Patho tips for those who need them

  1. I notice quite a few of you are taking Patho this upcoming semester. I took Patho a few semesters ago and it was a VERY hard class for me in the beginning. IT was one of my first nursing courses and I had a hard time with it. I struggled and struggled and at Mid-term I had a D- I then got a letter in the mail from the dean herself saying that if I did not shape up my act then I would get the boot right on out of nursing school If I did not pass Patho with a C. I finally figured out what I had to do and what I was doing wrong and I ended up passing patho for a final grade of a B+. Some would have thought it was impossible but I never, never gave up and I worked my rear end off. Also these study tips can apply to all nursing classes. I have done this to all of my nursing courses and my lowest final grade in any of my nursing classes was a B.

    Here is how I started studying after I received the letter. It seems like no brainer stuff but I still noticed that my classmates who were in patho but did not pass did not do that and they ended up failing.

    1)Read the chapter before you come to class. It helps a great deal. If all you can do is skim the chapter and get a brief idea then read the headlines, the bold print and the chapter summary and it will at LEAST give you a quick idea.

    2)Set some time each night after the lecture to review your notes for the day. Go back to your book again and read what the teacher lectured on then compared the lecture notes to the book and take additional notes if you have to so you can fill in your notes and get a better grasp of everything.

    3)Some people hate to do this but I love to do this and ever since my first semester I always do this. Type your lecture notes. When you type them out it is amazing how much you can remember. If typing is not your thing then maybe it is not for you but it has helped me and several of my classmates a great deal.

    4) Make study cards. Put the most important things on study cards and take those cards with you EVERY where you go. You never know when you may have a spare moment. If you have kids then they can become a lifesaver when you are waiting at appointments, their practices or places like that. I have even been known to take my cards to the grocery store in case their were super long lines. I can pull out my cards and study from them. People may get nosy but if you tell them what you are doing many are totally amazed.

    5)When in doubt don't be afraid to go to the instructors. I was afraid to go to the instructors the first few weeks of nursing school because I heard they like to weed out people and as many as they possibly can. That is not true. They really like to help you succeed and they weed out the one's who are not serious and don't care.

    6) If you can handle a small study group. Form a small study group. Be sure they are about as serious or equally serious as you are or you are bound to set yourself up with having a non-effective study group from those who are trying to slack off other people. Be sure everyone contributes. If someone does not contribute then talk to them about it and see what is going on. IF there is a problem where they are simply lazy then you may want to consider putting your foot down and letting them know that if they can't contribute then they can't be part of the group. Trust me from my own personal experiences it works out for the best that way.

    7) If you did not totally understand the A/P of the related system you are studying be sure you review the A/P notes they will help you a great deal.

    8)Be sure you take breaks and time out for yourself even if it is just 15-20 minutes a day it will help you a great deal.

    9)Good luck, when the times get hard and I guarantee you there will be hard, stressful moments remind yourself what your dreams are. Write them down on paper and save them and every time you get the urge to give up when deep down you really don't then pull out that piece of paper to remind yourself where you want to go. When the times get rough that is when you have to stay strong and fight even harder. Don't let anyone pull you down with them.

    10) Smile, nursing school is hard but it is also a lot of fun too and after each semester that you have finished you will look back and say Wow, another semester down that I have made it through. Amazing.
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   2amigos
    Thanks for taking the time to share your experience. I would have to agree with your comments. Review, review, review! If you're the type that needs the information in an auditory fashion, maybe try taping the lectures or reading them from your notes into your computer and burning them on CD's. That's what one woman in one of my classes did and it seemed to work for her. Good luck to everyone!
  4. by   NurseAngie
    GREAT ADVICE!!!

    ~Angie
  5. by   RNIAM
    Awesome advice.I will be doing all of those things for sure. I am buying tons of study cards. I will also go over my notes read my books again and then type them out. i am sure that after all of that it will be alot easier to remember! thanks again for sharing your tips.
  6. by   Jackie_FutureRN
    Yes, thank you for posting this advice. It really will help a lot, and I now have more confidence in how to approach the class.
  7. by   Cynthiann
    I already am planning on doing one of your tips- typing it out. I plan on typing out the chapter as I read it, then I will transfer it to my PDA so it will be easy for me to access anywhere or any time. When I was in HS I would constantly write things out to help me remember them, I'd much rather type.
  8. by   Mkue
    Tonya you are one smart cookie !! that is a compliment !! Thanks for the TIPS !
  9. by   emily_mom
    I agree, Patho is the big "weeding out class". We lost half of our class d/t it.

    Kristy
  10. by   Love-A-Nurse
    i had passed this thread because i will not be taking patho any time soon, but, am glad i did! thank you so much for sharing your experiences and advise with us. this is a keeper for me and much continued success to you, tonya.

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