LVN Help Please

  1. Alright, please read this before you answer. I've read the forums here. I know people say I should wait to take the class rather than study. No, that won't fly with me. Please help me out here in 2 questions.

    1) What do I need to study for LVN? What in anatomy? How far in pharmacology? etc. I want to get such a good grasp on it in the year I still have to go rather than just get bombarded with everything in one year. I don't want to know what to study as prereqs or what I should know as pre-knowledge for LVN. I wanna know what the LVN people study.

    2) For those here who are in LVN school or just graduated, what were the books you used? For some reason my college REFUSES to tell us what books are in the program.

    Please let me know guys. I'm serious about studying the heck out of this stuff, and if I can at least study half of what is taught in LVN before I can go into LVN, stuff like anatomy and psychology (Which, let's be honest, won't hurt me if I know them going into LVN), then when in the program I can excel. PLEASE help me out here. Thanks.
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    About medicaljohnny

    Joined: May '13; Posts: 21; Likes: 1


  3. by   pookyp
    I'm in an LPN program now. The hardest chapter for anatomy was the chapter on fluid and electrolytes. We went through anatomy in 2 weeks with a test 4 days a week. So it was more memorization than anything.

    I'm in pharmacology now. Know how to do dosage calculations, and know your drugs by classification and actions. I guess it's hard to know what drugs to study for ahead of time because your teacher will tell you where to start. Hope this helps.
  4. by   medicaljohnny
    Pookyp, what books are you guys using? Also, what all did you study in anatomy?
  5. by   KatherineFisher
    Hi medicaljohnny,
    I'm new to this site, but I've been a LVN for about 5 years. I also tutoring nursing students in the LVN program. I do not know where you are from, but just letting you know that I have yet to find a nursing programs that require or test on the same things. Every state and school is different. I'm in East Texas and one similarity among our schools are the classes you can take before LVN school. They are not pre-reqs. These classes are taken during the 12 months of LVN, unless you take them before you get into the program. It's a choice to get ahead or to take a larger load of credits each semester. I did not take them in advance because I wanted to start my career asap. Taking these early would have set me back. However, some of the students that did not get into the nursing program first string, used their extra time to take these courses-Nutrition, Health, Anatomy I. These were all required at our school.

    Also, the books for each school are different, but the local book stores (like, BooksAMillion or Barnes and Noble) have a huge selection of books to start studying. You can even get pharmacology books that will be a huge benefit to help you in school. In school, they had us use large index cards to write the name of the drug, names the drug also has like generics, how the drug is used in the body-mechanism of action (is it broken down by the liver or kidneys so to speak) this is important if you have a patient that has damage in either of these two organs, then we had to list all of the uses for the drug so we could know why the patient was taking the drug, and last we had to know every side effect. All of these things were to be memorized because the instructor wanted to know these before we could administer the medicines in clinicals. If we couldn't tell her about the medication, then we were unprepared to give the medication because it could be unsafe for the patient and we didn't know.
    If you do start memorizing these things for the meds, start with all the basics like acetaminophen, Ibuprofen, then look up meds for GERD, Nausea/Vomiting, Narcotics and non-narcotic pain relief-and know the classification of each, then you may start on some psychotropic meds. This should give you a good start.
    As for anatomy, we had to learn it all. We had tests that we had to list every bone in the body, every vein, muscles, parts and so-on. These were all from memory too, no word banks. I studied for hours to remember everything in A & P.

    Hope this helps. Good Luck. And use your resources of local libraries and book stores, it will boost your confidence and your grades.
  6. by   medicaljohnny
    Howdy Katherine, and thank you for taking the time to reply to me. A few questions I have..(btw I am in Houston, Texas and A&P and Nutrition are our 2 pre-reqs):

    1) I don't see how cirriculums can be different if lvns are supposed to all have the same knowledge of the body and medicine across the board..?

    2) As for anatomy and physiology, how far did your knowledge have to go? Like to where you are naming the molecules of each thing or just listing the bones, nerves, etc.?
  7. by   HouTx
    Maybe I can help shed some light.

    There are basically two different types of LV/PN programs. One type is based on college hours and it is based in a Community College. College hour programs tend to be longer in length - ~ 12 - 18 months. These programs may have a variety of pre-requisite classes that you need to take such as English, math, etc. The other type of program is called a "clock hour" program and these may be as short as 9 months. In these, the whole group of students go through the entire program together, and the pre-requisites may just be integrated in to the program rather than taking them separately. Both types of programs have to cover the same topics and have the same number of "clinical" hours, but their approach is different. The advantage to college hour programs is that some of the courses will be transferable if you decide to continue with your education.

    LV/PN programs do not require the heavy-duty science curricula that is required in RN programs. Anatomy and physiology, nutrition, math, etc. is very basic. Microbiology, chemistry, and psychology is usually not required.

    One class that will be very helpful in an LV/PN program is Medical Terminology. You can obtain this at many community colleges.

    FYI, nursing is a completely different profession than medicine. Only physicians practice medicine -- nurses practice nursing. All the other professions (Radiology, physical therapy, respiratory therapy, laboratory science, etc.) are categorized as "allied health professions". The industry is called "health care", not medicine.
  8. by   NayRN
    And, may I add, although I am an RN I imagine it will be the same principle-Yes, nurses are expected to have the same basic knowledge base across the board, but curriculum will differ because in the end it doesn't matter if you know the name of every bone and muscle in the body. What you will be tested on in your board exam is how to apply that knowledge. They will want to know "if your patient wakes up with heart palps in the middle of the night, what lab values should you look at/be aware of before calling the doctor?" Yes, you need to have an inherent knowledge of muscles, heart condutivity, and electrolytes to answer this question. Don't focus too much on the memorization, except, of course, for nursing school testing purposes. I personally like the "made incredibly easy" or "for dummies" books. Get chemistry, electrolytes, A&P, pathophysiology, and pharmacology to start. Get a nursing drug book and look up every drug you come across. Start applying it to everyday life.
  9. by   medicaljohnny
    HouTx: thank you for that information. I did enjoy it but it was less geared to what I am saying.

    Nay RN: See comment below.

    Everyone else: I am wondering very simple things but this is being beaten around the bush. What do I study for my lvn? The names of bones? Muscles? Nerves? What exacle? If I buy a chemistry book and study the whole thing 50% may not have to do with lvn stuff. Or an A&P. Then I will have wasted my time yes by learning things that may be important but not things that will ultimately enhance my LVN passing. WHAT in A&P...WHAT in nutrition...WHAT in pharmacology..please..
  10. by   loriangel14
    If you want to be come an LVN you have to take the program at school. You can't study independently to become one. No one can answer the things you are demanding answers for. There is no way to explain exactly what will be covered. It's not that simple.Just go to school.They will teach you what you need to know.
  11. by   medicaljohnny
    Sigh sigh sigh... no one understands. it's amazing
  12. by   pookyp
    Study what are ligaments, cartilage, different bone fractures, the in's and outs of the heart, like the order in which the blood flows. Study fluid and electrolyte balances. Know your anatomical positions, (anterior, posterior) for and know your medical terminology. For pharm, know your metric conversions. How to go from grams to mg using dimensional analysis. Lbs to kg, etc. hope this helps some. We use a book called body structure and function by thibedaux. (Hope I spelled that right)
  13. by   loriangel14
    Quote from medicaljohnny
    Sigh sigh sigh... no one understands. it's amazing
    What you are asking cannot be answered. Why don't you just go to school?
  14. by   bklynhealer
    Wow MedicalJohnny dont get frustrated with us! I can tell you that you will not go wrong prepping for pharmacololgy especially drug calculations. We lost 50% of the class because they failed this course. ALL aspects of pharmacology will be discussed. it will not be a waste of time.