Struggling! LPN School

Updated | Posted
by Justtrynagetby (New) New Pre-Student

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Hello all, I am currently in the LPN program and I’m only on the 3rd day but I am freaking out !! I have ZERO health care background or history not to mention I have no medical terminology knowledge or medical work background either.

I feel like I am overwhelmed already.

Does any one have any tips or advice because I’m already rethinking school? 

I’m a single mom and I’ve been out of school for about 2 years and just getting back into the groove of that is challenging all on its own. I actually cried the first day because this is all so new to me.

Most people who enter the program have some type of health care history like being a CNA or something. I also forgot all my A&P since it’s been 2 and half years since I’ve taken it. Even just reading the fundamentals of nursing is challenging because there’s a lot of nursing terminology that I’m just dumb founded by.

If anyone can send some positive advice I would greatly appreciate it.

I’m probably just overthinking everything but I just feel like already I’m having a hard time grasping what the heck is going on when my instructors are talking. Especially about the nursing assessments and such. Thanks !! 

jazziettah

3 Posts

RegisteredNurseRN on Youtube is extremely helpful

if you can afford nursing.com 

both were soo helpful for school

Jasmine,

Recent LVN graduate Dec 2020 ? 

Phoenix94

28 Posts

Although I'm not in an LPN program, I can relate to where you're coming from. I'm in an RN program, but also don't have any medical background/experience/work and often forget my anatomy and physiology.

In addition to the suggestions already given, I would give Dr. Mike and Dr. Matt a try. (https://www.Youtube.com/results?search_query=Dr+mike+and+Dr+matt) They helped me refresh on my anatomy and physiology with enough details to make things click.

I would also suggest Crash Course for a quick refresher while also making the material entertaining. (I watch these to help me get back into studying when I'm not as motivated.)

Osmosis is another channel I use to get a quick overview of certain medical conditions. Not sure if you're meant to learn them but just in case (https://www.Youtube.com/channel/UCNI0qOojpkhsUtaQ4_2NUhQ)

Getting familiar with prefixes and suffixes also come in handy when you're not familiar with a word. (ex. prefix dys = pain, suffix -itis = inflammation, and so forth.) Although it can be challenging to study off of a medical terminology book at the moment, getting familiar with common prefixes and suffixes you come across will help a lot. 

If your school offers free tutoring, look around there for extra help or asking some of your classmates if you are comfortable doing so.

The keys here are to focus on yourself and use the tools that are going to best serve YOU at the stage you're in. Keep your head up, take it one section at a time and you'll start to see the hard work pay off! 

Before closing, a good buddy of mine is a single dad who has a business degree, took physiology about 2 years prior to the program and is currently attending an RN program. He is doing quite well in his class and has picked up tips that the top students try to learn from him. He has shown me and other students that we don't always need a full health background to do well. Let your determination and resilience push you through! 

You got this! I'm rooting for you~

Justtrynagetby

6 Posts

@Phoenix94 Thank you so much.. this is definitely helpful... sometimes I still feel like crying haha! But I know it’ll get easier I’m just so afraid that my lack of experience will cause me to fall behind. I appreciate you so much and I’m rooting for you as well! 

NCLEX_LVN, CNA, LVN

Has 6 years experience. 1,688 Posts

I've walked in your shoes many of times during the LVN program especially during first semester. My entire class who had some CNAs and EMTs failed the final and yet we moved on to the 2nd semester, but it was a struggle for the entire class.  I say that to let you know that everyone is in the same boat learning how to become a LVN. Having medical knowledge helps to a certain degree, but not overall. You will be given terms like nursing process (Assessment, Diagnosis, planning, implementation, Evaluation) and critical thinking which is another word for problem solving. You are a problem solver. You will use the nursing process step by step to solve a problem.You will need to know your A&P to help solve the patient's problem. Nursing process -especially ASSESSMENT is the most important step to solving the problem. Assessment include knowing your A&P and patients basic human needs (respiration, safety, etc) to help prioritize which problem to solve first because no patient comes in with just one problem ☺  So basically you will have to put all the pieces together your A&P and basic human needs for the patient. You will need to brush up on A&P. test taking strategies can only get you so far. A&P is vital. Also look at your chapter summaries and key points to focus on what's important for the exam. A great place to start learning how to be a problem solver is your Saunders book and nursing care plan book.  Ask your teacher to teach you how to study your textbook and take notes as well. Or do a search on here too. I'm confident you will make it! Nursing process will be with you during school and on your nursing job

londonflo

Specializes in oncology. Has 45 years experience. 1,784 Posts

On 1/6/2021 at 5:08 PM, Justtrynagetby said:

Most people who enter the program have some type of health care history like being a CNA or something.

Having taught the first semester RN course for years, I would take the 'experience" some say they have with a grain of salt. Some sometimes would have you believe that the hospital could not function without them, especially the ICU. It is just everyone's nerves showing. Think about all you have accomplished in the last couple of years....it's a lot and complicated, I bet.

On 1/7/2021 at 9:37 AM, Natasha said:

My entire class who had some CNAs and EMTs failed the final and yet we moved on to the 2nd semester, but it was a struggle for the entire class.  I say that to let you know that everyone is in the same boat learning how to become a LVN.

Great info above. 

On 1/6/2021 at 5:08 PM, Justtrynagetby said:

Even just reading the fundamentals of nursing is challenging because there’s a lot of nursing terminology

use a medical dictionary (used book from Amazon/ebay) or keep your iPad/computer nearby. We all get stumped periodically with definitions and health care is known to call  something by 2 to 3 different names that all mean the same thing -- different areas of the country are known for this!

Best wishes for a great year in your new profession!

Medic2Nurse, LVN

Has 4 years experience. 1 Post

Hi there, I am just here to encourage you! I was in your shoes 4 years ago. I am a former navy medic and it only helps to a certain degree. Yes, I understood some medical terminology, A&P, and etc.. but it does not compare to nursing theory. It's overrated, do not buy into that. Everything you need to know is in those books. You have to study your butt off! Whatever words you do not know, write it down and Google it. Do not skip over those words-trust me it will come back to haunt you. Everyday after lecture or clinicals, I studied (long hours) until I knew my information. Do not try to wing it for any exams (it does not work-trust me). Come up with a study schedule. You have to learn when your brain works best-for optimal knowledge retention. For example, I am no good at late night (cram sessions). I do my best studying early in the AM after rest. Also, your going to need a great support system-for encouragement, venting, crying, etc... Also find you a nursing school BFF, someone in your cohort. LVN school prepared me for RN school. RN school was easier for me (than most), because I studied so hard in LVN school. I am finishing up my BSN (graduate in April) and now I'm looking into grad school. Some helpful resources are khan Academy and Youtube (for visual learning). It can even help with skills (blood pressure, vital signs, etc.). Wishing you the best. You can do it :)

Justtrynagetby

6 Posts

15 hours ago, Medic2Nurse said:

Hi there, I am just here to encourage you! I was in your shoes 4 years ago. I am a former navy medic and it only helps to a certain degree. Yes, I understood some medical terminology, A&P, and etc.. but it does not compare to nursing theory. It's overrated, do not buy into that. Everything you need to know is in those books. You have to study your butt off! Whatever words you do not know, write it down and Google it. Do not skip over those words-trust me it will come back to haunt you. Everyday after lecture or clinicals, I studied (long hours) until I knew my information. Do not try to wing it for any exams (it does not work-trust me). Come up with a study schedule. You have to learn when your brain works best-for optimal knowledge retention. For example, I am no good at late night (cram sessions). I do my best studying early in the AM after rest. Also, your going to need a great support system-for encouragement, venting, crying, etc... Also find you a nursing school BFF, someone in your cohort. LVN school prepared me for RN school. RN school was easier for me (than most), because I studied so hard in LVN school. I am finishing up my BSN (graduate in April) and now I'm looking into grad school. Some helpful resources are khan Academy and Youtube (for visual learning). It can even help with skills (blood pressure, vital signs, etc.). Wishing you the best. You can do it ?

Wow thank you so much!! I really had a big eye opener with everything you just mentioned ! It really put things into a better perspective for me. Yes will definitely study more often . It’s just hard being a single mom with no help and my little one is at home while I’m studying she needs so much attention and help with things . But I won’t give up I can do this ! Thank you again! 

Wallrock

Specializes in Med-Surge. Has 3 years experience. 1 Post

I totally understand you! I was in your shoes just last year and let me tell you this, English isn’t my first language I struggled a lot, at some point I felt like some of my classmates looked at me as a failure. However, I did it, I finished my LPN year with honor. Just trust yourself, and study, study, study ... all the words and resources are already given above, big thing from me, if you don’t know any word/definition/disease, write it down on a paper and Google it later. Trust me, you’ll need them, not maybe for upcoming exam but later on .... I wish you a good luck! You got this ?

Pampam82, MSN, LPN, RN

Specializes in Pediatrics, Clinic, Adolescent Psych, Management. Has 13 years experience. 16 Posts

I joined the Army with no medical experience and was trained as an LPN.  Many of those in my cohort were also new to the medical field. We made it through by leaning on each other, offering support, and as corny as it sounds, by believing in ourselves. Many of those individuals went on to become RNs, NPs, and a handful went to Med school. 
 

You worked hard to get into the program. You were selected for this program. You are capable. Have faith in yourself!

11blade, RN

Specializes in OR. 51 Posts

The other posts about studying are on target. There are a lot more resources now (Youtube, online resources, this forum) to help you teach yourself.

The big thing I would stress at this point is SELF CARE. You recognize that you've been out of school, and seem committed to putting in the work to get up to speed. There is a hack I used when I went to school that allowed me to recharge after a full day at class....naps. As soon as you get home from class, get 30-45 minutes in bed, sleeping or napping, NO MORE time than that. It resets your brain chemically and makes it MUCH easier for you to grasps new concepts and remember things. Then, be back in bed no later than MIDNITE...ALWAYS.  The less you upset your 24 hour circadian rythm, the more effectively you will be able to study, write and work the next day.

The first time you try to nap be sure to set an alarm AND go to bed, even if you don't sleep. If all you do is lie quietly for 30 minutes, that is a start. Once you find out how effective this technique is, you'll be eager to get to bed at 4pm, up at 445 pm then working like it's a new day, with energy until midnite. The nap makes it feel like you got an extra nites sleep, and the deadlines for your work aren't so scary, since you now have more energy than right after your last class.

mom_e_bizcut, LPN

Specializes in Jack of all trades, master of...a few ;). Has 25 years experience. 23 Posts

A&P was my favorite, I finished with a grade of 103%. My teacher drew big pictures on the board, sounds weird but it helped so much. It's been like 26 years and I can still draw the digestive system(the pulmonary and circulatory system is a struggle). My nursing arts teacher was a horrible nightmare, didn't explain things well at all. Aside from taking notes during lecture I had to actually write everything I read from book to help me understand and remember.