Pathophysiology!!

  1. Hello everyone! I am taking pathophysiology for next semester and i am kind of worried cause i know that it is gonna be hard. How can i survive through this semester? please can anyone help me get through this coming semester in a smooth way. I want some feedback from people who took it, and if you have any extra notes or important things that i need to know before taking that class. welcome to comment on that! Thanks
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  2. 7 Comments

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  4. by   SmilingBluEyes
    moved to Nursing Student Forum, in hopes you get some help here.
  5. by   TraumaRN1983
    I am taking pathophysiology this semester, and it was a fairly hard class. I don't know what other classes you will be taking along with it, but I was taking med-surg with it and med-surg definetly required a lot more time and effort. I found that having a strong understanding of A & P was VERY important in patho, in fact, I almost felt like I was taking A & P all over again but that it was more complicated this time. So if you liked A & , chances are you will do fine in patho. On the other hand, if you struggled with A & P, patho might be more of a challenge. I hope this helps!
  6. by   mattsmom64
    Hi,
    I'm just finishing up Patho and I really enjoyed the class! As the previous poster said, as long as you have a strong A&P background you will do fine. A couple of things that I did to help myself:

    I taped lectures and listened to each lecture at least one additional time. It really helped me out......

    Also, if your textbook has a companion website, use it...there is a ton of info out there......My text also had an online self study course and I took that as well....

    I also purchased "Pathophysiology: Reviews and Rationales" by MaryAnn Hogan and Karen Hall (Prentice Hall)....this book is great! Check out www.prenticehall.com...they have a whole series of these books and they run
    around 25.00 each.

    Good luck with the class!
  7. by   GPatty
    Hello Veni and welcome!
    The only advice I can give you is to study and make sure you understand the concept...patho is a very important class and you will use it in your practice...
    Good Luck to you!
  8. by   1Tulip
    Quote from Vani
    Hello everyone! I am taking pathophysiology for next semester and i am kind of worried cause i know that it is gonna be hard. How can i survive through this semester? please can anyone help me get through this coming semester in a smooth way. I want some feedback from people who took it, and if you have any extra notes or important things that i need to know before taking that class. welcome to comment on that! Thanks
    Hello Vani:

    I taught Pathophysiolgy. I suspect if you follow the good advice you've already gotten here, you'll do fine. Just be sure you keep up, don't think you can cram it all in prior to exams.

    One additional thing I found when I had students who failed their first exam or two. They would always come to my office in tears saying "Oh, Dr. _____, I was just SURE I understood it all before the exam!" After talking to them for a while, it became clear that they understood, but only on a very superficial level.

    Here's what I recommended they do.
    1) tape the lectures

    2) in a quiet study area listen to the lecture with your hand on the stop button.

    3) every phrase or concept, shut off the tape recorder, try to write what the lecturer said IN YOUR OWN WORDS.

    That was the key. It forced them to, in effect, give the lecture over again, but to themselves, in bits and pieces and words and phrases that made sense to them. Frequently they would run into something in the lecture that they realized... after trying to put it in their own words... that they didn't get. They then had a choice: 1. look it up in their book and/or 2. ask me what I meant. (Sometimes I wasn't as clear as I should have been. It happens!)

    This system works especially for classes where most of the exam questions are taken from lecture. When that is the case, use the book for clarification... but focus heavily on the lectures. Know them cold.

    When the kids who came to me failing did what I told them to do, they improved their scores on subsequent exams by up to two letter grades.

    It's tedious and takes a lot of time (maybe three hours per hour of lecture) but if your fanny gets in a crack, so to speak, give this a try.

    Oh! And one more VERY important thing. Be SURE you get good sleep before the exam. The kids who stayed up late to cram ALWAYS made stupid mistakes and would kick themselves after each test.
  9. by   Daytonite
    with pathophysiology you want to have a good understanding of the normal functions of an organ/organ system. then, as you begin to study the diseases you will begin to realize that they each stem from a interruption, breakdown and failure of the organ to complete it's normal function. that helps you to understand why you are going to see the specific symptoms of the various diseases. so, equate a break in the chain of function with presenting symptoms. both together will determine the treatment. if you can put it all together logically this way, you will be able to remember and recall it much easier.

    the way we were taught to approach med/surg was to take each disease, review the anatomy and physiology of it first and make sure we understand it. by understanding what in the anatomy of physiology can go wrong and how those errors manifest themselves in the disease process helps make more sense of the disease as you move along to the discussion of medical treatments for the different problems. we were to list out the usual medical treatments and drugs, including normal dosages, that would be prescribed and why. the nursing care and patient teaching kind of fall in line from these things. we were told that this was the logical progression for learning this stuff.

    the other main component that was drummed into our heads was to continually answer the question, why. why is the patient getting these symptoms? why is the doctor treating them with this therapy? why is this drug being given? why do you want to do this particular nursing care thing for this patient? why does the patient need to be taught this? asking and answering the "why" questions will help immensely in tying all the information together. if you look at nursing journal articles that address a particular disease you will see this type of sequencing being used frequently. the article will review the a&p, what the pathology is, the normal medical treatment and go into the nursing responsibility in carrying out the medical treatment as well as the independent nursing actions that can be taken.

    most of us learn by repetition and reinforcement with the use of visual aids. for this reason it is good to have several nursing books at your fingertips to refer to. look up journal articles on med/surg conditions you are studying and read them over. flood your brain by reading as many different sources of information about particular conditions. each time you expose your brain to a different writing on a same subject you are reinforcing the basic things about the subject that you need to know as writers tend to focus on the most important points. quick searches on the internet can help with this reinforcement of what you are supposed to be learning as well. in particular, search for information on drugs as many drug companies have set up web pages very specifically for patients looking for information which break it down to the very basics written in nice, easy to read language. sites like walgreens or cvs pharmacy have these patient templates on many common drugs. if you are studying cancer, check out the american cancer society web site for specific information on a particular type of cancer. they have many pamphlets for patients that are on line. ditto for the american heart association, the american kidney foundation, and the american diabetes association as well as the juvenile diabetes association. by giving your gray cells an enriching amount of reading from all these different sources, the information will sink in. of course, actually having a patient with one of these diseases helps as well because you can look for specific symptoms in a patient and observe how they have affected them. if a patient tells you that since they got their specific disease they have had nothing but certain types of physical problems and they sound different from what you learned, hit your textbooks and see if you can reason out why the patient might be having those symptoms.

    this is how you learn nursing. you will be doing this all through your career as there is always something to look up that you either don't remember, or may be new since you were in school. the learning never stops.

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