Hello, I just wanted some opinions of what others thought on the subject. I am a third year nursing student. I am constantly overwhelmed by the depth of pathophysiology we must learn as nurses for a variety of disease processes. I find myself constantly going back and looking at information and terminology.
My problem is with terminology. For example, having to remember cancer names (ie. fibroma, lipoma, etc) does not suit me well. I hate memorizing. Same goes with medications and lab ranges.
However, I UNDERSTAND pathophysiological disease processes and how they affect organ systems, presenting symptoms, expected lab values, etc.
I find myself having to always look back at medications names, memorizing their indications, side effects, and special considerations and it is very discouraging.
I have an 80% avg (~) and pride myself in not spending hours upon hours trying to memorize information. Rather, I plan to study well in advance, utilizing different study techniques (ie. highlighting important information, making charts, venn diagrams, concept maps, and watch Youtube videos to solidify what I know).
I constantly focus on the negative (ie. things that I do not know) and waste my life focusing on how I need to achieve this unrealistic state of "perfection". I get anxious and isolate myself from others as I feel unworthy. Failing at something would kill me. Not knowing something makes me feel lesser or inferior to others. I stay awake at night thinking of patient scenarios. Think about how I would react. What I would say. More importantly, what I would do.
I would like to know if anyone feels the same way. Perhaps share some tips to get over or treat this anxiety. I just need to know that I am not alone in this.
Learning the root or prefix of the words will help you out a ton. For instance, in surgery the root "ectomy" means to take out. Drugs that end in "pam" are in the benzo family. If the med ends in "olol", you are looking at a beta blocker. That may help a bit as a tip. If you can remember the qualities of a class of drugs rather than memorizing them all as individuals, that is half the battle.
Just a thought.
Repetition and association- that's how we commit to memory, learn, and apply.
As a student, I would repeat, for example, the circulation through the heart like a prayer- over and over again. In fact, as an LPN student, I was a practicing Catholic. As I sat in the pew before the Mass, I would repeat the heart's circulation. It probably appeared as though I was praying and I'm sure God didn't mind because I made good grades on tests.
Another example I did as association was art. When learning the basic parts of the kidneys, I drew pictures to spark my memory. A pill shaped like a capsule holding a bow and arrow represented a Bowman's capsule.
Learning made fun!
Learn the endings of medications such as:
-pressin = Antidiuretic Hormones: names end with -pressin such as desmopressin (DDAVP)
-pril = Angiotenson Converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitors:names end with -pril such as enalapril (Vasotec)
Shoot, I have been a nurse for a while and still look up meds, double check, have to review something. This is why even after nursing school, there is continuing education. It is alot. Try scrolling through some tips and threads in the student nurse section here. There is a world of great ideas and tips there. Plus, you will find others feeling the same way you are feeling right now.
I know this will sound like the worst advise ever but, when I felt overwhelmed in nursing school, I took a half day. I did my school work but only for a half day and went out and rewarded myself with a beer and burger and a huge pile of fries and afterward I went to see a movie. It was a great mental break for me. I only did it once or twice a semester though.
Be gentle with yourself. Nursing school is hard.
You're not alone. I wouldn't trust any health care professional who didn't have a little anxiety. Whether doing a routine procedure, (that is usually when something stupid, unexpected, goes wrong), or doing something new. Having what if's, what could go wrong, in the back of your mind is good practice.
A LITTLE anxiety can keep you on your toes. Too much anxiety will wreck havoc!
No one from the pharmacist, to the most brilliant nurse, can remember every drug's name, side effects, etc. You've gotten some good ideas here. Once you start working you will deal with the same or very similar drugs over and over and become familiar with them. Plus you are soooo lucky, you will have easy access to a hospital computer or your cell phone, download an easy to use app for drugs.
Thank you all for your wonderful insight. I really appreciate it!
I can understand the anxiety of dealing with new, uncomfortable feelings -- I call them my growing pains! Because that is exactly what they are, you trying out new muscles and stretching. If we don't fail some, we aren't trying enough challenging things.
Be brave, you will be rewarded greatly!
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