How in the world am I suppose to remember everything I learned in school?

  1. I start a med/surg job Tues. and I'm sitting here thinking.......I don't know all my meds, I don't know all the tests/procedures or what to do about them, all the diseases, lab values, ect. it's just sooooooo much info. to remember???

    I got very good grades in school, but I had to regurgitate alot of info. to make room for more info. each semester......
    How much do you expect your new grads to know when precepting them?.....If you didn't notice I'm scared!
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   mrscurtwkids4
    First off, we pretty much aren't going to be able to remember everything...at least not for a while. Second, believe me when I say that you'll remember more than you think you have. Even if it's only ringing a bell to something you've learned. You just have to know where to find information you may need and take the initiative to look up the things that you are unsure of. Do not be afraid to ask questions! No matter how stupid they may seem. How are you to learn and acclimate yourself to your new position without asking questions? A workplace that is very supportive of continuing education is very important also. What we learn now may not always be the standards and we have to be willing to continuing teaching ourselves updated information. As for all the medications and tests that are performed...as you work in a specific area, your become accustomed to the particular medications and tests that are done frequently. And those you don't know...you look up or ask questions. It's a constant growing process. And as much as we'd like to expedite our knowledge base and our comfort zone, it's a slow and gradual process. Just learn and observe and do as much as possible and it'll will come. I think this is what's hardest about the first year or so of nursing. It's the self-doubt, the lack of confidence, and the fear of messing up that really works on the nerves. Have patience and confidence in yourself and hang in there! Good luck!!

    Tammy
  4. by   deeDawntee
    The first thing I would tell you is not to worry about remembering everything. We all forget a lot of what we learned in nursing school but when you go back to learn it again it is much easier or if you look up something that you once knew, it is like, oh yeah, I know that....

    The theoretical knowledge you have floating around in your brain doesn't mean much until you actually get to see it in practice and then things will start clicking and solidifying in your mind. That is why Doctors have 4 year of intense residencies to at least begin to have the theoretical knowledge they learned in 4 years of medical school to be readily available to them in their memories.

    There are a lot of things you can do, you can make note cards as you go along of the diseases you encounter...and pertinent info. I did that for awhile and it was very helpful until I realized my mind was doing it automatically anyway and I could start relying on myself to remember what I needed to know. You will find that happens for you as well, I promise.
  5. by   LisaJanae
    Hi!!
    I just graduated in May and started working in July...I had and still have the SAME feeling. But I have been finding that things make more sense in the work place. There is a big difference between reading about things in a book or listening in a lecture and actually seeing it in action at work.

    Although I did have many clincal hours during school, it is still so different actually working and seeing the whole picture. I mean I still feel overwhelmed many times...but things seem to click and make sense better.

    I have learned SO MUCH over the last couple months working, I am loving it! My husband teases me that I study more now than I did when I was school!!
  6. by   santhony44
    Relax! You're perfectly normal.

    No one expects you to have perfect recall of everything you've ever learned. As others have said, things will "come back" to you as you experience them.

    You will always need to look things up. If you ever get to the point you don't think you need to look anything up, you know it all, then you're in trouble.

    You will find that the things you use most often are the things you have the best recall of.

    Relax a little, give yourself a break. It takes time to feel like you really know what you're doing. Most of the time. Don't let people intimidtate you into feeling as if you should know everything from the start. Hopefully you'll have a good preceptor who will not do that to you.

    Good luck!
  7. by   RN1263
    Thanks everyone......:spin:

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