Failing Med Surg 2

  1. I am in my last year of nursing school and I am having a difficult time in Med Surg 2. In my program you can only fail two classes before getting kicked out. I already failed pharmacology and now I am currently failing med surg 2. I failed the first two exams and I have a 68%.. There are 3 exams left (2 exams and a final) and a 76% is a passing grade I heard the final was really hard which is causing me to feel even more discouraged. Is there anyone who was in the same position as me? Do you think there is hope in passing this class? I don't know what else to do

    I study each chapters assigned, do NCLEX-style questions, review my lengthy study guide but for some reason my anxiety takes over when I take an exam. I asked multiple people in my class to form study groups but no one really wants to study with me - they'll brush me off or something.

    I just feel hopeless.
  2. Visit chelleb123 profile page

    About chelleb123

    Joined: Feb '18; Posts: 3
    Specialty: 1 year(s) of experience

    7 Comments

  3. by   sandy 45
    Have you tried speaking too your professor or the department chair? They can give you the best advice.
  4. by   chelleb123
    Yes, I spoke to my professor who provided me with a study schedule and how to study; but the thing is I feel like I go overboard in studying for this class. It takes me 5 hours to study one chapter and I don't know how to shorten that.
  5. by   KrCmommy522
    5 hrs a day or 5 hrs a week? In either case, for 1 chapter that's a lot! I was the same way. I totally over did it and I would fall down the rabbit hole of trying to learn every single detail about something. What I ended up doing was making a study schedule and STICKING TO IT. I knew I had to stick to the schedule, so every time I would start to fall down the rabbit hole and do more on something than I should, I needed to remind myself that I only had x min left in my study time for this chapter or class and needed to finish what I had scheduled to do in that time. It definitely got easier to do that once I did it more! So, how is the study schedule your professor gave you set up?

    First, how I took notes:
    Before class, read each chapter you will be going over. Don't worry about taking notes. Just read each chapter through so you have an idea of what the instructor will be talking about during lecture. (it's hard to take notes if you don't know the info - if you don't know the info, then you'll think everything is important and be writing waaaay too much. If you have at least a little idea of the info, you can at least get kind of an idea of what is important and where to start). I know a lot of people say that you can't read every single chapter for every single class, but I didn't think it took that much time to just read through each chapter. It was when I tried to read through every single chapter and make notes on every single chapter that was time consuming. Just reading through was quick and easy.

    During class....TAKE NOTES!! Take lots of notes. Don't be afraid to ask questions - ask as many as you need, talk to the instructor after class if you need to. Don't worry about the notes looking good (we'll worry about that later) - Just scribble down everything you need to. (my notes were a mess after class - I would write them fast and think of things after the fact and make notes on the sides and squish something between other things)

    After class: If possible, right after class (or as soon as you can but try not to wait)...type up your notes from class make them well-organized. Fill in anything you left blank, use your book to supplement things, add to things that you didn't understand, find examples in your book that help you understand, etc. Make this as neat as possible. This is what you will use as your study guide. Read through it, write it out over and over again, whatever helps you retain the information best. (Personally, I need to write things out in order for them to stick in my head, so I would type up the notes nice and neat, then I would write em out over and over again until I felt I had a good handle on them).

    Now...when I took notes...I tended to end up with PAGES! So, after I had spent time studying them and studying them and studying them and learned everything I could from it, there became a point where studying them all was just wasting time because I learned all I could from those notes, so I would go on to my final step. Of course, there was always some things from those PAGES of notes that I had a hard time with still. So, I would take a piece of paper, then I would take the key concepts from those PAGES of notes and I would write just a few words or something to remind me about each one. You are only putting in what you DON'T KNOW. This ends up breaking our notes down from everything to only what you still need to review before the exam. The key here is to not go over 1 page. If you have, then you have put too much information – either you haven't learned everything you can from the PAGES of notes, or you just didn't condense the info enough. So, if you need to, go back and review those PAGES. If not, just focus on condensing what you have down more.

    Doing this helped me actually RETAIN the information. I didn't just cram it into my head for the exam and then forget about it to learn the stuff for the next exam – because then, I would have to review EVERYTHING when it came time for the final exam. Instead, I used this method so I could actually LEARN AND RETAIN everything. So, when it came time for the final exam, I just needed to key concepts and the stuff we just learned.

    Schedule:
    I did a schedule where I would look at the syllabus - For class A, Exam 1, was going to be over chapters 1 - 7. Class B, Exam 1, was going to be over chapters 1 - 7. Class C, Exam 1, was going to be over chapters 1 - 7. I knew I had a habit of falling down the rabbit hole, so I needed to be specific in my study schedule. So, I did it as something like:

    Sunday - Read each chapter we will be going over in each class on Monday. But only READ the chapters. I would NOT take notes.

    Monday: Right after class, I would straighten up my notes (see side note below). Then, for 90 min I go over chapter 1 and 2 for each class (45 min for each chapter - and ONLY 45 min on each chapter - I used a timer!!). Then I would take a break (usually make dinner and put my son to bed) then for 90 min I would go over chapter 3 and 4 for each class (again, ONLY 45 min on each chapter). At some point, I would read each chapter that we would be going over in any classes I had on Tuesday (again, only READ. Do NOT take notes).

    Tuesday: After class, I would straighten up my notes. Then, for 90 min go over chapter 5 and 6 (45 min ONLY each chapter), and take a break then after putting my son to bed I would spend 45 min going over chapter 7. At some point, I would read each chapter we would be going over in any classes I had on Wednesday (only READ, NO NOTES!)

    After that, I would focus on studying my notes, and then condensing them down. Then, only studying the page from each chapter I condensed my notes down into until the time of the exam. I would also do practice NCLEX questions that were related to the subjects we were being tested on. After the exam, I would start all over again. I found that this helped me retain the info, so then when it came time for the final exams I didn't have to re-study everything from the semester. I just needed to review things.

    Hopefully this will help you some!! The key is to find a note-taking method that works for you and a schedule that helps keep you from falling down the rabbit hole and spending too much time on something. You have to set a time limit to spend on each chapter and STICK TO IT!! Use a timer. When the timer goes off. That's it for that chapter for that day. You will get better at sticking to the time limit and keeping yourself from falling down the rabbit hole.
  6. by   chelleb123
    OMG Thank you - I will deff follow your schedule! It would take me 5 hours to study for one chapter. I literally spend 12 hours a day (5-6 days a week) studying.. I would do this all while working (currently unemployed now since this is the hardest semester) and I never slept
    I know I can pass this class, all I have to do it ace the exam 3 and 4 and I'll be fine for the final
    My professor gave me a schedule to study one chapter a day every day (11-12 days straight) and to review each chapter every day as well; but I have an exam every other week in my OB class (10-12 chapters each exam) so I fell behind in MED SURG. And with clinicals, client profiles, care plans and practice question due every week - it took a toll on me.
  7. by   KrCmommy522
    Quote from chelleb123
    OMG Thank you - I will deff follow your schedule! It would take me 5 hours to study for one chapter. I literally spend 12 hours a day (5-6 days a week) studying.. I would do this all while working (currently unemployed now since this is the hardest semester) and I never slept
    I know I can pass this class, all I have to do it ace the exam 3 and 4 and I'll be fine for the final
    My professor gave me a schedule to study one chapter a day every day (11-12 days straight) and to review each chapter every day as well; but I have an exam every other week in my OB class (10-12 chapters each exam) so I fell behind in MED SURG. And with clinicals, client profiles, care plans and practice question due every week - it took a toll on me.
    Yea doing just 1 chapter a day you would definitely fall behind. That's not a very helpful schedule!! Hopefully my suggestions help you! You just have to remember that you CANNOT go over every single detail in every chapter...ITS IMPOSSIBLE. You have waaaay too much to do! Focus mostly on what your instructor lectures about (which is why in my original post my focus was mostly on the notes I took during lecture, as I said, I would supplement them with notes I took from the textbook when I didn't understand something fully from the lecture, needed more detail, etc., but I focused mainly on the notes I took during lecture and the notes I took from the powerpoints our instructors gave us. I never had any issues when I did that and focused on getting my notes down to 1 page for each chapter. Good luck!
  8. by   ICUnewgrad
    Hey I'm a 2nd year and in the 2nd med surg part myself. It's rough. No matter how well you know The material it seems like half of the test is a bunch of BS to try to trick you. That random sentence that's mixed in the paragraph explaining the disease process, symptoms nursing interventions, etc? Yeah let's ask about that but let's word it differently, better yet let's make it a multiple choice and make all the choices a vague symptom that could be symptom of any disease. I have never came close to failing classes but a good percentage of my classmates have failed and forced to retake.

    When my classmates ask me how I do well I tell them not to spend their entire time studying reading the book about things that won't be questioned on. In our program we're given a syllabus with the exemplars and PowerPoints. I didn't touch my book the first year and a half and am only using it now so I can try to give myself a better chance to make all A's. All I did was read the PowerPoints and stuff that wasn't included or explained in Too deep of detail I would look up. There's plenty of great resources on the internet and YouTube that explain topics in a simple manner. I would learn best by watching videos on my own and taking notes and putting it in my own words. Your learning style may be different but if your school provides you with PowerPoints on the website use them. I don't believe they would go through the trouble of making them if they weren't of any significance.

    also you can answer a good majority of questions by thinking critically and not having to know the information as well. The questions on these exams are all about priority. Think about which intervention would prevent the pt from a catastrophic event. Also remember your ABCs. When there's something wrong with your airway breathing or circulation you better fix that first before tending to The other stuff that can wait.

    Sorry for the long post but to sum it up for you

    dont spend all of your time studying in the book covering things that are repetitive psychosocial nonsense that is of little importance.

    use the PowerPoints and the topics covered in these look in your book and make your own notes. Your own notes either typed or written in a notebook give you quick access to the important stuff so you can learn the key concepts through repetition.

    develop good study habits. Study 3-4 hours a day for the class you need to do well for the remainder of the year to pass instead of cramming the day or night before.

    go to your instructors. If you've made it to second year they want you to succeed. My first year instructors just tried to weed us out and make themselves seem unapproachable but my 2nd year instructors are awesome.

    sorry for the super long post but I hope this helps and sorry if there's a ton of spelling errors I'm typing on my phone. Lol good luck!
  9. by   SOON2RN
    also use youtube. any thing you dont understand try to find a visual of it. i had to use youtube for the endocrine because i constantly mixed the labs.

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