How to read nursing texts effectively
Nursing course is believed to involve a lot of reading o complex texts and topics. It is not surprising that some nursing college students often get overwhelmed by the enormous reading assignments that they come across. This becomes even tougher when shifting from writing assignments and reading ones.
Nevertheless, some students cannot retain what they read in their memory for a long time. This could be due to poor reading skills. In this article, you will learn some effective reading tips for your nursing texts and reading assignments.
8 Useful tips for Effective Reading in Nursing
If you deal with long and rich texts on a daily basis, you need a reading strategy that will help you read faster and understand – and retain – more of what you have read.
- Get an overview
Before you jump into your nursing texts, you should get a rough overview. Flip through the pages that you are about to read: How much text do you have in front of you? How are the pages structured? Are there graphics, interactive parts, or other special features? Find out what to expect – this will avoid surprises and reach your goal faster.
- Cross reading/check table of contents
Next, scan the text or table of contents of the book. Refine your overview that you worked out in step 1 and try to get a first rough feeling for content-related topics. What is the text about? What are the main areas of focus? How are these structured? As soon as you know the structure, you will be interrupted less often when reading later and you will be able to recognize thematic relationships much more easily.
After the structure is clear, you move on to your main text reading. Not – as usual – word for word, but a bit more brisk and selective. You scan your text. That means that you hover over your text and try to take in every line with your eyes as quickly as possible. Pay attention to special features such as headings, lists, or other highlights. Run two to three times over each side of the text in this way, taking a maximum of ten seconds per run per side.
If you want to read productively, you definitely can’t be a perfectionist. That means you don’t need to read everything that is presented to you. There will always be sentences, sections, or entire chapters in your texts that are irrelevant to you. If you find such a block of texts stop reading on the spot and skip to the next starting point. Leave these parts out – they just steal your time.
Immediately after reading a larger section, you should summarize the most important information and key messages of the author in writing. Write down what you have learned from the text, in short, concise sentences. Use your own words and present the connections precisely.
After the summary, many students stop working – and in doing so they destroy more than 90 percent of their success. Why? Because the information they have ingested has not yet been anchored in their brains. Prize question: How do you do it? Answer: With action. Apply what you have read directly by carrying out a learning activity. You can either think of your own application example, research background information, or learn a quick definition by heart. Do some math, translate a technical term, or think of a question for the next lecture. You can as well take quizzes and tests after each chapter. The possibilities are endless – all that matters is that you act.
- Get online nursing help
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