Does previous healthcare experience HELP or HURT in nursing school? (Episode 65-Navigating Nursing School Podcast)

Share with classmates...

Previous healthcare experience…does it HELP or HURT you in nursing school? How should you study Pathophysiology when it’s all so overwhelming? What are some tips for answering SATA type questions? Listen to hear my answer!Did you know that I have a free Facebook Group you can join to connect with other nursing students AND get some help from me? It’s called “Nursing Students in Nursing School”, and today I’m answering one of the student questions I received there.


Listen Now!


Some links below may be referral links…purchases made from referral links don’t cost you any extra, but may provide a commission that helps support Your Nursing Tutor’s free content, so thank you!

Free training on how to study to start thinking like a nurse: https://www.yournursingtutor.com/value-sbss/

Leave a 5-start rating and review for the Navigating Nursing School with Your Nursing Tutor Podcast on Apple Podcast: www.YourNursingTutor.com/podcast

VIP Tutoring Membership: www.YourNursingTutor.com/vip

Free Facebook Group: Nursing Students in Nursing School, (Free Help and Support)


Transcript for Episode 65

Welcome to the Navigating Nursing School with Your Nursing Tutor podcast! Did you know that I have a free Facebook Group you can join to connect with other nursing students AND get some help from me? It’s called “Nursing Students in Nursing School”, and you can find the link in the show notes for today’s episode, located at www.YourNursingTutor.com/episode65. And today I’m sharing one of our recent Q&A sessions that we do every friday in that Facebook group. I’ll be answering questions about whether previous healthcare experience is a help or a hindrance to you in nursing school, how to study pathophysiology in a way that won’t be so overwhelming, and the best way to approach Select-all-that-apply questions on your nursing exams.The Facebook group where I answer these questions is a separate thing from my VIP Tutoring Membership, which you also might have heard me talk about. The VIP Tutoring Membership is my paid tutoring community where you can chat with me directly during live group tutoring sessions via zoom so that we can have real discussions that will improve your critical thinking and get you thinking like a nurse even faster. You also receive a guided pathway of curated resources to conquer the most common nursing school challenges like test anxiety and dosage calculations, plus access to a 24/7 members-only forum where you can continue to ask me questions throughout the week. But like I said,the Facebook Group is a separate thing from the paid VIP Tutoring Membership, so if you’re not quite ready to join yet then I highly encourage you to come on over to Facebook and be a part of that community so that you can still get your nursing school questions answered once a week by me. The link for that plus any of the other resources I mention today can be found at the show notes page at www.YourNursingTutor.com/episode65 Enjoy today’s episode!—————Hey there, everybody, and then nursing students in nursing school, a free Facebook group. I’m Nicole Whitworth with your nursing tutor, and I am here to answer your weekly Questions for the q&a. So if you don’t already know, or if you’re new to this group, I am a professional nursing tutor, and I want to support you in nursing school, no matter where you’re out on your nursing school journey, you can be pre nursing, you can be current nursing, preparing for NCLEX, you can be a new grad, because we’re actually launching a brand new mentorship program for new graduate nurses Starting this spring. 

So we actually covered but the way it works is that there is always going to be a pinned post on the top of this page that has a q&a picture and says what date the next q&a is going to be right now. It’s usually on Fridays. So go ahead and post your question there. And I will make sure that I added to the queue. If you want answers from me more often than once a week, then I also have a VIP tutoring membership, which is my paid option to keep tutoring affordable to keep mentoring, make it accessible, because I don’t eat my young if you haven’t noticed. So I have six kids to prove it. That’s what I say. So I don’t eat nursing students, and I don’t eat my own children somehow. 

So anyway, let’s get into the questions. For this week. I have three of them submitted. 
So the first one is from Katrin Alia. And she says Does having past medical experience help? I’ve been a medical assistant for over 10 years now. So I get this question a lot? And the answer is yes and no. So having past medical experience definitely can be a strength. But it can also be a challenge in certain situations. So let me explain. It’s a strength because you’re already largely familiar with the the healthcare culture, like there is a whole culture that when you’re starting from scratch, you’re getting used to the culture of things in addition to all of the new information that you’re learning. So depending on what your healthcare experience has been, you might be more confident with your hands on skills, you might know the vocabulary and the jargon more comfortably. And of course, you know, that whole just healthcare culture. So those are all good things. And I really tell people, that it is a strength. However, I’m sure you’ve also heard, a lot of people say that, especially if you’re going back like maybe, you know, like Katrina, Leah’s she’s been a medical assistant, or a lot of times I hear people tell LPNs, that when they’re going back for the, if they’re going back for their RN, that it’s actually worse, because, you know, they’re gonna have a harder time because ideal, the ideal world of NCLEX is what they’re being tested on. And they’re used to what do I do in the real world, and they don’t always mesh, as she might says that. So any case, that’s where the weakness lies, right. So it can be a challenge, because you do have to learn how to think, and all of your tests in nursing school are teaching you or testing you on how to think, how to think like a nurse. And this is those higher level things, how to apply how to analyze the information that you’re learning. Up until now, you’ve probably just focused on what to learn and all of your previous classes. But in nursing school, it’s different. Because in all your previous classes, you’re being tested on what you’re learning here, you’re not being tested on what you’re learning, believe it or not, you’re being tested on how to think about what you’re learning. And so you probably already have some skill in how to think about that stuff. Because of your previous healthcare experience. However, that can sometimes make it harder, because it’s kind of like I use an iceberg analogy. You know, you can see the part of the iceberg above the surface. And that’s the part that you know, you can see that you might be thinking through and noticing your critical thinking as you’re answering questions. But then there’s that huge part of the iceberg that’s below the surface that you can’t even see you have no idea that it’s there. This, incidentally, is why most nursing instructors had such a hard time explaining things to nursing students because they have this huge, like body of knowledge, this way of thinking underneath their water that the beginner nurse doesn’t have yet. And so it can really cause some miscommunications in teaching, which is what I specialize in helping with and making those connections. So all that to say it can have strengths and weaknesses, but you really do need to learn how to think about how you think that’s called metacognition. So think about how you think and take those strengths that you have. But just watch out and just be cautious of those potential challenges and you should be great. You should be good to go. 

So the second question that I have is from Zoey, she is currently taking med surg patho and pharmacology, and she’s feeling overwhelmed with all the classes, which is a very common feeling. 

So first of all, though, I just want to tell you and anybody else listening If you feel overwhelmed in nursing school, that does not mean that you shouldn’t be there. Okay? Lots of people feel that way. And a lot of times it’s it’s not because you’re not capable. It’s because I mean, there’s a lot of reasons. But I think one big reason is that, unfortunately, the structure is just not set up well, to help people make that transition into nursing school. So let me help you with that. But she’s, she’s specifically saying that the patho physiology is really destroying her confidence is how she said it. five chapters of patho, with all the different diseases, she doesn’t know how to focus her studies, how does she approach this volume of information, which seems to have no rhyme or rhythm. So believe it or not, you zeroed in right on the problem here, there seems to be no rhyme or rhythm. So the way that you really have to focus on pathophysiology, and this is right up my alley, is you need to find that rhyme and rhythm, you need to find a way to organize this information in a way that makes it less overwhelming and more manageable. And the way that I always recommend nursing students do this is by using my silver bullet study system. And I do have a link to a free 20 minute workshop that I can send you that kind of explains the system. And so I will send you that link. And if anybody else wants that link, please feel free to contact me and I will be more than happy to send it to you. It’s free. It’s only 20 minutes, I won’t take a lot of your time. But it basically walks you through the four steps that I recommend everyone study and this system is really pretty easy to apply to pathophysiology because it’s very straightforward. 
I’ll just give you like the quick, the quick overview. So step one is what’s your foundational information? What’s the stuff about normal you need to know first, before you can even begin to understand the disease. So if you’re doing like gi pathophysiology, then you want to know your GI MP, for example, backwards and forwards. Probably better than you know it now. Okay, most nursing students feel like they kind of know it, but they don’t know it as well. You need to know it as good as Miss Frizzle from the Magic School Bus show, giving a guided tour to a bunch of fifth graders, okay, you have to be able to point things out and say what they do. If you can do that you can cover what’s normal, then you get on to step two. Step two is what I call the Humpty Dumpty factor, because Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall, and now he’s broken. And so that’s what step two is what’s broken. And this is the heart of what pathophysiology is, right? It’s all about what’s broken. But here’s the thing, it’s so much easier to understand what is broken about something, if you first know how it’s supposed to work normally. Because then what’s broken just becomes a comparison to what’s broken, and you’re building on previous information that you already have, that you’re see how you’re organizing the information already. And then you move on to step three, the silver bullet study system, which you don’t even have to look for your book for it at your book for right away, because it’s crystal ball predictions. And honestly, this is where you make that shift to learning how to think like a nurse is going from step two to step three. And this is where most nursing students don’t know, they’ve never been told, they need to study this way. So in step three, you are predicting symptoms, and you’re like, Well, how am I gonna predict the symptoms? If I’ve never studied that disorder before? This is how you do it. You, you know what’s normal, you know how it normally works? You know, what’s broken, so you know what’s going to break, and how it’s not going to normally do that. So you tell me, what’s it going to do instead? What’s it going to do now that that thing in step two is broken? Do you see how that’s just following logically, step by step building on what you’ve already learned? And then you might not do this as much in pathophysiology. But, but then step four is going to be nursing and medical care. Okay, what are you going to do about it? How are you going to fix what’s in step two? How are you going to address the symptoms that you’re seeing? And step three? What kind of things do you expect to be done? Okay, and, and that, you know, you can see it builds on steps three, two, and one. So, I really encourage you to watch that workshop on silver bullet study system, I’m going to send you and you are going to find it a lot easier, I think to study pathophysiology once you have that rhyme or reason for everything fits together. 

Now the last question I want to get to today is from Lisa, she was asking if I have any tips for select all that apply questions. 
And of course I do. I am a professional nursing tutor. So this is something that I realized I talked with my my VIP tutoring members, quite a bit like the last week stuff like this, but I realized I had never publicly answered this question. So here we go. Here’s the thing. So select all that apply questions. Like any test taking strategy, the best take tests that you study is just to know the answer. Okay, so a lot of test taking strategies are a little bigger. Make you write it’s like, well, you know, you need to do this, that or the other thing. But if you just understand that the rationale behind it, if you just know your stuff, it’s going to be easier to answer. But you might be saying, I mean, obviously, you might be saying, and I say, That’s easier said than done, right? Especially when you’re in nursing school, and you’re still learning it, you’re having trouble finding the most important information, I totally get that. And so that’s why with select all that apply, there’s two things. First, always go back to the silver bullet study system. When you think through exam questions, using the silver bullet study system, you start to develop your own rationales that will make you more confident in the answer choices that you choose. And when you’re doing multiple choice questions, it’s also what really helps you to not get tricked by that best distractor. And you know which one I’m talking about, because it’s when you can narrow it down to two answer choices, and then you always pick the wrong one. That’s the best distractor what you want to do is to be able to look at the answer choices and compare it to to the question and say, well, in the question that’s really pulling some information from step three. And it’s we’re supposed to teach about something and these answer choices, say something, oh, this is like what I would expect to be normal. That’s step one stuff. So I know how they connect, because this is what would break in this information in order to get back to the symptoms, you can develop your own rationale. And it takes practice thinking this way, that’s what you’re in nursing school to learn is to learn to think like a nurse. So you have to practice it while you study if you expect to do all the exams. So how you apply this, then to the select all that apply is probably advice that you may have heard before, which is you instead of since it’s not a multiple choice question, like I just explained, you look at it, you treat it more like a true false question. And instead, you look at each individual answer choice as if it’s a standalone answer. And you say, you know, can I come up with the rationale? Is this true or false? And in order to be able to answer if it’s true or false, you have to be able to connect the dots using the silver bullet study system to create an answer that connects that and makes it true compared to the answer, I’m sorry, the question. And if you can do that, then it’s probably a correct answer. If you can’t do that, without like stretching, making stuff up, then it’s probably not the answer. Don’t sweat it, right? It’s false. You don’t pick that one. So that’s how I recommend doing select all that apply questions is because you know, and really just know that they’re hard. That’s the reason they’re in there is to be an extra level of challenging. And I always tell students, you’re never going to get every single question, right. So just be kind to yourself, even as a professional nursing tutor, I still don’t get every single question, right. They’re really hard, and they’re intended and designed to be that way. But if you are learning to think like a nurse using strategies like the silver bullet study system, connecting things together and looking for the rationales, then that’ll make things a lot easier. I hope that helps. Remember, I’m here to help you guys. If you ever have questions, post them in the q&a post that’s going to be in the featured posts every week. And definitely make sure that if you want to work with me more, if you like this if you want to learn more about the silver bullet study system, if you want me to help you to implement it, then I would love to have you become one of my VIP tutoring members. We meet every week to do live tutoring sessions where I’m not just throwing more facts that you can get that for free on YouTube. But I am instead helping you to critically think about the information helping me to guide you through to making these connections so that you can start doing it for yourself because that’s what’s gonna take to become a wonderful nurse. So I hope y’all have a wonderful afternoon and I will talk to you next time. Bye bye!——

–I hope you found today’s Q&A helpful to you. Remember, even if you’re not ready to join the VIP Tutoring Membership for yourself, you’re always welcome to join our free Facebook group community called “nursing Students in Nursing School: Help and Support from Your Nursing Tutor”.You can find the direct link to that FB Group, plus a link to the free “how to study” workshop that I mentioned, on the show notes page at www.YourNursingTutor.com/episode65. Before we end today, would you mind doing me a 30-second favor? Would you go to Apple Podcasts and write a 2-sentence Review for Navigating Nursing School with Your Nursing Tutor? For the first sentence, simply tell me where you’re at on your nursing journey. Then in your second sentence, let me know why you like listening to this podcast. It’s one small way that you can support the mission of Your Nursing Tutor by helping other nursing students discover that it IS possible for “normal people” to get through nursing school without completely sacrificing your family, your job, or even your sanity. Until next episode, good luck on your nursing journey!

Leave a Comment

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