tipsforsuccessinmedsurg

Medical-Surgical Nursing, commonly referred to as “MedSurg,” is a two-session class with a clinical component. The course breaks down the body into systems, such as cardiovascular or gastrointestinal, and reviews disease processes and health conditions that apply. Besides understanding the pathophysiology of the disease or condition, the information is further broken down to diagnostic testing, treatments and nursing interventions.

As a student in MedSurg, it took me a while to realize that I was not using my time wisely. It used to take me 4 hours or more to read ONE chapter because my focus was to memorize everything I read. Eventually, I learned that MedSurg isn’t about memorizing numbers and details, rather it’s about putting old and new pieces together — it really puts your pathophysiology, health assessment and fundamentals knowledge to the test!

As I’ve now completed the course, here are my top tips for success:

1. READ YOUR BOOK!

2. Find a study partner or form a study group.

3. Once you receive your course materials, use the Evolve website case studies and practice questions. You can log in at http://evolve.elsevier.com with your username and password.

4. Every point counts – aside from the exams, turn in all assignments on time and be prepared for quizzes.

5. Manage your time wisely – avoid a meltdown by making a “To Do” list of the things you need to accomplish today and the rest of the week.

6. As you study or read, think of what kinds of questions you’d be asked on a test.

7. If you are looking for additional resources, outside of your required textbooks, check them out in the Center for Academic Success (CAS) before you buy.  They’re expensive and you honestly won’t have time to read through them.

8. When answers A, B, C and D seem correct on a test – don’t forget to use your test-taking strategies: ABC’s, Maslow’s, and the Nursing Process.

9. Cramming the information a day before the test is overwhelming and will only hurt you – spread out your studying over a few days.

10. If you begin to struggle early on, get help before it’s too late from the fine tutors in the CAS. To give a different spin on the material, I made weekly appointments with my favorite tutor in the CAS for reviewing the material and working on practice test questions.

Best of luck to the new class of MedSurg students!

We’d love to hear your tips as well! Leave them in the comments below.

  1. I would like to add to this a bit of clarification. Don’t just read your book. Every 20 minutes, pause your reading and do something with what you just read.
    1. Write out a quick SBAR report.
    2. Write a test item.
    3. List 3 priority nursing concerns.
    4. Watch one youtube video related to what you just read.
    5. Draw a picture about what you just read.
    6. Look in the mirror and explain to yourself what you just read.
    Hope this helps, Tim B.

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