More Tips to Help You Improve Your *Medical* Memory (Part 2)

A  senior male staff nurse demonstrates the medical mannequin to a group of medical student nurses . They are all standing around the hospital bed listening to him .
Nothing is ever achieved overnight when it comes to practicing, teaching, or learning in the medical field.

Imagine standing in front of your instructor on the day of your check-offs and your mind goes blank. Lucky for you, you memorized a shortcut to the procedure, closed your eyes, repeated it, and with confidence, you performed the task flawlessly. How did you get there? Here are 10 more ideas that can help, whether you are a healthcare student, a healthcare teacher, or you just want to improve your medical memory in other areas of your life. Improving your medical memory is important and can be incorporated into all areas of your life. We discussed 10 tips for improving your medical memory in Part 1. Now let’s look at 10 additional ways to improve your medical memory.

Know your learning style

The most basic step to learning how to have a perfect recall of the steps to your procedure is knowing how you learn. Are you tactile, auditory, or visual? Tactile learners need to write it down, make a model, or complete repetitive tasks to memorize topics. Auditory learners can listen to repetitive speech to understand their tasks. Visual learners use writings, graphs, charts, and other images to retain their information.

Rinse and Repeat

Unfortunately, one of the best ways for medical students to learn a procedure is to repeat it. As previously discussed in Part 1, this means either practicing the actual procedure, watching it done over and over, or listening to dictation to accomplish memorization. It takes some time to retain knowledge in long-term memory, and so must be done frequently and correctly.

Remember to Use Mnemonics

If you are an instructor, you can sometimes have an occasional lapse in memory when teaching. Luckily, you can improve your memory by teaching mnemonics to your students. For example, if you are a teacher, you can teach your students the ABCs of CPR. The ABCs of CPR are: Airway- Breathing- Circulation. If you are a student, this mnemonic is easy to remember and simple to recall.

Cheat Sheets

Your surgeon, before performing more complex procedures, reviews the procedures and how to perform them. Even the higher-level medical professional could use a written reminder, procedure book, or mental breakdown of procedures before performing them to enhance memory recall.

Rest

Not everything has to do with learning. Your brain will not retain all the information your medical career needs to be able to regurgitate without the proper care. Resting your brain allows it time to transfer the short-term cram session into long-term memory.

Don’t cram!

You will not do your brain any favors by not studying daily, doing repetitions, and learning everything you need to know just before the appointed time. Yes, you will be able to remember some things, but it will not be retained in your long-term memory and once you forget it- it is gone.

Teach others

Ironically, the best way to learn and retain medical knowledge is to teach it. A nurse may learn a better way to insert an IV when the student she observes performed the task slightly differently than the way she was instructed. This is an example of a “teachable moment” when mastering medical memorization techniques.

Take time to research

The more you know about a subject, the more your brain connects the dots and the easier it is to recall what you have learned. Find ways to make boring topics interesting, and your memory recall will improve.

Associate your medical topics with non-medical topics

If you are a tactile learner, you may make a routine out of a procedure. Once repeated, most of it becomes muscle memory. If you memorize by association, lab values can be associated with baking times, for example. Associating certain songs with a medical topic can help you remember medical information. For example, you could use a song rhythm to keep the beat when practicing CPR techniques.

Take the time to learn

Nothing is ever achieved overnight when it comes to practicing, teaching, or learning in the medical field. Even though everything is fast-paced, you need to take the time to learn and memorize your chosen tricks.

Learn your style, use the tricks and tips your instructor provides, or remember to review materials regularly before performing tasks. Follow the Avidity Medical Design Blog to learn more about many different areas of healthcare. Visit Avidity Medical Design Academy to enroll in a healthcare course to help you continue to broaden your fund of knowledge about many different healthcare subjects that you can use in everyday living.

10 Things You Can Do To Improve Your *Medical* Memory Today (Part 1)

A young woman holding a book while sitting at a table and looking at a laptop while studying
Memory is a skill that is improved upon over time.

Our brains are capable of incredible things, but it doesn’t feel like it when we struggle with memory. Forgetting a name or where your put your car keys is a common annoyance most people accept as normal. However, the inability to recall certain information can harm a person’s education or career. In the medical world, it can harm lives. Here are 10 things you can do to improve your medical memory. These tips might only be used to pass an exam or recall an administrative procedure, but they could be used to save a life. 

  • Use Mnemonic Devices: A mnemonic device is an acronym, rhyme, or other cognitive hint to make memorizing things easier. You might be familiar with mnemonic devices used to memorize the musical notes on a staff or the names of the planets. FAST is a familiar medical mnemonic device to identify signs of a stroke (Face, Arm, Speech, Time).
  • Try Using Visualization: Creating a mental picture of a space can also improve memory, especially when it comes to memorizing chronological or sequential items. Choose a space that is familiar, and visualize those items in that space as you walk through the room. Recall that space and the items when needed to improve recollection. 
  • Repeat Often: There are reasons many of us had to memorize simple addition or multiplication tables. Repetition helps to cement memories. It takes time and isn’t always the most efficient way to recall items, but it works. 
  • Apply What You LearnYou may have studied for hours, but remembering how to actually do something sometimes requires experience. This rings true even for medical coding or administrative tasks that are less experiential and more data-driven. Once you use information, your brain prioritizes it as worthy of remembering. 
  • Practice Using Your Memory in Different SituationsIf you look at the winners of memory championships, they are never first-time contestants. This is because remembering things does not rely solely on natural ability. It is a skill that is improved upon over time. 
  • Enhance Your Auxiliary KnowledgeWhen you are new to a subject, information seems overwhelming and out-of-reach. While it is crucial to focus on the fundamentals when learning, some auxiliary knowledge can spark interest and create relevance. When it comes to medical memory, case studies can enhance auxiliary knowledge. 
  • Use Your SensesMany people say smell is strongly correlated with memory, and most people anecdotally agree with this thought. Anything that you can do to engage more senses (i.e. reading, watching, and speaking) will improve your medical memory. Take notes. Read your notes aloud. Watch lectures. It will all help. 
  • Eat a Healthy DietMany foods and beverages contain chemicals that are toxins to the brain, so eat a healthy diet. Drink lots of water. Your gut feeds your mind, so a healthy diet will improve memory. 
  • Get a Good Night’s Sleep: If you don’t get enough sleep, your neurons won’t work properly. This means your memory function will diminish. Instead of cramming the night before a test or important workday, go to bed early. You will perform better. 
  • Don’t Procrastinate: Don’t wait until the last minute to memorize something important. The stress involved in last-minute cramming limits the brain’s ability to retain information. Instead, work on memorizing information consistently. Not only will you get better at it, but you’ll have time to commit it to long-term memory. 

Improve Your Medical Memory with Additional Practice

The medical field is one filled with a ton of information, and it is impossible to remember it all. That is why you see experienced medical professionals searching through reference materials. This is not to mention the constant barrage of new information. Using the tips above, you can improve your medical memory and remember the things that are essential to do your job in a way that is efficient, correct, and safe. Follow the Avidity Medical Design Blog for more healthcare tips that you can use in everyday living. Visit Avidity Medical Design Academy to enroll in an online healthcare course to learn even more about the field.

3 Ways in Which COVID-19 Impacts Classroom Learning for Students

high-school-boy-wearing-blue-surgical-facemask-looking-away-while-sitting-at-desk-during-classroom-learning-period-with-classmates-in-background

The educational sector is one of many that were severely affected by COVID-19. Most schools in the U.S. were closed throughout 2020, and many institutions shifted to online education. As we enter 2021, schools are expected to open and classroom learning will definitely resume. With this in mind, it is important to understand how students will be affected as they re-adjust to learning in the classroom in 2021.

Returning to Classroom Learning in 2021

As noted by UNESCO, COVID-19 might take a long time to contain, and everyone is learning how to live with it. In this context, schools must be ready to resume in-person learning, in spite of the pandemic.

If you are a student, returning to school in the middle of dealing with the pandemic comes with numerous challenges. Everything will be different. As highlighted by Dr. Edith Bracho-Sanchez during the ABCs of Back to School, the virus has not yet died. Everyone, including teachers and students, must adjust to the new school routines necessitated by the need to reduce the spread of the pandemic.

Let’s take a look at the different ways that COVID-19 will impact you, if you are a student returning to the classroom, or if you are a parent of a student returning to classroom learning.

Mandatory Mask-Wearing

Wearing a mask to reduce the spread of COVID-19 has become the norm in every area of the society, and the classroom is no exception. As noted by the University of California San Francisco in a recent article, masks significantly block respiratory droplets. As a result, students may be required to always wear a face mask during classroom learning. Wearing a face mask in the classroom presents its own special set of challenges, especially if you are a student.

These challenges include:

  • Wearing masks the right way.
  • Remembering to keep your mask on throughout the day.
  • Finding a comfortable mask that does not affect your ability to concentrate during class.
  • Wearing a mask that doesn’t hinder conversations with other students in the classroom.
  • Adjusting to wearing a mask when the temperature makes the classroom warmer than usual.

Social Distancing

Social distancing presents one of the biggest challenges in the classroom. Remembering to maintain a one-meter distance from your best friend in the classroom, remembering not to whisper about school events, and remembering not to have discussions face to face in close proximity, represent some of the biggest challenges in terms of social distancing.

When you are excited about a discussion or an event, it is hard to remember to social distance. You may find yourself getting too close to other classmates without even realizing it. Try substituting conversation with hand gestures and visual class signals to maintain social distancing.

While adjusting to social distancing requirements in the classroom, group discussions may become a thing of the past. As noted by Understood, peer-to-peer teaching education may also not be possible, and your teachers may not be able to provide the same level of personalized attention that you may have become accustomed to, especially when you’re having trouble understanding a difficult lesson concept. Remember that teachers must practice social distancing in the classroom also, so do your best to adapt to different methods of teaching that your instructor might choose to incorporate into the classroom, to meet the requirements of social distancing.

The New Role of Teachers

Teaching while adhering to COVID-19 guidelines in the classroom presents it’s only set of unique circumstances. As a student trying to adapt to the “new normal,” don’t be surprised to see your teachers take on extra roles and responsibilities, which may extend beyond teaching and handing out assignments.

Teachers may, for example, take on the task of ensuring that all students wear masks and maintain social distancing, while simultaneously trying to keep you and your classmates motivated to learn. Do your best to focus and concentrate during class time, as your teacher adapts to the changing educational landscape in the world of COVID-19.

To increase your concentration span, your teachers may need to introduce physical activities while still maintaining social distance, or they might incorporate additional mental breaks into class time to help you re-energize your mind in order to stay focused on the lesson. You might see your teacher using learning aids and and audiovisual learning devices to help you and your classmates maintain mental clarity throughout the school day.

Learning Will Continue

Despite the issues brought about by the COVID-19, learning will continue, whether it is online or in person. Avidity Medical Design Academy also gives you the opportunity to learn something new, especially if you are learning online. Enroll in the course entitled, “How to Learn in the Healthcare Classroom (and ANY Classroom) (in 10 EASY Steps!)” to learn some strategies to keep learning, stay focused, improve your concentration, and stay on track with completing your assignments during this difficult time. Visit http://avidtiymedicaldesignacademy.com to learn more about our course offerings. Follow the Avidity Medical Design Blog to stay up to date on the latest news in healthcare education.

3 Ways School Administrators Can Adjust Classroom Learning to COVID-19 Restrictions

teacher-wearing-purple-rubber-gloves-cleaning-her-science-classroom-tables-with-cleaning-solution-and-cloth

School administrators, principals, and other stakeholders will now consider building a more resilient learning and assessment system following the impacts of COVID-19. Building a system suited to supporting decision-making, including resource allocation, will help your school handle future shocks and succeed in the classroom learning recovery process.

Student Examination and Certification

Adjusting high-stake examinations that are used for the certification of students as they proceed to the next level of education is one of the critical areas that you will need to address. As schools reopen for classroom learning, a large-scale assessment system is needed to address the new challenges in examination and certification caused by the pandemic.

Hybrid Online/Classroom Learning System

Adopting a hybrid model of learning is one way you can keep social distance and minimize the spread of the virus. Some students can learn from home, while others can participate in classroom learning in small numbers. Make sure that the groups of students do not mix as they attend their classes.

Regular Cleaning 

Maintaining a clean environment is critical to learning in a safe environment. You will need to ensure that frequently-touched surfaces like door handles, sinks, and playground equipment are regularly cleaned. Also, classrooms will need regular cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces. 

Upgrading of the school ventilation like the HVAC system improves air circulation. You will need to remind students participating in classroom learning to carry supplies like masks, sanitizers, and wipes to improve hygiene standards and not to share objects. You can also have extra masks and hand sanitizers in school.

Making adequate preparations to ensure that students learn in a safe environment will require a concerted effort from all stakeholders. Learning in a healthy space gives every student the peace of mind they need to excel in their studies. To learn more about health safety in school, enroll in the course that will educate you about “Learning in the Healthcare-Classroom (and ANY Other Classroom) (in Ten-Easy-Steps!)” The course is offered by Avidity Medical Design Academy. 

What You Need to Know About Approved COVID-19 Medications

two-doctors-in-protective-gowns-masks-and-goggles-looking-at-clipboard-outside-coronavirus-ward

With the arrival of COVID-19, hospitals and medical offices have seen an influx of patients. Medical administrators have also had to implement new policies and procedures to keep track of COVID-19 cases, protect doctors and nurses, and safeguard their patients as much as possible. For this reason, it is important to learn about the different COVID-19 medications that are being used today, and how they work to fight the infection.

Approved COVID-19 Medications

The following is a list of six medications that have all been approved to treat COVID-19. Each medication, however, is used to treat patients under specific circumstances. Let’s take a look at each of these medications, and how they are being used to treat COVID-19.

Remdesivir

You may have heard about remdesivir on the news. This antiviral drug has been used to treat malaria for years. Now, it is being used as a successful treatment for COVID-19, primarily for patients on supplemental oxygen. It interrupts the production of the COVID-19 virus and shortens the overall duration.

Baricitinib

When used in conjunction with remdesivir, baricitinib from Eli Lilly shortens the lifespan of COVID-19. Barcitinib was originally created to treat moderate-to-severe cases of rheumatoid arthritis. It blocks enzymes that cause inflammation and is only being used to treat patients receiving oxygen. It does not appear to be a successful treatment unless it is used in conjunction with remdesivir.

Dexamethasone

Dexamethasone is a corticosteroid that has been around for many years. It treats inflammation and acts as an immunosuppressant. This COVID-19 medication can potentially reduce mortality rates associated with the COVID-19. It mitigates the impact of the virus on the lungs and has led to lower mortality rates.

Convalescent Plasma

Many people who have recovered from COVID-19 have donated plasma. This is because their recovered plasma can be used to help other patients who have been diagnosed with COVID-19. It can both shorten the duration and lessen the severity of the virus by boosting the body’s immune response. The infusion takes about two hours and patients need to be closely monitored afterward.

ExoFlo

If you know someone who has acute respiratory distress, ExoFlo could be the answer. It is created from human bone marrow stem cells and triggers the body to reduce inflammation. This, in turn, helps the body begin to heal itself. It has been shown to reduce the mortality rate for patients with respiratory complications.

Monoclonal Antibodies

These antibodies fight COVID-19 by clinging to the virus and destroying it. It is commonly referred to as the Regeneron antibody cocktail, although both Eli Lilly and Regeneron currently make the antibodies that are being used as treatment. It is not recommended for patients who are receiving supplemental oxygen or are on a ventilator, as their condition could worsen.

More is being learned about COVID-19 medications every day, and as a result, we are seeing more medical breakthroughs. Promote healthy habits such as hand washing and social distancing. If you know someone who has COVID-19, or may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, encourage them to seek medical advice, because there are multiple treatment options available.

Follow the Avidity Medical Design Blog to stay up-to-date on everything in healthcare. If you are considering a career in healthcare, you need to know how to build your medical terminology skill set. Go to Avidity Medical Design Academy. Enroll in the course entitled, “How to Learn Basic Medical Terminology (in 5 EASY Steps!) (and USE IT in EVERYDAY Living)” to learn how to learn new medical terms and use them in your career, as well as in everyday living.

10 Reasons Why You Should Try It Before You Buy It: The Advantages of Taking a Free Healthcare Course

woman smiling while sitting at table and working on online medical course at home

There are many courses available on the internet, and it is hard to know which one is right for you, and which one suits your needs. Sometimes paying for a course offered by a school that you may be unfamiliar with can be difficult to justify, and you might be hesitant to “take the leap,” so to speak. For this reason, you might want to consider taking a free healthcare course. This is a good first step if you’d like to learn more about different healthcare topics. Here are some reasons why you should consider taking a free healthcare course to “try it before you buy it”:

Reason #1: You get to learn about a new healthcare topic in small “bite-sized chunks” that get straight to the point and don’t waste your time.

Learning about new or unfamiliar topics is the primary advantage of any course, but learning for free is an extra-added bonus. Learning about healthcare is a lifelong process, especially when you are considering a career in the field of healthcare, or you are trying to improve patient outcomes in the clinical setting, or your want to ensure the success of healthcare employees in an organization where you may already work, or you just want to learn more about different healthcare subjects that you can immediately apply to everyday living.  You don’t have a lot of time to waste. You want courses that include lecture material offered in small “bite-sized” chunks that get straight to the point and get right to the heart of the information that you need in just a few minutes, without wasting a lot of time, and without covering a lot of extraneous lecture material that may be “nice to know,” but may not really be what you need to know about the subject being taught, and without making you feel overwhelmed or confused, especially if you want to learn more about the healthcare field.

Reason #2: You become familiar with the professional quality of other healthcare courses also, if you later decide to purchase a course.

Taking a free healthcare course before you pay for a course offered by the same school, ensures that you know what type of education you will be getting, and helps you feel confident that you will be getting your money’s worth. You know in advance that your money is being well spent because you’ve already sampled the course material ahead of time. 

Reason #3: You learn about the flow of each course, and how to use what you learn in everyday living, by learning the information step by step.

There is nothing worse than taking a course and deciding it was unnecessary. It’s also frustrating to discover that the information presented in the course is too advanced for you to completely grasp, or it doesn’t teach real-world concepts and give you practical real-world examples that you apply to everyday living, and that you can use immediately after you finish the course. If you have already paid for the course, you feel the pain of wasting time and money. A free course lets you know what you are getting into so that you can decide if it is right for you. 

Reason #4: You get to decide if you will get your money’s worth if you decide to purchase a course, based on the free course you’ve already taken.

A course should be affordable, and should provide good quality, content, and instruction at the same time. If the quality of the free course is good, you are sure to get the same quality when you choose to pay for a course offered by the same school. 

Reason #5: You become familiar with the instructor’s teaching style (even if you’ve never been in the healthcare classroom!).

Instructors teach in different ways. All instructors want to provide valuable information, but sometimes their speaking style simply doesn’t fit the needs of the student. Taking a free course helps you become more comfortable with the instructor’s speaking style and helps you make certain it is right for your learning needs, because you want to retain the information that you learn and you want to be able to use it as soon as you finish the course. 

Reason #6: You get to leave reviews for free, without having to purchase a course first.

Educators always want to improve the quality of their courses, and getting feedback from new students is one way to test the quality of the courses being offered by the school. Free courses mean more reviews, and help improve the quality of current course offerings. 

Reason #7: You get to leave suggestions, or ideas, for future healthcare courses.

The healthcare environment is always changing, and the educators are always looking for new ideas. New students who leave course suggestions are often the best source of these new ideas, and can help enhance the quality of future courses, or sustain the quality of existing courses.  

Reason #8: You immediately transfer what you learn in the free course to everyday situations, just as you would in a paid course.

There are many classes available online, and a good course gives you the skills you need to immediately transfer your learning to real-world situations, where you can apply what you learn as soon as you finish each course. You also have the opportunity to compare the quality of a free course with other courses you may have taken. This proves that the courses are solid, and teach skills that are worth your time and money. 

Reason #9: You get to spread the word to friends, family, and colleagues, about the quality and practicality of the free healthcare course you completed. 

If you are looking for a course that will improve the education of co-workers or employees, or benefit family members and friends, you can try it out for free first. Don’t rely on a catchy course title. Know what you are recommending by trying it first. 

Reason #10: You develop an “avidity,” or an “eagerness” to learn even more about different healthcare subjects covered in other courses. 

Taking a free course that offers quality learning peaks your interest and increases the likelihood that you will want to continue to learn more about different healthcare subjects.

If you are looking for a free healthcare course, check out Avidity Medical Design Academy to sign up for “Social Media in Healthcare (with REAL-WORLD Examples!).” This is a free healthcare course offered by Avidity Medical Design Academy.

How to Become a Registered Nurse (and Pass Your Board Exams Once You Do!)

The path to becoming a registered nurse is not an easy one, but it is worth the challenge because of the rewards of the job. Nurses are held in high esteem because they have compassion, altruism and high ethical standards. If you are considering a career in nursing, you probably already know this. How to become a nurse and pass your board exams is the next step. 

female registered nurse taking blood pressure with wrist cuff of senior woman

What is a Registered Nurse?

A Registered Nurse (RN) is a person who has a degree in nursing and has passed board exams required to obtain a nursing license. Registered nurses are healthcare professionals who work in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and other healthcare facilities in varied positions. Nurses may be responsible for supportive tasks such as taking chief complaints and histories, or they may be more involved in patient care and even perform minor medical procedures. Some RNs are more involved in nurse management and administrative tasks.

As the physician shortage in the United States continues to grow, opportunities for nurses have expanded, and many nurses are elevating their education and job titles to mid-level healthcare providers such as Nurse Practitioners or Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs). In some states, APRNs are allowed to practice solo and without the supervision of a physician. One of the great benefits in the nursing profession is the possibility to further one’s career past the initial RN licensure.  

What are the Education Requirements?

The minimum education requirement to become an RN is an associate’s degree in nursing, but many healthcare facilities require a bachelor’s degree. Nurses are expected to be lifelong learners in order to provide the best care. As a result of this expectation, the Institute of Medicine urges all nurses to get a bachelor’s degree in nursing, with a goal of 80 percent of all nurses having their bachelor’s degree by 2020. This goal may not be met, but it has pushed more nurses to enroll in baccalaureate programs. 

How do You Pass Your Board Exams?

After receiving a nursing degree, a nursing graduate must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) in order to become licensed. There are two types of NCLEX exams: the NCLEX-PN and the NCLEX-RN. You will take the NCLEX-PN if you plan to become a vocational nurse or a practical nurse. You will take the NCLEX-RN if you plan to become a registered nurse. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements. The NCLEX is the national nursing board exam, and you must take this exam in order to become a nurse. The answers to the NCLEX test questions are evidence-based and proven to the satisfaction of the medical field. These questions are not based on nuances or individual techniques that you may have learned during clinical experience. As a result, your chances of passing the boards are greatly increased by practice exams and review courses that give you questions designed to help prepare you for the exam

Here are some additional things that you can do to pass your board exams the first time you take them:

  1. Understand how the NCLEX is formatted.
  2. Figure out ways to manage your stress.
  3. Determine the best way to study and the way that is most comfortable for you to study.
  4. Develop a plan to study.
  5. Don’t factor in past experience as a way to answer the questions and pass the test.
  6. Develop good test-taking skills, such as deductive reasoning.
  7. Believe in yourself, and believe you will pass the test.

What are the Employment Projections?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the nursing profession is expected to grow by 12% over the next decade. This is a very good outlook, and over 300,000 jobs are expected to be added. Most of the increase in demand for nursing is caused by the shift to placing emphasis on preventive care and on the growing population of elderly with chronic diseases. 

What are the Challenges of Becoming a Nurse?

Registered nurses face many challenges, including tough schedules and burnout, depending on the type of work done. Nurses also have to regularly deal with people who are scared, in pain, or upset. Tough days can be very tough, but the success stories make the dedicated nurse forge ahead. This is one of the many reasons nurses get so much respect as medical professionals. 

For more informative healthcare articles, follow the Avidity Medical Design Blog.

If you are interested in working from home in the field of healthcare, enroll in the course entitled, “How to Make Money in Healthcare Working from Home (Full Time!),” offered by Avidity Medical Design Academy.