Finds textbooks to be antiquated

  1. Hi everyone. I have been attending college now for almost 2 years, getting my nursing prereq's completed AND I MADE THE PROGRAM, STARTING FALL/02.
    Before I decided to go for my RN, I studied computer science, but didn't get a degree. I also worked for an internet service provider as a tech. In other words, I know how to harness the power of the internet pretty well, as I'm sure many of you do.

    College textbooks are expensive. Very. When I started taking my prereq's, beginning with A&P, the cost of the textboook was >$225.00 with the CD's and all. So I did some key word searches and found everything I needed to know was all ready on the internet, in various media formats. I am proud to say that I did not buy a single high-dollar textbook for my science prereq's; anything I wanted to know was on the internet, and many prof's from various universities created websites that dealt with EVERYTHING.
    The college bookstore is a business. The information on the internet is free, and I could print whatever I needed at the computer-lab. The other students all paid for the expensive textbooks like lambs, not knowing all the same knowledge was available online.
    The internet beats the textbooks in several ways. It's always there, it's interactive, it's updated, various formats, etc...and I don't have to sell it back, and I know where the information is so I can get it anytime, anywhere, print it if I need to. (I'm paying a "technology fee" anyway, to use the computers and printers on campus
    At orientation tonight, it was mentioned that textbooks for the nursing program would run very high, close to $1,000. or more. I could tell by the voice of the speaker, that it was a "pitch" for the bookstore. The internet can not replace actual classroom learning, but when it comes to text and pictures, which is what a textbook is, I know that all I have to do is plug keywords into a search engine and I'll have more information about a topic than you can shake a stick at. Plus, now I am used to harvesting information from the internet, and it seems like a backward step only using a single, and expensive, source for nursing knowledge.

    Does anyone who is currently in a nursing program have any comments about textbooks? Do any students out there belong to a school program that bases the knowledge from a website, as opposed to expensive, antiquated books? Thanks for any comments.
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    About mario_ragucci

    Joined: Jan '02; Posts: 1,614; Likes: 2


  3. by   essarge
    Congrats on surviving the prereq's Mario!

    The closest our school has come to using the internet is using Blackboard. All of our nursing courses require you to have the textbook in the classroom and the instructors make sure that you have to have it to complete any assignments (and there are allot!).
  4. by   Mkue
    I'm glad you brought this up Mario, I've had it with the mafia style bookstores and have also used search engines to find information, practice quizzes and tests are very helpful online.

    It's sad that one pays up to 150.00 for one (pre-req) book "new" and try to sell it back after the semester for a pittance, it's scandalous.

  5. by   Peeps Mcarthur
    I agree,
    In Micro we bought a "required" textbook for $100. There was not one lecture or test during the entire semester that refered to any of the material in the textbook!
    Most of my material is coming from the study guides or the internet but the textbooks make a nice reference material if you just want to know more.

    I'll be starting in the fall. I noticed in my acceptance package that the charge for required textbooks was about $650 for the first semester alone. I thought the uniform company would ream us but they seemed to be reasonably priced for pieces of crap I'll never even clean my golf clubs with.

    I'm going to listen to essarge's comment here and assume the textbooks for the actual program would have been picked for content. I think the textbooks for the program, although charged at black market prices, will be "keepers".

    Last edit by Peeps Mcarthur on Feb 21, '02
  6. by   mario_ragucci
    Sometimes I don't know what to do or say about this stuff. I need to start "going on the lamb" myself and thinking retro. At the orientation, not a single thing was mentioned about the web. There are 85 students in our nursing class starting fall/02, and you think a web site wes created for us. No. Why not? I simple website, where we could exchange information, communicate with one another, share feelings/emotions/information.
    I notice there are several free community web sites available today.
    It's totally crazy not to set one up, so everyone can be on the same page.
    Has anyone in your circles done such an act? (create a community website for a nursing class?)

    I can see what can happen to me...I will PAY the black-hand prices for these nursing school textbooks, and then wind up using the internet anyway. I don't want to do that.

    Mario (the lambster) :-(
  7. by   marieoct62
    I agree with you that textbooks should be a thing of the past and the internet and web pages should be what students are learning from. There are a few problems with this. alot of people are intimidated by the internet ( I know a few of my profs are taking intro to windows 98 classes)LOL. I am a 39yo junior in a BSN program and I can honestly say that I really have not really read a full chapter in any one of my nursing books. I am the type of learner who does better if I listen to the lectures in class and I take impeccable notes. Most Profs test right from their notes/lectures. I am one of the older students in my class and I would of thought that many of my younger fellow students would use the internet for research but they don't!! I started a web community for our class and listed alot of links to different sites that would be helpfull I also encouraged them to get online and use this site for a chat, question, ***** session with the other students but they didn't so I no longer update the community. I do share sites with them every now and then and I think some of them look at them.
    If I were you and if you do have an interest in starting a website I would go for it. With a class your size there is bound to be some that would find this extremely helpful.
  8. by   colleen10
    So far my "nursing Pre-req" experience is limited to Psych. Growth and Human Development this semester, being that this is the first class I am taking to get my ADN in nursing. I bought the textbook (used) from the on campus bookstore for about 75 dollars. Our first exam is tonight and very little of what has been covered up to this point has been referenced in the book. Part of the exam though, is defining words from the "Key Words" section at the end of each chapter. I spent a lot of time going through the book and typing all these words and definitions only to find that about 1/2 the people in my class did not purchase the book or bought it and then sold it back and were able to get the "Key Words" from the publishers website. I haven't checked out the website yet, but from my classmates say, it has summary's of each page, Key Words, Summary Questions, etc. Makes me wonder why I bought the book!
  9. by   Agnus
    Mario I agree and I bet your school has a library full of nursing books. And I bet any test on a given subject that you pick up will have pretty much the same info as any text you are REQUIRED to have.

    You are right you don't need text books and they don't have to be the latest edition. AND if you need to know what is on a specific page of assigned reading go to the school library(BECAUSE EVERY REQUIRED TExT IS ON RESERVE THERE) You don't have to read it out of that text but you can find out what material is covered that way
  10. by   pebbles
    I waited until the class started, THEN decided whether or not to buy the book. Cuz some courses were so specific as to be directly from a specific book, even info from other sources wouldn't be good enough. In our program, they made us photocopy endless articles from journals, saying the info in a textbook is out of date by the time the book is printed. True! So I ended up forking out $$ for books and photocopies (inflated photocopy prices on campus too).

    Introducing the internet into our education was a "trend", not an actual practice, so the syllabus would be posted on the university website, but not much else. Many of my classmates were older, returning, "mature" students, who were terrified to use a computer, and would find ways around any assignment that required using the internet. Sad but true. There are many resons education in nursing doesn't (and sometimes shouldn't) use the internet. Caveat Emptor, I think is the phrase. Often, the info you get on the net is half-assed, improperly verified, surface oriented, etc. Make sure you verify the info with sources considered credible by your instructors, cuz they are the ones who will be giving you your grades...
  11. by   essarge
    LOL...I was just reading the replies to this and came up with an idea. Maybe someone could start a RAT program (rent a text). Of course it would have to be off campus somewhere, but can you imagine how nice it would be not to have to buy that chemistry book that you probably would never pick up again. You could rent the book for say, $50 for the semester and then when the book is returned get some of that back. Wish they had something like when I was doing the pre-req's. Now I'm into the keeper's that cost an arm, leg, 3 toes and 1/2 an ear to buy...geesh!!
  12. by   TCW
    I agree that textbook prices are outrageous however, I would be a little skeptical about having a teacher that relied soley on the internet. As someone mentioned earlier you cannot always trust what you read on some of these sites and not to mention that it would be difficult for someone who only has access to the web at school.
    Personally, I like having a textbook...there's something about having the book available to me at all times. It's a lot easier to toss my textbook in my car and be on my way. I'm not looking to buy a laptop just yet.
  13. by   crnasomeday
    Hey essarge...don't I remember a while back where you where trying to start some kind of text rental or borrowing program at your school, or am I totally off base?

    We pay a rental fee every semester for our texts, but wouldn't you know it....nursing texts are not rentals....not ever (well, except for classes like nursing research and health policy and law). We have to fork out the money for those, and still pay the rental fee even though we don't get any books from textbook rental services. That really bites.
  14. by   NRSKarenRN
    I still have my ancient tombs er textbooks from 1973 thru 1982. Some things HAVE changed (tests, treatments, meds), but basic disease process and assessment has not in all this time. Some things are returning (e.g. leech therapy in reattached linbs that are engourged with blood). I know I'm unusual, but return to those books once a year or so for some reference.

    You are paying for all the cost involved in information gathering, editing, nurse/medical reviewers, changing formats along with "intellectual property" (someone has to think of this stuff), legal review and printing costs.

    Education needs to be BALANCED a blend of both old and new techniques.

    Mario, your prior posts re giving a bedbath to fellow student brought back my LPN education roots---how scared we were and how important we found it to drap someone to protect privacy and maintain dignity. You remember that all your nursing career.
    RN program had the same thing in 79. By early 1980's it was considdered " Passe" as 'Student privacy' deemed more important and you could learn as well from a manequin.

    I saw TOO MANY nurses and assistants bathing confused or semi-conscious patients by stripping them naked, pulling down the sheet totally exposing the patient to whomever walked into the room and sloshing water on them with the cleaning process completed in less than 5 minutes. If they had been the receiver of a mock bedbath they NEVER would have bathed a person that way.

    Nursing tapes were considered a new tool along with transparencies in late 70's with some teachers and students fearful then too. Patients are often fearful...we teach/coach them to get over their fears. We should do the same with older/hesitent students and instructors to enable computer proficiency in everyone.