Advice for Getting Through the First Year as a Nurse

Advice for Getting Through the First Year as a NurseYou have passed your exam, graduated from nursing school, and gotten your first nursing job. The hard work you put in has paid off, right? Not really. The truth is the challenging work has just begun because the journey of becoming a practicing nurse may not be the easiest. Your first year as a nurse will most likely be incredibly difficult. You are going to struggle as you learn the vast number of skills that it takes to be a nurse in your specialty area. Here are a few tips to help you survive and thrive during your first year as a nurse:

Tips to Help You Thrive in Your First Year as a Nurse

  1. Always ask questions.

As a new nurse, if you want to learn, the best way to do it is to ask a lot of questions. Not everyone has the courage to raise their hand and ask a question. This is because people might be afraid to ask questions, given that then they have to admit that they don’t know something. This is a natural feeling, but remember that you are not expected to know everything. Having the courage to speak up will help you be a more knowledgeable nurse. If you’re not able to ask questions at the moment, try making a list of all of your questions. Then when you have downtime later, you can ask your questions.

  1. Interact with your coworkers.

Take some time to get to know your coworkers during your first few weeks as a new nurse. Also, remember their names and say hello to them in the halls. Eventually, over time, you will be able to build relationships and create a network of people you know and trust. This is not only important for your job satisfaction, but also for your survival as a nurse. Your fellow nurses are the ones who will be there to support you during difficult days, laugh with you after funny situations, and help you in emergencies.

  1. Take time to relax.

When you get a day off from work, make the most of it! Don’t think about work, your patients, or your charting. Take time to relax and de-stress. If your mind is constantly thinking of work, then you may be at risk of burning out. Try to find an activity that gets your mind off of work like hiking, hanging out with friends, or reading.

  1. Learn how to prioritize.

It is very easy to become overwhelmed as a new nurse. You may have several different patients to care for or one high acuity patient. Either way, you will have a multitude of tasks to complete during your shift, some planned and some unexpected. Try breaking down your day into hourly increments of time. Within that hour, ask yourself, “What is the most important task I need to accomplish, and what is the least important task?” With this method, you will not only be able to organize your tasks, but you will also be able to react appropriately when something unexpected happens.

  1. Set your goals.

Being a new nurse is extremely difficult. Give yourself time to struggle and learn the ins and outs of nursing. You won’t be a superstar on your first day. In fact, it could take you years to truly feel like an expert in your nursing field. With that in mind, set small and realistic goals. By setting goals that are easily achievable, you will build your confidence. Try setting a goal to learn something new every day. This will help you feel successful after learning a new task or fact, rather than feeling defeated and beating yourself up for not knowing something.

  1. Always be positive.

Some days are going to be more difficult than others. On these days, remember to stay positive. Every nurse has bad days, even an experienced nurse. If you are having trouble staying positive, try making a list of the things that went well during your day, rather than focusing on the negatives. Your first year as a nurse will fly by, and before you know it, you’ll begin to feel more confident and on your way to becoming an expert nurse.

With these few tips for new nurses, now you are ready to begin your nursing career. Check out collegenursinghelp.com for more information.

 

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Effective Nurse Stress Management Techniques

Effective Nurse Stress Management TechniquesUnfortunately, nurse stress and burnout can go hand in hand. The long and irregular hours, and a stressful environment can negatively impact your physical and mental health. The good news is that there are many nurse stress management techniques that you can use to reduce nurse stress and burnout.

Below are 7 nurse stress management techniques that have proven successful in managing nurse stress and burnout.

7 Nurse Stress Management Techniques That Work

  1. Find a Job You Love

There’s nothing more anxiety-provoking than being in a job you dislike or worse–dread.

The starting point to staying in good physical and mental health is finding a nursing job that makes you eager to get to work in the morning — or whenever your shift starts.

If you are looking for a change of pace, you might want to consider travel nursing.

With travel nursing, you have the freedom to choose jobs, locations, and shifts that work best for your lifestyle.

Whether you accept an assignment in a neighboring state or a job in a part of the country you’ve always wanted to explore, you’ll make the new adventure a significant part of your career.

  1. Remember Why You Became a Nurse

When you are dealing with a difficult patient or you are overwhelmed with a heavy caseload, take a step back and try to remember why you first became a nurse.

You chose nursing as a profession because you wanted to make a positive impact in your community and help those in need.

Don’t be so hard on yourself. Being a nurse is an incredible accomplishment. Give yourself a pat on the back every once in a while—you deserve it!

  1. Burn Some Calories

When you are over-scheduled and your workday is grueling, it’s difficult to find time for exercise.

Exercise, however, is a great nurse stress management tool. In fact, physical activity has been directly linked to lower stress rates.

Not only will the time you invest in your workout pay workday dividends, but it will also benefit other aspects of your life outside of work.

Do you have trouble finding time to exercise? Check out who likes to break a sweat while on the go.

  1. Try Yoga or Meditation

When things get stressful, try channeling your inner chi. The mental and physical health benefits of yoga and meditation have been well documented.

According to a report from the National Institute of Health (NIH), “practicing yoga (as well as other forms of regular exercise) might improve quality of life; reduce stress; lower heart rate and blood pressure; relieve anxiety, depression, and insomnia.”

If you’d like to experiment with yoga or meditation on your own before committing to a class, you’ll find several informative videos on the subject.

  1. Eat Right

The proper diet can make you stronger, give you a boost of energy, and even calm nerves.

In fact, eating a diet of whole grains and healthy fiber helps produce and regulate mood-regulating chemical serotonin.

Take a look at these and how they can help you alleviate stress in your professional life.

  1. Breathing Exercises

Breathing exercises are a simple and easy way to reduce stress and tension when things get hectic.

There are many different breathing exercises. Belly breathing, for example, is one of the easiest and most common.

Here’s how it works:

  • First, sit or lie flat in a comfortable position
  • Place your left hand on your belly just below your ribs and your right hand on your chest
  • Breathe deep through your nose, letting your belly push your hand out
  • Breathe out, feeling the hand on your belly go in
  • Repeat this motion 3 to 10 times, taking your time with each breath
  1. Take Time to Have a Social Life

It’s important to “step away” from your job on your days off. Spending time with friends and family is a great way to reduce stress.

In addition, set aside time to participate in any hobbies or passions you may have; for instance, hiking, reading, or painting.

Don’t let the daily pressures burn out your enthusiasm for the job. Try the 7 nurse stress management tips above to help reduce nurse stress and burnout. Please visit our collegenursinghelp.com for more tips.

 

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How to Improve Collaboration on Nursing Teams

How to Improve Collaboration on Nursing TeamsCollaboration on nursing teams is very important because lack of that can be frustrating and it can negatively impact everyone involved. This includes the patients and families who are counting on you all to work as a team. Doctors and allied healthcare staff is one of your professional and legal responsibilities as a nurse. Regardless of your feelings towards that difficult doctor, you still have to share notes to ensure the best quality of care for your patients.

There will always be impediments to communication and collaboration. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t tried and true ways to overcome those barriers. Here are six strategies to help you do it.

Strategies to Improve Collaboration on Nursing Teams

1. Know your own triggers.

Effective collaboration with the other members of your team starts with you, which makes self-awareness your first step. After all, if you don’t understand what makes you tick, you can’t expect your colleagues to figure it out. Take another look at the list above and ask yourself honestly which of those points make you tense. Do you bristle when dealing with people who went to a better (or worse) school than you did? Are you self-conscious about the way you speak or your experience and credentials?

If you’re new to this kind of self-analysis, ask a trusted friend to help you. Being aware of your own triggers and hot buttons will help you develop techniques for dealing with them before you reach the point of throwing down your stethoscope and stalking out the door.

2. Create a safe space to share information.

No one likes being yelled at, dismissed, or ridiculed for offering an opinion or asking a question. If those reactions are part of your organizational culture, they will shame people into silence, which is an enormous barrier to good teamwork. Mutually beneficial relationships depend on the sharing of information, which makes it vital that team members listen to one another and reinforce the value of each other’s input.

This is an area where rookies often fare better than more seasoned team members. If you’re new, it’s easier to embrace the idea that no question is silly, but for veterans, it can take real courage to admit you don’t know something or risk offering an opinion that others may reject.

Doing that will help create an environment where team members, including you, don’t have to suffer in silence for not having all the answers.

3. Handle conflict with care.

There’s no healthcare environment on Earth that’s free of conflict, which is why it’s important to manage it well. In fact, some experts point to poor conflict management as the single most critical obstacle to effective collaboration.

Trying to avoid conflict entirely isn’t the answer. Sometimes, being willing to fight is part of your responsibility as a patient advocate. In some circumstances, avoiding an argument can cause real harm. However, handling conflicts professionally will ultimately help everyone, especially the patients under your care.

  1. Belong to the right team.

The best care is provided by truly interdisciplinary teams in which professionals from different areas meld their diverse knowledge and experience to achieve a common goal. Sadly, too many supposedly interdisciplinary teams are really multidisciplinary. They are collections of professionals so focused on their own precious areas of practice that the idea of listening to or involving anyone else in a meaningful way just isn’t in the cards.

Remember that a group of people each working in their own little silo is not a team, and it takes a team to create the best possible care plan for each patient.

5. Communicate effectively.

There are several facets to this one. Communication between nurses is comparatively easy because nurses usually understand each other pretty well. The important points there include clarity, honesty, compassion, and respectfully resolving grievances rather than letting them ferment into grudges.

  1. Be a leader.

Real leaders don’t need a leadership title. If you’re a nurse, you’re a leader — period. You’re the hub of all things related to patient care, providing expertise, guidance, and support in a hundred different ways each time you snap on your badge. There are more people counting on you than you may realize and your patients are just a few. Be a role model for those around you by asking for help when you need it, circling the wagons to solve an issue, and being generous with your praise.

No one will deny that effective collaboration can be hard work. You have to be persistent, clear, flexible, and at times humble. Nurses cannot avoid collaboration; it is an essential part of their commitment to providing patients with the best quality of care. Be sure to visit us on collegenursinghelp.com for more information.

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How to Write an Excellent Nursing Research Paper

Nursing Research PaperWriting a good nursing research paper can be a challenging exercise for students. Sometimes the students are overwhelmed with information that must be obtained through months-long research that is always combined with prolonged hours of clinical practice. Unraveling such information in a well-organized way may sound like an impossible process, to the point that you might even want to avoid starting it.

Below are tips that will give you the tools you require when preparing and getting that nursing research paper writing process.

Tips for Writing a Nursing Research Paper

 1. Create an outline for your work

For you to appropriately organize the numerous resources that you have gathered, you need to create a good outline for your work. An outline will help you create a framework for a successful nursing dissertation, and it also allows you to concentrate on the specific point that you are analyzing.

Make sure you go through your research materials for recurring themes and unanswered questions. While writing a nursing dissertation, you need to make sure that you choose a topic that you love. Then, you will collect the tools that you need to build a working thesis.

In most cases, composing a dissertation tends to be a compelling exercise, particularly when you are undertaking a nursing course.

2. Make a template

Your next step should be creating a draft or work on a given template. If you choose to create a draft from scratch, you need to have a look at a similar dissertation to get a working concept on how to create a corresponding structure. On the other hand, you can try and look for a good template to work since it will be easier. However, you need to ensure that you get a sample to suits your nursing dissertation writing requirements. Do a thorough search on several specialized websites that keeps academic papers so that you will find a suitable sample.

On top of that, you need to review various nursing compendiums online. This will help you get an effective concept of how you will arrange your content of the nursing dissertation.

3. Compare and contrast the information

Establishing a comparison based on the information that you had collected is important. You need to rely on the most recent data to help you evade making erroneous mistakes in the analysis. On top of that, getting up-to-date backup data will help you make your nursing dissertation more accurate. This data will help you in supporting your main argument.

The moment you get all the connections required for understanding your dissertation project, you will get a much easier task to handle. This will help you create a strong nursing dissertation that your professor will love. However, for you to achieve this, you need to go through similar dissertations on the related subject matter. Note that it is always important to have a look at other academic papers since the reference might help you when creating the nursing dissertation.

4. Come up with a thesis 

This is one of the perfect ways of starting your writing process on the right footing. Note that a thesis is the foundation of your nursing dissertation. For this reason, you need to explain the purpose of the project laconically. Additionally, you must analyze the various ways in which you intend to prove your argument through the project.

5. Write a perfect body of the paper

Bear in mind that this is another vital tip that can help you compose your dissertation quickly. If the body of your nursing dissertation is poorly organized, you will get lost in a way such that you will be required to start again. On top of that, this will only give poor grades. Ensure that you make the data contained in your dissertation to count. This is by organizing your work properly as you spare your professor the structural surprise that comes after you submit a shabby paper.

6. Write an interesting conclusion

Given that you might not have enough time on your side, you need to use a short but captivating and concise conclusion of what your dissertation is talking about. Make sure your conclusion is composed in a simple to understand language without incorporating any new or controversial subject that was not captured in the main body of the paper. Try as much as you can to ensure that you avoid vagueness.

A great nursing research paper will encourage readers to read your entire work and help get your work published in scientific journals. For more information and tips on manuscript writing and journal submissions, check out our cheapnursingpapers.com.

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Nursing Diagnosis

How to write a nursing diagnosis

Nursing Diagnosisnursing diagnosis has been defined as a clinical judgment that concerns how humans respond to health conditions/life processes. Compared to medical diagnosis, this analyzes the needs of the patient.

Step by Step Guide on How to Write a Nursing Diagnosis

Step 1. Check the symptoms of the patient

Observe the injuries of the patient or signs and symptoms of their state. Then describe the problem of the patient depending on the signs and symptoms that you’re able to see. For instance, if your patient got involved in a car accident and they may be confused. In this case, you can write that the patient doesn’t seem to understand what happened or where they are.

At this point, it’s not a must to use official terms. Instead, you can just observe the patient and describe them in your terms then you can change later.

Step 2. Ask the patient and the family how they’re feeling

Your nursing diagnosis is the information that you gather from the patient and the people around him. The patient’s family can let you know how they’re feeling and if the condition is affecting them. The patient on the other hand should be asked how they’re feeling to know how they’re managing the symptoms.

Step 3. Assess how the patient is responding to the symptoms

Take a look at the patient to find out how they’re coping with the pain or loss of functioning in various organs. Check how the patient is treating those around him, including the nurses and the family. If the patient is attacking the nurses, it could be they’re in severe pain or their anxiety level has risen.

Step 4. Know the difference between objective and subjective data

Subjective data is the information the patient provides you about how they’re feeling. Objective data, on the other hand, is gathered from the observations made and can be measured and verified using scientific analysis.

The data that supports the real diagnosis can either be objective or subjective. Objective data is more crucial because that’s what’s being used to get to the bottom of the diagnosis. Subjective data on the other hand is important in determining the care plan that’s best for the patient.

Step 5. Take note of the problem that your nursing diagnosis will tackle

Take a look at the signs and symptoms and the data you’ve gathered to direct you to the right diagnosis. Always concentrate on how the patient is feeling and the family and friends. Do not put so much focus on the medical diagnosis

For instance, your patient has been diagnosed with a brain injury. Your nursing diagnosis is going to be about what the patient requires to help with their condition.

Step 6. Examine the source of the problem of the patient

Once you have noted the problem that you’ll handle from your nurse’s perspective, get to know why the patient experiencing that problem. It is going to guide you in terms of the nursing interventions that will solve the problem.

For instance, if the patient has been diagnosed with a severe headache. The patient has a recent brain injury. The brain injury could be the cause of that severe headache.

Step 7. Analyze the health history of the patient

Take a look at the patient’s chart to find out if there’s anything related to the current condition. It is also important to go through the lab reports of the patient.

Step 8. Identify possible related problems during examination

Once you have noted the patient’s condition, check other issues that the patient might encounter while going through the treatment. For instance, if your patient has been having persistent headaches, lack of sleep is related to the headache which was the initial diagnosis. Knowing these other problems will help you in determining the best treatment for your patient.

Step 9. Gather your related factors for your diagnosis

Outline the related elements of the patient’s diagnosis. Related elements form the second part of your nursing diagnosis. For instance, if your patient is experiencing severe pain and confusion due to a brain injury. You can put this down as “severe pain r/t brain injury” or “severe confusion secondary to brain injury confirmed by MRI.”

Ensure that you perform your duties within the doctor’s diagnosis. If the diagnosis is not ending, you can mention the working diagnosis.

Step 10. Summarize your data

Go through the data you have collected to single out the factors that show the problem you have diagnosed.

The best nursing diagnosis is going to inform the doctor what could be the issue with the patient. Nevertheless, it doesn’t make a diagnosis. A doctor will diagnose the patient, hence your nursing diagnosis shouldn’t conclude about what the diagnosis is going to be. We hope this guide is going to help you in writing a nursing diagnosis. In case you need more help, you can visit collegenursinghelp.com for more assistance.

 

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nursing diagnosis

All you need to know about nursing profession

nursingKnow the role of each type of nursing professional

A hospital is not just made up of doctors. Quite the opposite! It is the various employees of the place, with their respective and important functions, that make the hospital work correctly and with maximum efficiency.

Among these indispensable employees are nurses. But did you know that there are several types of nursing professionals, each with their own role to play? Well, now, know the role of each type of nursing professional and learn why it is substantial for the smooth running of the hospital environment.

Nursing professionals and their functions

Care and attention: These are two words that synthesize the basic functions of any nurse, regardless of their specialty. It is these professionals who know, better than anyone, how to comfort and support a patient in the conditions presented by him. After all, being sick does not only require physical health care but emotional care as well, requiring total awareness and affection from nurses.

However, although every nursing professional needs to watch over and assist patients, it is not up to everyone to perform certain specific activities. That is when different types of nursing professionals come in. All of these professionals are part of the health team and promote health in different care environments.

Our College Nursing Help professionals have compiled this list of nursing professionals and their assignments to help you understand this career.

Nurse

The nurse itself is the professional who is at the top of the nursing hierarchy. In order to practice the profession, it is necessary to have a higher education diploma with up to 5 years of duration.

Among its main functions, which are exclusive to nurses, the following can be highlighted:

  • is responsible for the care that requires higher levels of scientific and technical knowledge;
  • prescribes drugs established in the health unit;
  • prepares patients for  medical care;
  • personally cares for patients who are in a critical health level, such as those admitted to Intensive Care Units (ICUs);
  • performs procedures on patients (bladder catheterization, insertion of the peripherally inserted central catheter, orogastric catheter);
  • assesses wounds and chooses the type of dressing to be used;
  • perform nursing diagnoses and nursing prescriptions;
  • Delivery assistance during delivery.

However, nurses are responsible for administrative issues as well, such as organization and direction of nursing services; general supervision of auxiliaries and technicians; control of hospital infections and damage to care; training and capacity building; participation of architectural projects within health facilities; hiring nursing staff.

Nursing Technician

Next in the hierarchy is the nursing technician. In order to practice the profession, it is necessary to have completed high school and a technical course diploma lasting 2 years.

Its functions, although as important as that of the nurse, are concentrated at the basic and medium levels of care. In other words, they are aimed at baseline patients or in semi-critical health stages.

This professional can assist in the treatment of patients in the ICU or in the postoperative period, as long as they are supervised by the nurse. He assists the nurse in planning care activities at all levels of complexity.

In addition, it is your responsibility: giving vaccines, performing patient hygiene, and administering medications.

Nursing Assistant

To become a nursing assistant, you only need Elementary School and a basic course diploma lasting 1 year.

Its functions are focused on routine, repetitive, and less complex activities. He is always supervised by the nurse. The common functions of a nursing assistant include the following:

  • prepare patients for consultations, exams, and treatments;
  • perform prescribed treatments;
  • provide hygiene, comfort, and food care;
  • Ensure security. of the patient;
  • Perform disinfection and sterilization activities.

Midwife

Although less mentioned and known, there are also midwives, requiring a course with a diploma of at least 2 years to carry out their profession.

The midwife is always accompanied by the obstetric nurse (focused on pregnancy) so that the delivery takes place correctly and with all the necessary care. In addition, it is up to the midwife to provide assistance after the operation, taking care of the mother and the newborn.

Doula

The doula is the professional who provides physical, emotional, and informational support to women before, during, and after labor.

During pregnancy, the doula guides the couple about expectations regarding childbirth and postpartum and helps the woman prepare for labor in different ways.

During labor, the doula is the intermediary between the health team and the couple. It helps the woman to find comfortable positions, deal with the pain, and understand the medical terms and techniques used, in addition to helping the father to act at that moment.

She is not considered a nursing professional because she does not perform any medical care and does not care for the newborn. Her duties are solely accompanying parturient.

The importance of the clinic manager in the separation of activities

The manager of a clinic, in general, is largely connected to administrative issues, checking that everything goes smoothly and in the best possible way. Among the activities performed by him, is the supervision of all nursing professionals.

This is one of their most important functions, after all, each professional must exercise their specific and private professions, not being able to perform procedures that do not fit their area. In this way, the group of professionals can work in harmony and with maximum efficiency.

It is necessary that the entire health team understands the performance of each nursing professional so that the activities within the health establishment are divided and delegated correctly. What should also happen in relation to other health professionals (physiotherapists, doctors, nutritionists, speech therapists)?

Areas in which nursing professionals work

Contrary to what many people think, nursing professionals can work in areas other than hospitals and clinics. The role of the nurse has also expanded to the areas of auditing, consulting, research, teaching, and management.

The areas of activity of nursing professionals influence:

Hospitals, clinics, and laboratories: All levels of nursing professionals work in direct assistance to patients at different levels of complexity. The nurse can also work in the sector of management, continuing education, infection control, and worker health within hospitals;

Health Centers: The nursing team is part of the Family Health Program, which is carried out by SUS Basic Health Units. They act in actions of prevention, promotion, and recovery of family health in an integral and continuous way;

Teaching and research: Nurses who choose to follow the academic area are dedicated to different areas of study. They can act as undergraduate and graduate professors, research advisors, and participants in the editorial team of scientific journals;

Worker‘s health: Nurses and technicians can specialize in the field of occupational nursing, which aims to prevent and promote the health of employees in the workplace. The professional works within companies, assessing specific risks and implementing health programs for workers;

Audit: The nurse who works in the audit area works inside or outside the hospital with project control, an inspection of the use of materials and medicines, preparation of hospitals for quality certification and project control;

Home care: Home care is provided by different nursing professionals, with the aim of providing care to patients in their own homes. They can act individually or by home care companies.

Nursing professionals are directly connected to patients ‘ daily lives. If it were not for these extremely capable and resourceful employees, the hospital environment would certainly not be the same, as they are the ones who directly participate in the recovery of every life that passes through the hospital.

 

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how to make notes effectively in a nursing class

How to Make Notes Effectively in a Nursing Class

how to make notes effectively in a nursing classHow to Make Notes Effectively in a Nursing Class

While one nursing student takes notes on a laptop, the other prefers making notes with a pen on paper. These days, a laptop is often required for every course, since study materials are usually distributed online. Furthermore, typing is often quicker than writing. Even so, scientific research states that making notes with pen and paper is beneficial since you remember the contents better. All in all, there are different opinions on how to make the best notes during class, which is why College Nursing Help experts have compiled this article, explains the pros and cons of different methods.

Go to class

During class, the professor gives an overview of the content of the course and explains difficult concepts. Most of the time, additional information is provided that may be required to write down during an exam. By going to class, you can check if you understand the information correctly and ask questions. Asking questions means actively participating in class, which will enhance your knowledge of the subject and make preparation for your exam easier.

Be prepared

When going to class, make sure that you have read through the required materials beforehand. This way, you know what will be discussed during class and you will be able to ask more precise questions. Also, you will retain more information.

Making good notes on your laptop

Pros

  • Typing is quicker than writing
  • You can easily adapt your notes afterward
  • Notes are easy to organize
  • You can find your notes quickly (if you use a good system to store your notes)
  • You are likely to make less grammatical and spelling errors because of autocorrecting
  • It is easy to retrieve your notes even after a long time
  • You can easily copy images of models and theories into your notes

Cons

  • If your laptop crashes, you’re likely to lose your progress. Always use Google Drive, Dropbox or e-mail as a backup
  • It is easier to get distracted by social media such as WhatsApp, Facebook or Instagram

Writing good notes on paper

Pros

  • Scientific research shows that writing down notes enhances your understanding of the material, as well as retain the information better
  • You write down only the necessary information, which will make a more efficient summary

Cons

  • Notes on paper may become disorganized
  • Writing by hand takes more time than typing
  • If the teacher speaks quickly, you may not be able to keep up
  • You could lose or damage your notes (hello, rainy day! Bye, notes that are soaked)

There is no good or wrong way to take notes, so feel free to choose the method that suits you best and helps you learn the most efficiently!

Consider the pros and cons of taking notes in class. 

Many students find it easier to type than to write, but there are still reasons to use the proven method of pen and paper. Some studies indicate that students who take notes with a pen or pencil are better able to understand and remember the material taught in class than those who type. It can be easy to lapse into transcription mode on a laptop. This happens when you write down everything that is said, instead of actively writing down only the most important thing. By writing notes with a pen you can work more focused.

  • On the other hand, with a laptop or other electronic device, you will be able to format, save, edit, share, and read notes more easily (without worrying about sloppy handwriting).
  • Notebook note-taking tools are nearly endless, for example, Microsoft Word’s “notebook” formatting; software that allows you to link a recording of a lesson to your notes; organization programs that allow you to combine materials of different types and formats, such as emails and PDFs; and note-taking platforms that let you take notes with others in real-time. This can save you or be a distraction for you. Only you can judge what works best for you.
  • Some teachers and institutions prohibit the use of laptops in the classroom, so don’t ignore the need to know how to take notes with pen and paper.

Choose a sitting position

Sit as far forward as possible in the classroom. Choose a place in the class where you won’t be bothered by distraction. This will allow you to pay more attention and make better notes. Find a place where you can see and hear the teacher well. You will also need to be able to see the sign clearly. Arrive a little earlier in the room so that you can choose a good seat.

  • If you find yourself being distracted by noisy fellow students, air conditioning, or an unfortunate glare on the projector screen, find a different spot discreetly without disrupting the class. Otherwise, just do your best this time and find a new place for the next time.

Label your paper with the date and topic of the lecture. Make sure your notes are clearly marked for future reference. Write the class date and topic at the top of each page.

  • If you have multiple pages with notes, also indicate the page numbers. This helps organize your notes.

Remember to take notes, not transcribe the lesson. In order to make better notes, you need to be an “active listener.” This means that you don’t just write down what is said. Instead, you need to get into the material and identify the essential elements of what is being said.

  • For example, instead of writing down every detail of Roosevelt’s foreign policy, write down the key points of his overall foreign policy, with examples to support you. In this way, you immediately start the process of learning and understanding (or, in other words, studying).
  • This need for active involvement is one reason why many experts advise against recording lessons.
  • If you do want to record classes or have a legitimate reason to do so, ask the teacher beforehand if it is okay to record them. A lesson is considered the intellectual property of the teacher. In addition, some institutions have specific policies regarding sound and/or video recordings.

Learn to pick up on the teacher’s hints and clues. The teacher will use vocal inflections, hand gestures, and other indications to emphasize the important parts of the lesson. Begin by observing these patterns and gestures to discern what is essential information.

  • Recognize the main ideas by distinguishing signal words and phrases that indicate that something important is about to follow. Your teacher will not launch a rocket when an important new idea or example is about to follow. But he/she will use signals to make this clear. Any good speaker will do this, and you can expect to receive such signals. Examples are:
    • There are three reasons why …
    • First second Third…
    • The meaning of this is …
    • The impact of this is …
    • From this, we can deduce …
  • Also, learn to distinguish other clues. When the teacher mentions an important point, he/she may slow or louder speak, repeat a word or phrase, take a longer pause than usual between sentences (or maybe even take a drink of water); gesture more demonstratively with his or her hands; stop walking around and/or look more closely at the audience, etc.

Review your notes as soon as possible. Do this within 24 hours of class. By then you have already forgotten 80% of the material covered in class.  Build on what you’ve learned, instead of relearning the material.
Review your notes and don’t just rewrite them. 
Consider your lesson notes your draft copy and the revision of your edited version. Create a new version of your notes. This is especially helpful if your notes are sloppy, disorganized, or nearly illegible. It is not intended to copy your notes as you originally wrote them. Make this part an active process of the review.

  • Use the clues you picked up in class regarding the structure and key concepts to reorganize what you have written down.
  • Fill in weak areas with material from the textbooks

Have notes of missed lessons. If you missed a class due to illness or some other reason, make sure you can copy a classmate’s notes. Talk to the instructor so you understand the material.

  • Do not rely on a service where notes are offered for sale. Most schools and universities have a policy against the use of such endorsements. Remember that using purchased notes is not the same as “active learning” and thus does not aid in understanding and memorizing the material.
  • If you have a physical or other disability that makes it difficult for you to take notes, discuss the options with your teacher and the student facilities of your institution. There are likely to be several options available, including special lesson guides, note-taking help, permission to record lessons, or tutoring.

With these universal tips, you will be in a good position to use your notes for exam revisions and for other reverences. Remember, if you have any problems in writing your nursing assignments, term papers, or research papers, we have professional online writers who can help you out. Just click here

 

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