Do you ever have a subject that you are just not able to grasp no matter what? - page 3

For some reason I'm not able to grasp the sensory system. Its so frustrating. I felt the same about Fluids and elytes however, I think sensory is worst for me. I'm just having a hard time... Read More

  1. by   classicdame
    I still have those days

    What helped me in nursing school was to have a study buddy. We would take turns explaining to the other person what we knew about that system, disease, whatever. Somehow if I had to tell someone else in a way they could understand it helped to stick in my head too.
  2. by   zionic
    neuro was my biggest challenge as well but this semester i decided to study it afresh rite from the A&P text then my health assessment text and sure did hit my ah ah moment, so i'm sure with all the help given here wrt links, i cud even be much better
  3. by   nursemarion
    When I went for my BSN I struggled so badly with statistics. I would spend hours on one problem. I started and dropped it twice, and finally left it so that it was the only thing left between me and graduation to force myself to learn it.

    I have since found that I love it, and I have taken other stats courses. It was like a light bulb finally went off in my head. What I learned is that often it is the teacher, or the textbook. Any time I have a hard time with a class I search for other sources- online or in the school bookstore or library. Many times another source can present it in a way that is easier for you to understand. You CAN get it, and you WILL.

    I also had one of those little summary outlines for fluid and electrolytes- a couple of bucks in the bookstore- it was what saved me because the textbook was awful. YOU CAN DO IT!!!
  4. by   CountyRat
    old nurse and certified health educator here with a little advice: when you have trouble learning something, it is usually because you do not have a well developed general framework in which to organize the new information ("schema" in learning psychology babble). trying to memorize does not work in these cases because, unless what you are trying to memorize has a larger cognitive context (schema) the amygdale and hypothalamus are unable to lay the material down in long-term memory, or retrieve it when needed.

    the solution: stop trying to memorize. if that were going to work, it would have by now. instead, turn your study sessions into active, physical activities that start with "big picture" concepts, and then work down to the specifics of pathophysiology. the best ways for most people to learn is by making something three-dimensional, with perceptible weight, form, texture, and smell, and then manipulate it to resemble what they are trying to learn. so, go get some colored clay or play-doe or something, (i prefer play-doe because of the stronger smell) and make little models of the structures that you are studying (eyes, ears, peripheral nerves, whatever). artistic ability is irrelevant. your little play-doe toys can look awful, it does not matter. however, be sure to use lots of different colors for different types of tissue. then, read your textbook's description of the system's function or pathophysiology, or whatever, and then mush the play-doe around to simulate what the book describes. use your imagination, not your memory! of course your "mush ups" will not be technically accurate models of the diseases (many of which do not change the shape or appearance of the structures they affect). that does not matter. what matters is that your brain will experience the subject matter in a strong sensory context. in fact, your mush-ups can even be silly; that will not keep this from working.

    the study buddy idea offered previously is also great. interacting with another person while you handle your toys will add a mild emotional overlay to the experience, which also enhances learning. take turns teaching each other what you are learning. this really powers-up a study session.

    after you "get it," review by using a different physical medium. one that works well for me when i have this problem is to use colored pencils or crayons (more smell in crayons) and draw the structures, then draw imaginative doodles over the picture to represent the normal function (again, use your imagination, don't worry about details) and then, the effect of pathology on those functions and structures.

    it sounds time consuming, i know. the funny thing is, you will actually need less time and will learn more. since you have learned (not just memorized, which is not the same thing) in the context of a real sensory experience, the amygdale (which, as part of the limbic system, is powerfully affected by smell and sensation, as well as facial recognition if you have a study buddy) will more efficiently lock in what you have learned, and just as important, retrieve it for you when you need it.

    have fun! enjoy the happy surprise when this works better than any other method you have used. send me a personal message if you have any questions, or want any more info. on learning neurology, or just let me know how well you do!
    Last edit by CountyRat on May 6, '09
  5. by   nursemarion
    I agree that for certain learning types this is a great idea. I seem to only be able to learn through words. Pictures and models confuse me terribly. Tell me water follows salt- I get it. Show me a diagram with dots in a beaker and arrows- I am lost. A model is useless to me. I need lots of descriptive terms to understand the retina, the sclera, the optic nerve, etc. When I do anything with new equipment I need step-by step instructions, not a diagram. Everyone learns differently. We have to find what works for us.

    It may be that this is learned behavior- back in my day there were no pictures in many schoolbooks. Reading was everything. Maybe that part of my brain was stimulated more. I don't know. That is one for the theorists. Still, I never assume that a picture is worth a thousand words and a model is better. To me a thousand pictures can mean less than well used words, and a model without accompanying text is useless.
  6. by   BoomerRN
    Mine was chemistry. My brother, who is a "brain" tutored me and I passed, but I really hated that subject. That's probably why I had a difficult time grasping it, I have to enjoy a subject to do well in it.
  7. by   Frannasmom
    Theraputic Communication - Open ended questions, reflective statements, the stages of a theraputic relationship - HUH???!! I have issues with communication in general related to a learning disability, so trying to grasp the theory was & still is - Yikes! No matter how hard I studied that unit, I couldn't grasp it. Thank god our exams are on multiple units, because I would have failed it. As it is, I got all of the questions that had examples of the different types wrong. I know the definitions, just don't ask me for an example.
  8. by   perfectbluebuildings
    Cardiology especially the "electrical" parts of it and reading EKGs; fluids/electrolytes; and oh my goodness... OB/GYN!!!

    I wish I had thought of the play-do thing when I was in school though, haha. I think it would have helped in particular with fluids/electrolytes. I don't think there's any hope for me and OB/GYN though!!
  9. by   lowypop
    ahhhh i have sooo much trouble understanding the hormones, lymphatic system and all the immunity stuff!! mainly the hormones!! i was lucky though, i have passed my biology exam, i got 53% not the best but almost the best in my class!!
  10. by   clinitte rhea
    Sensory system is very broad. When i was in my undergrad, I would make up a story that would relate to each part of a specific body system, the story should rhyme with the part you want to memorize to make it more meaningful, even if it makes no sense or hilarious at times (the story would turn out to be). It worked for me. Mine was in pharmacology, I found it really hard to memorize the meds specially in psychiatry. I hope this helps
  11. by   clinitte rhea
    Because if you are talking about cranial nerves which is part of the topic, I could give you a hint which is really helpful.
  12. by   HazeKomp
    After 35 years in the Nursing Profession, I still have areas that are stronger than others, when it comes to understanding!

    Med Calculations still throw me for a loop!
    I work in an area with minimal calculations, so this weakness is not a significant problem for me.
    I'm am NOT a NICU or ICU nurse because of knowing my areas of strength vs weakness.

    You will find your "niche" in nursing...
    and you will know where to look things up and get help in your areas of weakness!

    Haze
  13. by   Multicollinearity
    Chest tubes stump me. The day we went over them in skills lab, I was tired and tuned out. Then, I'd read the section in my textbook about chest tubes and my mind would just go zzzzzt...zzzzt....zzzzzzzzzzt.

    I still don't understand chest tubes. Guess I better figure them out before I hit my last semester's clinicals in August.

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