NS Retention...

  1. Help!! I have always been a good student (GPA 3.8 w/my bachelor's in MIS) and good learner...however....

    I'm finding in my 9th week of my first semester that I feel like I'm not really retaining a lot of information....it feels like so much has been thrown at us, and I don't have a healthcare background, and while I'm more than holding my own on tests and checkouts, there's a part of me that thinks I should be able to spit out more knowledge than I feel like I know...for instance, when administering drugs, my instructor asked about each drug as she removed it from the pyxis, I referred to my drug cards as we are allowed, then we gave the pt the meds.

    At post-review, something came up about meds that day, and I could NOT remember what one of the drugs was for or even its name...it seems like a lot of little details I'm having trouble holding on to also...it's like my brain is on overload or something!! It also feels like there's not enough time in a day to look up new terminology or other foreign info that comes up...

    Anyone having similar problems or is this just normal NS reaction to a TON of new info that I'll grasp as time goes along?!?!?

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    About WDWpixieRN

    Joined: Nov '05; Posts: 2,257; Likes: 367
    Specialty: Med/Surg <1; Epic Certified <1


  3. by   Jules A
    It will get easier as you start seeing the same meds over and do the different tasks until things become second nature to you. Try not to be too worried it is a ton of information but you can do it. Jules
  4. by   jov
    yes, it's perfectly normal.
    Remember that the best learning happens when you connect a piece of new information to a piece of old information that actually exists in your brain. (this is why vocabulary is an predictor of success in school; large vocabulary = well read = large body of knowledge). As time goes on, you will remember the clinical where you had a cardiac patient with a heart rate of 60, that you held the Toprol - and then you will learn about beta-blockers and it will make more sense because you have a piece of information to connect it to.

    I have years of training and experience as a paramedic, and I still feel the same way.
    Last edit by jov on Oct 15, '06
  5. by   WDWpixieRN
    Thanks....you two are making me feel better already....it just seems I'm swimming in info that's being thrown at me left and right and some sticks and some slides and I wonder if my age is catching up to me or I'm losing my mind or maybe not meant for this career!! I know some who are faring worse than me in some ways or with some info, and others that seem to be exceeding what I've learned...

    I don't deal well with being ignorant and I'm afraid that's what I feel like ALL the time, especially in clinicals!!

    :smackingf :selfbonk:
  6. by   JentheRN05
    Once you get further in, and understand the pathophys requiring the meds, you will be able to explain them easily. Just understand the patho of the disease in question and you will do great. It takes time (heck took me till my junior year to figure out what it really takes). Basically if you understand how the body is supposed to work, then when something isn't working right then you know what is going on by critical thinking. Once you know whats going on, all you have to do is figure out what it will take to normalize what is going on and you have your med figured out. It just takes time
  7. by   Rosa2Little
    You are definitely not alone! I've always been a good student but sometimes I feel like my brain is made of Teflon -- nothing sticks. I've noticed that I feel most overloaded when I've gotten less than the amount of sleep my body needs. I have to force myself to put the books away, since I will not retain anything that I've read anyhow.

    Also, I think as career changers we tend to feel almost entitled to success -- as if we have already proved we are competent. But no, that was another field. We are novices --no matter our past successes -- learning to be humble and starting all over again.
  8. by   nurse4theplanet
    You are not alone!

    There is just WAY too much nursing knowledge to be retained in nursing school! Concentrate on the basic fundamental nursing knowledge that you will need to provide safe patient care and don't be so hard on yourself when you forget a drug, etc. The more experience you gain, the more concrete the information will become.
    Last edit by nurse4theplanet on Oct 15, '06
  9. by   BeccaznRN
    I remember feeling the exact same way when I first started nursing school. You are in good company! As other posters have said, it gets easier as time goes by and you spend more time in the profession. I've even had many experienced nurses tell me that not only do they still learn something new every day, but the moment you start feeling "comfortable" is when you'll start making mistakes.

    Nursing is lifelong learning. Enjoy it!
  10. by   allthingsbright
    I am second semester and it is AMAZING how much my brain is putting stuff together. Just continue to study hard and it will all work its way together as you go--even your pre-reqs/co-reqs will make more sense. It is just overwhelming RIGHT NOW!