How can I prepare myself for Med-Surge

  1. Good Afternoon everyone!

    Sooooo everything I hear about Med-Surge is awful and it is surely freaking me out for next semester. I have a 16 week summer and I plan on reviewing a lot during this time. I know every class is different but is there any particular subject that you guys think is the core of Med-Surge? Most people just tell me to know as much Patho and Pharm as you can before going into it.

    Any input and advice is greatly appreciated!

    Freaked out nursing student.
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    About Buckeyes6245

    Joined: Aug '12; Posts: 26; Likes: 3


  3. by   stargurl2006
    I'm just about to finish med surg 1. Review your A&P for the systems you will be covering in your course (probably at the very least cardiac, respiratory, GI, nervous). This will help when learning your pathophys. Unfortunately, I think that each semester of nursing school tends to be the same as first semester in that you want to prepare for it, but there is very little to prepare you for the content. Definitely buy an NCLEX review book! It helped me greatly to practice those nclex style questions.
  4. by   sunnybabe
    1. Brush up on your A/P, thenit will be much easier for you to understand disease processes because you know how the actual body system is supposed to work. So definitely know your functions. I found Endocrine and Respiratory to be the hardest.

    2. A NCLEX book would be helpful for you. I never bought one but my friend used Saunder's Comprehensive RN and I would always look at it before my tests. Alot of med surg questions are related to

    1. Do you understand the signs and symptoms of this disease (Ex. pneumonia vs. COPD)
    2. What are the key complications and things to watch out for (Ex. If someone is a diabetic, what's the worst that can happen)
    3. What can the nurse do to help the patient with his disease? What can the patient do (goal)?

    Try not to memorize, but instead understand why the patient has this disease, how he looks with this disease and the treatment that is supposed to be used for it.

    I got an A in the class. I also think I got an A not only because I studied, but I also work on a med-surg floor and I saw nearly every disease that I learned about in class. When learning, think about a patient ( real or imaginery) so that the situation makes more sense to you and you can answer the question properly.

  5. by   finallydone14
    As was advised to you in an earlier post... It is very important not to try to memorize the material. LEARN IT!! Because the tests will not be questions that you can answer based upon memorization. You will have to understand why this or that is happening and what to do if it occurs. There will hardly ever be straight up questions and you must be able to critically think. The saunders nclex book is good but read the material that you will be covering in your med surg book and make sure that you have understood what you have read. If you already have the syllabus for your class and it has the page numbers for the material for your first test... start with that. Pace yourself and please try not to get behind so that you won't have to cram before your tests. Whatever is taught in class that day... read that material that day/evening when you get home so you never get behind. Good Luck!! I'm sure that you'll do great!!
  6. by   SunshineDaisy
    I ditto the others..A&P and Patho!
  7. by   psych308
    @JM... I can tell what school you go to based on your username, I'm the year above you at the same school. my advice as someone who just passed both semesters of NCoA I&II with the new professor you keep hearing about-- do what everyone else here has said, but most importantly and specific to this class at this school: get your book in the summer, and start reading. get an nclex book, and start doing practice questions so you get into the mindset of knowing application-style reasoning. you're going to be swamped. it's going to be hell. you're going to have to give up liquor pitchers, slice night, and life in general if you haven't already if you want to pass this class. pharm and pathos were a joke. you will spend every free moment either studying or stressed about this class. brush up extensively on anatomy, then pharm, then pathos this summer. we were vastly underprepared for this course because of those classes, and as a result lost about 40 kids, conservatively speaking, as I'm sure you've heard.

    for success in this course:
    -get the workbook that accompanies the text, and do it when you study. read all of the rationales
    -she will constantly tell you to focus on nclex questions, since all of the points in the class come from her nclex-style tests, so get an nclex book if you don't already have one from foundations (though this didn't really help me for her content, it helped for her style)
    -get other reference books to supplement for when what she taught in class wasn't clear. nursing pharmacology made incredibly easy will really help because she focuses a lot on pharm. also get the med surg nursing made incredibly easy. I also got an A&P for dummies book. i've heard the saunders was much like her questions, and it would be beneficial to get that book
    -go to every single facilitated lab
    -take your computer to class and type out all the things she says in lecture under her powerpoints--study that, after you've read the book. I'm sure you heard all about there being "a more right answer" than what was listed in the book, so what you should do is take anything she said in class as being the right answer, and then supplement that with what the book tells you.
    -skim the pathos parts in the book but focus on collaborative care and nursing interventions. pay attention to charts and boxes. a lot of questions will come from those priority nursing interventions
    -study in a group, and talk it out in terms of: "a pt comes in with sx abc, has a hx of xyz, what would be the priority nursing intervention for this patient? safety measures? treatment plans? what will you be worried about? what are the contraindications?

    this is my first post ever, and the only reason i'm giving you these tips and tricks is because of the off chance you happened to be one of us, and having been in your position I pity your soul. get ready, get set, and welcome to hell
  8. by   Shorty11
    1. Brush up on your A&P. If you know how things "normally" function, it makes it much easier to understand disease processes. Nothing crazy, just review each body system as you progress to diseases that affect that body system.
    2. Read the assigned chapters. Preferably before the lecture about the topic. This always made the lectures seem to make so much more sense. I didn't always have time to read the chapters, but I tried to fit it in when possible!
    3. When studying the notes, try and formulate pictures, pneumonics, act it out, etc. Anything to help you actually learn (and retain) what you are reading as opposed to just purely memorizing.
    4. Get an NCLEX study guide. I used Saunders NCLEX-RN mainly. (yellow one)
    5. Focus on the clinical presentation of the disease (i.e. signs & symptoms), important medical interventions, nursing interventions, patient teaching, potential/related nursing diagnoses, patient goals, complications, pharmacology... (I know that sounds like everything, but the focus is on what you was a nurse would see and do.)
    I am taking Med-Surg II in the fall. I just finished Med-Surg I. I loved it! I found it soo interesting. I made an A.
    Best of luck!