I'm a failure & need advice

  1. OK here I go....
    I just finished my second semester (Med/Surg) & I failed. I am not getting the material and I think it's because I missed something in Fundamentals. I really could use some ideas on how I can try to figure out what it is I am missing. I know I am being very broad but I don't know what to do and I am so stressed out! I cannot keep signs and symptoms straight so obviously I don't understand why vitals go up or down because of certain diseases/disorders. I want to be a nurse and excel in clinicals, but when it comes to these tests I feel like a failure and question if I will even be a good nurse. Please help! :smackingf
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  2. 20 Comments

  3. by   live_crow
    First of all, please don't equate failing a subject with being a failure. You're not a failure until you quit trying.

    Can you seek input from your teachers as to what exactly you need to work on? A lot of remembering signs and symptoms of diseases is just rote memorization. Flash cards can help with this, or getting someone to quiz you on them repeatedly. I also used to make up stupid rhymes to remind myself of the S&S associated with various disorders. Not getting this yet just means you haven't yet figured out the right way for you to remember - a lot of that is trial and error.
  4. by   BoonersmomRN
    Hi
    It sounds as if you could benefit from pulling out your A+P book and re-studying physiology. If you can get the physiology down pat then pathophysiology should come easier. Once you can get the pathophysiology down the S/S will come naturally.

    I just had to give a speech to Fundamentals about M/S 1 and that was my very best piece of advice. KNOW your A+P.

    Also study groups can be helpful if you can do them. Practice NCLEX study guide questions. Ask questions. See the tutor if you have one..and remember Maslow and your ABC's.

    Good luck.
  5. by   MarySunshine
    I agree with the poster above me. Also, please remember that having to repeat a semester does not make you a failure as a person. Most people wouldn't attempt something so difficult as a nursing degree, so you're already ahead of those sitting on their butts! Many good nurses have had to take a semester over and/or repeat the nclex. Take this time to solidify your knowledge.

    Also, could you look into getting a part-time job as a nursing assistant if you haven't already done so? I always have hard time picturing patients and their whole medical/nursing picture without getting some "hands on" experience. Maybe you could even do extra "clinical hours" by shadowing nurses? Whatever it takes to make the whole picture "click" in your head.

    I recommend going to your instructors and using them as resources for study ideas and info. I'm sure they'll be willing to help you if you are eager to learn. Nursing school was really hard on me so I feel for you. Best wishes to you while you study!

    I think you may find this book helpful: Amazon.com: Saunders Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN (R) Examination Full Color Reprint: Books: Linda Anne Silvestri
    It's a really good general nursing outline. It's actually an nclex review book but they organize all the different nursing subjects into chapters and review them with basic nursing facts and nclex style questions....which is exactly what your teachers are probably doing with their tests! It's a great resource.
    Last edit by MarySunshine on Dec 16, '06
  6. by   WDWpixieRN
    Also, we kind of only scratched the surface (at least I'm hoping that's what we've done!!) of cardiac/respiratory, and I have had a hard time holding on and keep S&S straight....I had purchased the Nursing Made Incredibly Easy books for Pathophysiology and Fluids & Electrolytes and while I was having an incredibly difficult time understanding the text, they helped out immensely with some concepts...and I'll be DARNED if when I went back to my text, it had the EXACT same info, just in a different context....I think searching high and low and reviewing, reviewing, reviewing until it's second nature is extremely important....

    Best wishes!!
  7. by   CHATSDALE
    agree with above posts..go back to the begining and try and visualize the body and its makeup
    and do not call yourself a failure..this is how you will see yourself, you are person who can determine what went wrong the first time and you will do something different so that the next semester will a successful one
  8. by   mbgirl81
    Thanks so much yall! I feel much better with all of the encouragement. I really wish I wouldn't have gotten rid of my A & P books. Hopefully with the notes I still have and my Fundamentals book I can work on understanding the concept. I am so much more of a "hands on" learner which makes in stink that clinicals are only pass or fail. If how you did in clinicals reflected as some sort of grade I have no doubt that I would have passed. Anyways, thanks again!!!!!
  9. by   Tami707
    I agree with all the posters, but I also wanted to mention to use your school's library as a resource for A & P books, as well as Nclex books. I stumbled across two entire rows of nursing books in our school's library, and now I go back and use them when the need arises. And sometimes the current A & P books will be on reserve. Ours are. So check your library first before you go buying anything new.
  10. by   Maverick80
    Quote from BoonersMom
    Hi
    It sounds as if you could benefit from pulling out your A+P book and re-studying physiology. If you can get the physiology down pat then pathophysiology should come easier. Once you can get the pathophysiology down the S/S will come naturally.

    I just had to give a speech to Fundamentals about M/S 1 and that was my very best piece of advice. KNOW your A+P.

    Also study groups can be helpful if you can do them. Practice NCLEX study guide questions. Ask questions. See the tutor if you have one..and remember Maslow and your ABC's.

    Good luck.

    :yeahthat:

    i just finished Nursing of adults in acute settings, which is basically Advanced Med-surg. It's really tough and actually i was more worried about passing basic med-surg then advanced. My advice is to read over your notes again the same day you go over them in class. This helps things stick as far as basic facts, continue to look over your other notes those days too. As far as s/s of different things start thinking of the big picture. And when your looking at 2 things that are similar, like diabetes insipidus and Melitus 1 & 2, look at all the things that are the same like the 3 p's, and then really focus on the differences. Because it's those differences that will really help you pick the right answers. But she is totally right, pathophys is huge with med-surg and it really helps things come together!!

    Good luck and don't give up!!

    ps. your not a failure, it's a bump in the road that will make you a better nurse!!
  11. by   Daytonite
    it sounds like you are having problems with memorizing. there are some things that you just have to memorize. what i used to do when i was a student many years ago, was make a page for each medical disease. i listed out the signs and symptoms and put the nursing interventions that applied next to each of the signs and symptoms. to understand why a patient is experiencing any of the signs and symptoms you have to understand the normal anatomy and physiology first. just like nurses have interventions for the various signs and symptoms a patient has, the doctors also have medical interventions as well that we have to know. it also helps to have a patient in clinical that has one of these disease conditions because it helps cement all this information into your brain. reading about it in several different sources is also helpful in gaining an understanding. you will also find that there are some similarities between diseases with only very specific things that distinguish them from each other. that helps in learning entire categories of illnesses.

    here are the websites i commonly use to look up information on the signs, symptoms and medical treatment of many common diseases. you might want to bookmark these sites and use them frequently. these sites are for consumers (lay person), so they are a tad easier to read than your nursing texts. still, the basic information will be there.

    medline plus (use the search box) http://www.medlineplus.gov/
    healthfinder (use the search box) http://www.healthfinder.gov/
    medicine net diseases & conditions a to z index http://www.medicinenet.com/diseases_...ns/article.htm
    medicine net symptoms & signs a to z index http://www.medicinenet.com/symptoms_...ns/article.htm
    medicine net procedures & tests a to z index http://www.medicinenet.com/procedure...ts/article.htm
    health a to z - diseases and conditions page (use the search box) http://www.healthatoz.com/healthatoz...z/dc/index.jsp
    aetna intelihealth (use the search box) http://www.intelihealth.com/ih/ihtih...0/408/408.html
    peacehealth consumer information (use the search box) http://www.peacehealth.org/
    emedicinehealth first aid and consumer health information list of topics from a to z http://www.emedicinehealth.com/scrip...ticlekey=60185
    encyclopedia of surgery http://www.surgeryencyclopedia.com/index.html
    lab tests online http://www.labtestsonline.org/

    for sites aimed more at healthcare personnel:
    merck manual of diagnosis and therapy (use search box) http://www.merck.com/mrkshared/mmanual/sections.jsp
    family practice notebook (use search box) http://www.fpnotebook.com/index.htm
    medicine net diseases & conditions a to z index http://www.medicinenet.com/diseases_...ns/article.htm
    cleveland clinic disease management project (only major diseases)http://www.clevelandclinicmeded.com/...icineindex.htm
    emedicine http://www.emedicine.com/ (you may have to register to view articles, but registration is free)
    web md index list of tests http://www.webmd.com/a_to_z_guide/medical_tests.htm
    surgical tutor.org (links are at left and top of page) http://www.surgical-tutor.org.uk/def...hock.htm~right
  12. by   blueyesue
    Here is a webcast of a full semester of A&P from UC Berkeley. It is broken down by days and topic:

    Webcast Lecture | Video and Podcast | IB 131General Human Anatomy | Fall 2006
  13. by   AnnieOaklyRN
    MB,

    Try not to memorize signs and symptoms, but instead UNDERSTAND what is happening inside the body and those signs and symptoms will become more obvious. Try reading a pathophysiology book or taking a class if you can, that would probably help you greatly!

    Swtooth
  14. by   tutored
    The responses are right about the NCLEX books - get one that gives detailed rationales for the right answer, because they are wonderful, mini-A&P reviews tucked neatly into one nice paragraph that pertains to your nursing medicine. Slogging through your A&P textbooks in detail may be too overwhelming, in my opinion. Good advice, particulaly about the Saunder's NCLEX book. great explanations. please don't call yourself a failure! We all know how screwed up those nursing exams are. Take care and keep your chin up!

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