Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Second Semester Review: NYUCN

Hey everyone! So if you're  reading this you hopefully survived your first semester of nursing school. Congrats! First semester is LEGIT the hardest and worst one. Second semester is MUCH less complicated in terms of workload, assignments, and competencies!

So, if you're like me, you've probably heard that A&E2 is killer. Don't panic yet -- there are some strategies to share that will help you succeed.

Adult and Elder II
In general: I had Professor Gilles this semester, and I loved her! She made it a point to highlight the important, key points of each lecture, was clear and concise, and has always been super helpful outside of class. She was absolutely great for this semester.

This is the core class of this semester. Unlike semester 1, A&E2 is the class you will probably stress out the most for. Why? It's the most credits, but it is also a huge jump in terms of "thinking like a nurse" from the first semester.
Tests are much more priority-based -- ie, "What would you do FIRST?" These types of questions get you into the style of NCLEX and for some people this type of jump can be a bit jarring, and the class averages sometimes reflected that.

If teasing out priorities, first actions, and first implementations is not your strong point (which it isn't for most people!), I highly recommend purchasing or tracking down a copy of the MedSurg Success book. This book was my LIFELINE to get used to the types of questions that are asked on these exams. These exams aren't about memorization -- they are about taking what you learned in class and applying it to different situations (unlike patho, which is just regurgitation of material).

For me, what made me succeed in this class was the following:
1. Before each exam (I would attempt to do this at the end of each week), I typed up ALL of my notes into ONE document. Everything -- I would take handwritten notes on the powerpoints, and then I typed everything up.
2. From my typed up notes, I made study questions to help me learn the material (ie: "What are the symptoms of left sided vs right sided heart failure?). These questions helped me learn the content of the material.
3. After I felt comfortable with the material, I did a ton of practice questions. First, I did practice questions from the MedSurg Success book -- the beauty of this book is that it is divided up into chapters that closely follow the material we learn in class (ie there are specific sections for Endocrine disorders, diabetes, head injury, etc). I did every practice question that pertained to the topic in class.
4. Once I did the MedSurg questions I went on to the evolve website for our textbook. Make sure your professor tells you how to access the practice questions on the Evolve website! These questions were a LIFESAVER -- at first, they may give you a panic attack because 90% of them are way harder than what will appear on the exam. But they are GREAT practice becase once you do those questions, any questions you encounter on the exam will most likely be easier.
5. If i had time, I did some questions from Saunders (optional book on the syllabus). I don't like Saunders as much because there are very few questions that pertain specifically to the topics we cover in class, but it's great for content review and to get some extra practice with questions.

Again, this isn't a "one size fits all" recipe for success -- this is just what worked for me in this class, and I continued this format for the rest of the semesters in both A&E3 and Leadership.

A note on A&E Sim: it's only 3 hours!!! Rejoice! Pre-sims are a bitch and a half and they will be for the rest of the program. No way to skate around those -- they're just long and tedious!

PHARMACOLOGY 
This class is about as straightforward as it gets. The study guides outline exactly what you need to know on exams -- not like A&E or patho or any other class. It's a gift!!!

Van Cleave and Fidel split teach the class -- so no matter what section you're in, you'll have both of them. van Cleave can be a bit dry, but Fidel is hilarious. fun suggestion: keep a list of "Fidel-isms" to look back on at the end of the semester, it's worth it. Nothing much else to say for this class -- it's jus pure memorization.

PSYCH
Dr. Standard and Weidel both teach this class because there is only one section. I loved them both. I really like psych so maybe that's why I liked the class, but it was relatively straightforward.
I had it first half of the semester, and apparently after my section they changed the study guides to make them harder (more like A&E) because people were doing so well (they were pretty detailed like Pharm).  But it was a great class, and I really enjoyed it.

Psych clinical: The majority of you will not be in inpatient psych; they don't allow it. I had a great instructor, named Patrick, and I was in a facility in Brooklyn. A lot of psych clinical is talking -- you do a lot of interaction with clients and patients. Most of these clients are very stable because the majority of these are in outpatient settings. There is a lot of practice with therapeutic communication, even leading therapy groups. Psych is my strong point, so I enjoyed this, but it is not for everyone.

Psych sim: I had Weidel for psych sim AND OH MY GOD HE WAS THE BEST EVER. I never had so much fun in simulation before. He is absolutely hysterical and would intentionally try to make us crack up during simulation. It was the best sim ever, and it made coming to class on a Friday morning at 8am a little more bearable. So if you have him, enjoy it!


RESEARCH
Ok. This class. This is the class that everyone kind of forgets about. I took the online version, which I liked because I was able to take breaks during the lectures etc. The lectures are VERY hard to get through because the material is very dry. DO NOT save the online lectures until the last minute, it will screw you for the midterm

The midterm is legit impossible. You get a cheat sheet, but it is SO HARD. I walked out of that midterm feeling like I had failed. Legit. It was my lowest test score at NYU I think, if I remember correctly. It's really, really hard. And there's no way to really study well for it except to listen to all the lectures and try to understand the material, but the questions are not straightforward. Just be prepared. 

PICOT: don't save it until the last minute. Unfortunately, some of the poster grades are really dependent on the advisor you get. My group unfortunately did not have a great advisor for our poster and we got one of the lowest grades in the class. Make sure you stay on top of your poster, that you please your advisor, that it looks pretty and don't save it to the last minute. This is the class to just get through this semester.



Well, that's about. If anyone has any questions, feel free to find me through instagram! rizzo02481 and I'd be happy to answer more questions!