Should I help or not help?

  1. It has always been in my nature to help others when they are in need. This is especially true since I am learning to become a nurse. However, I have encountered a tough situation in my nursing classes. I have some classmates who I have studied with in the past and they have become very dependent studying with me. During our past study group sessions, I have lead them all and in essence tutored them to understand the material in the class. They dont' study much on their own and always cram right before a quiz or exam. At this point in the program, I am feeling the need to just study on my own because the material is getting more detailed and intense. I need more time to study and digest it. How can I communicate to my 2 classmates that I can't do group study sessions with them anymore without coming off mean or rude? Am I being selfish? Thanks in advance!
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    About live&love&heal

    Joined: Aug '07; Posts: 179; Likes: 48
    from US
    Specialty: Pediatrics, ICU, ED


  3. by   Virgo_RN
    Just say you can't make it this time. You don't have to explain.
  4. by   SummerGarden
    I know what you are talking about.... I have a study group and limited time. At the beginning of this semester I noticed that my peers who normally study were not doing so! If they showed up to our sessions (sometimes we made dates and they did not even bother to show) I noticed that we were covering BASIC material that he/she can cover on his/her own! Plus, like you I was tutoring rather then exchanging ideas!
    Nevermind the fact that they did not even bother to read the material. So guess what? I got nothing out of the group sessions.

    Fortunately I figured out their poor behavior weeks before our first two exams and decided not to attend study sessions right before our exams. I contacted my peers a week prior and let them know that I was not attending study session. In addition, I also hinted that I was disappointed that no one seems to be studying, but the reason I gave to not show up was unrelated to spare their feelings.

    BTW, I do not mind leading study group, I mind being the only one prepared to discuss the material. If I am the only one, then I am talking to myself and a complete waste of my time! One study partner pointed out that I get to review of the basics in that situation. I quickly informed him that I can review on my own in 1 hour, which is much faster then I can do in our group!

    In any case, I suggest that you tell them that you are concerned with the trend of them being under prepared. In addition, if they do not get their act together right before and exam, then do not show to up to study session. Be kind and make sure to let them know that you will not be there ahead of time. You DO NOT have to give them an excuse other then you are busy all week!

    Do not get me wrong, my peers were upset at me initially because they either barely passed the first two exams or they did not pass at all. However, I pointed out some obvious flaws in their thinking. For example, I asked them if they expected me to learn the material for them? If they do not read, how were they going to benefit from me showing up to study group? Sure I can break stuff down, but if you did not read or bother to begin learning basic concepts how do you even know what I am talking about? After my discussion and their poor grades I am seeing improvement! My peers read ahead of time and we can now discuss the complexities of the material during our sessions. Not to mention that everyone shows up when we set a date and time. Hopefully you will have similar results. GL!
  5. by   IrishIzCPNP
    I would just tell them it's not working for you and that you realize you study better by yourself. I would then throw in there that they might find it better to study small amounts at a time as they get the material and they may find that works as good as studying with a group.

    And really you help them more this force them to consider being independent.
  6. by   Flames9_RN
    I would not help,lol I have been passing on my study notes to a group of people. Questions I make up for myself, and guess what, the majority of people can not take 10 seconds and say thanks, yet I see them at class studying from them!! So no more study notes for them,lol I'm not upset, as they did not ask for my help, just disappointed they could not say thanks!
  7. by   Daytonite
    actually, tutoring and leading discussions of the nursing material is an extremely effective learning technique that helps to solidify your understanding as well as retention of the information. don't be too quick to stop doing this. just limit the time you give to it. you don't have to attend every study session and you don't have to make excuses to the other students for those times when you say you can't make them. divvy out your time on your own terms.

    here's insight i came to about tutoring and helping other students a long time ago, and in case you weren't aware of it, i answer a lot of questions here on the student forums, particularly about care plans. it's something i know a lot about. many times it takes me one or two hours to compose a post (four hours these days since chemotherapy left me with no feeling in my fingers and i literally have to type with two fingers now). about half the time i never hear back on my posts which makes me wonder if the student understood the information i took so much time to compose and post or were they still lost and confused. if they will tell me i'll help them. but, the points i want to make about helping others are (1) i'm the one getting the primary benefit. (2) the people in the group that are sucking off me or cramming might benefit by getting a couple of questions on a test correct, but they still don't understand the stuff if they don't have the attitude to really learn it and karma is going to get them eventually. cheating or just slumming along is like taking out credit because you don't want to, or don't know how to, put forth the effort to do the learning. eventually the credit debt has to be addressed. the person will sometimes ultimately learn concepts on the job when they make errors in judgment and the light bulb finally clicks on upstairs in their brain (pay the bill off). for some, the light bulbs never turn on, a tragedy might occur or they just flunk out (repossession and/or bankruptcy). if they make it through a nursing program and are successful in getting a license some are just nervous about their performance on the job [they will not always admit this to you] and worry a lot about screwing up because of having to do a procedure or take care of a patient with a disease they don't know. they'll eventually learn some things because they are confronted with having to or the consequences (always behind on paying). (3) for those who are sincerely learning from me, i'm happy for them and hope they can do the same for someone else.
  8. by   Kevin RN08
    Daytonight- Please don't feel your efforts are invane!
    I find myself reading your posts, whether it applies to me that day or not ... sooner or later it will. Even if the OP of a question doesn't respond there are dozens of others who benefit from what you share, I'm pretty sure there are others that look for your posts (that's how I got here). Thanks
  9. by   WDWpixieRN
    Quote from Kevin RN08
    Daytonight- Please don't feel your efforts are in vain!
    I find myself reading your posts, whether it applies to me that day or not ... sooner or later it will. Even if the OP of a question doesn't respond there are dozens of others who benefit from what you share, I'm pretty sure there are others that look for your posts (that's how I got here). Thanks

  10. by   Flames9_RN
    Thats a great way of looking at it daytonite. But after awhile it would get a bit frustrating. Sort of like it is in a few of my lectures,lol Its very obvious which students have done the reading and which ones have not based on the questions asked! People that are asking these basic questions are just wasting everyone else's time.
  11. by   Jules A
    I also like to be generous with my notes, study aids etc. but I have never been able to group study. Its just not helpful for me so I see nothing wrong with just being honest and telling them what you wrote here. Hang in there, Jules

    P.S. to the poster that didn't get thanks for their notes etc. I also share quite a bit of information without being asked but have decided to drop those that didn't have the manners to say thanks.
  12. by   missninaRN
    Several of the people in my original study group always came unprepared. They had nothing to contribute and I often ended up leading the discussion. Some of them would just photocopy my study notes and try to cram on them the night before the test. One student expected me to read my notes aloud as she copied them down, word for word. While I feel that I benefited (because I learn best by talking about a topic as if I'm teaching it), those who expected to be spoon fed at the last minute didn't fare well come test time.
    That was first year. By the end of second semester, many of those people were gone. By the end of our third semester, most of the remaining few were gone. This semester, a few of those who were still in the nursing program chose to do a smaller group with certain guidelines in place. We don't meet the night before the test any more; we meet a few days earlier instead. Everyone has to come prepared. Instead of one person teaching the others, we take turns. Everyone contributes and we all benefit.
  13. by   autumn_raine
    I have never been able to group study but have had many classmates try to include me in their groups. I tried this once and it was nothing but a waste of time for me (more discussion about where they were going to eat after the group than the material at hand). I do share my notes and my classmates know I'm very approachable when they want to ask me a question but they also know I just don't group study. Maybe you can suggest that if they have questions you would be happy to help them (this will benefit you also). If they are in the nursing program, they should be (or need to be) mature enough to take responsibility for their own work.
  14. by   squee-gee
    Sorry to be off subject here, but... Daytonite, please don't think we all don't appreciate every post (and the time it takes for you to write them)! You are and always have been the calm voice of reason during the crazy days (and nights) of nursing school! I've read and reread many of your posts, taken your advice, and used the websites you've supplied, and I for one want to formally say Thank You!!!!