Friday 28 September 2012

Academic Advantages

When it comes to studying I’m pretty much a make-it-up-as-I-go-along kind gal, something I’m sure won’t work as well for me now that I’m in my second year! However there are some nifty little tips and tricks that I've employed from the very start of my degree (all those months ago!) which have stood me in good stead, and so for your consideration, and hopefully benefit, here are my top studying suggestions:
  • Learn your medical prefixes and suffixes; at the very least learn the basics or the most common ones. You’ll be amazed how handy this can be, especially in situations such as handovers when you’re likely to come across conditions and diseases that you’ve never even heard of before! If you know your basics, you can pretty much work most things out simply by breaking them down and recalling your prefixes and suffixes. You can find a handy guide to get you started here.
  • Get to grips with your PDR and start it early. I may hate the sight of mine, but I always make sure that I keep on top of it. Filling out self assessments, outlining aims and goals, and writing what feels like endless reflections takes more time than you would think - leave it til the last minute at your own peril!
  • Read a variety of sources and on a regular basis (yet another bugbear of mine). Even if you only read one blog post or journal article a day you’ll be amazed at the benefits, especially when you have that pesky assignment to write and realise you’ve already read a piece of literature that would be perfect to use, thus cutting your workload. Hurrah!
  • The majority of us have smartphones these days, and there are a plethora of nursing, healthcare, and medical apps available to download and peruse at your fingertips. If you’re simply looking for a way to kill time (did I mention doing a little bit of reading each day already?!), or want to look something up quickly in a lecture - with your lecturer’s permission of course - you’ll find them a super handy and invaluable resource to have. Best of all, the must-have apps tend to be free. Double hurrah!
  • Tackle the hard things first. I find that if I begin my study session with the easy things, by the time I get to the hardcore stuff my brain just isn’t up to dealing with it. If you start with the stuff that makes you want to do a cry first, you’ll find there’s still a bit of juice left in the old noodle to tackle those troublesome topics at the end of a long day.

And there you have ‘em. Now to get on with some actual studying as opposed to blogging about it, maybe that should be another tip!


  1. Good tips :)

    My study skills are unbelievably 'unique'. I find absolutely anything else other to do than getting on with coursework/ reflections/ PDP's...

    So much so my CAP was due in at midday today, at 9am I was still filling in parts of the reflections! Since I've started this academic study malarkey this books been a lifesaver- That and a heck of a lot of cups of tea ;)v

  2. I feel your pain. My concentration when it comes to independent study is terrible at the best of times. Ten minutes of work is usually followed by 30 minutes of checking Facebook, Amazon etc.

    The Palgrave book does indeed look handy. I think I may invest in a copy come bursary day :)

  3. Thanks for the advice, starting my training in March and you have gave me lots of ideas to think about.

  4. I'm really glad you think it may be useful to you when you start :) Hope it all goes well for you! Keep in touch :)