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RNs and up - Do you really use all of the "gen-ed" course material on the job?

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by RomaniGypsy RomaniGypsy (Member)

RomaniGypsy has 1 years experience .

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I just finished taking another A&P 1 exam, and I just have to ask - do y'all really use all of this stuff on the job? Do you really need to know the difference between a tuberosity and a tubercle, or the names of all of the cranial nerves, or what muscles get innervated by what spinal nerves, or the names and locations of the individual bones in the wrist, etc, etc, etc?

Or, for that matter, do you really need to know about all of the philosophers they teach you about in Ethics, or how to do a 2-way ANOVA (Statistics), or what Lev Vygotsky did with his life (Psychology)? Do y'all use _any_ of this stuff "on the job"?

It strikes me that these classes are a lot like throwing a large amount of mud at a wall and hoping some will stick. I'll remember a few things from each, but I can't promise to remember which indentations are called "fossae" and which bear the name "ala".

I intend no disrespect to LPNs/LVNs when I say "RNs and up", but an LPN I know said that what LPNs and RNs really need to know on account of what they do on the job is distinctly varied. Another student in my A&P 1 class said, today after the exam, that her mom is an LPN and she doesn't even know the nine abdominal regions that we learned about in the first week of class. (My takeaway is that she, and at least the other LPNs with whom she works in that facility, don't need to know even this basic A&P information in order to do their jobs successfully.) With this information in mind, I want to see if what I hear from RNs, NPs, and other "specialty nurses" is substantially different.

I've worn a couple of different career hats in my life and I know that in both cases, I didn't use a lot of what I learned on the road toward being fully qualified to "do" that career. I'm still at a solid "A" in A&P 1 with only one exam to go, but part of me is disenchanted with the whole process because I feel like I'm rote-memorizing a whole bunch of stuff I will never again use after regurgitating it for the exams... and that would be naught but a waste of my time.

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On 4/18/2019 at 11:08 PM, RomaniGypsy said:

I just finished taking another A&P 1 exam, and I just have to ask - do y'all really use all of this stuff on the job? Do you really need to know the difference between a tuberosity and a tubercle, or the names of all of the cranial nerves, or what muscles get innervated by what spinal nerves, or the names and locations of the individual bones in the wrist, etc, etc, etc?

Nope to philosophy

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4 Followers; 18,026 Visitors; 2,769 Posts

On 4/18/2019 at 11:08 PM, RomaniGypsy said:

I just finished taking another A&P 1 exam, and I just have to ask - do y'all really use all of this stuff on the job? Do you really need to know the difference between a tuberosity and a tubercle, or the names of all of the cranial nerves, or what muscles get innervated by what spinal nerves, or the names and locations of the individual bones in the wrist, etc, etc, etc?

Yes to anatomy

 

 

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4 Followers; 18,026 Visitors; 2,769 Posts

Sorry I was posting this way too late at night. The answer is yes to the anatomy and no to the philosophy!

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Quota is a BSN, RN and works as a Oncology nurse.

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To some extent it depends on where you end up working.  If you’re on an ortho unit bones become more relavent, if you’re on a neuro units the nerves become more relavent.  Sometimes no matter where you’re working a situation may present itself where having that information in the back of your mind helps.  You may not remember it all exactly but when you need to know it for a patient and start refreshing yourself on it you’ll probably be surprised at how much of that “useless” knowledge comes flooding back to you.  

Sounds like you’re still doing prereqs, those are rote memorization classes.  Nursing school is not like prereqs.  In nursing school you have to be able to apply the information you’ve learned, rote memorization won’t cut it.  

Plus the gen ed requirements to some extent are simply to help make you a more well rounded person.  Expose you to a bit of information in a variety of subjects.  With my previous degree in biology I took a bunch of history classes because I enjoy history and they filled gen ed requirements.  Well I probably took even more than needed to fill those requirements and just filled some credit hours really but I enjoyed the classes for learnings sake.  No they didn’t help me in my first career working in a lab but they did make me a more well rounded individual.

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Pixie.RN has 18 years experience as a MSN, RN, EMT-P and works as a ED/Trauma, Educator, IP/Nurse Epidemiologist.

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I enjoy having a well-rounded education. I have had some interesting patients who are extremely educated, and it was nice to be able to keep up! lol. Parts of the "gen ed" will not always be relevant, but you'll be glad to have the knowledge when you do need it.

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RNNPICU has 13 years experience.

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Yes to the gen ed stuff and the A&P stuff. In nursing there are so many ethical situations you will encounter and test your own beliefs.  You will use psychology and sociolgy to better understand why your patient or family is behaving in a certain way and thinking about the patient/family social situtation.  All of that is about patient care.  Depending on the unit wher you ulitmately work, knowing specific bones or ligaments are very important.  Cranial nerves and function - huge on a Neuro unit.  And yes you will use statistics or at least priniples of statistics if you want to make any knid of change on your unit, showing before and after results of a project implementation.  If you survey your unit, - statistics.

 

You see... the classes do and will have an impact on your nursing.  It isn;t just cut and dry. It encompasses the whole picture and act of nursing.

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My response:

😩

A better question is this: Do you want the caliber of person assessing you, advocating for you/your needs, or, say, pushing medications straight into your blood stream, to not be capable of understanding some of these topics you're asking about? To not be capable of thinking even just a little bit?

Sorry, this particular complaint (in general) bugs me. "What do I need to know algebra for?" "I'm never gonna use this [whatever it is] again in my entire life!!," etc., etc., etc. for some reason in my personal observations is associated with things like also having difficulty understanding simple things like the difference between rate and volume (for example). "It's a 'thousand bag' and it says 125ml per hour, so which one 'goes on top' [when entering numbers into IV pump program]?" 😩😱

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Yeah, you kind of need to know anatomy and physiology to do this job.  Cranial nerves are kind of important in my specialty.  

If you don’t know how the body is supposed to work normally which is what A&P teaches you, how will you know what to do when it’s not functioning normally?  How will you know what to watch for?  

What is it exactly you think nursing is about?  This is not meant to be a sarcastic question at all, I’m just wondering what it is you think we do?  Like if I’m giving a medication, I need to know how it works on the body and what adverse reactions to look for.  Do I want to give a beta blocker for a heart rate in the 50s?  I better know how that beta blocker works and on what system.  

So much of nursing is also intertwined into psychology and sociology.  You do need to know Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.  You need to know cultural ideas if your patients.  

There’s a lot that goes into being a nurse.  

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umbdude has 1 years experience as a BSN, RN and works as a RN. PMHNP student.

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A&P? Most absolutely. Memorize and understand everything.

You have to memorize words as a child in order to read, write, and learn right? Same goes for A&P and everything else you'll encounter in nursing.

 

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llg has 40 years experience as a PhD, RN and works as a Nursing Professional Development + Academic Facult.

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Here is another angle ...

Think of an athlete in the gym, training.   Does a football quarterback need to lift weights while playing a game?  No, but he needs his arm and other body parts to be strong - so he lifts weights to train.  All athletes do exercises that train their bodies that don't closely resemble the actual motions they make while actually playing their sport. 

Now, to use one of your examples: ethics.   Taking an ethics class should make you familiar with important ethical principles and also give you experience using those principles to analyze situations, make decisions, etc.    Will you encounter all of those same classroom scenarios in nursing practice?   Probably not ... but the familiarity with ethical principles and the processes of using them can help you be a better nurse.   You will probably encounter many ethical dilemmas in your practice and what you learn in an ethics class can help you deal with them when they occur.

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subee has 45 years experience as a MSN, CRNA and works as a CRNA, retired.

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Nursing isn't a trade; albeit, every once in a while you run into people who practice it as such.  We don't need any more anti-education people in our corner.  If you're not enjoying your pre-reqs, do something else less complicated because what you learn as a student amounts to a hill of beans compared to what you will need to know on the job.

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