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Preparation for Chemistry for Health Science?

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by Trixie-Nurse2b Trixie-Nurse2b (New Member) New Member

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Hi all!

I'm going to be taking a required course called Chemistry for Health Science and I want to do everything I can to prepare for it before I go in, as I've heard it's a tough class. Can anyone tell me how it's different from a regular Chemistry class one would have taken in high school?

I am currently studying for the NLN pre-entrance exam I'll need to get into my Nursing program, and it reviews the very basic elements of understanding Chemistry, but I've noticed in general that there's a lot of algebra involved in more advanced Chemistry courses. Is the Chemistry for Health Science class something that will require all of that algebra? I'm trying to gauge it in advance so I can study up enough algebra, which I'm terrible at.

I've seen two review books to help me get back into understanding Chemistry, one is a basic Cliff's Notes Chemistry study aid, and the other is called "Organic Chemistry." Which would be the better one for me to check into before going into the Chemistry for Health Science class so I can get a jump on it before I become overwhelmed?

I'd really appreciate any help I can get. I want to try and review as best I can before jumping into the classes so I can be the best student - and eventual nurse - I can be!

Thanks so much!!! :)

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Daytonite is a BSN, RN and specializes in med/surg, telemetry, IV therapy, mgmt.

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i had to take a similar course for my adn program. for my school, no prior chemistry was required. since then i've taken college chemistry so i have a pretty good idea of the difference between these two classes.

if it is anything like chemistry for the health sciences that i took, it is basically a combination of "general chemistry and organic chemistry for dummies". by that, i'm not meaning that anybody is dumb at all, but they include the very basic concepts from each of these two subjects in chemistry without going into great detail that you would get it you took a university class like organic chemistry.

here's what i can recommend you do based on my experiences:

  1. right off the bat you'll be learning about the basic structure of an atom and the various elements. make flashcards to learn the names of the elements, their abbreviations, and number of protons, electrons and neutrons. the remainder of the course builds upon this information, so if you blow this, you're really going to be in hot water. in my course i recall we only had to know the first 40 elements of the periodic table, but your instructor will tell you what you need to know. http://www.cs.ubc.ca/cgi-bin/nph-pertab/tab/periodic-table - the periodic table
  2. the interaction between atoms and bonding are usually covered as well. depending on what elements bond with what other elements, the result is a compound. some of these compounds form the basis of organic chemistry concepts. again, so flashcards for some of this stuff. http://www.chem1.com/acad/webtext/chembond/ - all about chemical bonding http://www.indexdirect.com/abez/chemistry/ - organic chemistry how to. basics on naming and formation of basic compounds.
  3. that brings you to the math. redox equations. this is where you have to know the valence number (this is related to the electrons) of each element. watch how your instructor does these problems. you set up equations to help you determine how much of each element has to go into a chemical reaction. for this course you will be given the equation for the reaction. mostly, you have to learn how the numbers get manipulated around and this is based on their valence numbers which are either positive or negative (that's where the algebra comes in because some valence numbers are positive and some are negative). as with all math you have to work problem after problem after problem to get the hang of it. http://www.wfu.edu/~ylwong/balanceeq/balanceq.html

above all, don't give up. this is actually, like math, very logical stuff. if you have to take one paragraph at a time to understand it, then do that. chemistry, like math, builds concept on top of concept. if you goof up your learning and understanding of it from the start or anywhere along the way, you've set your fate.

i thought labs were fun. to me, they were no different than being in the kitchen and cooking except you were working with different equipment and using strange concoctions. we made aspirin and soap in two of our labs!

here are some other links i have that you may find helpful.


http://www.sparknotes.com/chemistry/ - this is spark notes chemistry study guides. you link into the subjects in chemistry you are looking for information on. also includes some practice problems with answers within the various sections.


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7 Posts; 739 Profile Views

THANK YOU SO MUCHl!!! I really REALLY appreciate all the time you took to reply with such detail. I did get a very basic Chemistry review book to start with and emailed my prospective teacher to find out how much outside lab work I might be expected to do while taking the class. Hopefully she'll get back to me and I'll get a better idea what to expect. Thanks again for the links, I'll be checking them all out! :)

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