Maybe you feel/felt the same? Worried about 'getting it'

  1. I am working on my ADN. So far I've taken most of the basic sciences, intro. to nursing, and my fundamentals class. Right now I'm working on Patho and Pharm. As a note, it's been years since I've had chem, bio, and A&P's. I feel like I'm not 'getting it.' Sometimes I feel like I'm just trying to cram it all in and as soon as the test is over, it's gone. Many of the diseases have similar etiologies, s/sx, etc. It's just becoming a tangled mess in my brain. It's the same with meds. I can keep them somewhat straight for two weeks, and then I start packing in new info. and I can't remember the specifics again or even which ones are in the same class sometimes. Diabetes,all the insulins, hypoglycemics, and types are confusing me even. I'm pretty sure I need a lot of practice with all these things, and I don't expect to be an expert yet, but I also want to know what I'm learning, especially when it will be applied to someone's health.

    (Almost everyone else in my class is taking Med/Surg I, and I'm not). Furthermore, I wonder if in Med/Surg I next semester I'll look like a poor student, since I've had a gap between my clinicals. I've also never worked in health care. All the CNA jobs that I've applied to end up thanking me for applying, but regretting to inform me that, while I was a strong candidate, they had to choose one with more experience. (Or they don't offer insurance -- which I need for school).

    This has turned into more a rant that I intended. I am by no means giving up, or getting down on myself. I know that nursing school is hard and I will keep at it. I guess I'm just wondering if anyone can relate?
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    About libby11

    Joined: Oct '11; Posts: 84; Likes: 30
    RN, Case Manager in Pediatric Home Care; from US


  3. by   katiebear
    I've never heard of an ADN program where you have a semester that does not involve clinicals! How interesting.

    I highly suggest switching up your studying. If you feel like you just aren't getting it, chances are you aren't. And if you aren't getting it, then you need to assess how you're processing the information and come up with a new plan. What are your current study habits, if you don't mind my asking?
  4. by   libby11
    Typically, I read the notes/text for a particular topic. Then I put everything away and write down everything I remember and describe the key processes, systems involved, mechanisms, chemicals, etc. Then I check back and see how much I remembered or if I was correct on the details. I also try to explain it out loud in such a way that I was teaching someone that knew nothing of the topic (say, a patient)... I also do note cards, write key words and definitions multiple times, and try to understand all the root words/word parts. I think I really need to work on my A&P and biology... but it seems impossible to refresh on all of that material mid-semester, in addition to all my other work...

    (I am in an ADN program that has trimesters... Most of the students do take a clinical... but I split the semester in two. If I had taken the clinical course I would have been in class for 9 hours one day, clinical 9 hours another day, and then working my 8 hour days the other 5 days... that did not seem like a genius idea to me.)

    I mean, I am doing well... I'm getting B's and I can answer many of the questions when we do reviews the first or last 15 minutes of class. It's just soooo much information, no? I feel like I don't have to know everything - there is really no way any student could, but I need a strong foundation. Do you agree?
  5. by   Hygiene Queen
    A lot of that information won't really click into place and stick until you utilize it.
    Also, once you get that first job, you will be amazed at what will come back to you.
    You know more than you think, and sometimes you need to actually be in a situation in order for it to trigger your brain.
    If you try to recall facts randomly with no such trigger, you will be discouraged.
    I still continue to study, even though I am now an employed nurse.
    I ask questions at work and I do my own research at home.
    It sticks because it relates to something I am actually doing.
    There is also a thread about using a whiteboard as a learning tool.
    You might want to try that, too.
  6. by   katiebear
    Nobody remembers all of A&P, I agree. But you'd be surprised how much of it really does stay somewhere in your brain. My best suggestion for you is to connect everything new to something you already remember. Say, 'This disease acts in the same way as this.' Or something along those lines. The only way I can study pharm is by linking medications together by similarities.
  7. by   aachavez
    I just finnished Pharm, and have fundamentals starting next week. I feel totally the same way, like I'm not getting it, only long enough to do well on the tests. But once in a while stuff pops up and I can recall some random detail from way back in who knows where. It's only happened a few times , but it has made me realize that I have learned more than I give myself credit for. Hygiene Queen is totally right, try not to get discouraged.
  8. by   sharpeimom
    hygiene queen is right that it will come flooding back into your brain as you begin to work with
    patients with "those" issues and meds. not all at once but gradually as you need the information.
    it's as though the rolodex in your brain suddenly opens to the card where that bit of information
    is being stored. does that make any sense at all?

    your ci and later on your preceptor won't think any less of you if you ask questions or aren't familiar
    with absolutely everything. you're a student and there to learn. if you do your prep work, look up the
    meds your patients are on (make yourself meds cards that include drug interactions, side effects, half
    life, duration of action, etc. for each med your patient is on,) careplans, etc. people will generally be glad
    to answer your occasional questions. what drives experienced nurses crazy is students and new nurses who
    don't do their prep work. we don't expect you to know everything.