My study guide for HESI -passed on first try! - page 2

I have done a lot of research on HESI through the internet and taught myself (through the HESI book, Saunders Questions, course reviews dealing specifically with critical thinking) how to answer... Read More

  1. Visit  mr.hustle} profile page
    0
    Damn, I wish they had this around when I took my HESI back in AUG. I passed on the first try and scored in the mid 900's. But there is many people at my school who did not pass it still on the 3rd try. Im not sure what happen to them. If anyone has any questions feel free to ask me.
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  3. Visit  yanderson1} profile page
    0
    Thank you so much for sharing your insights. I totally agree with you. Since I am a new nursing student and not familar with the critical thinking or communication. Which HESI books or CDs do you recommend to use or do anyone who took the HESI before can recommend some good HESI or NCLEX practice books to me. Thank you so much. The forum is very helpful; I am glad I found it. Jen
    Last edit by yanderson1 on Jan 9, '10 : Reason: typo
  4. Visit  sisph} profile page
    8
    Wow, i haven't been on this site in forever and since its registered to an email I never use I've missed all these posts. My sincere apologies for that.

    A little update: I graduated in May 2009 and took and passed the NCLEX-RN on October of 2009. (took my sweet time). I later spent some time doing some more pre-reqs for my BSN. Currently I am looking for an RN job. The fact that I am a new RN looking for a job in an off season internship is a journey with a story all its own.

    I will eventually write some more study guides and tips just because I think its good to keep sharp with critical thinking skills and all that. The problem is that HESI often changes and no doubt has changed since the last time I took it. The reason for this is that the people at HESI tool their tests to match up with the NCLEX-RN which has already changed its format. By this I mean that the NCLEX will focus its subject areas (i.e. med admin, safety, communication, etc) in different amounts ( i.e. 10% med admin becomes 15% and safety becomes 12% from 20% or whatever).

    New types of questions will be asked and older types of questions will be dropped and many will stay the same. The thing that matters is that you need critical thinking skills and a solid foundation in your nursing skills, medicine knowledge, test taking skills and etc no matter what HESI and NCLEX can throw at you.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I have been asked by many what types of books I studied from. I have a lot. I mean ALOT. Saunders 2009, the HESI book given by the HESI company, Prentice Hall reviews and rationales, and even something called PracTest by HESI.

    PracTest by HESI is an online account that you USED to be able to buy that gives you internet access to a bunch (like over 500 something questions, I think) online quizzes. It was amazingly hard. They threw the most obscure questions with the most obscure symptoms, drugs and interventions with 4 answer choices that most people in their right mind wouldn't think of doing. Most of the answer choices sounded the same, the multiple multiples were insanity.

    Me and most of my friends that had access to it failed all the practice tests. Even with the book in front of us. And all of us doing the same questions at the same time. And there were like 5 of us. And this was like the seventh try on the same online quiz.

    You can still buy the software in some places (medical book stores, online in some places, etc) but you have to register the software and get a new key because most likely the old key you got in the package will not work. I had to call Evolve and get a new key. What is happening now is that HESI is bundling the software with the nursing school. If your school has an account with the HESI company that involves getting a key would have access to it. Otherwise...good luck. Some schools have it and most don't. The only reason I got through with it is that I grabbed the last copy at my local medical book store right as I saw the shop lady pulling all the copies off the shelves and registered it like 5 minutes later.

    Now, is it worth it? I would say it helped, just like any other study guide would. If all I had was this PracTest would I pass? No. Definitely not. You need to have a solid foundation with good critical thinking skills to pass. The PracTest is not some holy grail that will let you pass. I would have taken the HESI book given to me by the company over the PracTest if I had to choose. The PracTest is just hard online quizzes and their rationales. No other type of information is given. The thing about it is the rationales kinda suck. They didn't make any sense and they didn't really help me. Now, everyone is different but from my view it didn't help me as much as I would have liked.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    So now we get to the question of what type of book you should study from. When you're at borders or barnes and noble or whatever, go look through some. What I always look for is a lot of questions with GOOD RATIONALES and TEST TAKING STRATEGY! Take a few minutes and answer some of the questions. If you got them right did the book say why its right and why the other answer choices are wrong? Did the book offer you tips on how to take the question correctly? I like these kinda books.

    The second thing I look it as does it have a CD with practice questions? Here's the thing. You have no way of knowing in advance if its good or not. My ultimate CD program would let you choose how many questions, the option to look at the rationales right away or at the end, a way to track what kind of questions you're good and bad at etc....but anyway most don't. But better a CD than no CD.

    The third thing I look at is cost. Do you really have 90 bucks to spare? No, of course not. You're a nursing student. You don't even get enough sleep let alone have money to go to something that doesn't involve caffeine or sugar. Its no crime to write down the ISBN number and author and see if you can't find it online for cheaper.

    Here's just just a brief list of the books i studied from in no particular order:

    -Med Surg Success- Kathryn Cadenhead Colgrove, Judy Callicoatt: 978-0-8036-1576-2 (www.fadavis.com)
    -> I highly recommend this and all the other ones (its a series, i think there's one in pharm, fundamentals, etc)
    -Prentice Hall -> any of the ones in the series
    -Saunders -> pretty much the gold standard
    -HESI book
    -HESI PracTest

    Now here's the thing. I had a lot of other books and CDs. Where did I get them? From the textbooks that I had used in class. Don't underestimate how much help those CDs can give you. I probably used those as much as I used the other ones that I shelled out good money for.

    Most importantly you need the time to review them and understand your own train of thought to figure out how best to improve upon your own test taking and critical thinking skills. If you're going to buy the books buy them during break and start on them. Keep up with the questions everyday but remember QUALITY OF QUESTIONS over QUANTITY OF QUESTIONS! And of course remember that you're skills at testing can't help you if you don't have the basic knowledge foundation about what you are studying.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    When it came time to take my NCLEX I wondered very much if I should shell out another 500 bucks to take the Prentice Hall or Princeton Review or some other review course. I had passed HESI and been out of school for a few months. I passed the NCLEX on the first try but I didn't take any review course. My ATT was running out and I thought I could review better on my own than in a class. After about a month of studying I finally took it. Studying for NCLEX and that experience is another post on its own. My advice is to take the course if you want.

    Anyway, i hope this provides a basic review of what I studied from. Hope it helps.

    I hope this provides the adequate background about what I studied from. I need to go work on my resume.
  5. Visit  RN_d1027} profile page
    1
    Quote from sisph
    Wow, i haven't been on this site in forever and since its registered to an email I never use I've missed all these posts. My sincere apologies for that.

    A little update: I graduated in May 2009 and took and passed the NCLEX-RN on October of 2009. (took my sweet time). I later spent some time doing some more pre-reqs for my BSN. Currently I am looking for an RN job. The fact that I am a new RN looking for a job in an off season internship is a journey with a story all its own.

    I will eventually write some more study guides and tips just because I think its good to keep sharp with critical thinking skills and all that. The problem is that HESI often changes and no doubt has changed since the last time I took it. The reason for this is that the people at HESI tool their tests to match up with the NCLEX-RN which has already changed its format. By this I mean that the NCLEX will focus its subject areas (i.e. med admin, safety, communication, etc) in different amounts ( i.e. 10% med admin becomes 15% and safety becomes 12% from 20% or whatever).

    New types of questions will be asked and older types of questions will be dropped and many will stay the same. The thing that matters is that you need critical thinking skills and a solid foundation in your nursing skills, medicine knowledge, test taking skills and etc no matter what HESI and NCLEX can throw at you.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I have been asked by many what types of books I studied from. I have a lot. I mean ALOT. Saunders 2009, the HESI book given by the HESI company, Prentice Hall reviews and rationales, and even something called PracTest by HESI.

    PracTest by HESI is an online account that you USED to be able to buy that gives you internet access to a bunch (like over 500 something questions, I think) online quizzes. It was amazingly hard. They threw the most obscure questions with the most obscure symptoms, drugs and interventions with 4 answer choices that most people in their right mind wouldn't think of doing. Most of the answer choices sounded the same, the multiple multiples were insanity.

    Me and most of my friends that had access to it failed all the practice tests. Even with the book in front of us. And all of us doing the same questions at the same time. And there were like 5 of us. And this was like the seventh try on the same online quiz.

    You can still buy the software in some places (medical book stores, online in some places, etc) but you have to register the software and get a new key because most likely the old key you got in the package will not work. I had to call Evolve and get a new key. What is happening now is that HESI is bundling the software with the nursing school. If your school has an account with the HESI company that involves getting a key would have access to it. Otherwise...good luck. Some schools have it and most don't. The only reason I got through with it is that I grabbed the last copy at my local medical book store right as I saw the shop lady pulling all the copies off the shelves and registered it like 5 minutes later.

    Now, is it worth it? I would say it helped, just like any other study guide would. If all I had was this PracTest would I pass? No. Definitely not. You need to have a solid foundation with good critical thinking skills to pass. The PracTest is not some holy grail that will let you pass. I would have taken the HESI book given to me by the company over the PracTest if I had to choose. The PracTest is just hard online quizzes and their rationales. No other type of information is given. The thing about it is the rationales kinda suck. They didn't make any sense and they didn't really help me. Now, everyone is different but from my view it didn't help me as much as I would have liked.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    So now we get to the question of what type of book you should study from. When you're at borders or barnes and noble or whatever, go look through some. What I always look for is a lot of questions with GOOD RATIONALES and TEST TAKING STRATEGY! Take a few minutes and answer some of the questions. If you got them right did the book say why its right and why the other answer choices are wrong? Did the book offer you tips on how to take the question correctly? I like these kinda books.

    The second thing I look it as does it have a CD with practice questions? Here's the thing. You have no way of knowing in advance if its good or not. My ultimate CD program would let you choose how many questions, the option to look at the rationales right away or at the end, a way to track what kind of questions you're good and bad at etc....but anyway most don't. But better a CD than no CD.

    The third thing I look at is cost. Do you really have 90 bucks to spare? No, of course not. You're a nursing student. You don't even get enough sleep let alone have money to go to something that doesn't involve caffeine or sugar. Its no crime to write down the ISBN number and author and see if you can't find it online for cheaper.

    Here's just just a brief list of the books i studied from in no particular order:

    -Med Surg Success- Kathryn Cadenhead Colgrove, Judy Callicoatt: 978-0-8036-1576-2 (www.fadavis.com)
    -> I highly recommend this and all the other ones (its a series, i think there's one in pharm, fundamentals, etc)
    -Prentice Hall -> any of the ones in the series
    -Saunders -> pretty much the gold standard
    -HESI book
    -HESI PracTest

    Now here's the thing. I had a lot of other books and CDs. Where did I get them? From the textbooks that I had used in class. Don't underestimate how much help those CDs can give you. I probably used those as much as I used the other ones that I shelled out good money for.

    Most importantly you need the time to review them and understand your own train of thought to figure out how best to improve upon your own test taking and critical thinking skills. If you're going to buy the books buy them during break and start on them. Keep up with the questions everyday but remember QUALITY OF QUESTIONS over QUANTITY OF QUESTIONS! And of course remember that you're skills at testing can't help you if you don't have the basic knowledge foundation about what you are studying.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    When it came time to take my NCLEX I wondered very much if I should shell out another 500 bucks to take the Prentice Hall or Princeton Review or some other review course. I had passed HESI and been out of school for a few months. I passed the NCLEX on the first try but I didn't take any review course. My ATT was running out and I thought I could review better on my own than in a class. After about a month of studying I finally took it. Studying for NCLEX and that experience is another post on its own. My advice is to take the course if you want.

    Anyway, i hope this provides a basic review of what I studied from. Hope it helps.

    I hope this provides the adequate background about what I studied from. I need to go work on my resume.

    hi again, thanks for reply and i hope you would reply again i actually got the book and hesi practest but i cannot access it even i have access code..i called the hesi customer service and they said i can only access it if i have instructors code but i dont have since i am a foreign graduate..can you please send me your instructors code..i really in need to pass the nclex coz it is my 3rd time to take it...hope you can help me...
    Homemaker4now likes this.
  6. Visit  Silverdragon102} profile page
    1
    HESI need to make a code available for International nurses that buy their books and resources. Please do not post instructor codes on here, instructors may not like their codes handed out without prior permission
    HM2VikingRN likes this.
  7. Visit  yanderson1} profile page
    0
    Sisph

    Thank you again for your helpful recommendation on the HESI books. I will check them in the bookstores. I wish you good luck at your job hunting. Jen
  8. Visit  mandy7} profile page
    0
    Thanks for the info. I need all the help I can get. Do you know how prioritize nursing diagnosis on the Hesi. I keep picking the most life threatening diagnosis but apparently that is not the right way. Any other helpful Hesi hints can be sent this way
  9. Visit  sisph} profile page
    7
    This will be a quickie. I'm just going to make up a question on the fly and hope it makes sense and is factually accurate. You'd be surprised how hard it is to make up questions. If something is inaccurate let me know and I can fix the question or make it more clearer. This should apply to PRIORITY questions, what to do FIRST questions (i.e. Interventions) and Nursing Diagonsis questions (but not always...)

    Ok, the most life threatening disease or condition isn't always the right answer. At the same time picking Airway over breathing and circulation doesn't work either. It does work for a lot of things though! You need to make sure that the condition is APPROPRIATE to the question, you have high PRIORITY, and its RELEVANT as well. Let's take the ABCs for example.

    Airway, breathing, and circulation.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Let's say you have a patient that is in the ER. Upon assessment you detect that he has severe lacerations and stab wounds on his thighs and legs. He is complaining of pain (duh), he is very pale and sweating and also has a weak pulse but is responding to questions and screaming about how the monsters will come and take him away. You are asked to determine what intervention takes priority?

    A- Maintain a patent airway.
    B- Sit the patient upright to help him breathe better.
    C- Tell the patient that there are no monsters.
    D- Type and crossmatch and give blood per MD order.

    So what can you get from the question?
    He's bleeding. He's been stabbed. He's pale probably from the blood loss and this can lead to shock. The pulse is weak so shock again added to the blood loss. The sweating also adds to this. He is RESPONDING to questions but his mental condition is probably shot. He's a mental patient. Probably schiz. The main problem is that he's going to bleed out.

    A-Airway - well, yes, it'd be nice if he could breathe. But think what good breathing will do when he bleeds out and dies. Well, at least he was breathing ok until he died right? Yes, its IMPORTANT. Then again, no where in the question do you get the idea that he can't breathe. Eventually if we can't stop the bleeding breathing will be a problem. So it's IMPORTANT but not really appropriate. Let's at least CHECK ALL THE ANSWERS.
    B-Breathing. Again, there is nothing that tells you that he can't breathe. It's would be good to have him breathe... also you might not need to sit him upright if you're gonna work on the leg. A better position might be indicated.
    C-Yeah, there are no monsters. But again, it would be APPROPRIATE (mental patient) and it is IMPORTANT (well kinda). but is it PRIORITY (not really)? The problem is the blood loss. you could argue that it'd be easier to treat him if he was calm, but that doesn't address the bleeding. You can really read too much into this one here just because he's a mental patient.
    D-This is what I would choose. It addresses the problem of the blood loss.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ok, so that was an easy question. But the thing that is important is that you go through some sort of process when you do a question that allows you to break it down and analyze everything. Priority questions and what intervention to do first questions are kinda hard. I can recall one book or another telling me what decision tree (kaplan) or choice diagram (one of the other books) to follow when I get one of these questions. Here's my solution:

    Break out your study questions and a piece of paper. Maybe even print them so you can write on it.
    BREAK DOWN THE PROBLEM. BREAK DOWN AND ELIMINATE ANSWER CHOICES. PICK THE CORRECT ANSWER.

    1. Read the question once and write down what you can pull out of it but be careful not to read into the questions and come out with something that wasn't in the original question. When i went through my practice books I always UNDERLINED ALL THE KEYWORDS.
    2. READ all the answer choices.
    3. UNDERLINE ALL THE KEYWORDS IN THE ANSWER CHOICES.
    3. GO BACK to the answer choices and write why you think its RIGHT AND WRONG. i.e RATIONALES!
    4. Go BACK to the question
    5. Eliminate what answers you think are wrong based on what you wrote.
    6. Pick an answer. Based on what you wrote
    7. Make sure the answer you picked can be backed up by what you know.
    8. This should be the right one.

    It sounds like a long process and it is, but if you practice it a lot it becomes second nature.

    THIS IS IMPORTANT

    -Look up the right answer and compare your rationales with what the book says. If you got it right but for the wrong reason THIS IS BAD. You're gonna get it wrong somewhere down the road. You need to get the question right because you got the facts right. Likewise you should look at the answers you eliminated. If you got it eliminated for the wrong reason, you're gonna mess it up again.
    - You're gonna need to compare your thought patterns with your book study. Take those rationales you wrote down and compare to the disease process in your book. Maybe you taught yourself something incorrect or you forgot something very important. You need to do this with the incorrect rationales for the choices you eliminated too. Did you eliminate it for the right reason or did you just eliminate the right answer because you didn't know?
    -You'll start to notice patterns. (Hey I always eliminate the right answer first! or I always pick the wrong answer! etc). this will help you figure out what your thought patterns are.
    -When you practice one question may take like 5 minutes to do if you follow this. Combine that with how many questions you're doing....well....if it helps it helps, right?

    When you get really good you should be able to say why option A, B, and C are wrong and why and only why option D is correct. In effect you can already predict nearly word for word what the rationales are as they are printed in the book. I actually made one of my non nursing friends think I memorized an entire 2000 page Saunders book because I could predict not only why it was right, but why other thing were wrong.

    It's a skill that you need to practice.

    I though this was going to be shorter but oh well..

    Regarding decision trees, I don't think you need them if you can break down a question. You should be able to apply twenty different decision trees (i.e. do maslows first, then ABC, but not airway if this then that etc) or (i.e. check that this condition is not this then make sure its not food related and that you do that etc) to the same question and get the right answer every time otherwise its useless.

    The main reason people give decision trees is to help you think better. I think you think better when you can break down a question and its answers. Priority, Nursing Diagnosis, and what to do first become so much easier in my opinion.

    good luck
  10. Visit  yanderson1} profile page
    0
    Thank you Sisph. It is very helpful. I appreciate that you spent the time explaining the ABC. Jen
  11. Visit  mandy7} profile page
    0
    That was good information. I will apply that to the Hesi.
  12. Visit  NJ2010RN} profile page
    0
    Thanks for all of the info! I agree with your tips. Some of my professors throughout nursing school gave us some of the same tips. I also took the Rutgers U. Review, but that focused on more content. The content review was good for me since I am more of an auditory/visual learner rather than reader. I also did about 1600 questions and I tried to always review the rationals, even on the questions I got right. Unfortunatly the HESI CD only allows you to review the questions that you got wrong, so I found myself taking notes during the test on topics that I wasn't sure of so that I could read up on it when I was done with the test.

    Of all of the practice quizzes and tests that I took, my average was only a 67.59% . I've read on some other posts that this rally wasn't that bad of a score. Hopefully I get more than an 850 on the HESI and pass the NCLEX.

    Anyway, I have my HESI tomorrow morning. Wish me luck!
  13. Visit  mandy7} profile page
    0
    GOOD LUCK!
  14. Visit  NJ2010RN} profile page
    0
    Well, I took my HESI this week. When we got there our school said that they lowered the passing rate from 850 to 820. Thank god! I ended up getting an 846. I think someone was watching over me for this one. Now I can study for the NCLEX.


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