Saturday, August 10, 2013

What Every Junior Needs to Know

Juniors, welcome to the year of greatest learning and your greatest gain in competency. This year you will learn each body system in detail, beyond your previous knowledge from Patho and A & P. Never stop being amazed at God’s masterpiece—the human body—or be so caught up in the exam in front of you that you forget to stop and marvel at the beauty and intricacy of God’s creation. There is so much you have learned so far, and, yet, there is so much waiting around the corner for your inquisitive minds to discover.

There are several things I would like to share with you before you begin your journey. To begin with, I would like to encourage you to put the Lord FIRST in everything. Give Him first priority in your time. I would never have been able to meet all the demands of Junior year if God had not been holding me up, strengthening my weak body when I grew weary, and giving me hope of success when my fears of failure overwhelmed me.  

Do not derive your sense of success or worth from grades or by comparing yourself with others. If you do, you will find yourself in a world of disappointment. No one is perfect. By all means, shoot for an A on every exam, but if you fall short, do not despair. I remember a time last year when I received a certain grade that left me feeling defeated. I saw one of my senior friends in the hallway of the Nursing Office, and, when I told her about my grade with tears streaming down my face, she reminded me that God’s love for me does not change. God’s love is not based on any merit I could earn by high achievements, and His love for me will not change when I fall short of my aspirations.  My worth is found in who Christ has made me to be—His Beloved Bride.

Remember to take time each week or, if you are able, every day to allow yourself some mental solace. Do whatever you find relaxing. Exercising was one of the outlets I used Junior year to alleviate stress. Do whatever makes you forget about your work, even if only for a little while, and take a break from studying and enjoy yourself.

Be balanced. Realize your limits. Assess your assets. I may never have earned the poor grade I mentioned earlier if I had been more balanced in the way I spent my time. One of my greatest weaknesses as a new Junior was perfectionism. My first clinical assignment required me to write all my profile information post-clinical. Because I was fixated on writing a good paper, I spent the greater portion of my time writing my profile than on studying for the exam that was approaching. This cost me the A on the test, which was my aim. Looking back, it would have been better for me to set a time limit for my profile writing and set a specific time for when I was to concentrate completely on studying for my exam.  Please, learn from my example; know your time limits and plan accordingly.

My last piece of advice is to use your resources. Your teachers, senior tutors, online Evolve practice questions, and ATI books are all resources intended for your benefit. Ask your instructors for clarification if you don’t understand something you’re learning. Engage your senior tutors with questions you have from studying the material. Determine areas in which you need to spend more time studying by taking practice quizzes. All this will help you be better prepared for exams and, ultimately, make you a more knowledgeable nurse. 

No comments:

Post a Comment