Ready For Nursing School – Learning Styles

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Hi everyone. This is the nursing podcast from And today we are talking about getting ready for nursing school and specifically knowing your learning style. My name is Sandy, and I’m very excited to talk about this today. It is something that I am very passionate about as I have watched my oldest struggle with several learning differences. And for him, it’s more than just a preference for learning styles, but truly certain learning styles are exponentially more difficult for him, which may be the case for some of you as well. So let’s get into this. There’s a never ending stream of information that you have to know when you work in the field of medicine, especially in nursing. And even if you could memorize every word in the Davis drug guide, there are already new medications that have come out since it was published, but more importantly, you probably can’t memorize the entire drug guide.

There is so much to learn and so much to understand, but the better that you understand the body, the better able you will be to understand what occurs when the body isn’t working properly or what will happen when you take a medication that inhibits a certain function. So if you can focus all of your study time on methods that are most effective to you, you will save yourself time and give yourself the best chance to learn all that you need to know. There are lots of tests out there that you can take to determine your learning style, for example, VAR tools. But if you spend some time thinking about it, you probably already have some ideas. You may also do well with multiple learning styles. And if so, that is great. Use as many as you can. I am a very kinesthetic learner. If you are teaching me how to use some new, how to use a new app, I’ll be very comfortable recreating the process in the app.

If I’ve actually pushed the buttons, myself, been shown how to do it. Um, but if I’m verbally told or I have to read through a list of instructions and then try to replicate it, I will literally have to go back and listen or read each step one at a time and try to do it while right after I read that step. So it is much easier if I can just do that from the start, of course, that’s not always an option. So for me, the next best thing to actually doing it myself is either seeing it done or writing out the process while it’s explained or drawing a diagram of the process. If I can’t actually do it myself, you have a limited amount of time in class with your teacher, walking you through those difficult concepts, there will be topics that you need to learn on your own.

If you’re in a flipped classroom setting, you’ll need to learn independently and taking the time now to understand your learning style will allow you to find the tools that you need to be successful. So I want to spend just a minute here to change gears just a little bit. I want to talk to you about a term that I learned recently. This was a bit of a paradigm shift for me. The term is [inaudible], which is essentially incompatible teaching, where the teaching style presented is not the best fit for the learner, a student with dyslexia or dysgraphia or ADHD. They can’t rewire their brain. However, a teacher can adjust their teaching style to meet the needs of students with all learning styles. If that isn’t happening, it causes a big barrier for those students. Now I’m not trying to place blame. Teachers are not being taught how to tailor their teaching style to the myriad of different learning, to the myriad of learning differences out there.

So you may not be taught in a multimodal format that is tailored to all learning styles. Educators also have many limitations. Um, boards of nursing will direct what is taught the school may direct how it is taught. A third party may provide all of the exam questions. Educators are limited in time personally, to prepare and limited amount of time that they have with actual FaceTime with you to cover every topic. So they may be unable to provide that multimodal learning in every situation, but don’t give up, there are resources out there and you can, and you can learn all this. You may just need a different method. So for that, or those methods that work best for you, um, find those and seek out tools and resources that can help you as you’re going through school. Lastly, I want to end up here with three special tips.

These tips will help you learn and can be applied to all learning styles. Um, I learned these tips from an incredible book called earth, called ultra learning. It’s by Scott H. Young. And I’m going to go ahead and share these tips with you. So the first one, try to learn the skill where you will apply it. And this, this doesn’t always mean actually physically, but I’ll get into that. transfer is very difficult, transfer, meaning transferring knowledge from one environment to another in nursing you’ll frequently hear the term critical thinking or clinical judgment and transfer of knowledge is really a great parallel to critical thinking. It’s taking information learned in one setting and applying it in a different context. So if you will be using your knowledge about ABGs, when you’re viewing a patient’s chart and looking at their labs, then you should learn about it while viewing the patient’s chart and looking at their labs.

If you can physically put yourself in a location, then do that too. But even using the scenario can be a powerful tool to help with transfer. Now, at some point, not being able to retrieve certain information, you know, may hold you back when trying to use this method. So for example, you may forget the steps of something. And so when you’re trying to physically do it, it’s not working. So what they recommend here is to do some drilling, drill, to memorize in those cases. But as soon as you can get back to that scenario or get back to that physical location or get back to actually using those in an overall picture, that’s step one, try to learn the skill where you will apply it. Step two is called free recall. This one is so cool. so what you do is you review one time and then you put it down so that you can’t look at it.

And you try to remember as much as you can, believe it or not using this method is better than continuing to review it over and over again in the short-term practice is great, but the longer for longer retention you want to use this free recall. So look once, then put it down and try to remember it may hurt, but your brain is building connections and pathways so that you can retrieve this information again. Have you ever been trying to remember somebody’s name and you can’t for the life of you remember, literally it just feels like you don’t know their name anymore. It’s just gone. But then a week later, you’re in a location where maybe you met them and their entire name pops into your head without, without even trying. Sometimes the information is there, but we just don’t have the right trigger to retrieve it.

So that’s step two free recall. Step three is feedback, get feedback on your performance as soon as possible, quiz yourself provide answers in class so that you can get that feedback from your instructor. Make sure however that the feedback is about your performance. Not about you directly, for example, it is not helpful for someone to say you are learning this way too slowly. That’s not helpful. It doesn’t give you feedback on your performance. It’s literally just directed towards you. So get feedback that step three. So a quick recap, those three tips are number one, try to learn this skill where you will apply it. Number two, free recall, and number three, get feedback. So I’m going to leave you with that, but I wanted to remind you before you go, that you can do this. I know it’s hard and I know there’s so much to learn, but you can do this.

I believe in you now go out and be your best self today and as always happy nursing. Thank you for listening to our podcasts today. is the trusted learning hub of all future nurses, your secret weapon for passing nursing school with your sanity intact. We want to invite all our listeners to visit us online and take advantage of a special promo offer. Just head over to that’s forward slash F R E E, and check out the free resources and other goodies that we have there just for our podcast listeners until next time, go out and be your best self today. And as always happy nursing.

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