So Upset Took such a hard exam :(

  1. Im so upset. I know teachers are to suppose to give us hard tests but do they really need to be so tricky. It almost feels like my instructor was trying to fool us in a lot of our test questions. I studied so hard for this communication test in my fundamentals nur. class and the question had two very right answers and it seemed like the right answer could really have been both. Heres an example of a question sort of like one on the test:The patient states "Im having a problem with this" I dont want to do this diabetes shot thing" then the nurse asks "What kind of problem is it" What is the nurse doing:
    a)elaboration <---could be answer?
    b)seeking clarification <--- could be answer?
    c)wrong answer
    d)wrong answer
    Will I get used to these questions?
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  2. 18 Comments

  3. by   GingerSue
    I think that clarification is the answer that is wanted

    Because, clarification is often mentioned in reading material about communication.

    Elaboration - is this a term that is used in the reading material?

    I go by what is included in the reading material.
    Sometimes in these questions, there are ideas that are not mentioned in the material.
  4. by   donsterRN
    I agree. We've just covered communication techniques also, and I don't think I heard elaboration as a communication tool. Seeking clarification, yes.
  5. by   xNursePinkx2b
    I think its seeking clarification as well, clarification is to make something clearer or easier to understand, and elaboration is more like explaining something, and the nurse wasn't explaining anything, she was asking a question.
  6. by   Daytonite
    The answer is "B" clarification. That is a straight knowledge question and not tricky at all. Did you tell me you were studying therapeutic communication? Because I have a number of links to some very nice PowerPoint presentations that explain this stuff, including clarification.
  7. by   lizzyberry
    Quote from Daytonite
    The answer is "B" clarification. That is a straight knowledge question and not tricky at all. Did you tell me you were studying therapeutic communication? Because I have a number of links to some very nice PowerPoint presentations that explain this stuff, including clarification.
    Thanks,but I took the test today so Im starting to read on Medication Administration. Our instructor had many tricky questions and the whole class was saying how horrible the test was. Well see what happens when I get my grade. Their really beating the critical thinking into us I guess. I don't like it how they make two very right answers and you have to pick the "best" one. I think Im stressed. Well gotta get back to studying. Thats my life right now!
  8. by   Daytonite
    In the last couple of days I have posted the strategy for answering application type (critical thinking) multiple choice questions into several threads that I replied to. It is information that I have saved in a file and copy and paste into a reply. Have you read them? This thinking strategy won't work if you haven't learned the underlying nursing/medical/science knowledge that also needs to be applied to the question. Do you want me to post this list of strategies here?

    This communication question. . .the answer choice, elaboration, does not appear on any list of effective responses or communication blocks to therapeutic communication that I've ever seen, so it was a "distractor" answer--looked good and sounded like it might be right but was totally bogus.
  9. by   lizzyberry
    Thankyou. If you can post it that would be great. Any help I will take it. Thanks so much.
  10. by   kasia2
    I totally understand your frustrations. We as nursing students are pressured that it almost feel like a torture, we have to be on top of our studies all the time, it is so easy to slip...And I really dont like our schools grading system, if you dont maintain like 94 avarage for each test you are basically at risk of failing the class. So if you fail one exam you basically out.
  11. by   nrsx
    What is the nurse doing:
    a) elaboration is wrong because the nurse is not elaborating. The nurse is seeking an understanding about why the patient is having a problem. The patient would be the one to elaborate on the problem because the nurse asked an open-ended question ("What kind of problem is it?").

    I can see why you might think (a) is right. The nurse is encouraging elaboration, but she is doing so by clarification.
  12. by   Daytonite
    lizzyberry. . .
    • if you don't have some kind of NCLEX review book already, you should get one. I have a copy of Saunders Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN Examination, 3rd edition, by Linda Anne Silvestri, but there are others out there. What I like about this Saunders book is that is lists signs and symptoms of diseases in the order they occur and the severity. You need to know that kind of information for your critical thinking.
    • you need to know the pathophysiology of diseases you are being tested over. You must know the progression of symptoms as they go from mild to serious to fatal. This helps you determine priorities of care. Interventions are geared to the symptoms.
    • you must also know the medical tests and treatments that the doctor is going to order. Know which tests and treatments fit with each sign and symptom the patient has.
    • you have got to know the steps of the nursing process and what goes on in each step. Nothing will trip you up as badly as placing a test question situation in the wrong step on the nursing process. Every step of the nursing process is a link in a chain of events. A test question will often test your knowledge of a break somewhere in the link. Most students want to gravitate to nursing interventions which come in step #3 of the nursing process, but be sure that this is what the question is asking. Instructors know that students will do this so they use nursing interventions as distracters (wrong answers deliberately designed to draw you away from the correct answer!).
    • you just have to know the various principles of science, medicine and nursing behind the actions and interventions that are being done for the patient by the nurse and others in healthcare. This is where you pull in information from those pre-requisites you had to take to get into the nursing program. These require study and memorization
    • always ask yourself "why". Why does the patient have this symptom? Why did the doctor order this? Why would the patient be having this particular problem based upon what the question revealed? Why? Why? Why? That is part of what gets you into your critical thinking component on these questions. The answers are often never as easy to find as you think. You have to go through the above things I just listed for you to get to the right answer.
  13. by   NaomieRN
    Clarification sounds like the best answer. Remember the nclex test also has tricky questions, so I believe your instructor is trying to prepare you for that exam. If you have trouble, buy test taking techniques book.
  14. by   missninaRN
    Quote from lizzyberry
    I don't like it how they make two very right answers and you have to pick the "best" one.
    You will find this to be true of all the tests in nursing school. Gone are the days of exams that tested our memorization abilities. Now we have to apply what we have learned/memorized to a hypothetical situation to select the correct course of action. This is what we will do as nurses every day. Narrowing the answers down to two is fairly easy; knowing which of the remaining two is correct requires critical thinking.
    I suggest looking over the information Daytonite posted. Get an NCLEX review book and do practice questions every day. Some people naturally have critical thinking skills, but they can be learned.
    Best of luck!

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