I need help passing Med-Surg!!!

  1. I am having a really hard time getting good test scores in med surg and I need help!!! I don't know how to study anymore because it feels like I'm not doing anything right! When it comes to the material I know it all but the test is more situational questions and I just can't seem to get it. Can anyone give me any suggestions on how to study or what study books are helpful for passing Med-Surg???!!!
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    About Victoria11

    Joined: Sep '09; Posts: 4


  3. by   simply_viki
    How are you studying? What types of questions are you getting wrong? Do you go over your test results with your professor to see how you can improve?

    "Situational questions" will be asked more and more throughout nursing school. It's no longer enough just to memorize things, although that is imperative as well, you need to find ways to apply the knowledge and the concepts to a situation and arrive at the most correct answer.

    My studying methods won't necessarily work for you because it's based on both my own learning type, and on the resources my professor and my program make available to me. But what I do is record every lecture, and save every Power Point from each lecture. When I'm super motivated, I save both things to my iPod so I can have it at my fingertips where ever, whenever. But that's not necessary, just handy. The key for me is to go over these things over and over until I'm familiar with the things my professor emphasizes, and then read the book chapters, concentrating on things related to what my professor emphasizes in class.

    For example, my Med-Surg professor's pet word is "vascular". I'm starting to realize that with every body system and disease process, there's almost always some "vascular implications". These are life-or-death implications. So with each process, I'm paying special attention to anything to do with circulation, anything to do with vital signs, etc. These always pop up in his tests in one way or another.

    Every once in a while, sit back and try to think what it is you need to know, besides what they're telling you directly. Work on memorizing lab values, they don't "teach" that in my program, they just expect you to know them. Before you ever knew what a BUN/creatinine was, they were asking what low creatinine clearance looks like.

    Anytime you can find somewhere you can use a mnemonic device to help you remember something, use it. For example, with BUN and creatinine, I know the levels are 10-20 and 0.7-1.4 (according to my book, anyway). BUN is written in BIG letters, and its value is the bigger number. That leaves the smaller number, which is 0.7-1.4, which I remember because um... well, I like 7, and 0.7 doubled is 1.4. LOL that's a bad example, but you'll find your own ways to remember things.

    It's overwhelming, I'm there too. Determination and critical thinking will see us through.
  4. by   Victoria11
    Thanks so much for responding! I have been going to class and taking notes, we don't receive powerpoints anymore so its all up to what we write down. I also read all the chapters and our book has an evolve component so I print out those notes as well. I also make a study guide from what I read in the book that I want to remember. I do have alot of problems remembering the lab values which do hurt me on some questions. It seems like they ask alot of hematocrit questions. I just feel like on the exam I can eliminate 2 answers so when I have 2 left and i chose the wrong one! Idk what to do! Thanks for your help! Are there any books that you would recommend?
  5. by   tlc2u
    Get the most recent Saunders NCLEX study guide. Read the chapter on test taking strategies. On one piece of notebook paper list each test taking strategy. At the end of the chapters in Saunders there are practice test questions for each body system. Practice those questions for the body system you are studying and use your list of test taking strategies as a guide as you answer the questions. When you get a question wrong look at the test taking strategies and determine which strategy would have been useful to help answer that question. When you do enough questions you will begin to see a pattern to the types of questions you get wrong.
    If you are like me you may be reading your test questions too fast and missing the key word in the stem of the question or a key word in the answer choices.
    Hope this helps.