Hi Jessica, and welcome aboard! The journey you about to take is life changing and rewarding, and at times disheartening and frustrating. Every program has similarities and differences, but I will try to share some basic info. 1) a good medical dictionary Taber's is very popular. 2)an inexpensive stethoscope--save your money for after graduation and invest in a good one. Besides, they tend to walk! 3) a good drug reference. You will be doing drug cards for clinicals and classroom assignments. There are times you will need access to a good PDR, but for yourself get a current NURSES drug handbook
. Springhouse, Lippincott, and Nursing Spectrum all have excellent books. 4) diseases and disorders. I remember wondering the same thing you asked about learning them all; I am glad to tell you the secret is in medical terminology
. We learned prefixes and suffixes to go along with root words. We did word or picture association. for example, the root word for breast is "mast". the suffix "ectomy" means to cut off or remove. So mastectomy is breast removal. You did not indicate what type of program you are entering--LPN, AD, or BS.