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Fundies is killing me

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by wannabmidwife wannabmidwife (Member)

5,711 Visitors; 120 Posts

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I have no prior medical experience what so ever. I was a teacher in my previous life so I thought that I knew how to study and tackle difficult material but this is something else. I try to dedicate as much time as possible to studying and I go through questions and think that I'm prepared for the exams then a 78 comes my way. What the heck? I'm barely passing. If this gets much harder, I don't think that I'll be able to make it. My average is an 81, so I'm passing but by the skin on my teeth. This is very discouraging to spend so much time, engergy, take time away from my family then WHAM a 78!:eek: Please tell me that the next semesters get somewhat easier. I'm trying to do my best and really study hard but OMG!:confused:

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BacktotheBeach has 4 years experience.

9,810 Visitors; 497 Posts

For me it did get easier. You will learn how the questions work. I am now in my 3rd quarter (OB) and getting the best test scores ever. I wasn't sure I could do it after Fundamentals either. I also came from a non medical background. Got a B- in Fund, managed an A in Med Surge and am headed for an A in OB.

I strongly suggest you get several NCLEX books. As you proceed through the program, do the applicable sections in your books. It really focuses you in on what's important!!! I have Saunders and Prentice Hall Review and Rationales and a Mosby one. Med Surge Success was also a lifesaver for that quarter. The rationales teach your brain to think NCLEX style questions.

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3,800 Visitors; 144 Posts

If you're having problems in Fundamentals, you are in a bad situation. In my school, if you had a pulse you could pass Fundamentals (the school does it to "lure" you into the Med-Surg, so you can pay your tuition, and then fail out of that course). If you're going into Med Surg next semester, that's the "weeding out" course. All the NCLEX books, study guides, review sessions won't do anything for you if you can't grasp the material. Interesting that in that course, all the backstabbing, drama, and "Oh it's not my fault" reach a fever pitch. Good luck!

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Seas has 4 years experience and specializes in Telemetry, OB, NICU.

9,603 Visitors; 519 Posts

It doesn't get easier. In fact, fundamentals is so much like the background of nursing, how nursing process works, etc. way way easier than med-surg,peds, and OB.

What gets easier is the studying method. Once you figure out a way to study for success, you can handle it well.

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2,356 Visitors; 95 Posts

Fundamentals is like kindergarten compared to Med-Surg. It doesn't get easier, try to figure out your "problem" before you get to med-surg or you will never make it out alive.

I don't want to be a Debbie Downer, I just want to be realistic.

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13,275 Visitors; 2,801 Posts

I agree with the advice to check out some NCLEX study guides. Even if you understand and remember everything you're studying in fundamentals, some kinds of nursing test questions can be confusing and lead to poor test performance. It's worth giving it a try! Check out more than one study guide as they may come at test taking strategies differently, and you're looking for a something that will address whatever obstacles you may running up against. Look for sections focusing specifically on fundamentals questions. Good luck!

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14,866 Visitors; 937 Posts

I hated fundamentals and I struggled. I passed with an 87% and that's too close to our cut-off (84%). I was a stressed out mess during "fundies" :D. Anyway, eventually I learned how to study for nursing classes. By the time med/surg rolled around, it all started to make sense--well, a lot more sense than it did in fundamentals. I'm in my 3rd quarter and so far I still think it's a heck of a lot easier than fundamentals. So yes, it can get easier.

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2,121 Visitors; 97 Posts

I am currently in fundamentals. I am enjoying it and doing surprisingly well thus far. I too do not have any previous experience in the health care field and understand your frustration. I hear the material gets harder as you advance throughout the program, however, your understanding and test taking skills should improve the more you practice the nclex style questions. For some reason with me on tests I get the most difficult questions right and some of the easy ones wrong (weird).

What I normally do is I listen attentively during lectures, ask questions on things that I either don't understand or just need some clarification. I usually go over my lectures, notes and readings either the next day or a couple of days later. When I know a test is coming up, I study a little bit at a time and then allow myself time to process the material while doing something I enjoy non-nursing related. I am not the type of person who can sit a study for hours and hours and hours, I will begin to mix things up and everything will look the same (not good for me).

What I have also found that helps me is I tend to share with my friends, boyfriend, family, classmates and colleague (who express interest) the things that I have learned during the lectures. My instructor is awesome and makes herself available if assistance is needed. We are currently working on care plans which I thought I would have a ton of trouble with seeing how all of this is new to me. Believe it or not, I actually did pretty well on the first one ever constructed. I am not sure how the instructors are in your school, but I recommend that if you are having difficulty grasping the material that you speak to your teacher and maybe she can either explain to you again or offer some advice. Maybe even consult with your classmates, that can be a helpful resource as well. I know for me when I have a discussion with my classmates and explain something to them that they may not understand or are not to sure about, it helps me to become more proficient on the topic.

Hang in there and I wish you all the best:cool:

Edited by heavenbound

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5,733 Visitors; 339 Posts

i just graduated and i only passed fundementals with an 82%... i passed med/surg 1 with an 83% and med/surg 3 with an 80%. in our program, an 80% is the cut off point.

although i do agree that you are in some trouble if you are truly struggling with the material in fundies, it could also be the fact that you still haven't figured out how to "think like a nurse" or answer nclex style questions. after fundies, i picked up the saunders nclex review book and started practicing questions and i realized that fundies would have been a breeze if i had used that book during class.

so i would try not to worry so much at this point. your learning curve may just be different than other people but that doesn't mean you are doomed to fail. what you need to do is meet with your instructor and go over what you are missing, get a tutor and practice nclex questions. nursing school is very hard but it is doable if you work hard.

just remember, that all the studying in the world won't help you if you can't grasp the material and think as a nurse does so you may need some outside help to get to that point. good luck.

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ProfRN4 is a MSN, RN and specializes in Pediatrics.

20,150 Visitors; 1,934 Posts

The bad news is, it does not get easier. The good news is, there is potential for YOU to do better. I was a 78er in fundamentals, and slowly picked it up little by little (never made an A, but I made it out alive, not only to tell the tale, but to teach as well :) ).

You need to figure our where you are falling short: are you memorizing, rather than understanding and applying? In the old days, 101 was more memorization, basics, facts. Now, they're throwing higher level questions at you. There are plenty of threads with test taking strategies here, take advantage of them.

Are you "getting it" in clinical? Meaning are you putting the pieces together? O know it's early on, but try not to gauge clinical success as "getting all my work done", but understanding your pt's problems. Are you having trouble with careplans?

Are you studying with anyone? Maybe you'reissing something...

Are you able to balance school with your home life? Do you have support from family?

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Hygiene Queen specializes in ......

1 Follower; 34,493 Visitors; 2,232 Posts

The tests killed me. I now got on the Evolve website and register as many text books as I can. You can find your school texts, find the subjects you are studying, and take practice NCLEX style quizzes. Saved my life.

It allowed me to figure out the tests and it reinforced the material for me.

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