Feeling cheated in A&P I

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The semester is almost over, and looking back, I can say that I did not get as much out of A&P I as I had hoped. For example, we never really had a lab component to the nervous system unit. We were given only a very general overview of the structure of the brain, spinal cord, etc.--very little detail compared to the amount we had to know for the other labs. Also, the last unit we are "covering" is the endocrine and sensory systems. I say "covering" because there is no lecture or lab time for this one--only a (rather difficult, actually) multiple-choice take-home exam which must be turned in by the last day of class. Even though it's not the easiest take-home test in the world, I don't feel like I am learning ANYTHING. I am merely finding the right answers to the questions without truly understanding the material. At least on the other exams there was a short answer/essay portion, so you really had to know your stuff for those. But on this endocrine/sensory exam, forget it. I feel cheated because this stuff is important! So, I guess I'll have to take the initiative and teach myself in order to get an understanding of these topics. I hear the A&P II instructor is very good, so I look forward to that. But now I must work on my take-home exam....


669 Posts


I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who feels that way about how a class should actually impart knowledge and not just be another 3-4 month period of regurgitation.

I fear, sometimes, that part of the new nurse stress comes from not getting enough understanding of the materials learned during school. Too much information in too little time.

I do very well (4.0 gpa) so it's not like I'm blaming school for my bad grades. On the contrary, I'm blaming school on my mediocre retention.

That said, what I've found to be more important is my willingness to go back and learn things myself and ask questions when I don't understand. Even if I'm not in that class anymore. A lot of professors love that!

Good luck on your exam.



1,326 Posts

Hi Diana,

You're not alone. I just finished Psych - Human Growth and Dev. and on the past two exams there was material on the exam that we did not cover in class, we were just told to read the book for the info. And on the last exam NONE of the info. was covered in class, we were told to just read the book. I'm not complaining because I still did really well on the exams and it was actually easier for me to understand the book but if there were things that you had questions about you had no opportunity to discuss in class. And you couldn't tell what concepts were really important just by reading the book.

In fact, we only made it to part of Middle Adulthood. We never covered later life at all. Which will be important in clinicals and I also wanted to get a CNA job in an elderly person's home.

The teacher was really nice and pretty good at lecturing but he got side tracked way too easily and would go on tangents for 20 minutes at a time.

The best you can do is if your school hands out course evaluations at the end of the semester let them know how you feel. And even if you don't, send a note to the prof. letting them know what you thought you need more time on certain aspects.


244 Posts

Unfortunately, Anatomy is one of those classes that shoves so much information at you in such a short time period. I really enjoyed A & P, but definitely felt cheated in my A & P II class. My professor spent so much time on the endocrine system at the beginning of the semester, that we were really rushed at the end. I did alot of independent studying.

Good luck to you.


jschut, BSN, RN

2,743 Posts

You know~ I think there are a lot of classes that you can feel "cheated" in, because I never felt like I was really learning anything either. It was almost like we were just being pushed through in order to get our degrees.

But I can say this. If you really want to know the information, and you have your book at hand, open it, read for yourself. Teach yourself. Or maybe go to the learning center. My school has tutoring in ALL subjects, not just the basic Math and English.

Good Luck to you and I wish you the best!



385 Posts

originally posted by julielpn

you know~ i think there are a lot of classes that you can feel "cheated" in, because i never felt like i was really learning anything either. it was almost like we were just being pushed through in order to get our degrees.

but i can say this. if you really want to know the information, and you have your book at hand, open it, read for yourself. teach yourself. or maybe go to the learning center. my school has tutoring in all subjects, not just the basic math and english.

good luck to you and i wish you the best!


excellent advise julie!!!;)

if you think your instructors are skimming over things now, just wait for the nursing classes. there is no way they can go over all the material, i've had tests that covered over 600 pages of reading material. :eek:

i'm not saying this to try to scare you :imbar but when we get out there as "real" nurses, no one is going to tell us "everything" we need to know, that's what drug handbooks, etc., are for.

good luck dianacs, now get out those books and look like a nerd :specs:

I agree with the advice from JulieLPN. I kind of looked at my A&P classes, as well as quite a few others, more along the lines of teaching me how to LEARN this stuff, rather than teaching me the stuff itself.

Besides, how could you possibly hope to retain all that information anyway? So, now when I come upon something I don't know, at least I know how to go about learning it!



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