how do I get better grades?

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Reply Sun 18 Jun, 2006 07:55 am
how do I get better grades?
Hi, I am a first year mental health nursing student. Although I am passing my assignments I cant seem to get any higher than a C, the comments I receive are always positive so dont help me to understand why my grade wasnt higher.

does anyone have any suggestions as to what I might be doing wrong?
SharpknifeRN 1
Reply Sat 1 Jul, 2006 10:27 am
Get yourself in a study group. This helped me a lot. You want in the one made up of the people getting A's and B's of course. In this line of study it is not just important to know the material, but to know what the instructor "thinks" is important. This is the big part of "why" you can't get there on your own. You may have to do what I did and more or less force yourself on that click (sic?). What they think about it is not important. They very fact that you are known to hang out with them, buy the instructor, may by itself, imporve your grades. My other suggestion is equally simple. Have your seat moved to the front close enouph to the instructor to smell them. Seems simple stupid I know. It makes you look really good. Tell the instructor your doing it because your having trouble keeping up your grades. Get them on your side. It's the truth right? And you will hear the lecture better. Do these things and teach yourself your own short hand so you can take quick accurate notes, you'll do fine. Good luck and tell us how things change.
Reply Sat 1 Jul, 2006 11:53 am
nice idea only the classrooms only have two rows in most of them and I am often at the front, in addition the person giving us the lectures isnt always the person who marks and grades the papers.

this is something that has frustrated me as my lecturer gave us a tutorial on what she was expecting from the assignment and then it was marked in my case by someone else.
in addition the person who marked it has no experience in mental health nursing only adult nursing.

I have asked the person who marked my assignment if I can have a chat with them about what my assignment was lacking and what I needed to gain a better grade, hopefully it will help.

thanks for your suggestions though.
Reply Wed 12 Jul, 2006 10:24 am
Try to get a part-time job in the area that you are studying. This would help any nurse student. It is amazing what this does for your overall and in depth understanding of the subject. Also, you will usually find that it is like having 3 or 4 private tutors - your coworkers!!
It sounds like you are studying hard and don't think you will have the time - but the jump in knowledge and help will usually make up for the lost study time. If you could get a night shift, even on weekends, that would be even better - more discussion and study time with your co-workers.

Good Luck!!
Reply Sat 15 Jul, 2006 06:45 pm
better grades
All great suggestions.
Developing a friendship with a brilliant, focused, encouraging top student got me through A&P, Micro and the first year of Rn classes.
Hooking up with small groups in the library got me through the 2nd.
Additionally, identify your learning method. People learn and absorb information differently. I identified that, while I do not learn by listening to someone lecture or by reading, I do learn by recopying my notes from class, by writing pertinent information while I read the worst textbook ever written and by actively discussing the whys and wherefores of this information.

Also, if your test grades are not what you feel they should be, discuss the style of test with the instructor. You can't change this, but it may help improve your outcomes. Our teachers designed our tests in the same style of the NCLEX. THis means that there is more than one correct answer to each question. You have to choose the answer that is the MOST correct. (I had alot of trouble with this.) Because of the design of the tests, we had 100%pass rate for our class on the NCLEX.

Also get an NCLEX review book and read it as casual reading. The scenerios helped me remember.

For crackerjack defferential diagnoses, and to help tie everything together, get a job in an ER as a tech. Pick everyone's brain. It is exhausting, dramatic (and melodramatic) and a great place to learn.

Lots of psych, ODs, traumas and codes. Lots of bedpans, beligerant, unappreciative pts and families and the hours are awful! You'll see what it's all about. You'll get to draw blood, help with NG tubes, catheters, and splints. Every once in a while you'll hear a "thank you" from a staff member or patient.

A few tips though...key is "show respect to get respect"
1.No matter how others speak, watch your language (you'll get more respect)
2.use "sir" and "ma'am" with doctors when discussing patient care (even if invited not to) it really does make a difference in how you are treated.
3.take breaks as allowed, but only after talking to the charge RN. And aside from breaks, unless invited, when others are standing around leaning on the counter, you keep on going;...there is always something that needs to be done, and you will gain the trust, and respect of your coworkers. (Also, this will keep you out of the gossip loop...stay out of the loop, it is depressing and will drag everyone down)
4. when giving the doctor the low down, cut to the chase...age, related hx,current complaint, your observations related to the complaint, allergies...have the chart in your hand and be prepared take notes.
5. Do not allow verbal orders for meds if the Dr is standing there. Some Drs appreciate it if you write the order and they will sign it...but that is as far as they should expect you to go. Hand them the chart and ask them to "document your order, and I'll be happy to do that, thank you sir". If it is more emergent than that, then they need to be at the bedside. On phone them back. The Dr will be abrupt and hurried and give you the impression that this conversation is the one thing making him late...that's okay, it's not, he just has a thousand things in his (her) brain. Take nothing personally. Say "I'm sorry sir, may I read that order back to you please? Thank you".
6.I have to page a doctor frequently. As soon as they identifiy themselves, I always say "Sorry to bother you sir, thank you for calling me back so quickly...I have a..." The drs know I am not wasting thier time. They trust my assessments and act accordingly. The one time I did not get an order I felt the patient needed, I told the dr of my concerns specific to this pt. and what I anticpated if the pt did not get the prescription he got the picture and gave me the order.

When you are working as a nurse:
If you don't KNOW how a drug is to be given or about it's special precautions and considerations, look it up. Do not ask about it. If you don't know the policy on something you are asked to do, or see done The PDR and the facility's written policies and procedures will cover you in court. "So-in-so said..." will not. Also, never chart "per policy and procedure" or "per P&P" unless you are prepared to actually quote that P&P!
Participate and document pt education. This is the biggest deficit I have seen in medicine. Don't assume your patients can read. Try to identify what tools will help them remember what you are saying. The documentation takes twice as long as the actual act of teaching.
Hope this helps. Good luck and WELCOME

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