Realizing how difficult nursing school is

  1. I'm not even in nursing school and I already feel tired from reading my Patho book.

    We have to read ch. 2,4, 6, 10, and 11, and know 9 disease sections from the book. I don't know if I'm freaking out or what, but ch. 10 and 11 have to do with Cancer and Oncology and both are within 32-34 pages each. My brain is fried from reading ch. 10 (32 pg). I've got my first exam on Tuesday. Their grading criteria is "If you can't pass the tests with at least a 75% twice, you cannot apply to our program". This class is a pre-req. With the content like it is, I don't think my brain wants to read anymore. I'm probably behind in readings and I didn't realize how fast it caught up, but wow I'm so exhausted from reading. Being in a study group I think is also exhausting.

    We use power points in class, but I think the teacher wants us to read the book too, but 32 pages is brutal and I don't know what is necessary and what's not. I don't have a clue if I want to be a nurse anymore. It's a profession that people can't get into even if they wanted it.
  2. Visit Beldar_the_Cenobite profile page

    About Beldar_the_Cenobite, CNA

    Joined: Aug '15; Posts: 428; Likes: 206

    16 Comments

  3. by   elkpark
    Yes, the teacher expects you to "read the book, too." There's no sugarcoating it, there's a lot of reading in nursing school (and the prerequisites) and a lot of content to master. People have different study styles that work for them; a lot of people find it helpful to outline the chapters as they go and take notes on the key concepts. Writing something down is a good way to get it to stick in your head.

    Best wishes!
  4. by   OsceanSN2018
    The two classes (Psych and Peds) I am taking right in nursing school requires us to read the book too. So, what I do is only read the first and last section of each paragraph and then do the practice questions that is provided at the end of each chapter. Then I google more practice questions and take those. However, for patho you can do this same method, but if you are not understanding a concept then read that specific paragraph in depth until you get it. You can also watch a lot of Youtube videos for clarification, or for visuals if you are s visual learner.


    This way it only takes me 2 hours top to read 3 chapters.


    Also, do not be discouraged if you get a low score for your first exam as you do not yet know your professor testing style. This always happen to me as for instance, I recieved a 70% on my first exam for OB (77% is passing) but I received a 92% or above thereafter once I adapted to my teachers testing style.
    Last edit by OsceanSN2018 on Jun 4
  5. by   meanmaryjean
    Quote from elkpark
    Yes, the teacher expects you to "read the book, too." There's no sugarcoating it, there's a lot of reading in nursing school (and the prerequisites) and a lot of content to master. People have different study styles that work for them; a lot of people find it helpful to outline the chapters as they go and take notes on the key concepts. Writing something down is a good way to get it to stick in your head.

    Best wishes!
    Reading the chapter out loud to yourself is also a good strategy for cementing learning.
  6. by   algae1492
    Quote from meanmaryjean
    Reading the chapter out loud to yourself is also a good strategy for cementing learning.
    I enjoy this when I am preparing for exams! Sometimes I will annoy people nearby regarding topics I'm learning in attempt to explain it.
  7. by   Glucagon
    It's going to depend a bit on your professor. But to help a bit on time, I use the PowerPoint to give me a better idea of what topics they find significant and then read those sections to get the extra info that might not be in the PPT.
  8. by   forevergreatful
    Reading all the chapters is to much. If your teacher gives you outlines and power points that is what you should study. I say go into the book when there is something that you didnt understand though lecture. Also record the lectures and play them back. reading all the chapters and retaining all the info. is impossible because you will have the same amount of work load the following week. What they want you to know is whats in their notes. Im now going into my last semester of nursing schools and i mainly go off power points and remember to high light what the teacher says u need to know because that forester will be on the exam. get a study partner
  9. by   Glucagon
    Quote from forevergreatful
    Reading all the chapters is to much. If your teacher gives you outlines and power points that is what you should study. I say go into the book when there is something that you didnt understand though lecture. Also record the lectures and play them back. reading all the chapters and retaining all the info. is impossible because you will have the same amount of work load the following week. What they want you to know is whats in their notes. Im now going into my last semester of nursing schools and i mainly go off power points and remember to high light what the teacher says u need to know because that forester will be on the exam. get a study partner
    I think it probably depends on the professor and program then, because if I just studied from PowerPoints for some of my classes, I would be missing quite a bit of information that is tested on, as I found out when I focused on the PowerPoint for the first quiz. We also have our quizzes for that section before we start the lecture on it, so listening to the professor doesn't help except for our major exams.
  10. by   Have Nurse
    Quote from Beldar_the_Cenobite
    I'm not even in nursing school and I already feel tired from reading my Patho book.

    We have to read ch. 2,4, 6, 10, and 11, and know 9 disease sections from the book. I don't know if I'm freaking out or what, but ch. 10 and 11 have to do with Cancer and Oncology and both are within 32-34 pages each. My brain is fried from reading ch. 10 (32 pg). I've got my first exam on Tuesday. Their grading criteria is "If you can't pass the tests with at least a 75% twice, you cannot apply to our program". This class is a pre-req. With the content like it is, I don't think my brain wants to read anymore. I'm probably behind in readings and I didn't realize how fast it caught up, but wow I'm so exhausted from reading. Being in a study group I think is also exhausting.

    We use power points in class, but I think the teacher wants us to read the book too, but 32 pages is brutal and I don't know what is necessary and what's not. I don't have a clue if I want to be a nurse anymore. It's a profession that people can't get into even if they wanted it.
    A technique I adopted to help me absorb it faster was to take a highlighter and highlight the intro and the summary, then the most important ideas in the paragraphs.

    You will eat, drink and sleep nursing while in school so you must acclimate yourself. It will not be easy, but it will be worth it. Best to find out now.
  11. by   Beldar_the_Cenobite
    I think it largely depends on the instructor too, as I'm trying to recall how I studied for my bio classes. I think right after lecture, I would take a couple hours off and then go home and open up my power points and read while listening to the lecture. I write the times they move to a different slide down, that way it helps me keep track of what I understand and what I don't. I can mentally bookmark what I know and what I don't. I'm really excited for this class because it's really interesting, but I'm afraid of questions that will be based on things we didn't cover on the power points and are in the book, and to make it even worse, I won't know what's important and what's not. Then I won't be able to retain everything I'm trying to read. I'm trying to blanket the stuff in the book and make sure I can't be tricked. The quizzes we have in class every week are getting trickier and I'm trying to catch up. I think I also over study. Yesterday, I was very brain dead. I think I take fewer breaks and don't highlight or write down notes on flashcards. I write little notes on my power point slides, but I'll only see those if I go back to that section. We can't get lower than a 75% on a test since it makes up 60% and some change to our grade. They aren't going based off pre-req grading, they're going off nursing grading scale which is unusual for a pre-req class that isn't usually taught outside of a program.

    I'm thinking about my ways I study and will be making adding changes to how I do things like more highlighting. I'm trying to figure out what colors I should use. Like green for what I know and red or orange for what I don't. I'm also thinking about writing down stuff in groups, but all this I'm thinking about might be very time consuming...granted I have a lot of time on my hands, I just don't want to repeat the migraine inducing work I put in in Microbiology where I had a stack of notecards 3/4 of the semester about a foot high for 2 different exam content. Once it took me the entire weekend to make a 5 in stack and I got no time to read them, it was a nightmare.
  12. by   Beldar_the_Cenobite
    Quote from OsceanSN2019
    Also, do not be discouraged if you get a low score for your first exam as you do not yet know your professor testing style. This always happen to me as for instance, I recieved a 70% on my first exam for OB (77% is passing) but I received a 92% or above thereafter once I adapted to my teachers testing style.
    The problem with my instructor is that he's going to teach only up to the first exam. Then another instructor is going to teach us. The instructor I'm going to have up until tomorrow that I've had since the class started is a doctor. I don't know why, but he will be replaced by an RN instructor for the remainder. Another problem is that she does not like to be recorded, so I don't know how I'm going to be able to follow along with everything without my compass. I feel lost when I either don't have a recording of a lecture, or I don't write down the times of their lecturing. The doctor has no problem being recorded, the RN does.
  13. by   Wiggly Litchi
    Try not to panic and psych yourself out. I'm currently taking patho and it's not too bad, but I am able to critically think about the material as I learn it. One thing that helps me when I study is to always question "Why?"

    A question on my last test really screwed people up - we were given nothing but a sheet of lab values with some baseline results and told to figure out what was up with pt A, and did pt D have hyper or hypothyroidism, and if so, was it primary or secondary? Then the 3rd part of the question was to describe the symptoms that pt D would have, and why.

    It wasn't enough that we said that the patient had hyperthyroidism, for example. We had to say why they had it (was it Graves or an issue with the pituitary? What causes Graves? Why would they get hyperthyroidism from that?) and then we had to describe the effects of high T3/T4 on the pt. We couldn't get away with saying "Oh, it just increases metabolism!" we had to say what would happen, and again, why.

    Thinking of the "why" is going to really help you in Patho - take awesome notes (I like the Cornell Notes format) - doing this will stop you from having to read the chapter more than once. Use your powerpoints to guide your reading! I've found that the powerpoints give an awesome foundation for your reading, but the textbooks may offer the same material in a little more detail. Often, you're going to be looking for the 'big picture', and you'll be okay.

    Make diagrams on flashcards - totally not kidding. If you don't feel like writing something out, draw it out and keep them for reference.

    If you've got a long drive to school, check out Kyle Sorensen on youtube. I could marry this guy for his patho lectures. I listen to him for the 2hrs/day I have to drive, and the lectures have been so helpful. He's often covering slightly different material than I am, but it's really helping me to grasp it.

    Learn to use your time wisely and don't let the reading scare you. There's a book called Essential Study Skills by Linda Wong - it's helped me a bunch in finding new techniques to grasp lots of information quickly and to mow through piles of reading effectively.
  14. by   middleagednurse
    Quote from meanmaryjean
    Reading the chapter out loud to yourself is also a good strategy for cementing learning.
    That is an excellent learning tool. I have done that. You learn with your eyes and your ears, and helps you to retain the material.

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