by RNtobe2016 Nov 7, '12 | 5,369 Views | 11 Comments
Next semester I'm going to have to take A & P I and all the other nursing students are stressing out about it and upperclassmen nursing students say it was awful. I'm wondering if it's really that bad. What were your A & P classes like?
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I LOVED A&P. More A&P II than A&P I but it really depends on your teacher. I had an amazing A&P II teacher so I really enjoyed that class but A&P I is all about memorization. It is the muscles, bones, nerves, etc...really hard core memorization and a lot of it. It really lays the groundwork for A&P II which is more the physiology. I know at my school A&P I was the "flunk out" course, I found it to be fairly easy but some people that took it with me were going on their 2nd try. I think if you take it seriously and DO NOT get behind you should be fine. STUDY, STUDY, STUDY and you should be just fine. A&P I lays the groundwork for pathophysiology and your whole nursing career so just make sure you try your best and you will be better off for it down the line. Hope that helps...
I took A&P I in a condensed 7-week term (which was crazy) and I'm taking A&P II with Nursing (also crazy). Lots of people failed out, but I'm one of the few who's gotten only A's and here's how:
1. Ditch your highlighter and 3 by 5 cards. Highlighting only slows you down, and everything in the reading is important anyway. Flash cards are for memorizing terms, but A&P is mostly about understanding concepts. People who are flunking my class right now are all highlighter and flash card addicts.
2. Come to class alert and stay alert. Take it seriously like it's your job.
3. Take good notes. Write down what the teacher is saying, even if you know the info is in the book. The teacher will say things in plain english, which makes the material easier to understand when you're studying later.
4. Mark up your book. You'll need it in Nursing so don't worry about the resale value. When the professor is explaining a paragraph, diagram or illustration in the book, you should be writing all over it, in the marigin, etc.
5. Engage as many senses as possible. YouTube has lots if amazing videos to help with A&P concepts. Record yourself reading your notes and listen to it in the car. Draw yourself pictures. Talk to yourself out loud while studying, explain things to yourself. Get creative. (I made myself comic strips to remember some of the harder concepts.) Use the interactive CD that comes with the book. The more senses you can use to study, the better. You have to figure out how you learn and what works best for you.
6. Realize that everything you're learning is important. Don't do like some who roll their eyes saying, "When will I ever use this as a nurse?" You need to know it all and it will all come back again and again.
A&P was the first science class I had taken in over a decade, and I'd gotten C's in science in high school. Now I love it and feel like I really get it. If I can do it, anyone can with the right attitude and dedication. It's really fun, enjoy!
I agree with the PP. I would add remember to study some every day. And also, reorganize notes if you have too. It helps me a lot to go home and look at my notes and re phrase confusing processes. Also rewrite words over and over again so you can spell them. Say them phonetically as well. God luck.
Also, my best advice to students is to get both the Anatomy Coloring Book and the Physiology Coloring Book, available online from your favorite bookseller, free 2-day shipping from Amazon for students. This is not a joke and not a comic book, but a real, good resource that my students said saved their behinds in this class.
Get the hard copy, not the online download or the iPad version, because part of the reason it's so good is because it engages different parts of your brain when you use your colored pencils to help you retain the material.
There are no shortcuts for A&P because it's a big part of being a nurse. This is definitely NOT a course you will pass and put out of your head, because after you take it and get into the nursing coursework it will be an integral part of the critical thinking process; your faculty will expect that you remember it. These books will be excellent reference for you when you start seeing real patients. This is unlike any other education you have ever had, trust me. Get the books.
I'm taking A & P I now as a nursing student. I took the class a few years ago and wanted to re-take it as a refresher. My teacher is awesome! When he lectures, he explains it in plain english and gives us real world examples.
I will also agree with Shahoo05-I had my second exam last week and I changed my style , I highlighted everything and used flash cards...well I didn't do to well (79%). I scored a 90% the first time...
Also Youtube is your friend...you have no idea how many times I've youtubed...it really helps!
I got As in A&P 1 and 2. I absolutely love it. And usually when you love something you do well in it. So, take an interest in it, it is the human body after all.
Starting at the beginning of the semester, study every day in increments of 30 minutes or so. Cramming = bad.
If your book has a CD, use it. Google search new processes as you learn them, watch youtube videos, etc. If you don't understand something well enough from your instructor, look it up in other places. Get a study group. There are plenty of other study methods, you just need to find out what works best for you.
A&P I was a walk in the park compared to A&PII (At least for me)
I took A&PI over the summer and it was 5 weeks long. It was REALLY REALLY fast moving, but it was all memorization basically: Names of muscles, bones, physical locations/parts of the body, some basic chemistry, names of fractures, nervous system etc.
I am currently taking A&PII and it is very in depth in topics like : circulatory/cardiovascular system, respiratory system, endocrine system, and basically how the body works/functions. But like I said it gets very in detail about the specifics of each system of the body. You really have to understand the concept cause memorization will not work in this course.
I wouldn't get too nervous about A&PI. Although I took it over 5 weeks it was a fun and easy class as opposed to A&P 2 which is a bit harder for me!
I'm currently in A&PII and I love it! Yes, there's a lot of memorizing of names, but it is about understanding the concept of how everything works together, and it is built on your A&P I. Work hard to understand and do well in A&P I and you'll have a much easier time in 2.
Get a study group that works well together. Practice teaching eachother and you'll feel it click!
Make drawings and flow charts with what you know in your mind, stopping to consult your notes/text if you get stuck.
After each class condense your notes, then focus on the areas that you aren't quite clear about. ***this is a VITAL step for me. The class moves so quickly, it's easy to just move on and forget what areas you weren't clear.
Oh my goodness I remember going into second year and hearing HORROR stories about pathophysiology and how it was going to eat us alive. Everyone was so stressed out. It turned out to be my BEST class! I just thought it was so interesting and the meat of nursing knowledge, I really dove right into it.
Don't let people stress you out. Just go to your classes, do your readings before class, give lots of time to prepare for tests and soak up all the learning! Get extra help if you have gaps in your learning; professors appreciate you making the extra effort.
(Loved A&P as well - I just remember being more worried about patho after all that nonsense)
I am in A&P now and I love it. My teacher is referred to as "Dr. Death" on my campus because of the sheer number of people that drop out. We started out with a class of 50 and now there are probably 18 of us left. Yes, it is hard but the material is fascinating. It's unlike any class you have probably had before just because of the sheer amount of information covered. I saw above people saying don't highlight and don't use flash cards but these have worked for me. I have a 94 average in lab and lecture now. I do several things to understand and yes, memorize information. I pay close attention and take notes. I never miss a class. I utilize the mastering a&p website associated with my textbook nonstop. I rewrite my class notes and watch videos online to gain further understanding about whatever we are studying. My flashcards are not just word and definition. I make cards for specific questions on functions and processes. My classmates and I study together outside of class. When we had to memorize the bones, muscles and brain structures we took pictures in class of our models, printed them and labeled them. I made flip note cards on the bones and muscles and carried them with me wherever I went. We spent time in lab outside of regular class time working with the models. In other words i do everything and anything I can that works for me to understand and retain the information. I think the secret is finding what works for you. The people that have dropped out in my class are not necessarily the flashcard and highlighters but rather the people that came in thinking they could study for two hours a week and breeze by. If you get behind, it's almost impossible to catch up so stay on top of it and you will do fine!
I agree with some of the other commenters, high-lighters won't work for this class. You really need to dig into the concepts. I took A&P I and II with an amazing professor. She really knew her stuff and pushed us to know ours. I found Anatomy Revealed 3-D to be very helpful, as I'm a visual learner. I also used the CD's that came along with my anatomy book and scoured the web for videos that covered the subject matters to make them relevant.
Seems that a big part of test taking for these types of courses, from what I'm learning, is what is the professor's expectation. Some seem to really want you to know what they present (in class and slide presentations), others go by the book. If you can get a handle on that, it would help tremendously. Once that is determined, make a strong study schedule, and also work with good classmates to do study guides. In my courses, I had a group of 4 and we took turns weekly preparing the study guides. As you can imagine, this was a tremendous time saver.
A&P is high density, so if you can get a strong team together, you'll be fine. The class is actually very fascinating and a pleasure to learn.