Organization for test studying PATHO

  1. Can someone please share you tips with me!?! So I failed Patho by having a massive meltdown the night before the final.. Had a great cushion and everything going into final but my husband is bipolar and he chose the night before finals to go completely manic and insane. It caused me a great deal of stress and I was distraught and failed but less than a full point. Now I am retaking it next session (thank god I have that option) but I must pass it this time around or I am excused from the program.

    So to be honest and blunt I struggle with proper organization. As funny as it sounds I have a tad bit of OCD and need a clean smooth way to organize notes. I have recently been diagnosed with PTSD from being with my bipolar spouse of 10 years and it's increased my anxiety so bad it's not controllable (therapist says because I've spent so many years in a completely uncontrollable situation) In Pathophysiology, organization is key - everything has a process and a list of symptoms.

    When I rewrite my Patho notes it helps me to absorb the material and I record the lecture and listen to them over and over while looking at my notes.. but here is my issue:

    - If I rewrite my notes I have to do so in colors I am very visual so new topics get a heading color etc. But if I mess up and have to cross out a word or scratch it out my OCD flips out and I must scrap the whole page to avoid severe anxiety

    - If I type my notes I don't know if I should do it in outline format.. or a table..?? And when I've tried both I spend more time typing all my notes into my laptop then what I have left over to study.

    - If I draw a process I don't know if I should do arrows.. for instance: R. Atria -> R. Ventricle.. or if I should draw a picture with the flow??

    - If I highlight in my book I go back and just see all yellow and can't concentrate on just studying, again OCD.

    ----- So the question.. do you know any sites that off concise ways of organizing difficult nursing notes? I say nursing specifically because nursing school in NOT like any other school I've been to.. its more than a name and a definition there are whole processes to disease and I need to be able to clearly have those notes available to me for studying ----

    I have looked at pinterest but it's not specific to nursing really.. any blogs your aware of or can you share what you do for a visual learner?? Thanks so much!! Also, please answer my poll!!
  2. Poll: Best NURSING note organization for visual learners in your opinion?

    • Hand write notes then after class, study from the handwritten notes

      42.86% 3
    • Type notes into computer, then organize notes in a table

      0% 0
    • Type notes into computer, then organize notes in a outline format

      14.29% 1
    • Hand write notes in class, make notecards to study from

      57.14% 4
    • Highlight in book, study from that

      28.57% 2
    • Other, Please share in my question section

      14.29% 1
    7 Votes / Multiple Choice
  3. Visit KatRNStudent profile page

    About KatRNStudent, CNA

    Joined: Dec '14; Posts: 31; Likes: 25


  4. by   KatRNStudent
  5. by   Mrs.Bookworm
    I don't struggle with OCD, actually quite the opposite when my notes look clean and organized I can't focus on them. I also don't know any websites that may be helpful.
    However, I thought I would try and give you a hand.

    -Have you tried using white-out or does that still cause you to rewrite a whole page?
    -Do you get a study guide for your tests?
  6. by   KatRNStudent
    Unfortunately no study guides at all.. we get powerpoint slides during class and they just talk through each one. We get no hints so typically it's a free for all trying to figure out what they want from us.. it's horrible. I do use white out but typically it just appears too messy for me. I'm a mess! But getting back on track.
  7. by   Mrs.Bookworm
    Wow that sucks you don't get study guides. On the plus side having to retake it you will have some idea of how it may go and you will be looking at the same material. So you could focus more on the stuff you struggled with last time around.

    Because of the stricking out issue I would suggest typing out your notes in an outline form in word. That way you could still color code things and if you need to change something you can simply delete and never know it was there.

    In you notes I would try and put the most important facts. The bare minimum maybe even in a short had you will understand. Using word you could also copy and past from your power points saving time in typing things out.

    After you have a typed outline if you wanted to go back and add a table to section that could better explain things for you may help too.

    I hope this is helpful, maybe gives you some ideas that you could make work for you. Good luck!
  8. by   KatRNStudent
    Thank you! That does help a lot! The way you explained it wasn't really much different than I've considered doing it but for some reason you saying it makes it more clear to me. hahah thanks again!
  9. by   21277
    Since you're a visual learner, have you tried Khan Academy? They're free online videos about tons of stuff you'll cover in Patho (or any subject, really), and you can watch them over and over until you understand a topic.
  10. by   21277
    Another idea: Once I have decent notes on a topic, I read the most important points into a digital recorder I have. (Your cell phone probably has that feature too.) Then, when I'm driving or doing something mundane like mowing the lawn, I listen to it a few times through my headphones.

    This helps me in two ways: First, just by speaking the notes out loud while I record them adds another sensory input as a way to help remember the material, and then just hearing the highlights back in my own words during times that I wouldn't otherwise be getting any studying done is helpful.
  11. by   TheCommuter
    Quote from KatRNStudent
    This thread has been moved to our Nursing Student Assistance forum with the ultimate goal of amassing more replies. Good luck to you.
  12. by   gemmi999
    As someone who had tutored physio and anatomy for 3 years, I recommend writing it out by hand. The reason I recommend this is becuase it forces you to relook at the material and physically process it. Typing it out and copy/pasting from slides doesn't force you to reexamine the material in the same way.

    Re: headings--have you tried putting each topic on a new piece of notebook paper? Or using a smaller notebook page so there is less room and therefore less to rewrite if you need to? Or erasable pen?

    Amazon has gel pens that are colorful AND erasable...