Published Jul 9, 2001
I thought it might be a good idea to share creative ways that we all study or just traditional ways that you may think everyone already know of, whether you or still in pre-req's or entering your last semester of nursing school it does not matter. I thought it may be a good idea to relieve anxiety others who are not sure if they can make it through nursing school and give everyone else ideas of how others do things. I am getting ready to enter my junior year and although this is not so creative not very many students in my class do this because they think it is crazy and a waste but I tell you it works. I type my lecture notes within 24 hours of a lecture and I also tape record questions and answers. I will ask a question for example Describe what are non-modifiable and modifiable factors for cardiovascular diseases wait about 10-15 seconds to give myself time to think and put the answer on the tape. I listen to the tape while riding in the car, and while cooking or cleaning or before falling to sleep. How about what others do??
Great Idea!!!!! I tend to break my studying into little chunks. When studying for that big exam, I don't keep going over the information that I already know well. I don't study the night before either,It took me a long time to realize what a good idea this is. It just stresses you out. I try to make play dates with the kids so I focus on them and when I have to study they are more happy because mommy has spent some real good time with them. I don't study in front of the computer, I tend to play.
Find a quiet corner, if you can't go to the library. Have a game plan about the information you want to cover, because if you look at the whole it is to overwhelming. Munchies are a must, good lighting. I bring notes with me wherever I go that i have to wait.
Study groups work great if the others are as serious as you are, If not they tend to be a social group and nothing gets done. I use the internet for information to complement what I am studying at the time. I have found the more sources I use to study the material seems to stick. If you think you are going to have problems get with you instructor and have them guide you. Most instructors will bend over backwards to help. But they are not going to search you out. Hope this helps
All through nursing school when my nursing journals arrived in the mail I would cut out the articles that looked good and file them under the different body systems. Over time, when we were studying an area (for instance: renal failure) I would look in my urinary systems file and have several practical articles to consider. I did not always have time to "study" those articles but often the case senarios and information solidified the important points, gave practical clinical applications, and generally rounded out the clinical picture. Even though I have graduated I still add to and enjoy the information in my files!
Also- it seems silly but I drew little cartoons with little captions to remember lab values. It's not easy to forget that "Miss Potassium's preschool class was for 3.5-5 year olds!"
That is to good shavsha, Mrs.Pota ..........3.5-5. Just with that little sentence I will never forget. Do you have any more to remember all that stuff. to good!!!!!!!!!
I also read many nursing journals but I like the idea of filing them away in a system, I find if I have a clinical picture in my head I tend to remember things better also.
there are two sides of the brain, one that thinks in the abstract, and is creative, and one that thinks concretely, and is logical. Try studying using both :)
Listen to music while you study. Dont use music with words, as these can link with the words you are reading, and overload your brain with even more phrases and facts to memorize. Classical works well, as do some instumental CDs or tapes. CDs are better, because you can set them to repeat, and you dont have to break consentration to flip the tape while you study. dont turn it up so loud that it is distracting, you want it to be in the background of your mind, not fighting on the front. there are some CDs made for babies, called Smart Symphonys. They are soft classical music that is made to stimulate the babies brain, but they work well for me as well!
The faster the music that you listen to, the faster your brain will try to read. If it is a really complex subject, say memorizing the names and locations of factors in the immune response shifts, listen to something slower, it will help drill the little facts into both sides of your mind, which will make them easier to recall :)
Good luck, and happy craming!
Our A&P book goes into much more detail than our professor does (We use Tortora & Grabowski). Prior to class I read the study outline at the end of the chapter and use the Hole's A&P site chapter outline. When I get to class, I highlight the word that the prof uses and write my notes around it. Rarely use lined paper.
This worked really well last semester because I ended up with a 'B'. Am doing the same thing this semester.
I also use this technique in most of my other classes. Figure that I paid for them, I might as well take my notes in them. That way if I have to look anything up in the future, I find the subject in the index and my notes are in the same place!!
Wow, all of these posts are excellent ideas...I was about to mention what things helped me thru nsg school and they're already up there. Boy, shavsha, the article-collecting is a really smart thing to do. "Layering" sources of information as well as note-taking in the margin of my texts really help alot. Also, keeping a medical dictionary open while I read/study...make note in the margin for words I hadn't learned yet. Writing it helps me to remember.
The one thing I forgot to mention was, when I am studying and come across a word that I've had in a previous chapter and am not quite certain what it means, I will look back, get the definition and re-write it in the margin. Great for refreshing my memory and really understanding what the process or word consists of!!:)
I highlight the notes in the book, then I put a number next to it(1,2,whatever), I then go to my notes and in the margin write the page number and number that is next to that term in the book...it makes it easy to refer back to it , and if you have open book tests, it really helps.........I also read my notes into a recorder and listen to them while cleaning or in the van on commutes
In A&P-- I would use our computer scanner and scan in pictures from the textbook of the bones, muscles, vessels etc. Then I would print these pictures onto 5x4 (?) index cards--This worked well standing in line at the grocery store or sitting at a traffic light. It did take some time but my husband was great and helped me out with the scanning.
I, too, type all my notes out on computer--in outline form.
Also, I purchased and NCLEX review book--When I was in med-surg, I would take the practice test of the section we were studing to see how well I knew the info and what I need to review.
The scanner is a great way to learn! I do this too :)
One other way to use the scanner to help is to scan in the pictures, and diagrams, and then erase the labels, make several copies, and then "fill in the blanks". This was a main way that I learned A&P. Works really well for muscles, processes, and lyphatic groups.
Janleb...you are so right on about breaking studying up into chunks. It took me a while to get into the habit of that, but it is such a stress reliever when you work that way instead of cramming.
As far as music and background noise goes, I agree with what Brandy said about classical music being a good choice, but that may be just because I happen to genuinely enjoy classical music. When my husband was in school, he couldn't stand to study to classical music (probably because he hates it anyway), and though I thought it was a bad idea, he always had metal or alternative rock playing as he studied. He's an aircraft mechanic, and like us, he needs to know a million little parts, and how they all work together, and how to diagnose and fix problems. The usic he chose must have worked for him though, because he never got lower than a 97% on an exam (what a weenie;) ).
Somebody else mentioned scanning pictures to put on index cards. I did, and still do, that too. If you have any clip art CD's, many of them will have sections with A&P type diagrams and such, so you don't then have to go through the trouble of scanning them. You can also just right-click on images on the web to save them and print them out. That's what I did to find various histology pictures.
The final thing that works best for me is note cards. I make lots and lots and lots of note cards. I type them so that they're as neat as can be and I can fit as much as possible on to them. It really helps me, because I can then just keep them with me wherever I am and pull one out when I have a few minutes to study.
Be blessed all!
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