February 21, 2020

Why Am I Not Retaining This Information? | Quick Huddle # 5

It took a while to understand why certain things I learned wouldn't stick. I would sit at my desk, reading the same chapters over and over. To then be tested a few days later, and the content be unavailable, or the context wasn't understood properly. Do you know how frustrating that is? Studying, buying the "required" $200 textbook, making the graphs and chart to then FAIL the exam because the information was nowhere to be found when the time came? I can't even! So what does this mean, and how can you avoid this study trap? You are going to have to use this information to reinforce it, to bind it inside your mind. Plain and simple, cut, and dry. You can't merely write pretty notes, put them in a folder, and review it every randomly. Nursing school isn't Instagram, and no one cares if your handwriting is beautiful. How you write your notes, whatever the presentation, the goals are absorption and recognition.

You are going to have to live this information for a week or two before taking your exam. When you read a chapter and think you wholeheartedly understand it inside and out, try to educate a classmate (someone who is learning alongside you). Your counterpart has to be someone with a proper background to be helpful. Meaning, the person has to have some concept of what you are teaching them. The classmate is expected to ask relevant, focused questions such as: If I have this disease, what will happen? What is expected to be seen? What are some complications? What medications will improve or resolve the condition? What are some expected side effects? You are going to educate someone with medical knowledge. Your counterpart will have enough awareness to know if you are wrong or lack proper understanding. This active learning tactic will help in the absorption and recognition of key course concepts. Your peer must be able to provide criticism, and you must be open to accepting, or this isn't going to work. You can't assume you got it 100% because you read it. Reading isn't active learning, and reading does reinforce the content. You must interact with the content on some level, engaging on various levels.

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