need help

  1. What can I do to keep from overthinking question on a nursing exam? I do not want to fail my first semester in nursing school, I am having problem trying to applied what I learn in a nursing situation. Please help I do not want to fail in my first year of nursing school. thank you.
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    About tequilaseay13

    Joined: May '07; Posts: 27; Likes: 2


  3. by   AusNurse2B
    Probably the only thing I can tell you is to never assume anything...all the info you need will be there...

  4. by   Daytonite
    i just looked at a very nice presentation yesterday on the internet on taking a nursing exam. it is a slide show presentation and here is a link to it:
    it gives advice on how to answer multiple questions on nursing exams and includes about 12 sample questions that highlight key words in the main part of the question and the correct answer.

    i always advise that students as part of the critical thinking take these factors into account in every question:
    • the medical disease involved, it's normal pathophysiological progression and the signs and symptoms associated with the pathophysiological changes. learn the progression of symptoms as they go from mild to serious to fatal. this helps you determine priorities of care.
    • know the medical tests and treatments that the doctor is going to order. know which tests and treatments fit which each sign and symptom (again this helps determine priority if you get asked which to get done first). some of these tests and treatment will impact the nursing care you will give.
    • know the steps of the nursing process, i cannot stress this enough. there are five of them: assessment, determining problems, planning care, implementation and evaluation. one of the most confusing is assessment because it is step #1 of the nursing process and the word "assess" is also frequently used in nursing interventions which are part of step #3 of the nursing process which is the planning step. assessing as an intervention is not quite the same as the full-blown assessment you do when you first encounter the patient in order to plan care; it's more of a monitoring/evaluation/observation thing when it's an intervention. each step of the nursing process is a photograph, a link in a chain; another link later on may be appropriate as well, but ask yourself if that is what the question is asking of you.
    • there are many kinds of principles behind nursing actions (i.e., principles of asepsis, principles of osmosis, infection process, etc) that you need to know and sometimes pull into determining the answer to a question. this is where you sometimes cannot discount the science or math you learned before. something as simple as heat coagulates protein helps you to know that it is the underlying principle of steam sterilization in the killing of bacteria.
    • read the root or stem of a multiple choice question very carefully. i've read some of the instructors manuals on how to write these questions. they deliberately give you answer choices designed to distract you from what was originally asked. a mediocre student or a student who isn't thinking will opt for the most easily distractive answer. if you've done your reading and studying you should be putting two and two together. nursing is a process of logical thinking, not guesswork. if you are narrowed down to two possible answers, try to figure out from the stem of the question if pulling in knowledge of the nursing process or the disease process is going to help you make your final decision.
    • bottom line. . .you always have to be thinking "why". why would this be happening to the patient? why would the doctor order this? why would i do this? why? why? why? answer that, and you'll probably answer the question correctly.
    now, shorten what i just wrote to a small list, memorize it, and write it down on the corner of your test paper before you even start to answer the questions so you won't forget to do any of these things on your tests.
  5. by   Jedi of Zen
    I may hold a minority opinion, but personally I think that overthinking is a good thing - as long as you're retaining the information. If something is confusing me, then I try to focus on understanding what the overall/general point of it actually is, and then I gradually work on the fine details.
  6. by   emtb2rn
    Overthinking is common. Don't read into the questions. You're being asked to choose an answer based on the information that is given in the stem of the question and nothing more. Once you remove the distractors, you'll have the stem and that's what you think about.

    I try to think of the answer after reading the question and before looking at the answer choices. That way, you're simply looking for the answer to appear.

    And as always, keep in mind:

    1) safety
    2) airway
    3) breathing
    4) circulation