Frustrated because I know it's important to think like a nurse, but I don't know how.

  1. I'm so confused on how to study for nursing courses. I am not able to really understand or retain the information long-term and I feel the route of the problem is my studying method. Whats you secret to thinking like a nurse and studying effectively?
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    About Guest11/16/14

    Joined: Feb '13; Posts: 61; Likes: 20
    Nursing Student; from US


  3. by   MedChica
    For one, I'm not a traditional note-taker. I never did much group study. If you do, it might help to keep the group small. Like, 1-3 people.

    I'd just sit there and listen to the lectures. I'd make notes in my book.
    I used to skim the section covered during our breaks.
    -- Summarizing.
    -- Drawing helps. I'm kind of hands-on.
    -- underline central points. The gist of the sub-topic.
    -- Create Mnemonics.
    That sort of thing. If I don't jot, I really can't make sense of a paragraph block. I fall asleep. When you're reading about a subtopic, it's mostly 'filler' and you've got to find the gist of it all and the tidbits of info thrown in.

    I'd finish the chapters during lunch.

    When I got home, I'd skim through my 'notes'. This is how I READ the chapters.
    I'd usually skim once again before bedtime. Skim followed by a re-reading of certain topics, this time, with greater understanding.
    The next day? You do the same with the new chapter.
    I always reviewed once day.

    It's a little work in the beginning but it amts to way less studying over time.
    That's what I'm after.

    'Thinking like a nurse'? I've never understood the meaning. I suppose you think like a nurse when you have a strong foundation (knowledge) on which to base your approach, to begin with. I was never good in SIMLAB, if it makes you feel any better. I disliked having to 'perform' in front of the class and the non-real life scenario made it difficult to think of 'what to do next'.
    It's difficult to be in the moment when you really aren't.
    Actually, it didn't really kick in until I was thrown on the floor.
  4. by   Best_Name_Ever
    Have you tried concept maps? Try writing down a diagnosis in the, like heart failure. Then make a list of the signs and symptoms, diagnostic tests, treatments. It's easier for me to see it all in one place to understand it. Knowing the patho behind it also really helps understand the s&s, and the treatments.

    Another thing I do is rewrite my all of notes the week before the exam. Some of my classes are only once a week, and the tests are each fourth I tend to forget the material from the first lecture. By rewriting my notes, it refreshes my memory. It's honestly the way that I study. If the professor is heavy on taking material from the textbook, when I read through the chapters I take my own notes.

    When it comes to thinking like a nurse, all I can suggest is MAKE SURE YOU READ THE QUESTION CAREFULLY!!! Most of the time they want to know what you will do FIRST or what is the PRIORITY! (Which is usually never call the dr). You want to know what you AS A NURSE can do right away to solve the problem. If you are familiar with maslows hierarchy, think the bottom first! Meet the physiological needs first! ABCs. Then comes safety. And so on....

    You can do this! You will get it you just have to figure out which studying method works best for you.
  5. by   eatmysoxRN
    I did tons of practice questions and the ones I missed or seriously guessed with no idea why are the ones I'd read up on. I loved study guides because of making 40 pages of material 4. I could never spend the time to read all 40 and actually absorb the material.

    ~ No One Can Make You Feel Inferior Without Your Consent -Eleanor Roosevelt ~