Worried about Critical Thinking!!

  1. well i am just about to start my second week of school.....first week was scary, stressful, overwhelming, mind blowing....i could go on!! but what i am really worried about are these critical thinking questions that my exams are going to be made from in nursing fundamentals...i took a practice tests and alot of my answers were wrong! i was sure that they were right. i have several years medical experience (medical assistant) and so i was pretty surprised. obviously i was not looking at the questions properly and now i am vvvvveeeeerrrrryyyy worried. my first exam in next monday. help! any advice? thanks bunches!!
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   TheCommuter
    I completed a medical assistant program over six years ago. In addition, I completed an LVN program last year. I'm now in the process of completing the prerequisite classes for a local RN program.

    The medical assistant programs are very skills-based and do not emphasize critical thinking skills. For example, you learn how to perform an EKG but are not taught how to interpret the results. You are taught how to collect specimins but are not taught how to interpret cloudy urine or blood that is darker than usual. There are many more examples of medical assistant training that emphasizes skills over critical thinking.

    Questions on nursing tests are all going to be correct, which causes difficulty because you now need to arrive at the answer that is the most correct. Arriving at the answer that is most correct requires prerequisite nursing knowledge and thinking about the entire scenario. Here's a question: A patient with a pulse of 54 beats per minute has gained 5 pounds in 24 hours. Which do you report first? Many people will freak out over the pulse, but the weight gain is more important. After all, athletic people tend to have lower resting pulses than the rest of the population. Also, people on multiple cardioactive drugs can have low pulses. But the rapid weight gain signals heart failure.

    I hope this has helped in some odd way.
  4. by   onaszi
    nice., that made me think... somehow.. ehehehe
  5. by   gonzo1
    critical thinking skills are something that you will develop as time goes by. The fact that you have already identified a weakness and are taking steps to correct it indicates that you are capable of critical thinking and can improve with time and practice. Not everyone can do this. It is normal to miss a lot of questions initially as you learn what instructors are looking for and as you learn how to interpret and apply information in a meaningful way. Most of your school books will have questions at the end of each chapter. Working on these questions will strenghten your critical thinking skills and give you practice for NCLEX way down the road. As your schooling goes by you will have many more pieces to the puzzle and the big picture will take on more meaning. Keep up the good work and just keep plugging away.
  6. by   buddiage
    Hey, there is a great book called "Test Success" Test-Taking Techniques for Beginning Nursing Students.

    Get it. It's pretty good.
  7. by   lisabeth
    I must admit, I do answer the questions in the chapter in A&P as well as other classes, but not the ones at the end of the chapter. I will start doing this. I can definitly see the way this would help develop critical thinking.
    Thanks.

    Quote from gonzo1
    critical thinking skills are something that you will develop as time goes by. The fact that you have already identified a weakness and are taking steps to correct it indicates that you are capable of critical thinking and can improve with time and practice. Not everyone can do this. It is normal to miss a lot of questions initially as you learn what instructors are looking for and as you learn how to interpret and apply information in a meaningful way. Most of your school books will have questions at the end of each chapter. Working on these questions will strenghten your critical thinking skills and give you practice for NCLEX way down the road. As your schooling goes by you will have many more pieces to the puzzle and the big picture will take on more meaning. Keep up the good work and just keep plugging away.
  8. by   Daytonite
    snowangel3. . .check your textbook for an online companion website. many of the online websites have nclex style questions you can access for free online. you may need to ask your instructors or college bookstore where you purchased your textbooks for the access codes to get into the site, but you paid for access as part of the cost of the textbook. outside of that, a good nclex study guide will also help you learn about how these application type questions are written and how to reason out the correct answer.

    here are a few links i have that might prove helpful for you.

    http://go.dbcc.edu/hhps/nursing/study_skills.html - study skills for the nursing student from daytona beach community college nursing department with some good advice.
    http://go.dbcc.edu/hhps/nursing/test_taking_skills.html - test taking skills also from daytona beach community college nursing department. a couple of sample questions and how to chose the correct answer for these application type questions.

    http://www.learningext.com/students/qofweek.asp - question of the week. every monday a question from the online nclex-rn examination course from ncsbn (the people who write the nclex) and it's answer is posted here on this page. i recommend that you start a notebook of these questions and start copying and pasting them (and the rationale for the answers which is also given) into this notebook so that over the next two years you will have yourself a nice little bank of questions to refer to.
  9. by   cardiac.cure03
    I know and remember how you feel... as I was there just a couple years ago. I used to be so scared about the critical thinking too. Now that I'm almost graduated, I can tell you that if you stick with it, it gets easier. I now believe that critical thinking does eventually become second nature, even though I'm not totally there yet. But that's what nursing school is for.

    And like others have said, EVERY answer will sound right. I eventually did what others are mentioning on here, and that is getting an NCLEX review book. I suggest getting one and reading the intro when it (mine, at least) talks about how to "dissect" the question and gives you some steps to help answer the question.

    Good luck to you, but I'm sure you'll be fine

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