Sunday, 18 August 2013

Anxious about FAINTING in anatomy? Part 2: Tips and tricks

In my last blog, I mentioned my love-hate relationship with anatomy. I was struggling to find a way to lessen my anxiety while working with cadavers as well as maintain my marks. Initially, I found it very difficult to keep up with anatomy because I was so inefficient in my studying. Here are a few tricks I used to keep sane during this component of the curriculum, and inevitably ace the final exam:

FIND A STUDY BUDDY
If you are anxious about the lab, you need to find a way to feel safe and supported. One of the best ways I did that was by studying during the lab with two classmates. After a while, I started to forget why I became so anxious in the first place and looked forward to being in the lab simply because I had friends to support me through it. 

Make the best of your time by going through your study check-list and quizzing each other until you know it by heart ;)




PRE-READ BEFORE LECTURES AND LABS
It's been my experience that anatomy lectures are very technical, and it basically feels like a bunch of incomprehensible language being thrown at you. But, if you've already read through the lecture notes and have attempted to commit the terminology to memory, your lab will go by much smoother. The more active you are during lab, the more you will retain. Try going through your check-list beforehand and reading the applicable material in your textbook. As with anything that requires memorization, the more you see it, the easier it will be to retain it. 


KNOW BOUNDARIES/LIGAMENTS/ORIGINS/INSERTIONS/NERVE/ARTERY/VENOUS SUPPLY
Whenever you are learning about a structure, it's often insufficient to simply identify the structure. Spend the time not only in identifying the structures, but understanding the material that feeds the second order questions that they could ask. This is especially applicable if your school requires you pass a written exam, or a lab exam with a high percentage of second order questions. 


CREATE OR USE AN ANATOMY WORKBOOK
This is especially useful if you are a visual learner, like myself. I spent quite a lot of time gathering and drawing my own anatomical artwork and making study worksheets. This can be quite consuming but if you're visual/kinaesthetic, it's an invaluable study aid as you WILL remember the anatomy incredibly well. Jasmine will show you the steps to creating an anatomy workbook:


Now you simply repeat the process until you've gone through your check-list and you'll have your own check-list based worksheet you can use throughout the semester. 


I hope these tips can help you manage your way through anatomy. To make this list complete, I've added a couple of resources down below that have helped considerably. 

Good luck!

RESOURCES

HUMAN ANATOMY QUIZ:
http://ect.downstate.edu/courseware/haonline/quiz.htm

ANATOMY GUY:
http://www.youtube.com/user/MrAnatomyGuy


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