HELP...I don't feel like I'm retaining any information...

  1. [font="fixedsys"] hi everyone. so, wondering if any of you out there have any tips for learning and getting the most from lectures. i'm in my 2nd semester nursing and just don't feel like i'm learning anything. i literally sit down to read my book and have a hard time concentrating. i find i have to go over and over it b/c i haven't taken in anything i just read.

    and, when our class asks our instructors questions that we need clarification on, they tell us that they can't help us and we need to figure it out. i understand that...but, if we just don't know, how is that teaching us anything. i'm so frustrated. i know i can do this, but just need the right help since we're not getting it from our instructors. we have tried talking to them, but it seems as if they just don't care.

    any help would be appreciated!
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    About MarciaBrady

    Joined: Sep '11; Posts: 1
    Administrative Assistant - Psych; from US


  3. by   Certifiable
    Sometimes rereading the same paragraph a gazillion times just doesn't work... I find that if I draw out the process (a/p, pharm, fundamental, etc') I can grasp it much easier.
    Songs that you make up can also help. When I studied for my Pharm final, I took the song "I want it that way"- by the backstreet boys (weird choice, seeing that my taste is more "the police") and I inserted my words instead of the lyrics, I did this with the music blaring and dancing around the house. I found it really helpful (not to mention it got me to do a bit of cardio while studying).
    About not understanding--- If you have a question and the clincal instructor says "go look it up" I can kinda see the rational (I had a clinical instructor who did this to me... drove me up the wall) but if you still don't understand and they won't explain that's just being a bad educator.
    If you ask a question striaght after a lecture and the prof won't answer---the teacher sucks. plain and simple.
    That being said, there is a moutain of info on the web, you just need to know how to google ( I found youtube to be an amazing source of info in my 1st year).
    There are tons of sites with ready made flashcards by fellow medical/nursing students (you are the judge if they're accurate or not).
    And most important--- Do not cram for exams. You may get a good grade, but 5 minutes after the test you won't remember the difference between a fibula and tibula.
    Also, seek out those students who seem to have a good grasp on the stuff you're struggling with. (study groups may help too).
  4. by   BacktotheBeach
    I buy lots of extra study guide materials and NCLEX books, for instance some of the Made Incredibly Easy series. Once you study it in there, you get a much better grasp of it and can better understand your textbook. There are lots of resources out there.
  5. by   AppalachianRNstudent
    Take frequent breaks. If I were you I would read for 30 minutes - then take a five-ten minute break. Use your break to do some deep breathing - or whatever it is that helps you relax.

    I also agree with drawing - it helps me.
  6. by   Despareux
    Drawing out concepts and taking breaks are crucial to retain information--for me, that is. When I come across a challenging subject, I will read the sentence, define each word in the sentence, analyze the sentence, draw out its meaning, and then move on to the next sentence. Once I have read the entire paragraph this way, I will then re-read the entire paragraph for understanding. After I have read the particular subject, I will teach it to my kids. This technique works like a charm.

    Drinking plenty of water and eating the right kinds of foods help tremendously, too. Too much sugar and dehydration can impair thinking.
  7. by   Clovery
    actively take notes from your text, don't just highlight. look up and write down the definition for any terms you're not familiar with. create a quick outline for procedures. do the review questions at the end of the chapter and look up the rationale if it's not given. if your book came with a bonus CD, use that for review and extra practice questions. re-read and take notes from the key points in the chapters and study the pictures and their captions. be sure to take notes during class, even if the teacher gives you a powerpoint or handout. writing it down will help to reinforce it. if you bring a laptop to class, try using microsoft one-note (comes with office). i really like it because you can copy and paste photos & diagrams right into your notes and it's really great for keeping everything organized.

    ETA if something is really obvious or you already know it, don't waste your time studying that or writing it down. focus on the stuff that you're unfamiliar with. sometimes a lot of time is wasted writing out definitions and studying things you already know. use the practice questions as a guide, pick and choose the most important and unfamiliar things to go over.