You're so welcome guys, no problem. Your right Tatortots, not long ago I was just like you guys. I can't even believe that I'm halfway through the second semester, honestly I can't. Things are going pretty well for me. Its been a challenge. Probably the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. I have a Bachelor of Arts, but that was nothing like this is. The main thing you have to remember is it can be done!!! I've almost quit a few times, but I've made good friends that won't let me, lol!! Oh yes, find people who studying like you do, who are as motivated as you are etc, etc. There will be those who want to coast or use your hard work for their own benefit. Tell them to go get a life, and focus on your studies. You'll see what I mean. There are also a lot of great people who you'll find you can't live without during school, real friends!!
What I've personally found most challenging has probably been skills class (we had skills last semester and this semester). It takes getting used to being timed and watched while you perform a skill you've practiced. During the first semester I had to retest 2 skills (BP and Med Administration). I took it pretty hard at first (I need to get stressed out pretty easily) but I'm learning that you really have to take nursing school one day at a time, and if necessary, one task at a time in order to keep your sanity. The first semester I finished with all A's and a B. This semester, I don't anticipate the grades being as good. The summer is extremely short, and med-surg is a lot of information to absorb in a small amount of time, but I'm still working at it, and doing my best.
As others have before I started the program, I would recommend practicing NCLEX style questions for your Lecture courses. It really does help prepare you for the style of questions you'll see on the tests. So that even if at times your knowledge falls short, you're able to reason and navigate through the questions with a little bit more ease. I'm still learning how to study myself. I keep adjusting the way I do things test by test to try to improve. For health assessment, get together with friends and practice on each other. Its the only way! The health assessment text is also a great resource that you can use for clarification. For skills, I used to take my BP cuff wherever I went and offered to give anyone who wanted a free BP check. Also what helps for skills, is writing down what the teacher said to do in the order they said to do it. (I use notecards) Each teacher has different preferences in the way skills need to be performed, so do yourself a favor and for that class only study with those who have the same teacher as yourself, or you'll end up really confused. Intro to pharm- There are a few practice chapters in the beginning of the book, review them like they tell you, its good practice. The teacher may not follow along exactly, but reading the chapters is worth it in this class (they're short). Also try to find problems in the book that are similar to examples that your teacher goes over in class. Oh yes, and for Fundamentals, you want to start disciplining yourself in looking up every single word that you don't know the definition of, and there will be many. Its really easy to brush over them and think theres no time (we're all guilty of it), but you will see them again. It'll pay off, trust me! For clinicals, you'll probably be in a nursing home or LTC (long term care) facility for most or all of the first semester practicing basic skills with your patient. I encourage you to take everything you learn in assessment and try as hard as you can to use those assessment skills on your patient. You'll see that the more thorough your assessment the more you'll start being able to connect signs and symptoms of certain conditions, and this will help you tremendously. In terms of care plans, I loathe them, still haven't gotten that down to a science.:-P
When you need help, GO TO YOUR INSTRUCTOR (IF THEY SEEM WILLING TO HELP), TAKE THEM UP ON IT, AND ALSO GO TO THE SUCCESS CENTER!!!!! There are tutors there who are finishing up the nursing program or who have already graduated from mdc and are working as RNs. Find someone who you click with and come find them whenever you have a question. They really want to help you. They've been through this, who better to help us, right?
Yea, I know I said I didn't have much time, lol and I don't, I should be studying pharm, but I felt compelled to give at least a few tidbits for each class. I hope that it helps. Feel free to grab any one of us that you see in the same program that seems freindly. :-) If you have any specific questions, I'll try to answer them the best that I can, and hopefully in some sort of timely fashion
Again, best of luck to everyone, looking forward to seeing some new faces this fall!!!