I'm scared of Chemistry!!!!

  1. I am supposed to start my pre-reqs in one week and I am TERRIFIED of the upcoming two semesters of Chem I'll have to take for my BSN.

    I haven't been to school in 12 years...I have never had Chemistry before...there is a remedial Chemistry class right before this one, but if I take it, it will add an extra year to my program, and it's already going to be 3 years as it is.

    I'm planning on getting a tutor for it, but I just can't pass, I have to AT LEAST make a B or B+...on average, I'm a B to an A- student.

    I did well in Algebra, got all A's years ago...will this math come back to me?

    ANY ADVICE would be greatly appreciated!
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    About maryshome8

    Joined: Jul '06; Posts: 128; Likes: 1

    20 Comments

  3. by   donsterRN
    I feel your pain!!!

    Really, I know what you're talking about... I took Chemistry last summer (before the regular nursing program started) just so I could get it over with. Like you, I was very scared of it; I'd never had it before, and it had been many years since I was in school. I didn't know if I'd have a frame of reference for it, or if I'd be able to relearn how to study... all of it scared me. You now what? It wasn't bad. It took a lot of work on my part; taking Chemistry was my fulltime job, if you know what I mean. I didn't do anything else while I was taking the course. And it was an accelerated course; 13 weeks of study crammed into 6 weeks of time. Class was everyday from 8:00 am to 11:30 am (lecture and lab).

    Here's what worked for me. I made sure I knew what the instructor was going to be lecturing about by always reading the next days chapter the night before. That way, nothing she said was a surprise, and I was hearing the same material twice. Then, if I still didn't get a concept, I'd ask the instructor in class to go over it again until I was comfortable with it. I never left class without knowing what was discussed. We also always had homework, which I did the minute I got home while it was still somewhat fresh in my head. It worked for me. And Algebra was a large part of it, but it wasn't all of it. I was prepared for the tests, and at the end of it all, I got an A in the class. Your idea of getting a tutor is an excellent one.

    It sounds like I lived, breathed, ate and drank Chemistry for that time, and I probably did. But it's what worked for me, and now I'll never have to take it again. Ultimately, studying hard for Chemistry is worth it; you'll see some of it in your Pharmacology, A&P and nutrition courses, so it's helpful to get it done correctly the first time. You won't be sorry!

    I wish you lots of luck with your studies.
  4. by   JoshuaC
    My first advice would be to check out your nursing school's chemistry requirements. I went to UK last semester to do my pre-reqs (ended up going to another nursing school that didn't require chemistry, but oh well) and I had to take two semsters of chemistry. At UK though there are two routes you can take with chemistry if you're going into nursing school: Chems 104 and 106 (which was a little easier) and chems 105 and 107 (which was harder). I ended up taking 105 and 106, which was wierd because 106 was easier than 105 for me. Your school may not do this, but it's good to check.

    I don't really understand why they make nursing students take chemistry classes. Sure I learned some stuff, and some of it was interesting, but I'm not going to use a lot of it during my nursing career. Even if I get my master's degree I probably won't need that much chemistry. In chem 105 we learned about electrons for an entire semester. Why am I going to need to know about electrons when I'm a nurse? I'm not. But it's required, so I had to eat it.

    My advice to you while your taking chemistry class is to study, study, study, all the time. Chemistry classes are pretty rough sometimes, so you really can't study enough. And don't wait until the last week or two. Study a little every day from the get go so you're never behind. And go to every class. The math you'll use in chemistry isn't really that hard. I'm horrible at math and I got the math down alright. It's the equations. There are so many of them, and you pretty much have to know them for the test becuase they don't give you any examples or any formulas. So if you can remember formulas and you know how to punch in the numbers correctly, the math isn't a big deal. But the problems are still hard because you have to figure things out all the time. But the more you study the better you do. And don't try to memorize, try to retain.

    Also, study the material you learned in class right after the class is over. This helps you to remember all the stuff you learned that day. If you have a couple more classes after chemistry, then study after those. The longer you wait to study, the harder it will be. Read your chapters all the way through (multiple times), do the practice problems, find a study partner, and repeat until you've learned it.

    You might be smarter than me so it will come easier to you, but my biggest academic weakness is that I have problems with solving problems (like math problems, or complex number formulas). I'm good at reading and learning that way. And I'm good with hands-on. I did really good in classes like anatomy and physilogy, but chemistry was tough.

    You should do fine if you just study enough for it. I hoped that somewhere within my rambling you pulled out something usful. Good luck with everything.
  5. by   Jilaweez
    Don't be afraid of Chem. It was my worst subject and I just took chem 110 and will be starting organic this fall and I got an A. I just had to study and ask a lot of questions. I did whatever homework was assigned and always reviewed the labs before class. I even looked up example labs online for the same experiments to get a heads up on what to expect. Many of the students asked me for help because in the labs because I had already prepared so much at home.

    Good Luck!! And hope that you have a good teacher!!

    Li
  6. by   xt1
    You can always drop the class if you see you dont have the pre-knowledge required to keep up with the class and then you could take the remedial to catch up... I've never had a lick of chemistry but I dont intend to take a remedial... You can always just go to the bookstore and buy yourself one of those chemistry made easy books and catch up in your spare time. In that class your probably expected to know high school chemistry or at least some so studying a chemistry book while taking the class to answer any questions you might have will probably work.
  7. by   Pixiesmom
    I think getting a tutor is a great idea! I signed up for tutoring last year for algebra and found that I didn't need it but it's a great option to have. If I feel myself even beginning to struggle off to tutoring I will go.

    You've gotten a lot of great advice here. I'm taking Chemistry for the first time this fall and I'm nervously looking forward to it. :spin:
  8. by   purplemania
    Chemistry is about balance. You will get formulas, but don't have to memorize them. You will work with the Periodic Table, but won't have to memorize it either. I went to the public library and checked out books on chemistry from the Jr. High section. Got it down to the very basics. Then I kinda knew what to expect. Also, remember, the class is not a review. They will be TEACHING it. So pay attention, don't skip class and I bet you will surprise yourself. You sound like a nurse already - worried about all the possible outcomes.
  9. by   LovesGreyhounds
    You are with good company! I start Intro to Chem in 2 weeks & I'm scared too! I just want it over with. I've heard good & bad from people about chemistry - some say it's pretty easy & others say it's pretty hard. Guess it all depends on the person. I'll be thinking of you when I start my class then! Good Luck to Both of Us !
  10. by   Ingrid m
    Don't be afraid!!
    I haven't been to school in 25 years!!
    I am starting the RPN course in less than a month. My last pre- req was Chemistry. I was scared to death, let me tell you. I have never taken chemistry before. I pulled off an 82%. That scared me to death too. They say that Chemistry comes easier for males than females. I think it has something to do with abstract thinking.
    It's not as bad as you think. You will progress as you go and even surprise yourself.
    Good luck,

    ingrid
  11. by   Tweety
    Yes it will come back to you. Getting a tutor is not a bad idea.

    Just approach it step by step from the beginning. Don't let your fear overwhelm you. This is where people go wrong in math and chemistry....their fear. The sign onto a self-concept "I'm not good in math" "I'm not good in chemistry"......"I'm scared."

    It's very logical and methodical and can be learned very simply from the very beginning. It's cummulative, so don't get behind. But nothing to it.

    RELAX. Change the self-talk from "I'm scared". To "I'll take it one day, one line, one atom/chemical at a time and I will easily learn it." Don't look too much at the big forest to get through, keep your eyes on the path in front of you.

    Best wishes!
  12. by   Pixiesmom
    Quote from Tweety
    Yes it will come back to you. Getting a tutor is not a bad idea.

    Just approach it step by step from the beginning. Don't let your fear overwhelm you. This is where people go wrong in math and chemistry....their fear. The sign onto a self-concept "I'm not good in math" "I'm not good in chemistry"......"I'm scared."

    It's very logical and methodical and can be learned very simply from the very beginning. It's cummulative, so don't get behind. But nothing to it.

    RELAX. Change the self-talk from "I'm scared". To "I'll take it one day, one line, one atom/chemical at a time and I will easily learn it." Don't look too much at the big forest to get through, keep your eyes on the path in front of you.

    Best wishes!
    Excellent advice! Thanks Tweety, you rock! :spin:
  13. by   suebird3
    You got some good advice here. Trust me! I had already taken Inorganic and Organic, as 'most' schools require these two. Not the one I graduated from; they wanted BioChem. Guess whos Dad is a retired Chemist? Yep; me. Did I bother asking for help? No. Why? I was bound and determined to make it on my own. Also didn't want Dad to feel he couldn't teach. (Heck, it WAS his life for so long....!!!!)

    Suebird
  14. by   maryshome8
    I appreciate all of the advice that everyone on this board has given me.

    I guess my main concern, is I probably wouldn't be as worried if it was just one Chemistry course, but it's in two parts, and I'm taking a full courseload (4 other classes) with it. Because my father is financiall footing the bill for my daughter and I (we moved in with him...I'm 37, she's 2, and he's 77)...I haven't lived at home since I was 23, so this is a huge adjustment for all of us. This will allow me to not work while attending school.

    Retaking anything, even once, will cause me to add another year to my program...so I really have no choice but to make this work.

    I never, ever thought about being a nurse until 2 years ago when my daughter was born as a micropreemie...2 lbs 3 oz...she was born 4 months after my mother died.

    I sort of had this "calling" to be a nurse after that and want to spend my life working with babies in the NICU...I feel like I could bring something special to the families because I know exactly what they are going through...clinging to every ounce your baby gains and not getting to hold your baby when you want to until they get much stronger. It's devastating.

    My Mom always wanted me to be a nurse, and I want to do this, not only to have a great career and be financially stable, but to help others in the process, fulfill a dream of my mother's, and hopefully, make my father very proud in the process.

    So, obviously, this venture means alot to me, but everyone on this board has their own reasons and story that brought them to this level.

    Thanks again for the great advice...this has really made me feel much better!

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