Thursday, March 1, 2012

Studying for the aspiring Nurse

I was asked to write about studying tips.  I wish I could sit here and say I'm a subject matter expert on studying, but I'm not.  You can ask my study group, they will all tell you that I was probably the worst study-er in the class.  There is a silver lining in that though... I still graduated and I still passed the Nclex.  So, here are some good tips, but alot of them will be a "Do as I say not as I do" kind of a thing.

The first thing you want to do is figure out how you learn.  There is some heated debate over whether or not this is complete BS.  I think it works. Hell, it works for me and thats good enough.  Check out this link and answer 16 questions to help determine what type of learner you are.  I am an auditory learner, which is, in my opinion, the best kind to be.  I simply have to be in the room and hear, not listen, but HEAR something and I remember it.  Maybe I can't remember it forever, but, thanks to the redundancy of nursing school and nursing alike, I don't have to.  I am aware that this skill is irritating to most students, so, if you are like me, try to avoid bragging about it. 

As I've already mentioned, I studied in a group. This is a great approach, because everyone thinks differently and remembers things in a different way.  Collaboration is key.  Unless you plan to work alone, you will need to build this team-work ethic asap.  Our group would generally study independently and then two nights before or the night before the test get together and take turns reading questions aloud to the group. We would read hundreds of questions over every subject.  If you school is like mine there is probably an average of 12 chapters per test, so these nights can be long.  Bring food and CAFFEINE. 

Ok, lets say you don't like groups, or do better on your own.  This is my wife all over.  We have a desk set up for her with a corkboard (like her Pinterest for this weeks Unit) on the wall above it.  She reads, and makes flow charts, idea maps, draws things, she has an anatomy coloring book that she colors.  (She is kind of "Artsy Fartsy" with her degree in Theatrical Arts) This helps her out, well, that coupled with having me around to clarify things.  I may see whats on the board this week and post up a pic in the blog. See Below:

This week is Endocrine so I posted an older pic off of her Facebook page.  Even drawings of the Endocrine system are boring. 

This brings me to the note takers... The furious typers, and the mad scribblers.  You guys are rockstars.  My hand cramps after a half page of nursing notes.  If that helps you memorize it, more power to you.  I would suggest that you use notecards and write down the "Cliff Notes" version of things so that you can cover more material faster.

Don't forget to eat, drink lots of water, and take breaks. You are only human.  You will be amazed at your capacity to guess the correct answer at times.  You are in nursing school, you are not stupid, you will survive.  And if you don't make it..... Well, there is always radiography ;-)

Now for the Pre-Req students... those aspiring for the un-ending hellish nightmare that is nursing school.  WTF are you thinking?  I'm Kidding! Unbunch your panties! Listen up, your classes are not that hard.  Read your material, write your papers, and show up to lecture.  If you want to prep for nursing school simply do the following:  Read your assigned material 3 times, double the length of your papers, and volunteer at a hospital in your free time. Oh, and I forgot to mention that you are not allowed to sleep more than 5 hours in any 24hr period. (My all time longest is 55 hours straight) I'm not into sugar coating this.  Nursing school is not for the timid.  But as George Sheehan put it "Happiness is different from pleasure. Happiness has something to do with struggling and enduring and accomplishing."  Hopefully, nursing will make you happy. Otherwise, Old George here doesn't know squat.

I doubt this has helped with your study skills.  I would tell you to stay off twitter, and pinterest and quit reading blogs but thats hard on business. Plus, this shit will help you graduate, Guaranteed or your money back!

Guys and Gals, @That1Murse and I want to help you and we want to guide you in the right direction.  We also want you to see the lighter side of nursing. That and working 12s leaves me with alot of spare time.  Leave comments, ask questions, make suggestions for blog topics, send us pictures of crazy shit you do... 

Until next time...


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