Future Nurses - Are You Lost? - page 2

Ok, so I have been on this site as guest & then member for over 7 months now, and I still do not understand most of what is talked about on this board. Like procedures, simple things - I don't even... Read More

  1. by   ats
    Justjenn, try to relax my friend!

    Your A&P instructor, like any other, will give you a detailed syllabus (class outline) on your first day of class. In it, you'll have spelled out what chapters and pages of information will be covered in which classes; what projects and papers may be due; all the fun stuff like that. Not everything that's in your textbook will be emphasized in class -- they'll let you know what they would like you to concentrate on (such as specific muscle groups, hormones, types of bones, body systems) for their specific class goals. That's not to say that the rest of the information is unimportant, but you can't possibly cover it all in one semester, or even two. You will most likely receive other handouts and lecture notes that go beyond what is included in the textbook, so be sure to check that too.

    You'll find that what you learn in A&P will be covered again once you reach the nursing courses -- only this time it will incorporate more of a self-review, add another layer of detail on top of it, and finally it will all come together for you, and you'll understand the whys and hows of the body's structure (anatomy) and function (physiology). It's actually quite fun, and isn't this what you're hoping to learn? Thought so!

    As for the instructor having a reputation -- please please please, try not to borrow trouble by worrying what anyone else says or what their grades were. You will never know the entire situation behind the stories (their study skills, motivation, and yes, even attitude all play a part in their success or failure). You must walk into each and every class with an open mind and a thirst to learn. I've been through the same thing, with instructors who were labeled as so difficult... I've received As, most of my study pals received As and Bs... and some who tried to coast along received grades they were not thrilled with. My point is, we're a part of the mix, we have a good deal of control over how we do. And if you're ever stuck and just can't figure something out, ask! That's what peer counselors, instructors, librarians, and study groups are for. There are always resources, and lots of people who do care about your success. But first and foremost, YOU must believe in your own success!

    For the record, I work full time, have taken science classes at night, followed by an accelerated ADN program (evening/weekend). I won't say it's a breeze, but I've done very well, and I *have* had a life along with the rest. That's something else you have some control over -- just have a positive attitude, plan your study time AND your fun time, and most of all, learn how YOU learn best. Some of us are visual learners, and like to have charts and diagrams and photos to refer to. Some of us are auditory learners, and it helps them to tape a class, or (in my case) to read their notes out loud to themselves as they study to reinforce the information. Some like to study in groups, and others do better on their own. Give some thought to that, and don't let someone else's words or experiences have too much of an impact on your own school experience. It really is wonderful, I promise you!

    Best of luck to you.
  2. by   ats
    As if I haven't said enough already...

    I would highly recommend that you pick up a copy of Cliff's Notes for Anatomy and Biology -- it's clear, concise, and followed my textbook and classes perfectly. It summarizes a lot of the main information you'll most likely be needing. (Hey, I'm a book person, what can I say... I seem to attract tons of extra reading to help me learn more, or learn better lol).

    As far as a day in clinicals... that could depend on your program. My clinicals are held every other weekend, Saturday and Sunday, from 6:45 am to 2 pm (on the floor), followed by post-clinical review. Our class was broken into 3 groups, each with its own clinical advisor. In clinicals you will use the skills you have been taught in skills lab, and given the opportunity to practice those skills and observe a lot of other things that complement your care (med passes, physical therapy, perhaps even dialysis). You will not be given any tasks that are beyond your learning to that time... in fact, that is absolutely frowned upon, so don't think you won't be prepared (which is not to say you may not be nervous). ]In a lot of ways your relationship with your clinical advisor will depend on both the skills you exhibit and your confidence level. They do seem to get a good feel for how much supervision you require (and desire), and they allocate their time accordingly.

    My first clinical patient was an elderly gentleman with multiple cancers who was going through end-of-life issues -- and I just happened to need to do my therapeutic communication exercise with him. It was totally wonderful, and the best first experience. My second patient was an elderly woman in acute renal failure, diabetes affecting both legs and feet, frequent dialysis, bouts of acute pain, and depression because she had been hospitalized so long and was unable to walk and therefore go home to her husband. I almost fainted when I read her medical charts the Friday night before my clinicals -- but my clinical advisor had assigned me this patient deliberately, because she knew I could handle it -- and again, it was a wonderful, wonderful experience for me. I truly feel that I touched that woman and helped her want to help herself, and the "nursing" tasks I performed were actually quite basic. But I was there to listen, to monitor her pain, to encourage her movement, and to share her experience. By the end of the weekend, she was talking positively about returning home, demonstrating her physical therapy exercises, and reporting minimal to no pain. What more could you ask for, no matter what your skill level is?

    I'm sure others will have more insight as to their own clinical experiences. You will get there, you will be prepared, and many will be there to help you along.
  3. by   B.T.H
    Hi JustJenn,
    Just relax, it's A&P is not as bad as it sounds. Your teacher will lay out the info you need to learn in his lectures. There is no way your going to learn everything in the anatomy book and your not expected to learn everything.
    I remember we had one lady back in A&P I that studied day and night for the class. I felt so bad watching her take her quizzes because she kept getting low grades on them. The reason was that she was overwhelming herself with all the information and couldn't recall the right info on the quizzes. I found out that my teacher layed out the info that we were responsible for in his lectures, so by studying my notes from the lectures, and doing a little extra reading on topics that I didn't completely get, I did fine.
    So be prepared to study hard for the class but don't overstress yourself at the same time. A steady study habit is all you will need to pass the class. Good luck and don't stress yourself out. BTH
  4. by   zannie
    I didn't notice if it was mentioned or not... but the coloring books helped me a lot!
  5. by   maire
    Originally posted by justjenn
    Thanks again everyone - & yeah, if someone can inform us what a "day in clinical" is like, it would help us newbies out.
    There is a thread a bit below titled "What to expect in clinicals?" that you can take a peek at. I tried to help. lol
  6. by   2banurse
    The most important thing I would suggest is that you study a little bit everyday and not wait until the last moment and have a cram session. Also, study those areas that give you a harder time and don't waste time studying those things you already understand. There are many different study aids to help...as Zannie suggested the coloring book is a great aid for A&P1. I also picked up the study guide that corresponds to the text book. I don't know what textbook you use, but we use Martini. I have found that there are many questions within the study guide that are also on the test.

    If you can develop good study habits and get through A&P1, it'll help you throughout the nursing education process, JMHO.

  7. by   justjenn
    ats, BTH, howie122832, Mel D, Love-A-Nurse, Gator,SN, marilynmom, 2banurse, maire, zannie Miss JKm, RN2bNC

    You Guys Turned on the LIGHT. Thank You!

    I will go in w/ an open mind and a positive attitude. I never had self confidence, wish I could buy some.:chuckle

    Your words of support will help me. I do not think I can say Thank You enough. I WILL DO WELL!
  8. by   justjenn
    ats Thank you for sharing you wonderful expierence. You truly have inspired me.
  9. by   B.T.H
    Go get them JustJen!!!! I had to work full time, help take care of 2 kids, and go to school at the same time. I'm also the most unorganized person in the world also, so if I can do it, anyone can. B.T.H

    To ats: I'm glad that the nursing field has people like you in it. I Hope I will have your positive attitude someday when I finally enter the nursing field.