Note-this is one of my previous posts, but i took a look at it and did some extensive editing as well as added to it. I hope it is alittle more clear, my point that is
I remember my first day of A&P, and what a nerve-wracking day it was. I had prepared extensively prior to the beginning of the class, but I was still nervous as hell! There were so many emotions, questions, and feelings racing inside me, for I knew the A&P reputation. And as I recall, I started my A&P class with roughly fifty people. However, after considerable lawn work(weeding) my class downsized to a little less than twenty. It is true what the national statistics say, atleast 50% will drop/fail. I realized, after my first semester, that yes, the class was beyond difficult and yes, extremely time consuming. The class tested me on bodily structure and functions as well as, at times, my sanity. But no, the class was not impossible. I have read many articles on the internet, as well as talked to several people shaking in their boots and worried sick over this class.
Well, allow me to put the dreaded A&P class in perspective. First of all, the class is only 6-7 months out of one's entire lifetime (considering both A&P 1 and 2). So, the "suffering" is very short lived. Consider the thousands of medical professionals, doctors for instance, that go to school 10, 12, or even 14 YEARS for their degrees. With that being said, I believe anyone can be successful and push through the brief agony of A&P.
I wonder to myself if a person struggles at A&P, if they are going to REALLY struggle when the real medical classes begin. Let's face it, consider your A&P class a taste of what the medical field is going to be like. Whether you are going into nursing, dentistry, radiology, etc., your A&P class is the bump in the road you cannot avoid, but drive through at full speed, and it's your choice to get a flat tire, or make it to the finish line.
Unfortunately, I have seen several people go through A&P 2,3,4,or even 5 times without getting the "B" minimum grade that is required to get into the(my) nursing program. In the light or rather the darkness
of this observation, I have compiled a few tips and thoughts that I have used throughout my A&P experience.
1. A&P as well as any class needs to be number 1 priority.
Yes, last time I checked, school takes a great deal of time. I understand people have children, husbands, wives, sick people to take care, prior engagements to the Grey's Anatomy, or drowning their A&P sorrows in booz. A&P especially needs an insurmountable amount of time dedicated to it, and when you don't devote yourself to your studies, you and your grade will surely suffer. No excuses, just do it!(like nike) Is A&P or rather, your education top priority?
2. A&P NEEDS to be your boyfriend, girlfriend, lover, friend, or cuddle-buddy!
You're probably like huh? Yes, treat your anatomy class like your life-long LOVER. Open a bottle of 1976 Pino Noir, jam to some Marvin Gay, and study away. Basically, you WILL be cheating on your special someone with your A&P book. Spend quality alone time with your book. If you treat your book and A&P class with compassion or some studyin
you'll get the grade you want. I know this sounds silly, believe me, you'll be getting more quality time with your A&P studies than with anyone else.(Or should be!) Did you or are you going to have some intimate time with your book tonight?
3. Get to know your professor.
Kiss some serious booty. As lame as the professors may seem they know what they are talking about. If you get to know your professor they are more inclined to cut you some slack when you need it the most. For instance, your kid gets sick, your partner dropped your book in the toilet, or your dog ate your homework, whatever the excuse may be, your newly befriended professor will probably cut you some slack. These professors were students once, and to a certain extent, they feel your pain. Also, by getting to know your professor, you building are quality relationship that could benefit yourself in and out of the classroom. Basically, treat your professor with the respect they rightfully deserve(maybe a wee-bit of brown-nosing) and you'll see the dividends pay off in your GPA. When was the last time you had a decent conversation with your professor?
4. Dont blame your professor if you didn't get the grade you want!
Ok, a majority of professors have alot of education within the science community and not much in "lay-mens" communication. Also, you will very quickly realize your professors talk in a fast, sophisicated, hard to understand A&P language. Furthermore, many of these professors were not meant
to be professors but you have been so lucky as to be in their class. Alot of professors received a teaching degree to fall back on to use when the times called for it or simply, the job market doesn't call for their extensive expertise, so they became teachers. Or, they became teachers, but they aren't the best at getting their points and ideas acrossed to the students. But, how often do you actually meet someone that is the best in the world at what they do? Just adapt to their style and learn to deal with it. And if their A&P jargon is confusing, you simply ask a question or ask them to slow down. To a certain extent, there is no stupid question. ( Or buy a recorder, walmart sells em' for $30) Have you deeply despised a professor, through no fault of their own, for your grade?
5. DREAM of A&P.
You should be studying A&P so much that you have dreams about cells, skin tissue, the thoracic vertebrae, and muscles daily. You should literally wake up and be able to recite anatomy facts without thinking about it. SUBMERGE YOUR LIFE in A&P. I know it sounds crazy and obsessive but I'm pretty convinced you don't want to take A&P more than once. Or, you could be like the many, who have spent thousands of dollars on one measily class before you--your choice! Do you want to be another "notch" on the statistic's belt?
6. Accept your failure, learn from it, and move on.
You will fail a test or at least get a grade that you could cry over especially when you thought
you studied enough. It's part of the class. There is so much information to cover, its understandable and nearly inevitable to get a crappy grade. Realize that your grade on a single
test is not your death in the class, because there is always time to recover. Get over your resentment towards yourself, and learn from your mistakes. If you hold onto a grudge against yourself, you will only hurt your abilities within the classroom. The tests are not designed to fail you, merely to test your commitment to the class--Are you committed?
7. STUDY, STUDY,STUDY,STUDY,AND STUDY SOME MORE!
Obviously, you get my point here. I have seen too many people think they have studied and then come test time, they are sweating bullets. Test anxiety comes from lack of preparation.
If you are prepared to your fullest and honest-to-yourself abilities, tests will be much better for you. Eventhough tests naturally are a bit stressful, preparation dramattically decreases that test anxiety so many suffer from.
There are countless ways and techniques to study and you need to find what works for you. Preferrably somewhere that isn't distracting and will allow you to get into the "zone." Another thing is study efficiently.Ok, how you ask?
Well, thats not simply answered but basically, study like your life depends on it(Technically, your professional life does). Find a way that makes your study time effecient and meaningful to you. Flash Cards, Bubble diagrams, Re-writing notes, SQ4R, Split page notes, are a few of the many ways to help yourself. For instance, when studying bones, explore yourself, hmm, Oh I have temporal, occipital, and frontal bones. The more you relate this thick and more often than not dry material to yourself, the more likely you are to retain it.
Also, as far as I know, all A&P classes are 4 credit hours. The college advisors say multiply that by 3 (Equalling in 12 study hours). HOWEVER, multiply that by 5. A person should be studying A&P at 15-25 hours a week. You are probably like "No way, that is absurd!" Well, thats fine if you don't mind getting bare minimum grades, but why not strive for excellence?
The advisors tell people just get that "B", well I'm saying strive to your full
potential--Get that "A!" Can you grasp the feeling when you could get an "A" in a course that atleast 50% of people drop out of or fail. Trust me, the feeling is indescribable! Furthermore, the nursing program I've applied for requires a "B." I don't shoot for the bare minimum and I don't think anyone else should either. Inevitably, patients will suffer
from a mantra like this. Be honest with yourself for once, are you studying enough to get the grade you desire?
8. Look at A&P as an Enlightening experience not an Annoying obligation.
You will soon learn that A&P will teach you facts of the body that are amazingly complicated but amazingly AMAZING. The fact that atoms form molecules, molecules form macromolecules, molecules form organelles, organelles form cells, cells form tissues, tissues form organs, organs form organ systems, and organ systems form myself is mystifying.
Just sit back and really soak in that concept of biological organization. Truly Remarkable!!! The body is exceptionally fascinating. The fact that all of that stuff
comes together in perfect harmony is far beyond my understanding, and yet, it draws me in (like an addiction). So please, look at the class as a learning experience of yourself and use that knowledge for the betterment of yourself and for your future patients. Are you amazed at the body yet, if not, what are you doing here?
9. Kick the social life to the wayside!
This goes along with TIP 1 but this needs special attention. As people, we all thrive when we socialize with others. It is part of our nature to want to go out and have a good time. However, I promise you if your social life is more important than school, your school, your teacher, and your grades will not give a rat's arse--Can you say "bye-bye GPA?" I also promise that your social life can always continue where it left off.
Another point to consider, is to seperate yourself from anything or anyone that can and probably will deter you from your goals. Alcohol, boyfriend, girlfriend, drugs, sex, tv, partying, all of which can be put on the back burner, so you can succeed.(If you your special counterpart truly cares about you and your success, they'll understand the temporary lack of one on one time) Is there a facet of your life holding you back from your scholarly success, if so, dont you think it's time to seperate yourself from it?
10. Listen to your professor for Hints
Some professors are more obvious than others. In my case, mine aren't most of the time. Your professor wants nothing more than you to be successful. And, they will sometimes give you hints as to what may be on the test. These hints are usually aimed for the essay questions on an upcoming test. And, these hints can range from them simply saying,"This may be on the test(with a smirk)." Or, they may come straight out and say," This Will be on the test." If you don't get that clue, you may be in some trouble. Or, they may be integrated within the notes. Typically, the tests emphasizes important biological processes that are highlighted within the class notes, or lectures. For instance:
Describe how DNA instructions is used to synthesize proteins within the
Vitamin D synthesis
How is Vitamin D synthesized within the body, and why are UV rays and how is
Cholecalciferol important in this process?
Describe Endochondral Ossification and Intramembranous Ossification? And, describe how these differ?
Keep a keen eye out for these hints. Study your professors. More than likely, they have cues and habits you can pick up on and capatialize on those, for your benefit. The processes I've just stated are the tip
of the tip
of the tip
of the iceberg(you'll soon see).The body thrives on processes and you will
be tested on them. Are you truly listening?
I truly hope that you consider some of the things I've stated. While most are considered slightly fanatical, and out there
, if implamented they will surely help you. I am no authority figure, nor do I have a degree of any sort. I am a simple student. For this, I could see why you would shrug off my plea of advice.
I wrote this in observation of the students around me, and I was compelled to write something about it. Anyone who is striving for a career in the medical field and isn't taking their path very, very serious, needs to have a "wake-up call" and realize that they won't get chances over and over again. Why not give big sacrifice for even bigger reward? Why not say no, and go study for that big test? And more importantly, Why not strive to be the best you could possibly be in the every single moment you have in school?
For those moments of opportunity will run dry and unfortunately, I may see some of you working in the drive-thru as I order some coffee, while I'm on my way to the hospital to make a difference and save lives. So I say, good luck to you, and I hope you strive to do the right thing for yourself.
BTW, sorry for the grammatical/spelling
errors, be gentle! lol