouragement. I really need it right now.

    Quote from nd_mom
    I am so sorry you are feeling so down and out. Anatomy can be a hard one to get down. I do not have any great advice, but when I took this class I would tape "me" reading my lecture notes (that were given by the teacher). I would concentrate on what I was having a difficult time with.Then I would listen it too it at night when I would go to bed. I read that what you hear just before you go to bed, your brain will think about through the night and you have a better chance of remembering the information. In my opinion this is true, it helped me while I was in school. Give it a try, the worst that could happen is it does not work for you. Good luck and I hope things get better. Remember you can do it!
  6. by   floridanurse65
    You are neither an idiot or a failure. I dropped Algebra of all things 3 times then finally took it by itself over a summer term and passed with a B. I always had terrible math Anxiety in High School and settled on a general diploma just so I wouldn't be required to take anything above consumer math. By the 2nd time I dropped it in College I was sure that I would never go to nursing school. Taking it by itself and only having to worry about it for 6 weeks really made a difference for me. Hang in there and stop putting yourself down. You can do it.

    The way I studied for every other class was always the same way and it worked very well for me. I would take tons of notes during lecture then I would go home and rewrite them then I would type them on the computer. The repetition of doing it 3 times would really help it stick. Then I would make flash cards with either definitions or questions from my notes which actually meant I was rewriting the info for a 4th time. You'd be amazed at what you can recall after writing it so many times.

    I truly wish you the best of luck and hope you will keep us up to date on your progress......hugs to you.
  7. by   newtress
    I understand completely that it can be a bit more difficult successfully grasping a course like anatomy later in life. I am finishing an LPN program at 48 years old. I had a a hard time studying in a "conventional" way. I started to think I was dyslexic or could it be premenopausal brain fog. Tons of terms and definitions for anatomy/physiology to remember. So what I did for studying was to rearrange my written material and it worked. Instead of having the term first in bold writing, I wrote out the definitions first and then wrote the term in bold print last. That way familiarizing myself with what the particular bone is, what it does or where it attaches to gained me more knowledge that way first and then attaching the actual word to the description was the less time consuming part of memorizing all this. Another classmate of mine chose to study this way and it helped her do much better on her exams. She happens to be an older student also. I hope this helps.
  8. by   GingerSue
    I just wanted to encourage you
    sometimes there are a lot of new words to learn
    and how things work together

    strategy that I use is to write things out
    familiarize, repetition
    I make up lists of questions - selftest

    and I wish all the best to you
  9. by   ShayRN
    DON'T GIVE UP! I dropped anatomy 3 times before passing it. The last time I was there every night after work, on Saturdays AND paid a tutor to come in with me once a week. I still think he gave me the C because he felt sorry for me, LOL. You will get through it, but FYI, 13 years later I still have nightmares that I have to retake the stupid class. Good luck!
  10. by   msyolee
    definitely don't give up. i had a manager who has 2 masters in nursing and she had to take microbiology 4 times. i'm presently finishing up my prereq for the rn program; i found it helpful by using flashcards and taping the lecture and listening to the tape while falling asleep. you can also ask around campus and any of your daughters friends if they know about colleges where a&p isn't so challenging. they are a few schools where i live and they teach you only what u need to know for nursing, so they are not so intense. my anatomy and physiology instructors and i had different instructors for each i didnt have lab practicals at all in either class. we did lab every class meeting but we weren't tested on it. so just ask around and see if they are instructors in your area who do the same. you are only a failure if don't keep trying and you will feel worse knowing you gave up. so keep your head stay strong and good luck.
  11. by   MimismomRN
    You guys are the best. I sooo need to hear these words of encouragement. My husband just does not understand what pressure and stress I am under. My daughter does, she is in 4th semester of the RN program, but has her own worries about getting through it. I seriously have so much anxiety and fear right now. I want to retake the anatomy over the summer, but don't know if I can do it. I seem to have a block when it comes to remembering things right now. For now I am going to try and get through micro after a long encouraging talk with my professor. I just have this message in my mind right now that I cannot do this, give up. You are too old, stupid, etc. But I have already taken 12 classes toward this goal. I just wish I could get myself to get past this block. I will try all of the things you guys suggested definitely and appreciate you all so much. Take care everybody and thanks again for your encouragement.
  12. by   RTstudent
    Quote from MimisMomLVN
    I guess I just need some advice, support here guys. I am a new LVN (49 years old) yeah I know. I have three prereqs to do to get into the LVN-Bridge program. This semester I took anatomy and micro together. Well I failed my first lab practical and even though I was at a B in the class I am now at an F. So I'm dropping the anatomy and will concentrate on micro now. But I am so discouraged. I still need physiology and wanted to be done before my 50th birthday in August. This is the second time I have had to drop anatomy. Am considering taking it (alone) over the summer, but so afraid I just cannot do that class. Maybe it's my menopause brain, but I cannot remember all the parts of those bones, etc. and I blank out even after studying 24/7. Has anyone had trouble like this with anatomy. Now I have a fear of trying it again. I think I can pass micro, but the anatomy scares me to death now. I will definiately not take the same instructor. At our college in Lancaster, CA, the science courses are University level and some say they are geared towards pre med students. I just don't feel smart enough to pass this class and feel like I can never become an RN now. My 22 year old daughter is graduating with her RN in June, but her mom is an idiot!!!! If anyone has any thoughts, suggestions. I would appreciate it. I am soooooooo discouraged right now. Thanks guys. You are all my heros. Sincerely, old gal LVN in California :

    Your first mistake was taking anatomy and micro at the same time. I don't live too far from you in Victorville. At VVC our classes are also geared towards med students. They dont allow students to take two harcore classes like micro or anatomy in the same semester anymore for that same reason. Work on one class at a time even if it takes you longer.
  13. by   RTstudent
    note cards are alot of help!!
  14. by   nursemike
    I don't know much about menopause. In one of my nursing classes, I was apparently the only one who thought men don't go through menopause. I, however, was right.
    I do have first-hand experience as a middle-aged nursing student. Do not, for a moment, allow yourself to believe that you aren't as smart as you once were. IQ does not change throughout the lifespan, and in practical terms you are smarter than you were in your twenties, since you have abundant life-experience and the ability to apply lessons learned in other areas to problems you face now. In short, you can do this. LVN/LPN school is hard. If you can do that, you can do RN school, as well. DO NOT ALLOW YOURSELF TO BE DISCOURAGED.
    That said, I think you may be on the right track, taking anatomy by itself. I also agree with taking notes, making flashcards, etc. I highly recommend a study group. If you can find even a couple of people with motivation equal to yours and work together, it can help a great deal.
    One thing I found helpful in anatomy is learning what those mind-boggling Latin names mean. I don't mean taking a course in Latin, unless you are so inclined, but just buying a used latin dictionary might help. Somehow, to me, "little vinegar cup" is less imposing than "acetabulum."
    My anatomy instructor also recommended an Anatomy Coloring Book. You can get them from online bookstores, if not in your school bookstore. To be honest, I didn't get a lot of benefit from mine--anatomy came fairly easily to me--but others did, and there were times when coloring was fairly good OT to cope with the stress of my other courses.
    Good luck. Not that you need luck. You'll do just fine on your native intelligence, perserverance, and sultry good looks alone.
    Last edit by nursemike on Mar 29, '07 : Reason: typing skills deterioratring with age

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