Spring break is almost here. It’s a good time to give a run-down of my classes this semester since I’ve had the time to gauge them. First one up: Physical Examination and Health Assessment. On my hate list, Assessment is at the top. Not because it’s hard but because the class is unorganized, confusing, don’t know how to study for it, overall quite boring, much of what you’re learning you won’t actually do as a nurse in a hospital but more as a nurse in a 3rd world country doing mission work, etc. This is our textbook, FYI:
What is it teaching you?
Assessment is just what it sounds like: you’re learning how to assess a patient. What is normal? What is abnormal? How do you locate lumps in a breast? What does a heart murmur sound like? Where are the lobes of the lungs and what should normal sounds be? At the end of the semester, you do a full head-to-toe assessment, going through all the bodily systems on a patient. Sounds cool, I know; I thought that too at first. But. Hate it. Fundamentally, it’s going to be useful. But as a whole, it’s kind of a waste of 4 months. This class is also where you learn to chart. I will post on that later! One boring subject at a time….
What’s the class like?
The class is separated into a 4 hour lab portion and a 2 1/2 hour lecture portion. You have tests for each one. So, the lecture test will be a normal written exam with NCLEX style questions. The lab tests will be more like practicums: taking vital signs correctly, procedures done correctly, etc.
Isn’t there anything good about it?
I hear you absorb more knowledge than you know in Assessment. I hope so b/c right now it seems kinda sorta worthless. One upside is that… hm… lemme think…