I wish I had studied this before Nursing 101....... - page 4

I will be starting school in the fall & want to plan ahead, so what do you wish you had studied a little more before you started Nursing 101? I am an older student, out of school for a while & have... Read More

  1. by   neongirl
    Great question:
    I am just about done with school and looking back.. i am very happy i did a few things. medical terminology, A&P's before Nursing (they are co-req's with our program - not pre) I am in a 4 semester ASN, I would advise anyone to take as much as they possibly can before nurs 1-4, to get the gen ed's out of the way.. no matter what your age! I can't imagne after a 12 hour clinical shift - having to come home an write an english comp paper or a speech..??? I realize all programs are different - but nursing takes up alot of time - and you will get out of it what you put into it..the paperwork and writing out patho's and labs, and drawing the corelations out... writing care plans (learning a new language "nursing process")

    math, is very important, but it is also NOT as hard.. as some may claim.. many fellow students got psyched out with it.. by mixng the importance with the difficulty... dosage calculations are methodical.. just take your time and learn the method behind it. - I used the Dimensional Analysis for Meds book Anna M Curren- some perfer to use other methods (amt. desiered / ?? something) My personal sugestion is PICK ONE WAY...and learn it itside and out. I like this book becasue it was set up from very basic refresher.. (this is a decimal, one's, then tenth's....) to iv flow rates and pediatric calculations. Plus it was set up in a workbook fashion with all the answers and a CD.

    Most of the errors we as a class made were not "math" errors but basic conversion errors, decimal point placements, using the wrong measurement(putting mg instead of mcg) or just other stupid mistakes..reading 100,000 units and plugging in 10,000 units to your equation...or trying to use
    extraneous information from question to find the answer..keep in mind though... all these "little" errors are considrerd med errors and will be marked wrong...!

    Math is SO very important with nursing... but I personally feel it is not the most dificult thing to master in school...
    Go slow... double, triple check your numbers, your amounts, your ratios, and.. your basic math. Read and reread the questions... know what they are asking for...
  2. by   FML814
    FYI...I have been using this dosage calculation book and it has helped me a lot:

    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_b_...ge+calculation
  3. by   Danger_s
    Pre-calculous and Chemistry where my killers, they require a lot of time, effort and dedication. Do not get caught off guard with them, study hard since day one. ( I graduated Nursing in 98 and medicine in 05) I still remember those two classes.
  4. by   Rylee2008
    I'm an older returning student who just finishing my second semester of Nursing and hopefully getting my LPN certificate this June and my RN next year. They had us use a book called Math for Meds. This book has sample questions for your math calc. test. I honestly didn't think the math was that bad. You use one math formula for meds and another for IV gtt rates. We had to memorize conversions which I recommend anyway. No one in our class flunked the dose calc. exams so don't worry. I strongly suggest this book. I started doing the sample questions a month before school started and it really helped. Good Luck.
  5. by   stdntnurse
    I have noticed that many people have been posting about med calculations, reviewing anatomy and physiology, etc. While going over these types of things may give you some preparation and maybe even an advantage, the reality is you won't really know what will be most beneficial for YOU in terms of preparation until you are actually in the classes themselves. The purpose of these classes is to give you a foundation and knowledge base and while the professors will expect you to have a basic working knowledge (obtained from your pre-requisite courses), they do not expect you to come in knowing everything so don't worry yourself over cramming a ton of review. What is KEY, however, is to prepare yourself that probably won't be taught to you in Nursing School, such as...

    1) Organize yourself. In my experience first year, we had a lot of journal printouts, photocopies of readings, assignments, etc. and I wish I had set up a filing system of some sorts to keep everything in one place that was divided and organized (I would get a two-drawer filing cabinet system if I were to do it again).

    2) Find out what the textbooks are that are being used at the Nursing School you will be attending and which you'll have to purchase first year. The cost can rack up fast so planning ahead, trying to find used books/buying them off other students and spreading out your purchases will save you money and stress. Plus having the books in advance gives you time to look over them and learn to use them properly (i.e. what is covered, if there are chapter summaries at the end, etc.).

    3) Look into other program pre-requisites. My nursing school requires all incoming students to have a Level C CPR & First Aid certificate and be completely up-to-date on vaccinations and have TB testing. Make sure this is all done in the months before you start so you won't have to worry about missing deadlines.

    4) Good reading and writing skills. Getting used to reading efficiently and taking notes while you read will help a lot as you will be required to do many readings in a short time frame and will need notes in order to prepare for the exam. Good writing skills are also essential, there are so many people who cannot string a sentence together and being able to do so is essential for care plans, assessments and papers you'll be required to do.

    5) A positive attitude and a sense of humor - these will keep you sane through the rough times.
  6. by   JenRNCT
    I used "Dosage Calculations Made Incredibly Easy" by Lippincott (found on Ebay for about $5) and Henke's Med-Math (5th ed.) also published by Lippincott (ISBN # 0-7817-6264-2). These 2 books made the math CLICK for me, and I was 20 years out of high school when I entered nursing school. Good luck! You are smart to prep early!
  7. by   rawoysteraddict
    Regarding the math, do you use a calculator or all long hand?
    Would everyone please respond. I would like to know how NS schools differ on math.

    Thanks and good luck to all.
  8. by   lilteena129
    i'm 22 years old and in a fast track program to get my lvn and i'm about 9 months in with 3 to go. it will help you tremendously if you start looking at meds now. once you pass pharm, it doesn't mean you can forget about all the drugs you've learned. each system you study will have meds integrated into it. if i had known this before i started my program, i definitely would have studied my calculations and conversions. aside from that, a lot of people in my class had trouble with fundamentals. it seems so easy that you feel like you don't need to study much, but it's a lot of pertinent information. fundamentals is especially important because it's the foundation that you build off of.

    aside from that, make sure you don't have a lot of distractions that will take your focus off the program. it's so easy to fall behind and it happens in a blink of an eye (7 people have failed out in my class). while you're in the program, there's a lot of things that you will have to sacrifice, and that includes most of your social life (going out and even hanging out with friends AND family), you'll miss birthday parties, family gatherings, vacations .. you name it! and that's due to all the hours you'll be putting in, the massive projects and homework that will be assigned, and the continuous physical and emotional stress.

    i'm not sure if you all ready knew all this, and i'm certainly not trying to scare you, i just wish someone had told me what it was really going to be like. i hope this helped and good luck to you! study hard and study often!
  9. by   lilteena129
    go to google and type in "medication calculations for nurses'. pick a site, take their calculation and conversion quizzes and go from there. in my previous post i mentioned that i'm 9 months into my nursing program. for someone who's average in math, i'd say the calculations shouldn't be too difficult. on my pharm exams our instructors allowed us to use calculators which made it easier, just make sure you know how to convert things like milligrams to grams, millilitres to litres, etc. however, math is my worst subject so i struggled. know your weaknesses and build from there.
  10. by   lilteena129
    Quote from CrunchyMama
    Now I'm freaked out! I start nursing this fall and I'm NOT good at math! I absolutely hate it! I know that math is a part of nursing...but OMG I don't want to get kicked out because I'm not good with it! What do I do? What sort of math book should I buy in advance that will help? Help please!


    go to google and type in "medication calculations for nurses'. pick a site, take their calculation and conversion quizzes and go from there. in my previous post i mentioned that i'm 9 months into my nursing program. for someone who's average in math, i'd say the calculations shouldn't be too difficult. on my pharm exams our instructors allowed us to use calculators which made it easier, just make sure you know how to convert things like milligrams to grams, millilitres to litres, etc. however, math is my worst subject so i struggled. know your weaknesses and build from there.
  11. by   ellerondeau
    The course prep on math, A&P, Stats , and med terminology are awesome suggestions. I think you should add the on psychic reading too - I love it when I have to figure out what Dr.'s, nurses, profs, patients and everyone else seems to think that all nurses are mind readers and should therefor know exactly what people are thinking!!! LOL - good luck with your studies!
  12. by   Destination1
    The thing that threw me for a loop was the medical terminology. Coming from a non-medical back ground this was a tough one. We did not take a med. term. class but had to pass a terminology test in the middle of the first semester (self study). the same was true about dosage calc. but that came easier for me. also as others have mentioned if you go into NS with a solid understanding of anatomy and physiology you will have it much easier.
  13. by   cwhagat
    Here is a book given to us in my nursing program. Math for Nurses: A Pocket Guide to Dosage Calculation and Drug Preparation, Edition 6, by Mary Jo Boyer. It's really good and has been very helpful to me. I am finally in my last term, graduate in August and am also a very nontraditional aged student. Hint, my youngest is 26 and getting married the week of finals this summer! Good luck, math is a matter of practice, practice, practice.

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