The importance of revision periods in nursing is too hard to ignore. As the field deals with complex medical concepts, nursing students must continuously revise to remind themselves of the essential facts, topics, and procedures they have previously studied.
Like it or not, failing to revise can increase the likelihood of forgetting minute details. Too often, these small details are essential information through which the whole concept rests. For example, ignoring a medical procedure concept can render the entire answer wrong.
By taking advantage of revision periods, students can recall minute information they may have missed the first time they studied the topic. Because of this, they can reduce stress levels and become more confident when taking examinations.
However, revising has changed in more ways than one during the pandemic, with disproportionate differences in setting standards for a new form of learning. Keep scrolling; this article provides essential study tips to keep you engaged during revision periods while studying nursing.
Create a comprehensive plan
Do you procrastinate a lot during revision periods, or are you unable to keep up with the volume of materials with your current study schedule? Then, you are not alone. The nursing field continuously deals with topics related to physiology, anatomy, psychology, and chemistry – some of which could be foreign to you.
By creating a comprehensive revision plan, you can determine how you spend your time and ensure you are allocating enough time outside of it to complete assignments and projects. If that is not enough, you can stay engaged and avoid distractions during each session.
For better or worse, the pandemic has left a massive scar on nursing education. Although distance learning and virtual experiences were efficient, it has changed how students’ attention spans when studying. Recent data shows that students’ attention spans are now sit in the 10 to 15-minute range, a considerable decrease from the previous average of 22 minutes.
The same data added that information overload significantly contributes to the sudden decrease in student attention spans. The advantage of creating a revision plan is it allows you to split your studying time into small chunks to make learning nursing more manageable and effective.
Now you might ask how you go about creating a revision plan. Although there are no hard and fast rules, an excellent start is creating a time chart for your existing school activities and priorities to identify where and how you spend your week. Once you’ve done that, list all the topics needing revision and establish your goals.
Review the time chart you built, and find blocks of time you could use for revising. By setting a specific time block for revision periods, you can ensure that you can fully grasp and understand every concept while reducing the likelihood of boredom.
When creating a revision schedule, allow extra time in your study plan. Some nursing topics take longer than you expect, and other unexpected events may take up your time too. By keeping your study plan flexible, you can incorporate specific activities and ensure that your course’s main topics are covered extensively.
Build a distraction-free environment
Finding a space where you can revise effectively is becoming a real challenge in an age when more students are working and studying from home than ever before. This can be relatively alarming for a nursing student. Since nursing deals with complex concepts and processes, students must concentrate effectively to digest and apply that information in real-world settings.
Moreover, you are more likely to remember information if you are more focused while revising. Hence, minimizing distractions when revising can help you retain more of what you have just learned. This can allow you to remember important material even years later, making acing tests much more straightforward.
But how do you build a distraction-free environment? Of course, there is no one-size-fits-all formula to this, but here are some tips you can follow.
- Get away from distractions
Staying away from distractions might seem elementary, but it can feel like a losing battle when using technology to study. Know what distracts you and eliminate it from your study area. This can range from streaming sites like Netflix and Amazon Prime to social media websites like Facebook and Twitter.
Like it or lump it, it’s almost too easy to be distracted by social media. A recent survey reveals roughly 57% of students are distracted by social media while performing academic activities such as studying and revising. When your phone buzzes left and right, ignoring the appeal of a Snapchat or Instagram alert can be challenging.
Before you know it, you’ve wasted the entire afternoon watching humorous movies and adorable photographs on your phone. By knowing what distracts you and getting rid of them, you can create a more conducive environment to revise what you have studied and ensure effective learning.
- Create a more conducive study environment
In addition to the previous point, going somewhere more conducive to studying and revision is essential in making your learning time more effective and productive. The reality is the environment where you revise can significantly impact your ability to concentrate and stay engaged.
When evaluating a potential location for revision periods, consider what environment you are comfortable enough to work in but not so cozy that you’ll sleep. Your bedroom might not be conducive to revision, so going elsewhere might be more helpful.
Suppose you feel that you have reached a point in your revision where you need to concentrate, such as on a particularly challenging topic. In that case, going to a quiet environment where you will not be bothered by other people gives you the best opportunity of concentrating. Libraries are often the traditional places to go for revision. Since many libraries have rules about silence, you can engage effectively during revisions and understand specific concepts more quickly.
Either way, eliminating distractions empowers you to reduce energy suck and maximize your revision time while ensuring effective learning.
Pulling off all-nighters is all too common when studying nursing. Although doing so is an excellent way to reduce distractions, revising when sleep-deprived can seriously harm your health and hinder productivity.
When you’re exhausted and irritated, cramming in some studying won’t be a productive use of your energy, and chances are you’ll forget everything you read by morning. Second, you’ll either sleep a lot or feel sleepy all day. If that’s not worse enough, failing to sleep after learning new information makes you less likely to remember events from that day.
According to recent research, total sleep deprivation virtually removes memory for procedural actions performed the day before. In this study, young adults were taught to quickly distinguish between a “T” and an “L,” and their proficiency was timed in milliseconds. After training on this task, individuals who did not sleep did not demonstrate significant progress, whereas those who slept did.
You can improve creativity, positivity, memory, and overall concentration by getting proper sleep. This is because sleep helps consolidate memory which is crucial when revising and converting short-term memory into long-term knowledge. In doing so, you can become more engaged during revision periods and ensure you do not miss anything essential to your nursing study.
It would help to adopt healthy habits by exercising and eating well. Exercise is an effective strategy to reduce tension and enhance attention. It may also take you away from your study area for enough time to take a mental break. By taking time for yourself now and then, you can effectively engage when revising your material and ensure you do not slip permanently into a more irregular revision pattern.
Revise with others
Most revision work will likely need to be done alone, but discussing ideas with a group can significantly improve your thinking. Research reveals 60% of students said their learning levels in study groups significantly improved compared to studying individually. In comparison, another 70% added that their motivation increased to study and revise after joining a group.
Working with other students enables you to keep the revision process in perspective. You can exchange revision plans and revisions. Listening to how other students approach their revision might help you better understand the material since every student brings their ideas and methods for studying topics.
What one person overlooks, another person might recall, especially when studying nursing. You might discover that one person is good at creating a realistic revision schedule and that another offers insightful suggestions regarding the subject matter for a challenging prior test question. Moreover, brainstorming solutions to queries or producing concise note cards together is incredibly beneficial.
As a nursing student, one of the fast track nursing prerequisites of prestigious academic institutions such as Elmhurst University is solidifying your skills and knowledge, which means covering the field from multiple perspectives. Working and revising in groups allows you to get another person’s perspective on that pesky question you cannot understand.
When you are having trouble comprehending a subject, you may find asking friends for their insight helpful. Conversely, discussing a topic with a friend or classmate will help you understand it better. Now that the importance of revising with others has been established, you might ask how to start one.
Running a good revision group requires organization and planning. Everyone must arrive with an understanding of and a strategy for the session’s content to maximize the time. They must also review prior reading and questions to ensure everyone comes prepared with the knowledge to revise effectively.
Students should also prepare a discussion point or questions concerning the course material, which they can present to the group. Sharing these notes can be helpful, but only if they are reliable. Therefore reviewing them beforehand and ensuring that all the material is relevant, valuable, and accurate are a must.
When done correctly, group revisions can boost productivity since the workload is distributed evenly. It also allows you to focus more time on test technique rather than learning and reviewing, gives students more confidence in challenging subjects, and boosts educational outcomes. Talking aloud about topics and hearing different viewpoints may help students absorb the material more thoroughly while teaching them valuable skills like collaboration and emotional intelligence.
Try different revision methods
Even though everyone has a specific revision strategy, mixing up your methods will help you remember more information. For instance, use practice exams for review, flashcards, and mind maps. By varying your review techniques, you can maintain a fresh perspective and avoid becoming disinterested or dissatisfied with a subject.
That said, you must first determine what type of learner you are before finding an effective revision method. Your brain functions differently. Therefore, revising strategies that work for your friends might not work for you. Although past exams can appear to be the most effective revision technique, not everyone finds them to be such. You may retain information best visually, audibly, vocally, through a presentation, or a mix of these.
After determining your preferred method, you may start to design your revision strategies. Try creating mental maps or utilizing post-it notes if you learn better graphically. While verbal learners might choose to educate someone else or speak aloud to clarify the main ideas, auditory learners could prefer to listen to a podcast summarizing the main points. Other than that, here are some revision techniques you can use while studying nursing.
You’ll hear about this revision method the most often out of all the ones available, especially in nursing circles, and for a good reason. The advantage of flashcards is it helps you concentrate on essential concepts you need to know for success. This is because flashcards take complex concepts and break them down into easy-to-understand bits.
Through this process, you can focus on the fundamentals that all your nursing study should be based on. Often, flashcards use questions or keywords to evaluate your knowledge. Since it breaks information into small chunks, this revision method is ideal for everyone regardless of their learning style.
- Create PowerPoint presentations
Presenting what you’ve learned challenges your memories and your capacity to recall material from the mind and communicate it verbally. This will make the knowledge you need to remember more concrete. Depending on your learning style, you can use your PowerPoint to teach another person using or show it to yourself.
If you’re feeling very inventive, you might draw concept maps on paper and include an image of them in your presentation, or you could make them using PowerPoint. Either way, PowerPoint presentations empower you to enhance learning by pointing out important ideas and points through the slides.
- Use post-it notes
Alternatively, you can use post-it notes if you do not want to stare at the screen too long. They remind you of the subjects you may want to tackle when revising. You may also hang them in frequently visited locations to ensure you retain the information.
You can place post-it notes strategically on the refrigerator door, the restroom mirror, or close to the dining table so you can see them as you eat. If you put them where you’ll see them frequently, you’ll quickly scan them anytime you see them, and they’ll stick in your mind more rapidly.
- Revise in the shower
This might seem a little out there, but revising in the shower can have significant benefits when studying nursing. A recent New York Post report reveals that showering can boost overall creativity. Why not combine a constructive bit of revision with your propensity for taking long showers?
While you cannot do past papers in the shower, you can test your mental abilities, speak out loud about various concepts, and even rehearse your presentations. Maximizing these brief opportunities will help you save time throughout the day. So, do it in the shower rather than allocating ten minutes to discuss all you learned.
Take advantage of technology and check YouTube videos
Various exam resources are available for nursing students on video streaming sites like YouTube. Everything from brief videos on a particular subject to channels specifically for revising is available. They are a fantastic option for students who learn more effectively by hearing rather than reading or writing.
Since videos are readily available and do not require you to create your study materials, it is also an ideal revision strategy for online students since it is faster. Making a concept map while viewing a video can be more effective than taking notes from a text. This is because you cannot copy verbatim.
It would be best to take it in as you hear it to write down the information. Rather than watching the video again, these mind maps can be useful. Taking notes is a helpful strategy for preventing distraction while viewing these online videos. Since you can mute the sound of online videos, you can easily concentrate on your task and ensure effective revision.
Achieving an effective revision strategy
Nursing is rewarding and fulfilling, requiring significant study time and hard work. Use the tips mentioned above when you enroll in a nursing program today to ensure success.