Looking for advice on how to succeed in medical-surgical nursing? Puzzled as to why many students find this area of nursing challenging?
This article is just for you as we discuss how to study and pass medical-surgical nursing in nursing school.
Medical-surgical nursing is a field of nursing that focuses on the care of adult patients who are acutely ill, with a wide variety of medical conditions or surgical procedures.
This type of nursing involves the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of patients in a hospital setting, and may include administering medications, monitoring vital signs, and providing education and support to patients and their families.
Medical-surgical nurses work closely with physicians and other healthcare professionals to provide comprehensive and coordinated care for patients.
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Understanding Key Concepts in Medical-Surgical Nursing
Before beginning your studies, it is important to identify your preferred learning style.
This will help you tailor your study plan to best suit your needs. Some people may be visual learners and find it helpful to watch videos on the subject matter they are studying.
For those who prefer auditory learning, recording lectures or taking notes can be beneficial.
For tactile learners, forming study groups may be effective.
And for those who are read-write learners, taking detailed notes in class and then rewriting them at home, or re-reading and rewriting concepts that are not understood can be useful.
Once you have determined your learning style, you can adjust your study plan accordingly.
Common Mistakes Students Make When Studying Medical-Surgical Nursing
Reading every chapter of a medical-surgical book word-for-word is not an effective study method as these books are often large and contain too much material to retain.
Instead, focus on understanding the key concepts.
Failing to understand how to answer NCLEX study questions can also hinder your progress.
Watch my video on how to answer NCLEX questions for more information. Memorizing material without understanding it will not be beneficial for medical-surgical nursing, as you must understand how a disease process affects the body to understand the patient's symptoms and the appropriate nursing interventions.
Additionally, it is important to set aside sufficient time for studying, as medical-surgical nursing is a subject that requires extra time and effort.
Staying organized in nursing school can help you make the most of your study time.
Key to Success in Medical-Surgical Nursing
Before an exam, it is beneficial to pay attention to any study guides provided by the professor as they typically cover important key concepts that will be on the test.
To make the most of this information, create a study plan for each topic in the study guide and supplement your understanding with a study guidebook. Additionally, practicing NCLEX-style questions related to the exam's content can be beneficial.
For instance, if the exam will cover diabetes insipidus, Addison disease, and Cushing’s syndrome, practice NCLEX questions on the endocrine system, and review the explanations for both correct and incorrect answers.
This will help you identify the recurring concepts that will likely be tested on the lecture exam.
To prepare for a medical-surgical exam, it is essential to use a study guide efficiently.
This can be done by practicing end-of-chapter questions, reading the explanations provided, and paying close attention to important words, text boxes, and diagrams.
Then, compare this information to your class notes, PowerPoints, and textbook, while looking for key concepts that are repeated.
This is typically the material that will be covered on the exam.
In the accompanying video, I demonstrate how to use a study guide and your notes when preparing for a medical-surgical exam.
Specifically, I focus on the topic of pneumothoraces.
To be well-prepared for a medical-surgical exam, it is important to have a solid understanding of the pathophysiology, causes, assessment findings, nursing interventions, and diagnostic tests associated with a particular disease.
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