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Question about Fundamentals


So I am freaking out about my fundamentals class...the first day the instructor told us that she wasn't going to teach us anything in the book...that it was our job to teach ourselves...so with that in mind how do you know what to focus on if her 8 page powerpoint is a bunch of pictures that has nothing to do with what she just asked us to read??!!...I did find some learning objectives in the lesson folder but I searched through the book and found out most of the objectives are in chapters that were not assigned to read!!...anybody have any thoughts on what to do??? (sorry if there are any typos.. it is 1:30 in the morning and I can't fall asleep because I am so worried!)


Specializes in Geriatric.

I would do the learning objectives in the lesson plan ad well as in the book. Doesn't matter what's actually assigned to read. Some topics have a paragraph or two touching on the subject in other chapters. If it pertains to the objective then read it. Whatever you need to do to understand the concepts.

I also suggest searching the app store for lippincotts apps. There's a fundamentals one. The apps give you practice questions mimicking the same types that will be on the tests so you can be able to think through the question and actually apply the concepts you learn from the book. They're very helpful.

Sounds like one of those instructors who won't teach much but will test you on everything. I suggest you buy a fundamental of nursing review book. There's fundamental of nursing made incredibly easy or mary hogan's nursing fundamentals reviews and rationales or one by FA Davis. Prior to class read the review book for the chapters/body systems that will be covered. Note down any questions you have and ask in class. Do chapter objectives post lecture {find a buddy to split the chapter objectives with because they take a lifetime to finish}. Now study both the objectives and the review book. Practice no less than 20 nclex questions per day for the topics you've studied. Study the rationales for every question you do whether you get it right or wrong (I usually type my rationales).

No, it is not going to be easy to stick to this schedule especially if you have work and family responsibilities. But commit to it and see what works for you, eliminating what doesn't work. I have since eliminated doing chapter objectives. I focus on powerpoints (my instructors provide great ppoints), review books and practice about 50 nclex questions per day. So 20 questions is just to start you off, but by no means should you limit yourself to 20. Then a day before exam (we have weekly exams) I study my typed rationales and may be flip thru the ppoints one last time. Hope that'll help.

NurseGirl525, ASN, RN

Specializes in ICU.

How on earth can you teach yourself stuff this important? I would have a huge problem with that and would probably be looking at other schools. Did they give you an outline? Does she lecture? What do you do in class? We get outlines, powerpoints, and lecture where we take notes. The outlines come from the book. She doesn't do the book sentence by sentence but you get the idea of what they want. Were you just given your book and told here you go, nothing more? I'm kind of confused, I guess. I just had 14 hours of lecture in fundamentals the past two days and have 8 hours worth of lab tomorrow.

Bedside_Life RN

Specializes in Surgical Intensive Care. Has 3 years experience.

Okay, I will not express my thoughts about how this instructor teaches her class, but she may be used to teaching senior students. My advice would be to stick to the objectives she has provided you with and find those in the chapters that have been assigned. Often times you will find that a topic is discussed in several different chapters because body systems are all interconnected. For example, you may be looking for the objective about hypertension and find it in Cardiovascular, Endocrine, L&D, etc. but what is the main objective that is listed in your list..... if you are not sure. refer to the power points, as vague as they may be, and slim your options down so that you are not reading about a body system that hasn't been covered yet.

Also, buy a recorder and tape her lectures. While her power points may be short, her discussions may be what she bases her tests from. Also, ask questions...... When your instructor made this statement to the class, ask "What do you suggest is the best way for us to prepare for your tests and from the resources you have provided what do you base your tests off of? i.e, lecture, study guide, power point, textbook...

In Nursing school you will be overwhelmed with resources. And these resources do not always agree with each other. You will find arguments in how you answered test questions, and why you think the right answer is ridiculous. But the bottom line is address her in a non-offensive way so that she knows that you want to succeed and take her response exactly "as is". Whatever the answer is satisfy those requirements whether you agree with her or not. You will have plenty of time to practice the way you want to practice when you graduate.

Don't be afraid to ask questions, this is your education. And record her lectures!!! you can't take notes on everything and ask questions and get a good understanding of material all at once. So this will help with any issues or clarity that you need while she is available to answer you. Most of the time she will word test questions similar to the examples she provides during lecture.

Good Luck. You will be fine. Ask as many questions as you have to and know that you do not have to be rude to have a voice or concern.

Chin up, Rooting for you.

In my experience, I love when professors don't teach the book. If I just read it, I don't want you to just repeat what I read. Make it different so I can bring it together. Nursing school is about critical thinking not just memorizing information. Sometimes hearing or seeing it different ways helps you bring it home and better your understanding.

If your book is an Elsevier book then you probably have a learning resource with it. Sometimes they have codes on the inside of the cover that gives you so many tools to reinforce your reading. Look for that to help.

In nursing school you do have to take ownership of your learning because you will not always have a professor that holds you hand through the material. Most often you won't. You will find going on youtube and watching videos, looking through articles, etc will help reinforce your reading as well as make it stick because you had to go look for the answer. Good luck to you!


Specializes in Med-Surg.

I have found sticking to objectives to be the most helpful. And using online resources that accompany your book. Also I have found at least in our books, a lot of useful info is highlighted in the chapters in the boxes. I have found the reviews and rationales series to be very helpful.