Overwhelmed by books

  1. Hello, I just started my second year of nursing school. I started my Nurse 201 classes and I just have a question about the reading.
    I heard that there was going to be a lot of reading so i expected it but it's only the first week and i already feel overwhelmed.
    My reading list currently is:

    1. Nursing: Chapters 1-4, 23, 26 & 28
    2. Patho: Chapters 1 and 2
    3. Micro- Lecture PPT 1 and 2
    4. Individual health assessment: Chapters 5-8

    Now I have to read these text over the weekend, but as you can see, it's a lot. This is in addition to homework assignments such as papers and practice test.

    I know that there is a 'smart way' to read and I was just wondering if anybody has any tips?
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   brillohead
    Left to right, top to bottom.

    I listened to calm classical music (nothing boisterous, nothing with lyrics, just soft music). It seemed to calm the "SQUIRREL!!!!" part of my brain so I didn't get distracted. I used noise-cancelling headphones and would read while I was at the rink for my son's hockey practice.
  4. by   imhorsemackerel
    Write notes in margins. Use sticky notes if there's a concept you need to review, or if you have a question you want to ask your instructor. If possible, befriend someone and use them as a study buddy. Basically you both read everything, but you're responsible to "teach" your buddy and explain stuff while they "teach" you the rest of the stuff. I have a couple of friends who would do this, and they did relatively well in class.

    I have a friend who has to hear the information. Unfortunately for LPN school we were not allowed to record lectures. Also, we were in the building for 6 hours. That recording would just be a waste of time to listen to. But it seems your classes are at a college/uni. So perhaps your lectures are manageable to play back on a recording. Just make sure it's ok with your school's policy, and the instructor provides permission. My friend would either listen to youtube videos, or she would record herself talking about the subject. She would explain the material in her own words. She would play the recording constantly even while she was driving.

    For me, I work best writing, rewriting, and talking to myself. I have a dry-erase board I use especially when there are multiple answers or steps to a question. One of my classmates wrote notes on specific diseases/procedures/whatever on colored pieces of paper. She claimed it helped her organize everything better.

    I hope you find those study tricks that help you.
  5. by   direw0lf
    I did the study buddy thing too, only we took notes on chapters we picked. So if I read and outlined chapters 1,2,3, she did 4,5,6. But this is tricky, you need someone reliable who takes good notes, but it did save a ton of time and I'd go over her notes, if there was an area that wasn't clear or lacking I'd just need to look that up and not the whole chapter. It is definitely overwhelming at first, just tell yourself "one thing at a time" and keeping a planner worked for me, where I'd write my assignments down and check off what I completed.
  6. by   NatashaDW
    Thank you guys!
  7. by   C0SM0
    Quote from brillohead
    Left to right, top to bottom.
    Crap, I've been doing it wrong this whole time.
  8. by   Castiela
    Quote from C0SM0
    Crap, I've been doing it wrong this whole time.
    Not if you're reading hebrew
  9. by   lehaley1989
    Check out Nurse Nacole on YouTube. She has a video about a textbook reading strategy that has been really helpful to me so far. Basically, you start by reading the introductory and summary paragraphs for each chapter to give you an overview of the content. Then you read the first and last sentence of each paragraph, any bolded text, and any charts or boxes. It's essentially an organized way to skim a chapter instead of reading it word-for-word.
  10. by   ConcreteCowgirl
    Well, I don't necessarily recommend my methods, BUT I had 400-600p of reading daily plus assignments, worked 30 hours a week, commuted 3 hours a day and had two kids and I really have to say, I did *not* read everything... not even close. I'm envious of those who did and please guys, before you flame me, I'm a dedicated student but I had to work with some limitations. So, here's what I did: I pulled the powerpoint well before class, reviewed them once on their own and the twice to see who they lined up with the reading. During lecture, I'd highlight, note and star things that the professor spent time one. After class I'd do a quick review of the lecture and skim the text for topics the professor might test on (most test bank questions come from the same source as the professor powerpoints). I am a read-write kinda gal so I would re-write the topics I needed to better understand and boy, did I use that highlighter! I recorded my lectures and listened to them all the time (mostly on the road), and would fid myself constantly daydreaming but who knows, maybe it helped (again, I'm not an auditory learner, but figured it wouldn't hurt). You have to prioritize. BTW I went to pretty rigorous ABSN program. Yes, I wish I could have spent umpteen hours learning but I had to work and drive and feed kids etc. I am a good test taker though, and that does factor into things considerably when looking at your approach to the material. I doubt that's helpful info, but you never know. Regardless, YOU CAN DO IT! Figure out how to approach the material with your priorities in mind - that's the whole deal in nursing school.
  11. by   ConcreteCowgirl
    Quote from NatashaDW
    Hello, I just started my second year of nursing school. I started my Nurse 201 classes and I just have a question about the reading.
    I heard that there was going to be a lot of reading so i expected it but it's only the first week and i already feel overwhelmed.
    My reading list currently is:

    1. Nursing: Chapters 1-4, 23, 26 & 28
    2. Patho: Chapters 1 and 2
    3. Micro- Lecture PPT 1 and 2
    4. Individual health assessment: Chapters 5-8

    Now I have to read these text over the weekend, but as you can see, it's a lot. This is in addition to homework assignments such as papers and practice test.

    I know that there is a 'smart way' to read and I was just wondering if anybody has any tips?
    Also, I really liked Doc C's patho lectures and Hurst review for patho. They are simple but both nail the basics and saved me from many hours of reading for Patho. Podcast/ Doc C is free but Hurst is $$ - still, it lays out the basics in such a way that makes it totally worth the price. Totally. I think they have a sample lecture online.
    Doc C: Biology 32 -- Pathophysiology with Doc C by Dr. Gerald Cizadlo on Apple Podcasts
  12. by   Mkakids
    I have an average of 12 -15 chapters a week to read. What I do is read the first and last sentence of every paragraph. If I understand those, I skipped what's in the middle. If I do not understand the first and last sentence of each paragraph, I read the middle of the paragraph. I also make sure I read every chart, box and heading under a picture. It has worked well for me so far.
  13. by   Jinxbrand
    I have a friend on her 4th year of med school, she recommended SketchyMicro program to help with microbiology. She said she couldn't make it through the class without it. (SketchyMedical) They're about 10 min videos giving you methods to memorize things through association. She said even though she took the course 5 years ago, she still remembers it today. The sections on sketchymicro are also labelled pretty well so you don't have to go through ALL of it, but just parts you need to know.

    And as far as 'smart reading' What I usually do is look over the vocab and the 'key points' a chapter posts (or maybe questions at the end of each chapter) and focus on those parts. (I really only use this method if I'm overwhelmed with reading material that needs to get done)

    I'm pre-nursing but I have another BA and this was my study methods to get through that. Used the method for journalism law&ethics, foreign language, history, and human anatomy when I took that my first time around in Uni.
  14. by   Wlaurie
    Study buddy is a great idea. Discuss with a buddy things about what you've read. Bounce ideas off each other. Also write a paragraph synopsis of the chapter. Something about writing it down cements it in my mind. Also it will show you what you know and don't know. If you can't write much then you didn't retain much. Then you can go back and fill in more info then can use as a study guide. I always made my own study guides in addition to the power points they gave us. If this sounds like a lot it is. Welcome to nursing school.

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