Med-Surg Success

Students frequently email me to ask me what the best way to study Medical Surgical Nursing is, and I always give the same answer.  So I thought I’d finally share my advice publicly so that everyone can take advantage of it!

The best way to succeed in Med-Surg is to have a solid understanding of Anatomy and Physiology.  A lot of nursing students don’t want to hear that :)

But there really are no shortcuts.  One of the strategies I recommend in the PASS Program is to spend a little bit of time reviewing A&P every time you sit down to study.  Just go over whichever A&P system you’re currently learning in Med Surg.  For example, if you’re studying Heart Failure, then you would spend 15-20 minutes at the beginning of each study session to review the parts of the heart, and to understand how the blood flows through the hearts and lungs.  Don’t worry about remembering every single A&P detail, because you know you’re going to review it again at your next study session.  The trick is to review a little bit at a time, but review frequently!  You’ll start to remember a little bit more each time you look at the material.  Plus, since you’re reviewing the A&P system immediately before studying the disease processes that affect that system, then you will start to gain a better understanding about what’s really going wrong in the disorder, and why that problem causes the common symptoms you see.

Just think of it this way.  Studying A&P is learning what is normal in the body.  Studying the disease is learning what’s broken in the body.  So if you know how “normal” works, then identifying what “broke” will allow you to start making educated guesses about all kinds of useful information you need in nursing school, such as what symptoms you will see, what medical treatments will be helpful, and the type of nursing care you will need to provide.  This is a very useful skill in learning to think like a nurse, because it is impossible to memorize every detail you will ever encounter in nursing practice (or even on exams!).  Often, you’ll find that you need to use the knowledge you already have and apply it to a new situation.  If you have a thorough knowledge of A&P, then you’ll be in great shape to accomplish that!

Comments

  1. Jacqueline disso says

    would like to sign in, but want to make sure I found the answers of my problem.
    I’am enrolled in Med surge II from January 28 -may 20 would like to be assure that i would have all i need to be successfull.
    this is the unit we are to study
    unitI Respiratory
    unit II cardiac
    unit III problems of clients with special needs
    unit 4 problems related to movementc, coordination, and altered sensory input: NEUROLOGY

    thanks for your prompt fieldback

    • says

      Hi Jacqueline,
      The PASS Program focuses on teaching you the study skills you need to succeed in nursing school, it doesn’t review specific nursing content. So it’s suitable no matter what classes you’re currently taking, because you can easily apply the PASS Program skills to any nursing topic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>