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by KristieHendrix KristieHendrix (New) New

I will be taking med/surge next semester and was wondering did anybody have any tips on how to study for this class.

It helped me to read the chapter before the teacher discussed it in class. Also I answered all the chapter questions and quizzes. Take good notes in class too. It takes a lot of work but you can do it!!!


Specializes in Hospice. Has 3 years experience.

If your textbook comes with an online keycode for a quizbank resource, use it. Answer every single available question. And then do it again and again. It's such an easy way to supplement your studying because you can sit there on your laptop anywhere and do it.


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

I personally like using note cards for concepts I need to work on. I can review them, then take out the ones I understand with time.

What worked for you with your prereqs? One thing to think about is that you often have less time to study something. You need to be efficient in your study time.

Definitely do your reading ahead of time so that you can ask questions in class, and it'll help to make the lecture make more sense. Take good notes so that you can review well. Use your resources- powerpoints, overheads, whatever's available.

malamud69, ADN, BSN, EMT-B

Specializes in Emergency. Has 11 years experience.

Find all the nclex style med/surg questions you can stomach...and do them.


Specializes in Critical care.

I'm starting med surge this fall too, part one of a two part series. TERRIFIED is a pretty accurate description lol. Thanks for asking this question and thanks for all the advice everyone!

Agreed - med/surg is one of those situations where you read the material, you pay attention in class, you actually get the material, and then the NCLEX style questions hit you like a ton of bricks. You'd think well since you would know the materials, you can answer the questions, right? It doesn't work that way - at least not for me. I struggled and finally got smart and did what everyone else here is suggesting, I bought an NCLEX book. It was such a wake up call from Fundamentals. So many of my brethrens didn't make it :(

SopranoKris, BSN, MSN, RN, NP

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 6 years experience.

(P.S. It's Med-Surg, not "surge". "Surg" is short for surgery, "surge" is a verb) :up:

I would highly recommend reviewing your physiology. This is the class where your pre-reqs come in to play. If you're solid on your physiology, med-surg will be a lot easier. Remember the cranial nerves? Heart conduction? Blood flow through the heart? Acid/base balance? Pancreatic enzymes? etc.

Definitely do a thorough review!

Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma. Has 41 years experience.

I second this suggestion. It would also help you out immensely if you could manage to find a copy of the instructor's test bank that's published along with your text book. Even if your instructor doesn't pull questions from the test bank, there are only so many ways to write the same question, and it seems like many instructors gather "inspiration" from the test bank for the questions they do write themselves. Between NCLEX review questions, your textbook's student question bank, and the instructor-assigned test bank, you should be practically guaranteed an A. You'll find that studying these resources is more likely to lead to earning A's than studying the actual material itself (notes, ppoints, textbook, etc.).

The use of test banks is considered academic dishonesty and WILL get you dismissed from your program...which was discussed with you in another forum.

Help! Bought an online test bank not sure what to so!

Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma. Has 41 years experience.

Op...it has been on this fora again and again about students in trouble for using test banks...do NOT risk your career and hard work.



Specializes in Ortho-Neuro Rehab, CRRN. Has 7 years experience.

Get Saunders NCLEX review book. It will really help. I didn't get this until my second year and wish I had it day 1. It really helped me to focus on the key points.

kalycat, BSN, RN

Specializes in CVICU CCRN. Has 5 years experience.

I personally found that reviewing the PowerPoints prior to class (if provided; they are at my former school), jotting down questions on the content, and then taking notes during class and looking up any topics of confusion in the text after class was very effective. Sometimes reading the text in full prior to class can be overwhelming; if you save it for focus areas or areas you need more background on, it can be helpful. In this way you can study most intensively the material your instructors focus on. With pre class preparation, you don't need to intensively review the material per se, just scan the topics, jot down questions, and then review after.

Most of the students I have worked with did well when they touched the material frequently, but in small bites and with varying intensity - it helps cut down on the "cramming" before exams and helps with retention. In our program, most of the instructors wrote their own PowerPoints and tests; we didn't have people who just bought a pre-fab curriculum and then taught based on that, just to give you context on what kind of program I'm used to. We also had an ATI program included and the review sections and rationales were a fabulous resource, even if ATI was sort of mediocre overall.

Hope that helps! Good luck - I personally loved med surg because the materials really coincided with what we were doing in clinicals and it provided a great overall knowledge base for me.