Hi, everyone. I'm in an accelerated diploma RN program (16months). I'm going onto my 5th month (second semester) and I feel like I know nothing. The program is incredibly fast paced, we're already on IVs and giving all meds to our patients. It's not clinical that I have the problem, it's the classroom mostly, but of course information in class can relay in clinical (Ex. Recognizing the signs of a disease). We learn about diseases, the meds for them, risk factors, tests/exams to diagnose, etc etc and it just feels like so much to remember and I forget easily. I can tell you the general idea of a disease and the med/treatment for it, but everything else I pretty much forget. Is this normal? Does it carry on when you're a nurse as well?
Flashcards and study group/partner
(I use Brainscape so I can study my flashcards on my phone, computer, ipad, anywhere)
I am not in an accelerated program, but in a traditional program going into second semester. I can honestly tell you that often, I feel this way, especially during lecture when they are firing through powerpoints. I feel like am I already supposed to know all of this? The thing is, I sit for my tests and actually do pretty well, so something is sticking and studying is helping.
I'll feel like I don't know things and then in simulation, clinical or on a test I'll face a situation/question and choose the right answer/course of action. I'm able to dig into what I actually have learned and retained (not realizing I've actually retained it) and able to correctly choose the right course of action most of the time-I'll keep it real, there were a few times I just didn't know what was right.
Give yourself credit, you probably know and are retaining more than you think you are. Many students likely feel this way. In the event that you feel this is beyond what you believe is normal apprehension, talk to someone, your professor or the nursing student liaison/adviser. Get help early.
I felt this way until around the second half of my third semester. All of a sudden when something starts going wrong with a patient a.) I NOTICE, b.) I am pretty quickly able to put together their diagnoses with what's going on to hypothesize what the problem is, c.) I'm usually able to take a quick first step to address the problem/ensure patient safety before hunting down the RN (who obviously has more skills/knowledge/resources to handle it). Or, I'll be listening to report and I'll actually understand, based on the patient's clinical picture, why I'm hearing certain information being given in the report and I can think of different things to watch out for based on all of that. It's pretty cool, it feels like I had these blinders on that are slowly being taken off as I've digested more material/seen more patients/gotten a feel for what things should be like. I think it just takes time and diligent attention to school and clinical to reach this point
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