I'm scared, angry, and don't know

  1. What I can do anymore. I'm retaking Med/Surg class again (3rd time) and I feel like I'm gonna blow it again. I really want this, and can't believe that I can't pass this one freaking class. I think I can still do it though....we have had only 2 tests and have a long way to go. But my first two tests which were both 35pts each I got a 21 and a 25. (27pts is passing). I don't think I'm THAT far down with points, but I just don't know what I can do anymore. Am I studying wrong? I don't read the chapters, I follow her notes and fill them out as I read (so I skim) and write lots of notes out. I need some pointers!!!! I feel like I'm drowning!

    Sorry for this stupid post, but I needed to get it out of me with people around who can understand
  2. Visit Annie2005 profile page

    About Annie2005

    Joined: Apr '05; Posts: 62; Likes: 1


  3. by   donsterRN
    I'm sorry for what you're going through, and you're probably not going to like what I'm going to say but... You have to read the book! Skimming your book and notes after your lecture obviously is not working. What works for me is this: By following the syllabus, I know what chapter(s) will be lectured on, so I read the chapter(s) before class. I highlight new terms, key points and summaries, and I put a checkmark next to something I have questions about. Then I write the question in my notebook. Most of the time, the question is answered during the lecture, or If not, I have an opportunity to ask it. The I go back to the book, reread the information while the lecture is still fresh in my mind. This helps me to remember what we spoke about.

    As I said, this method works for me, and I'm succeeding. Good luck to you.
  4. by   caliotter3
    Also, to save time and give you access to statements you might have missed during the lecture, are you allowed to tape record lectures? Like Don stated, you should always read the material before you are exposed to it in class. The more times you are exposed, the more it goes in, and more is likely to "stick". I used to listen to my tapes in my car cassete player on the way home (my commute was an hour and a half); if I took the bus or train for part of my ride, I listened to my tapes (with earphones) there. No waste of time. I also would read and go over notes on the bus or train. Does your school have a faculty member that works with people that are having trouble? Ours did, she helped people figure out what was going wrong and how to fix it. You know, if this person is not avail, then go to the instructor. Don't wait. Go see her now. Good luck.
  5. by   Lisa CCU RN
    Take a look at my first signature for my advice.

    Read the book.
  6. by   rannah12
    I struggled at first in med/surg but then I changed how I was studying. I began doing all the chapter reviews and the study guide whether we had to do it or not and that really helped me. I need to do research in order for it to sink in so the study guide was extremly helpful. Good luck hang in there. Sometimes you have to change how you are studying to really learn.
  7. by   psalm
    Have you gone to the instructor to ask advice on what you are missing? Are the questions NCLEX format? That can be hard to get used to. ASK.

    AND read the book before class!
  8. by   dmarie (GA)
    Get a good NCLEX review book and do the questions. Saunders and Kaplan are good ones. They come with a CD and hundreds of practice questions. The more you practice the questions, the better you'll get at taking those tests, which are generally NCLEX style.

    You can study all day long and still fail those tests if you don't know how to approach those questions.

    Another bonus is that the practice questions include a rationale which helps shed some light on why you might have gotten the question wrong.

    Here's another tip: if you're taking a test, don't overthink the question. Go with what you know. Don't analyze it too much, and for God Sakes, don't change your answer unless you're absolutely certain it's wrong. You'll confuse yourself and end up changing the answer when you had it right in the first place. Also, don't read into the questions. Don't sit there and say to yourself, "Well, Option B would be correct if such and such were happening, but then again, Option A would be correct if this happened."..... Just read the question, making note of the stem, and answer it. Don't over-analyze.

    While reading your text, which by the way you should do before lecture, focus on the manifestations of each disease process and take notes on how each disease is similar/different from other diseases within that section. Don't just memorize the signs and symptoms --- try to understand WHY. EX: CHF --- left sided vs. right sided --- signs and symptoms are different. WHY? Try to make it make sense to you.

    Also, focus on the nursing interventions for each section. EX: Take note of the fact that the interventions can be similar for ALL respiratory processes. But for certain things, the interventions might be different. Take note of the exceptions.

    If the question asks you what you would do FIRST, remember your ABC's and Assessment. Always go with your ABC's. Airway, Breathing, Circulation. These are your PRIORITIES. Choose your answers based on these priorities.
    Always ASSESS your patient first and foremost. Don't check the IV machine, call the doctor, evaluate what the nurse did last night, etc. ---- ASSESS FIRST. Think about what you can do for the patient before you leave the room. Simple interventions that can be performed immediately are usually right. "What can I do for this patient right away?" "What can I do to assess this patient right away?"

    Hope this helps.
  9. by   Ms.RN
    studying with my classmates really helped me alot. its amazing how my test grades improved after i studied with a study group. i have chance to ask questions, clarify information, give study tips etc..
  10. by   queenjean
    I second reading the material before lecture (that way you not only get exposed to it multiple times, but you also have the opportunity to clarify any questions during the lecture).

    I also agree that you MUST get together with your instructor. Tell him/her how you are studying, and ask for some insight and suggestions. Ask where they think you can improve, what areas they notice you really struggle in. It might be that you understand the basic anatomy and physiology well, but the questions that you consistently miss are the prioritizing questions (for example). If you know your strengths and weaknesses, you have a better idea of how you can exploit your strengths, and improve your weaknesses.

    Good luck!
  11. by   NurseyPoo
    I had a spell in nursing school when things were happening personally. I suddenly became a horrible test taker! It was awful but what I did was basic...I started making flash cards and going through them religiously every chance I could. I wrote out two different sets of cards: First set was terms, definitions, etc.. - Second set: Various questions and senarios. I spoke to my professor and she was fantastic and helped me out quite a bit. She gave sample questions and I used an NCLEX book for other questions. Also grabbed a study partner and we did the cards together. I know it sounds like a lot of work BUT, the simple act of writing the cards out was a huge help. Don't give up...keep your eye on the prize and study every single second you can. Get your friends and family to help out also. Maybe they can read the cards to you. My husband learned more about respiratory ailments then he ever thought he would know

    I hope this helps.
  12. by   WDWpixieRN
    Quote from Annie2005
    Am I studying wrong? I don't read the chapters, I follow her notes and fill them out as I read (so I skim) and write lots of notes out. I need some pointers!!!!
    I hope you mis-typed this....because if you seriously don't read the chapters AND don't understand why you might be failing, you really need to rethink things....I think Marie hit the nail on the head....if you've failed this class previously, aren't doing well this semester, and think that continuing to skip over this very vital part of your education can continue, it appears you're wrong.

    In my first semester of my ASN program, I found out after the first test how much info was IN THE BOOK that wasn't covered in class -- NCLEX application-type information....that scared me in to reading from chapter beginning to end....in my current semester, that doesn't appear to be so much the case, so I'm not reading as in-depth as I had to last semester....but you can bet that I am still cracking those texts and taking a good long look in them...I'm doing well, but can't afford to have 5 or 10 point surprise by information being in a test that was NOT on a handout...I'm a big girl now and it's MY responsibility to be sure I'm prepared for a test; I don't expect it all spoon-fed to me....

    That being said, if you do read and feel you're doing/tried everything else...there are some excellent suggestions above for getting more help....

    Best wishes....
  13. by   jsluv2run
    Hi, I know where you are at. I was there too, nearly passing. I went to the instructors for help. Also, at our school we have an exam assessment sheet that helps us and the instructors to identify the type of questions I have personally missed. There's a big difference between missing a definition question, misunderstanding a question, a critical thinking question, to a straight application or rationale question. Also, study groups are a definite key to success as a student. I have improved in my grades. Oh, and some of it was test anxiety! Our instructors have given us suggestions to reduce the test anxiety. Stay with it..I had a 69% out of 100 on first test, 70% on the second test and another C- on the third test, after each test, I did the exam/review/assessment with my professors, and my grades have been climbing! I am now at a 79.95%...75% is passing..but I am continue to work harder..the stress level and anxiety goes down because I know exactly where my weaknesses are..that's what you need to find out from your instructors and ask for suggestions..by the way, I read the book too!