What Have I Gotten Myself Into???? Advice?

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    I'm sorry if this question has already been asked, but I SERIOUSLY need some sound advice!!! I am a first semester Nursing Student and I have never been so overwhelmed, stressed, anxious, tired and scared in my whole life! Even though I seem to be spending ALL of my time reading, taking notes, watching skills videos and studying, I just can NEVER seem to get ahead of the game.....much less feel secure and ready each day for class/skills lab. We start our clinicals next week and I am already freaking out about the vast amount of work that is required before and after we care for our assigned patients each week. I am only working about 10-15 hours per week (part-time) and I rarely do anything NOT school-related because I just feel guilty and feel like I need to be dedicating ALL of my time to school. In fact, I went to lunch with my husband today and then felt extremely guilty for doing so because that was a couple of hours that I could have used for studying! I know that as each semester passes, the workload is only going to get worse, so is there a trick to getting it all under control????? Can any of you practicing nurses or later semester students please offer some suggestions/advice on how to get a hold on everything that is occurring right now so that I don't make myself crazy? What is the best way to read all of the massive amounts of reading assigned each week and be able to understand/comprehend the material? What is the best way to approach care plans for my new patients each week at the hospital? Any suggestions on the best way(s) to prepare for skills lab and the VERY important check-offs? ANY advice you guys could give would be greatly appreciated! Please help before I go crazy!!!! Thanks so much!!!!
  2. 2 Comments so far...

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    My advice is to find out where the teacher tests from. Either find out from students in the next semester or ask the teacher what they like to focus on. Teachers will be honest with you about whether or not they make their questions based on the readings or powerpoints. I always got to know my teachers before we had any tests and they would be straight up with me. Some would tell me they don't like using the book, or to look at the charts and tables in the book and bypass the reading part. So find out what you need to focus on before you start focusing on everything
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    I agree with the previous post as well. Usually after the 1st test for each class you get an idea of what to expect. As far as your stress level goes... it's totally normal! I remember feeling that stressed out in nursing school too. Yes, the material gets more advanced as the semesters go, but you also start to feel more comfortable and understand the big picture. I think 1st semester was one of the most stressful semesters just because everything is so new.

    As far as the massive amounts of reading goes... there is no possible way to read all of the chapters. Focus on the powerpoint slides from class so that you at least cover all of the main points... then use your book to look up things you don't understand. You will spend your free time studying as you well know. But it's temporary... other things in your life will go on hold while in nursing school, but you will be so glad you stuck it out.

    The best advice I can give is to keep a personal calender/agenda! I lived off of mine in school. Take it one day at a time and make check lists. If you look too far ahead it only stresses you out. At the most, look a week in advance to know what tests/sim labs to prepare for. It's all about time management, which is certainly important when you become a nurse.

    As far as sim labs and checkoffs go... just remember ADPIE (assess, diagnose, plan, implement, evaluate) when you are caring for pts or simulating with manicans and it helps a lot! Hope this helps!!! Good luck!


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