Ok, I studied the powerpoints over and over again (even when I am on the ellipticals at the gym), read the handouts, read the case studies, read the articles, did the study guide questions that came with the study guide book for the med/surg book, went to the study review session hosted by the instructor for 3 hours, which added to about nearly 30 hrs. of studying this past week for the exam tomorrow. Does it sound like I'm prepared? I am so scared of what tomorrow's exam is going to be like, b/c of all the critical thinking involved and the horror stories I've heard about med/surg from this forum. Gotta keep studying!
Sep 16, '07
You sound like you are prepared! Be sure that you dont over analyze the questions being asked. Remember that there may be 2 answers that are correct, but only one that is THE correct one.
First exams are always scary because you dont know how they are formatted, how they will be graded etc..... once you have this one out of the way then you will know how to prepare for the next one.
Good luck and let us know how you do!!
Sep 18, '07
Geez, that exam was hard... Almost 75% of the test was critical thinking and I was always left with two choices. Scored an 85% (I Felt really uneasy, because I felt like I guessed my way through), then the teacher knocked off 4 questions and I got a 90%. Geez, Nursing school is so hard and time consuming
Sep 19, '07
i'm glad you ended up doing well on your test. however, critical thinking is something you can learn to do. since i am familiar with saunders comprehensive review for the nclex-rn examination
, 3rd edition, by linda anne silvestri (i use it as a reference book) i will tell you that chapter 5 (test-taking strategies) of this book is only 7 pages long and has everything in it about critical thinking for the nclex. human factors, a variable factor, is always going to be a part of instructor written tests and as you already see, 4 questions from your first test were in question and had to be thrown out. i'm not recommending that you buy this book. i'm sure other nclex preparation books have similar instructions in them. i can give you the strategy in a nutshell, or you could find someone with the book and xerox those 7 pages.
- you need to know the pathophysiology of diseases you are being tested over. you must know the progression of symptoms as they go from mild to serious to fatal. this helps you determine priorities of care. interventions are geared to the symptoms.
- you must also know the medical tests and treatments that the doctor is going to order. know which tests and treatments fit with each sign and symptom the patient has.
- you have got to know the steps of the nursing process and what goes on in each step. nothing will trip you up as badly as placing a test question situation in the wrong step on the nursing process. every step of the nursing process is a link in a chain of events. the nursing process is nothing more than a problem solving method. a test question will often test your knowledge of a break somewhere in the link. most students want to gravitate to nursing interventions which come in step #3 of the nursing process, but be sure that this is what the question is asking. instructors know that students will do this so they use nursing interventions as distracters (wrong answers deliberately designed to draw you away from the correct answer!).
- you just have to know the various principles of science, medicine and nursing behind the actions and interventions that are being done for the patient by the nurse and others in healthcare. this is where you pull in information from those pre-requisites you had to take to get into the nursing program.
- always ask yourself "why". why does the patient have this symptom? why did the doctor order this? why would the patient be having this particular problem based upon what the question revealed? why? why? why? that is part of what gets you into your critical thinking component on these questions.
- check out this pointpoint on how to take a nursing test:
Sep 20, '07
Congrats on the score!!
Now that you have an idea of how the tests will be you can move forward........ use the information that Daytonite posted...........it is great information!
Again, congrats on your test!
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