Help with first semester of nursing school?

Posted

Has <1 years experience.

I am in caring interventions class and I'm at a C (77%) and it's so hard for me to get back up to a B.

The thing is, they told us "we aren't going to teach you, we felt that it's beneficial that you all teach yourselves" during our orientation. We were all surprised these instructors said something like this. But a friend said its just the first semester or so, idk.

But they give us assignments expecting us to automatically know what to do. And if you get something wrong, they don't explain it and just mark you down and won't even give you full credit.

That's like me throwing you a 90 slide PowerPoint and having you study for 3.5 days and I give you an assignment and if you don't understand it or get something incorrect, I'll mark you down and you figure out what you did wrong and oh, I'm going to keep telling you to "refer to the rubric" although you have several times.

Anywho, we use Lippincott Advisor online to do the readings (thepoint.lww.com) and the chapters for each PowerPoint packet we get, are SO much!! Majority of the students in my class say they have NO time to read almost 200 pages in 3.5 days and remember all of it for a 5 question test. We get a new PowerPoint packet every week and only have about 3-4 days to study it and know it all for a 5 question test. It's ridiculous.

For example, we had 2 PowerPoint packets in the beginning of this semester. Over vitals and medications. We are to learn 4 medications with their indication, action, dosage/route, side effects, and nursing considerations. And on top of that, the vitals PowerPoint which has a whole bunch of slides and then assigned chapters to read which is almost 100-200.

I studied the PowerPoints and only skimmed through the chapters as a reference.

But it was hard trying to study the meds and all of its stuff, including vitals.

So I really can't remember what causes hypertension, the signs and symptoms, how to treat it, etc because I was focusing on the meds as well.

It's difficult because they rush through the material every week and it's like damn, I feel like we don't get enough time to learn the material. We only have one day of lab that they teach us whatever skills, and then the following day, we check off!!! Ridiculous!!

Hypertension, hypotension, tachycardia, bradycardia, tachypnea, bradypnea, dysplasia, osteoarthritis, and osteoporosis are what we have been "studying" for how to treat, what are the signs and symptoms of them, etc.

Has anyone experiences this as well? How did you surpass it and manage to remember how to treat them, what to do, how to assess them, what the signs and symptoms are, etc?

Can you give me any advice and any websites or apps (iPhone) that you use to help you remember the treatments, meds, how to assess the conditions or when to, what the signs and symptoms are, etc?

I'm really trying to get back to a B or an A. I'm so frustrated, at times I have small anxiety attacks

Edited by xmilkncookiesx

calivianya, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU. 2,418 Posts

My nursing school was nothing like that - it was still an overwhelming amount of material, but we were taught by an instructor in class, who was always more than willing to explain things again if someone had trouble understanding. I'm wondering if you're going to one of those sketchy for profit universities or something if your instructors aren't even teaching you.

xmilkncookiesx, RN

Has <1 years experience. 153 Posts

My nursing school was nothing like that - it was still an overwhelming amount of material, but we were taught by an instructor in class, who was always more than willing to explain things again if someone had trouble understanding. I'm wondering if you're going to one of those sketchy for profit universities or something if your instructors aren't even teaching you.

It's a community college I am attending :/

AnnieOaklyRN, BSN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in ED, Pedi Vasc access, Paramedic serving 6 towns. 2,577 Posts

Welcome to college! They don't call it high school for a reason, no more hand holding!!

Annie

xmilkncookiesx, RN

Has <1 years experience. 153 Posts

Welcome to college! They don't call it high school for a reason, no more hand holding!!

Annie

It'd be nice if professors can be a help instead of being lazy and not helping students

sara567

59 Posts

Yep. Sounds like you are in nursing school. You will get the hang of it. Just keep your head in the books and do the reading. 200 pages a week is nothing...I wish I had that in my program.

Pangea Reunited, ASN, RN

Has 6 years experience. 1,547 Posts

You sort of explained things, yourself. If you don't have time to learn the material at home, how could they possibly have time to teach it in the time span of the class?

My advice is to READ the chapters- not just focus on the notes. Reading ties everything together and helps you understand the big picture, which is vital. I never even looked at power points in school.

The good news is that the testing style becomes more familiar as the program progresses. The bad news is that the material gets more complicated. You're right to try to figure out what works for you now. Don't focus on what you think your instructors could do better. As a nursing student, you are easily replaceable and they are not going to cater to you or anyone else.

crazin01

Specializes in tele, ICU, CVICU. Has 12 years experience. 277 Posts

I'm a bit of a dork, not just with nursing school. But, to me, I prefer to know why something happens & how it happens. Same rules apply for fixing stuff at home, car or working. So, if you know the basics of BP regulation under normal circumstances (RAS system, fluid status, vessel dilation or constriction etc) then you would not have to memorize causes, symptoms and methods to treat BP alterations. You would be able to list each of these items simply from applying your knowledge and a little common sense. again, it is probably not the easiest thing for a 1st semester nursing student to understand BP regulation even under ideal circumstances. Just an idea, because it worked for me many a time both before and after nursing school.

Also, depending on the curriculum at your school, I would be concerned with not having a strong A&P base, before learning/memorizing something as basic as BP regulation.

Nursing school is definitely not easy, as some seem to have that crazy idea, that med school is where the smart folks go (not that they aren't smart) but some folks will never seem to understand that nursing school can be just as challenging as med school.

I also think it's prudent of you, to realize so early on, that your current method of study does not seem to be working and trying to change that so you only move up from here. But, although it is 'not high school' anymore, the fact that your instructors seem so, disconnected from their student body is somewhat concerning, especially if you are certain it is the majority or whole student body with this same issue, versus just a smaller group of students with your issues. Not too sure what to suggest on this, without having a more objective view.

Hope I've helped a tad and things start to look up. Please do let us know if your instructors decide to be more involved in their students' educational well-being or have further issues.

Edited by crazin01
typo... oops

RunBabyRN

Specializes in L&D, infusion, urology. Has 2 years experience. 3,677 Posts

Sounds like nursing school. We had lectures, but most of what we needed to know was on PowerPoints we reviewed at home and in the reading. We had one skills day each semester. The end. The reading is always overwhelming, and you get good at skimming through, taking in what you can, but focusing on the nitty gritty. You WILL need to understand how HTN happens, because it will impact you pretty much regardless of specialty. You'll also need to know some of the basic drugs you're learning now. 4 meds at once isn't bad. Ours were usually 20 or so on one exam.

Are you in a study group? Are other people having the same issues? Most of us are overwhelmed with the load in nursing school. It's a lot, it's all important, and you feel like you're underwater with a straw for a snorkel, barely surviving.

roser13, ASN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, Ortho, ASC. Has 17 years experience. 6,504 Posts

Welcome to nursing school! Most, if not all, nursing students feel exactly as you do.

There's nothing to do but buckle down and read. No skimming, just read.

roser13, ASN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, Ortho, ASC. Has 17 years experience. 6,504 Posts

Has anyone experiences this as well?

LOL! Only all of us:geek:

You are not alone.

pixierose, BSN, RN

Specializes in ED, psych. Has 5 years experience. 882 Posts

I purchased Mosby's Pathophysiology Memory Notecards from Amazon -- they're a good visual aid supplement for me, and I can use them wherever. They've been a godsend; breaks it down: causes, s/s, diagnostic findings, nursing implications, etc. and goes through all the systems.

(I also have Mosby's Pharmacology Memory Notecards as well -- this has been really helpful for the same reasons)