1. [FONT="Arial"]Alright. I need help help help and more help! I'm in my 3rd semester of RN and in Medical/Surgical theory class and I'm failing. I already know that I have to re-take the class over again next semester but was wondering if anyone out there knew of how I could possibly make it easier for myself. I am unsure if there is a good medical/surgical book out there and helped any of you guys out while taking this course in school. Any ideas, advice, encouragement would be appreciated!

    Thanks again in advance,
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    About Annie2005

    Joined: Apr '05; Posts: 62; Likes: 1


  3. by   RNin2007
    Wow, they will let you retake it next semester? In our school, you are out of the program until the class is taught the next year. They don't reteach because we all move along to the next section. Best of luck to you, I know that must be hard!!

  4. by   Imafloat
    What are your weak spots? I bought the study guide to my textbook and that helped a lot, the questions got me thinking the proper way. I can't say that I really read a lot of the text book, it was like reading Tabers. How are you with physiology? That saved my behind, I was able to get to many answers by reasoning my way through the illness. If you can be more specific I might have better ideas.

    Good Luck!
  5. by   mom2michael
    Do you have the study guide for the book? Do you have any NCLEX review books? Do you use the book's website (if it has one).

    I used the Saunders NCLEX review (big blue book) and NCLEX-RN Made Easy. Both books have CD's with them. Both books are also broken down into different areas. I love the Saunders review book and CD because if we are talking about GI disorders, I can pop in the CD and get 200+ questions on GI disorders. Helps me start learning to think the question through and learn to criticially think it out. I use the NCLEX-RN Made Easy book for our OB classes.

    Good luck!!!
  6. by   Snow1278
    i just finished med surg and the book we used was ok. what helped me more than the book was understanding what each function is of the organs. like the liver. when i understood the normal function then the signs and symptoms of abnormal function seemed a lot easier to understand as well as the diet and what i was going to do. i don't know if that helps but good luck!!
  7. by   mitchsmom
    The Iggy book is our text. We also had to buy the study guide that goes with it.

    I use the Saunders Comprehensive Review for NCLEX too.

    I also use Medical-Surgical Nursing: Reviews and Rationales

    I listed them in order of detail (though the second two are close). If something is complex, I'll look in the review books first to get an overview and to realize what the most important points to take away are. I USE these resources every time I study & I think it helps a lot.

    If it is a teacher issue, then ????? ....... I would get together with other students who are finding success and see what their strategies are (well, you can do that either way)...... also talk to the teacher, tell her what you are doing, and ask what you need to be doing to improve. If she's not helpful, talk to other teachers who are.
  8. by   NJNursing
    we have the brunner & suddarth med-surg book. it came bundled with the workbook, but i've never opened the workbook and have barely read the book. what i do is tape the lectures and take impeccible notes in class. plus i've got classmates whom i'm very close with and we get together every single lab and lecture day and just go over the notes and quiz each other out of nclex review books and that really does help us to understand it. we joke and laugh and come up with the most rediculous things to remember (often relating it to sex being we're all females) and during tests, we can think back on what we laughed about and it helps us for answers.

    when i take notes, i'll take notes in blue pen or pencil. then i'll go back over my notes while re-listening to the lecture and add additional things in red. then if at our study group, someone has something else to contribute it, i'll add it in green so that i know where the information came from. it may sound excessive, but i started this system this semester and i'm getting the best grades ever.

    good luck.

    p.s. i also recommend the nursing made incredibly easy books - they break it down in simple english and it's so easy to understand.
  9. by   Daytonite
    The way we were taught to approach med/surg was to take each disease, review the anatomy and physiology of it first and make sure we understand it. By understanding what in the anatomy of physiology can go wrong and how those errors manifest themselves in the disease process helps make more sense of the disease as you move along to the discussion of medical treatments for the different problems. We were to list out the usual medical treatments and drugs, including normal dosages, that would be prescribed and why. The nursing care and patient teaching kind of fall in line from these things. We were told that this was the logical progression for learning this stuff. The other main component that was drummed into our heads was to continually answer the question, why. Why is the patient getting these symptoms? Why is the doctor treating them with this therapy? Why is this drug being given? Why do you want to do this particular nursing care thing for this patient? Why does the patient need to be taught this? Asking and answering the "why" questions will help immensely in tying all the information together. If you look at nursing journal articles that address a particular disease you will see this type of sequencing being used frequently. The article will review the A&P, what the pathology is, the normal medical treatment and go into the nursing responsibility in carrying out the medical treatment as well as the independent nursing actions that can be taken.

    While the one poster states she relies pretty much solely on her lecture notes, you will notice that she reviews them a number of times--repetition and reinforcement of the information is what she is doing. Most of us learn by repetition and the use of visual aids. For this reason it is good to have several nursing books at your fingertips to refer to. Look up journal articles on med/surg conditions you are studying and read them over. Flood your brain by reading as many different sources of information about particular conditions. Each time you expose your brain to a different writing on a same subject you are reinforcing the basic things about the subject that you need to know as writers tend to focus on the most important points. Quick searches on the Internet can help with this reinforcement of what you are supposed to be learning as well. In particular, search for information on drugs as many drug companies have set up web pages very specifically for patients looking for information which break it down to the very basics written in nice, easy to read language. Sites like Walgreens or CVS pharmacy have these patient templates on many common drugs. If you are studying cancer, check out the American Cancer Society web site for specific information on a particular type of cancer. They have many pamphlets for patients that are on line. Ditto for the American Heart Association, the American Kidney Foundation, and the American Diabetes Association as well as the Juvenile Diabetes Association. By giving your gray cells an enriching amount of reading from all these different sources, the information will sink in. Of course, actually having a patient with one of these diseases helps as well because you can look for specific symptoms in a patient and observe how they have affected them. If a patient tells you that since they got their specific disease they have had nothing but certain types of physical problems and they sound different from what you learned, hit your textbooks and see if you can reason out why the patient might be having those symptoms.

    This is how you learn nursing. You will be doing this all through your career as there is always something to look up that you either don't remember, or may be new since you were in school. The learning never stops.
  10. by   NightProwler
    The best advice I can give for studying for Nursing School is to read your material before class. Print out your lecture notes before class and read over them. Study groups are beneficial for some people, for others they are annoying and a waste of time. Take the best notes you can in class. If you sitting by someone who is a distraction, move seats immediately and save yourself and you GPA misery. Remember, you are in school for yourself, and you come first in class. Homework, call a trusted friend/good student in class and compair answers and theories, two brains usually work out problems better than one.
  11. by   goodspiritsRN
    does anyone know where i might find a chart with listed GI disorders and there clinical manifestations listed. Example what disorders cause Nausea, Vomitting, Diarrhea, Constipation, Flattulance, Belching, Bloating,
    Liquid, bloody stools, collicky pain.

    I'm trying to organize them by symptoms.

  12. by   Daytonite
    Never seen a chart and you may need to make your own. You can buy books that have symptoms listed in alphabetic order, give you assessment information about that symptom and then list the likely causes (medical diseases/conditions). I have three books that specifically have this information, but I have to tell you that I very seldom use them. My advice. . .spend your money on a good pathophysiology book and use the index in the back to look up specific clinical manifestations. Determining a condition from a clinical manifestation is more in the doctor's realm and we are not doctors. We nurses do, however, need to know the pathophysiology of the many different disease states.
    • Signs and Symptoms: A 2-in-1 Reference for Nurses
    • Nurse's 5-Minute Clinical Consult: Signs and Symptoms
    • Differential Diagnosis in Primary Care - this is a physician reference for medical students and has more tie in to medical diagnoses