You're a nursing student, you've read all of your course outlines, but when it comes to studying, you're not sure where to start and you need some help-FAST. You've come to the right place. Whether you're studying for exams, preparing for your first clinical rotation or seeking tools to simplify your workload and boost your comprehension, the Study Tips section of NurseZone offers helpful hints, study aids and useful tools and references to help get you started.
For some, there is nothing worse than studying for and taking tests. However, the process can be simplified using these valuable tips that will help you form solid study habits, create a method that works for you and to prepare you for exams.
Study Skills: Tips From Former Nursing StudentsStudy Tips for Successful Distance LearningTest Preparation and Test-taking Tips
If studying alone sounds boring, difficult or lonely, think again. The advantage of studying on your own is that you can do it on your own time without having to plan around the schedules of others.
These are some tips for studying alone:
Don't forget, two heads are better than one. If you're not feeling too confident about a class or find it easier to learn by discussing study material, you may want join a study group. It's a great way to share ideas and teach each other, but it can also be unproductive if discussion departs from organic chemistry to who's dating whom. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your study group sessions:
All right, so you've probably heard from other nursing students about the drill sergeant-like clinical instructor, the staff nurse who isn't too keen about teaching student nurses or the patient who mistrusts your actions. Don't let these scare tactics keep you from walking into your first clinical with confidence. Remind yourself why you entered nursing and what you have to offer the profession and those you will help-both in nursing school and out.
Some tips to get you started:
Simplify your study time. Use drug dosage calculators, medical mnemonics, clinical drug databases, ABG and EKG tutorials, among other tools and resources to help you better understand what you've learned in lecture and read about in your textbooks.
Though most professors and teaching faculty will likely expect you to figure out drug conversions and dosage calculations the old fashioned way-using a pencil and paper-these calculators can be helpful for checking your work. Keep in mind that all calculations must be confirmed before using them and that suggested doses should not override clinical judgment:
Mnemonics, which simply means "memory aid" in Greek, is a quick and significant means to enhance your memorization skills. Unlike acronyms and other means of learning by association, using mnemonics is an effective way to remember hard-to-retain lists of facts. Check out these mnemonic aids:
World's Database of Medical Mnemonics
Not familiar with what prescriptive drugs are available? Use a clinical drug database. Though they vary in their offerings, you are likely to find that they provide information on up-to-date pharmaceuticals on the market, as well as off-label uses and dosages, herbal supplements and nutritional products. Some clinical drug databases also list new drugs on the market and drugs being tested. Here are a few databases to explore:
Infectious disease clinical drug downloadsRx List
Evaluating arterial blood gases (ABGs) means determining the amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood, as well as the acidity of the blood shortly after it leaves the heart. Use these ABG online tutorial tools to help you assess the oxygen capacity of the lungs, the oxygen pressure in the blood, respiratory adequacy and acid-base balance:
General Information about ABGs
With so many different types of cardia arrhythmias, learning what the electrocardiogram (ECG/EKG) rhythms mean can be confusing. Use the following links to help you interpret, study and improve your ability to recognize EKGs:
The EKG TutorialNormal and Abnormal EKGs and Heart Sounds
Use these virtual stethoscope sites to help you decipher normal and abnormal cardiac and respiratory sounds:
Habits of the Heart
Want to know more? Check out these general references for all of your study needs:
Free Health Care DataMedicalMatrixNational Library of Medicine: Visible Human ProjectLoyola University Medical Center: Structure of the HumanUniversity of Washington Muscle Atlas
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