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How hard is A&P really?


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by crazyemtchic crazyemtchic (New) New

It definitely won't be easy but you can do it! It is about knowing the material and not just memorizing, read and study hard! Use your time wisely and organize yourself very well.

Best of luck!

When I took a&p I didn't think it was too difficult. I took it during summer semester over the course of a month so it was accelerated and I was working. I think the hardest part was memorizing all of the names for the lab practical. The class is definitely doable though!

akulahawkRN, ADN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in Emergency Department. Has 6 years experience.

I've taken A&P twice. The first time was quite a few years ago and I got mainly B's and C's in the classes. After I decided to get into nursing, I took A&P again to essentially refresh my knowledge in this area. I used the knowledge almost daily when I was working as an athlete trainer and touched on the material daily when I was working as an EMT and a paramedic. So I had a reasonably good working knowledge of A & P. The 2nd time that I took A & P, I ended up getting an A in the class which is quite astounding for me considering that I have usually been an average student.

Like the others have said, it's not so much that it is hard, it's that it is a significant challenge. The good news is that this course series is typically rote memory type learning. You are typically having to learn a fact or a series of facts and then be able to regurgitate it on an exam. Some of the best instructors and professors I have had will make you think about the application of what you are learning. This class provides you the foundational knowledge that will allow you to later take the next step, and that's applying your knowledge to the clinical situation.

Use this time to help focus your ability to learn material efficiently as you'll need that skill later. Since you have a 2 hour drive each way, you might want to consider recording lectures or record yourself reading certain material that you find especially challenging if you're not allowed to record lectures and review that material during your commute that way. If you're not already an auditory learner, your commute will probably strengthen your ability in this area.

Why are the facts in A & P essential? Because that background will help you. From my athletic training days... your athlete gets tackled from the side, at knee level, and you saw the hit. Using this background, you know or suspect the following: the hit placed a valgus force on the knee. You're expecting Medial Collateral Ligament, Medial Meniscus, and Anterior Cruciate Ligament damage. You're expecting some stretching of the joint capsule. You also consider the possibility of growth plate damage or fracture of the proximal tibia and fibula or distal femur. You consider injury potential to the medial side of the ankle because the foot was planted at the time of the hit. You know that tissue has been torn/disrupted, therefore there's going to be cellular contents spilled out, including a lot of Potassium. This means release of histamine and some prostaglandins will also be released. You know that blood vessels will have been ruptured so there will be bleeding. Blood is irritating to the tissues so more histamine and prostaglandin release. Why do I harp on those? Swelling and pain. This doesn't happen instantly, but it does happen quite fast and with more swelling, you get more pain. So what do you actually do (this is application level stuff) about all of this?

Well, in this though experiment, you're well educated... so you'll start evaluating the injury. You'll do some stress-testing of the likely injury sites and you'll do that very quickly because you know that swelling will soon affect the testing. As soon as you get the athlete away from the field of play, you put ice and compression on the injury because you know that ice decreases cellular demand (decreases O2 demand and production of prostaglandins and histamine) and the compression limits the space available for fluid to flow into. It also encourages clotting by stasis so there will be less blood in the area, further limiting pain & swelling. You're already planning a referral to an orthopedic surgeon because you suspect that surgical repair will be necessary. You place a TENS unit for pain control via gate theory. You're considering using mild E-Stim later to help encourage positively charged ions (remember the potassium?) to leave the area. You're already planning his rehab, potentially post-op rehab, and he hasn't even left the field yet.

Because you know the Anatomy and Physiology (and in this case, injury physiology) you are able to take actions that will ultimately shorten this athlete's recovery time and decrease the amount of time it will take to get him back to play.

While much of the above is "medical model" stuff, the purpose is to use something that's probably more familiar to people to show you the application end of foundational knowledge you learn along the way. I could take you through the nursing side of things, but that's probably something you wouldn't be familiar with because it's a very different way of thinking.

The other point is that I'm really just a mostly average student that found his way to learning efficiently and really got to understand A & P really well and was able to carry that knowledge through a couple different courses of study learning the application of that knowledge in those fields. Learning the foundational stuff sometimes even gets cemented for you when you do see the application of it.

Don't stress too much about learning this stuff. You'll eventually see how it all fits together at some point, and one of the best ways to learn this stuff is to literally read the material a few days before you go over it in class. Be in class every day. Participate actively in labs. Review the material a couple days after you got it in class. When you're about to take an exam on the stuff, just do some light review and you'll probably be ready for the exam without cramming for it and aside from a bit of work early on, it'll feel relatively easy.

You can do this!

I love these classes and medical foundation that is built through them. Enjoyable!

I just finished with my first a&p course on monday. let's just say like you, I was nervous going in. but mainly its memorization and learning the parts of the body, a&p is more in depth explaining on how things work. if you did well in chem (which i loved the equations and that fun stuff) you will do well. I found myself very interested in what was being taught, plus I had an awesome teacher who would do a review a week before the test. (I personally use rate my professor .Com before deciding on which teacher to take to see previous students reviews) i would then go home, make my flashcards and go over them 2-3 times a day until the exam. hope this helps and good luck!

Honestly, I loved it. My professor said he made the class purposely difficult because he knows this class is one of those classes people in nursing should excel in. (I don't know if I fully believe that he was doing that and not just being unclear). It's a lot of memorization, so make silly little tunes or mnemonics to remember things. I shared a visual way to remember cranial nerves to my classmates and they instantly got it. Make it diverse and switch it up... You'll be good.

I'm one of the crazy people who actually LOVED A&P I and II. I studied my butt off and got A's in both, and I really think that's the key. Don't be afraid to seek outside help for tutoring purposes. Also, I found a lot of fun A&P memorization games online that were SO helpful in studying. I had an excellent instructor and I highly recommend looking at reviews of potential instructors on ratemyprofessors.com before registering for a class. Good luck!!

No, lbax I love it too. I just got an A in A&PI, and having the same teacher for A&P II. I plan on getting an A again, and I agree I studied my butt off. And my teacher was fun and hard, lol. He made us think, and said these are the kind of tests you will get in nursing school. So I really feel more prepared now.

hey !A&P is too much intreasting topic i hope u will enjoy it

Anatomy and physiology are not hard if you have a good biology and chemistry foundation. It's a matter of putting time into studying