How does blood flow through the heart? Do you know?

  1. I have a close friend, who just started nursing school. She was talking about how it is so fast paced for her, and the feeling of metal diarrhea. She posed the question of how blood flows through the heart to me, so I answered
    "From the upper body through the superior vena cava, from the lower body through the inferior vena cava, into the right atrium, through the tricuspid, in to the right ventricle, through the pulmonary valve, into the pulm. artery, then to the right and left lungs for oxygenation, to the pulmonary vein to the left atrium, through the mitral, into the left ventricle, through the aortic valve into the aorta, then then on into circulation".
    That was a mouthful. Anyway, she laughed and asked how could I remember something like that when there is so much more to know. And I really didn't have an answer.

    So now, I'm asking you. How do you all remember those things that are at the foundation, when there is so much more for us to know? Is it just natural, have you forgotten a lot, or what? And, do you know how blood flows through the heart?
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  3. by   XB9S
    I've forgotten loads, but remember the really important stuff, I guess you work it out for yourself as you go through training what is important and what isnt' and I don't think the information you forget truly goes, it is just stored for later when it's needed. There are always text books you can refer to if you truly forget something that you need

    Yes I do remember how blood flows through the heart, but not from nursing school (over 20 years ago) but after doing a critical care diploma when it was taught by such a brilliant teacher it just stuck with me.
  4. by   proudnurseRN
    Yes, I can still recite blood flow through the heart. I can also interpret a set of ABGs at a glance, even though I haven't had to since nursing school. Those were drilled during a particularly difficult med-surg class.

    However, I've lost most of what was taught in OB. If I review it then it comes back to me, but that's about it. I don't work a monitored floor, so ECGs are a lost cause for me also.
  5. by   PostOpPrincess
    I remember a lot but have a handy resource book nearby for times I need to look up things.

    I had a patient in a thyroid storm the other day and forgot what I needed to keep an eye on.

    No ONE I know remembers or is an expert on EVERYTHING.
  6. by   CuriousMe
    I'm just a nursing student. What I've found though, at least so far....

    Some things require remembering (aka memorizing), but most things require understanding. So, I could have memorized the path that blood takes through the heart....or I can understand it so that no matter when I think about it....if I think about it for a second I can trace it through and tell the path.

  7. by   roser13
    Anyone up on the renin/angiotensin cycle?

    That was my particular bug-a-boo. I memorized it but I couldn't tell you a thing about it today.
  8. by   JulieCVICURN
    This is how I remember the blood pumping through the heart, and I'm a cardiac nurse!
  9. by   elprup
    I keep studying! So when I find that perfect job I'll be ready.
  10. by   NurseLoveJoy88
    I can still recite it... I wish I can remember the cranial nerves though.
  11. by   VegetasGRL03RN
    Quote from NurseLoveJoy88
    I can still recite it... I wish I can remember the cranial nerves though.
    Those darn cranial nerves! I can remember "On Old Olympus Towering Tops, A Finn And German Viewed(?) Some Hops" but as if I remember what they correspond to nor each one's function outside of vagal and optic. Learned it in second semester and then they just threw it on a random Peds test.... the diagnosis or s/s had nothing to do with Peds! There has to be a better mnemonic!
  12. by   tri-rn
    Haha, my hubby came up with a really dirty mnemonic for the CNs, wish I could remember it it was hysterical! Most of my class used it
  13. by   Perpetual Student
    Ugh, the cranial nerves.

    Honestly, there are a LOT of various things that I don't remember the details for off-hand. Even things that I "know." This is why new-ish grads have a fairly difficult time transitioning into the workforce, or why experienced nurses struggle a bit when they change settings. Once you work in an area you begin to REALLY know the content needed on a regular basis. Even then there will be things that come up occasionally that require you to consult reference material. It's plain impossible to know everything about every part of the body and every disease process. The difference between an adept nurse and a crappy one is the recognition of knowledge deficits relevant to one's practice and efforts to remedy them.
  14. by   SaraO'Hara
    Quote from tri-rn
    Haha, my hubby came up with a really dirty mnemonic for the CNs, wish I could remember it it was hysterical! Most of my class used it
    Somebody (maybe a nurse at clinicals) taught "Ooh ooh ooh, to touch and feel a girl's (naughty bits) - ah, heaven."

    I remember really fundamental things (eg normal VS, order of blood flow through heart / lungs) - for uncommon situations, we have reference books!