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Five Ways to Boost Your Memory When Reviewing for Nursing Exams






You were reviewing for your foreign nursing exams when you came across a question on the management of a patient manifesting the Homan's sign. Immediately, you stress out because you don't remember what the Homan's sign is and yet you are very sure you read on it just a couple of days ago. As a result, you lose focus and can't concentrate on your nursing review.

At work, you forget to do certain tasks or fail to remember things a staff nurse normally knows by heart like common medical abbreviations or normal laboratory values. You forgot what NIDDM stands for or what a blood potassium level of 5.0 means. You have these little meltdowns that you are convinced that you might have a serious memory decline.

Before you freak out, remember that forgetting things doesn't automatically mean you are suffering from memory loss. Keep in mind that the brain functions like a muscle and you need to take care of it for it to function properly and prevent memory decline. Here's how:

1. Learn new things. Your job as a staff nurse at the ward can be quite routinary. Go stimulate your brain by learning new things that are entirely different from what you do everyday. Being introduced to new and exciting things regularly like reading a book, pursuing a new hobby, or going on educational trips will improve brain activity and is vital to preventing memory loss.

2. Watch what you eat. You need to consume food that increases blood flow to the brain, stimulate brain activity, improve cognitive function, and enhance information processing. Food known to improve brain function include tuna, boiled peanuts, fruits, vegetables, and whole wheat crackers as these are packed in vitamins and antioxidants and will help maintain glucose levels without the risk of damaging your arteries.

3. Pay attention to details. Making the extra effort to pay attention to little details is one way of enhancing your memory and preventing memory loss. Remember, it takes practice to finally do something right. Simple memory exercises such as reciting a person's name minutes after he or she was introduced to you, observing your immediate environment, or even remembering what your friend wore when you saw her yesterday will help maintain cognitive function and prevent memory loss.

4. Manage your environment. When studying for your nursing exams, be it the NCLEX, the CGFNS, the NLE, or the CRNE, make sure that your study area is quiet and devoid of any distractions like facebook or a television set. This way, you will be able to focus on your study material and be able to review what you have covered with fewer interference.

5. Have plenty of rest and sleep. Sleep is the body's way to achieve relaxation. So when learning something new, make sure you get enough rest and sleep for optimum brain function. When reviewing for nursing board exams or when about to do tasks requiring concentration, a good night's sleep will help you remember the details you need to remember the next day.

Memory and other cognitive functions may be improved by simple lifestyle changes like the ones mentioned in this article. By watching what you eat, engaging in stimulating activities, and having enough rest and sleep in a relaxing environment, you will be able to maintain a sharp memory even as you age.


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