One of the things I’m most proud of as I’m going through school for the second time is that I know how I learn best. I think its not really something that there is a lot of focus on or that they help you explore in school, but I had a mom who was adamant that I figure it out. As an adult whose brain doesn’t retain information as easily as it once did, I’m so glad that I learned HOW to learn. Turns out I’m a tactile learner. I need to touch things and figure them out. I also really like having things with bright colors to keep it interesting, but I think that may be personal preference. I need to break things down into components, write things down in multiple ways and then probably have to explain it to someone. Heck, one of my big study hacks for Anatomy was using a coloring book and puzzles.
Okay, so you came here because you want to know the best way to study for Med Surg. Here’s the deal, nursing school is a BEAST and med surg is a lot thrown at you at once. Most of the times, you’re just trying to keep up. If this is you, don’t worry. You are all of us. What I did find, was that if I had a structure that helped me know what I needed to know… well, then it was easier to study and plan and keep myself interested.
I ended up using the LATTE method from Nurse Mo over at Straight A Nursing. And ya’ll! It is life changing! I can’t wait to share it with you and how it really changed how I studied for med surg and what the process is. It breaks down a disease process into clinical manifestations, interdisciplinary and nursing treatments, and what you’ll teach your patient and family.
The Best Way to Study Med Surg
– Using the LATTE method
This is all about your clinical manifestations. What will a person with this disease LOOK like? What will they present to you with? Will they have a fever? Will they have a cough? Is that cough productive? All of these things. If you use the LEWIS medsurg book, I tend to just copy whatever is in the box that says “Clinical Manifestations”
What are you going to ASSESS with this patient? What are you going to ask or
For instance, in a patient suspected of having oral cancer, you’re going to ask about their history of smoking, alcohol, and family history as well as when symptoms started.
What things are you going to monitor? Breathing? Heart rate? ABGs? What can you expect from these assessments?
What tests will be ordered for this disease/condition ? What will those tests show?
Blood tests to check for….
Are there any nursing interventions you will have to perform before or after the test?
What treatments can you expect to be ordered. If we’re looking at NCLEX wording, think about Interdisciplinary treatments that come from the physician.
What drugs can you expect to be prescribed? What do you need to know about these drugs? Are there any black box warnings?
What are your nursing interventions? This can include anything from how the patient tolerates food, to how you’ll position them.
What will you teach the patient about managing this condition? What kind of drug teaching will you give. If your program uses the Lewis book, there is an entire “box” for patient and family education. I have had several test questions pulled from these so take care to write them down for further study.
And… thats the LATTE method. I’ve found that I do these while I’m reading the book so that I can zero in on any important information. If you get them done before class, just bring them with you and fill in or highlight anything extra your professor indicates is important. If you don’t do these before your lecture, take a blank copy with you and fill it in during the lecture.