Studying. It may not be everyone's favorite activity, but most students would agree that it's critical for anyone who's dedicated to making the most of their education. Not only that, experience tends to show that the more demanding the subject, the more a student can gain by making studying a priority. In short, when the stakes are high, good study habits can make a huge difference.
As someone who's chosen to pursue a career in healthcare, you probably know a thing or two about high stakes. After all, these jobs – and the training and education they require – ultimately serve people whose health and safety is on the line. For students pursuing nursing and other health care degrees, disciplined and effective studying can be an essential foundation for ensuring success not only in school but also in your career. If there was ever a subject worth hitting the books for, health care is it.
Whether you're just starting out or you're an industry veteran looking to boost your career with additional training or an advanced degree, figuring out the study habits that can help you better understand, retain and apply critical information in health care environments is crucial.
Regardless of the field you're focused on – from health care administration to gerontology to health information management – here are five essential study skills you can use to take full advantage of your coursework and perform at your best when it matters most.
1. Know Your Strengths
Some people are visual learners. Others learn by taking notes during class or study sessions. Some students find that flash cards and memorization work best. Experiment with different learning approaches early on to identify what works for you, and then use it to your advantage. Doing so not only ensures that you're learning in the most effective way for you, but also adds increased structure and consistency to your studying routine so you can train your brain for better performance.
2. Stay on Schedule
Speaking of consistency, it's a good idea to establish a studying schedule and stick to it. After all, being a disciplined student isn't about pulling all-nighters to turn in your assignments on time. When you set aside specific times to study and consistently honor that commitment, you can establish a regular learning rhythm and be able to absorb and assimilate course material much faster and easier. A regular schedule also protects you from the biggest threat of all – procrastination.
3. Keep Your Focus
When you're trying to study, you need to tune out the distractions. Retaining focus means taking a step back from TV, social media, and other activities that break your concentration and interfere with learning. By giving your studies the attention they deserve, you build stronger neural connections that can increase your recall tremendously. Fewer distractions will also ensure that you get the most out of your scheduled block of study time.
4. Work with Others
Whether you're enrolled in a campus-based or online health degree program, forming a study group with your fellow students can be a great way to stay motivated, accountable, and constantly improving. It's easier than you may think for online students to create an online study group with remote classmates. By bringing together different strengths in terms of subject knowledge and learning techniques, study groups complement and amplify everyone's efforts in a way that solo studying can't. What's more, a group setting lets you experiment with the human tendency to learn best by teaching material to others.
5. Find Your Balance
Let's face it. A health care degree program can be demanding, whether you're a full-time student or you’re taking classes part-time between work and family obligations. While it's important to stay on top of your studying, it's also wise not to go overboard. Set realistic goals for yourself and be sure you strike a balance between school, work and your personal life. The last thing you want to do is run out of steam before you reach the finish line.
Just like having a career in health care, getting your health care degree can be a demanding yet rewarding pursuit. Keep these critical study tips in mind to support you while you work toward earning your degree. Never forget that the people who end up benefitting from your efforts are the ones who will need it the most.
Written by University staff.
For more information about on-time completion rates, the median loan debt of students who completed each program, and other important information, please visit Program Disclosures.