Trau·ma  Junk· ie  ( 'trau-m&  'j&[ng]-kE) n. Slang
  1. One who has an insatiable interest, devotion or addiction to responding and assisting people with serious injury or shock to the body, as from violence or an accident.

Survival Tips for Introductory Anatomy & Physiology during a Summer Semester

Hello everyone,

Having just finished my Intro. to A&P class last night, I thought I would share some advice, study tips, and my opinions on taking the course during a 4-week summer semester.

I'm not sure if this course is required for most two-year RT programs or not, but if it is, I'd definitely recommend taking the course prior to beginning the program itself, if you haven't already done so. I'm not saying it is impossible to satisfactorily complete this course while taking on a full-time RT course-load, but I think it would be quite difficult because of the amount of information.

Background Information
In a nut-shell, the class covered the anatomy (science of dealing with the structures) and physiology (functions of those structures) located within the 11 major organ systems of the human body. That is--the integumentary, skeletal, muscular, nervous, endocrine, circulatory, lymphatic, respiratory, digestive, urinary and reproductive systems. Somehow that was broken down into 24 chapters, and we did in fact cover all of the chapters during the course (in both lecture and lab).

In order for me to give tips and what-not, I should probably describe the structure of the class I took: The class met 4 days a week, Monday through Thursday, from 5:45pm-9:45pm. The first two hours were usually lecture, and the information was covered at a rapid pace. The last two hours were spent in the lab, which was a little easier than taking notes (in my opinion) and helped to re-enforce and supplement what we learned in lecture. We had a test just about every 3 days, sometimes sooner, which usually covered four chapters. There was no mid-term, but the final was actually comprehensive (which is unusual compared to the other science classes I have taken.

My Advice

  • This is not a class that you can pass without studying. As a matter of fact, I would venture to say that I've never studied so hard in my life. I studied print-outs of PowerPoint slides used during the lecture, my personal notes, the book, and the lab manual, for 2-3 hours every day. Sometimes more than that. I dropped this class during this past Spring semester because I didn't study enough and wasn't able to keep up.
  • Read the chapter(s) that will be covered in the next day's class, today. Er, maybe there is a better way to word that. Basically, I learned that it is very important to read a chapter ahead so that you will have an idea of what will be covered in the lecture. My professor agreed with me. A lot of information is covered and in great detail, so reading the chapter ahead of time can help you understand key concepts. The lectures move quickly, usually with little or no time for questions, so it helps to understand the information before it is covered.
  • Flashcards, flashcards, flashcards. This was an idea I had, and apparently everyone else in the class was doing it also, so I'm sure it is worth the time it takes. 3"x5" note cards are cheap, and they work great as a study tool. I'm not sure what it is, but something about seeing the information on a flashcard really helped me commit it to memory. Structures and sub-structures, divisions and sub-divisions, even definitions work well on flash cards (e.g.- side 1: The Digestive System, side 2: esophagus, stomach, liver, gallbladder, etc.). Go through the flash cards and set all of ones that you don't get right aside and continue doing those until you know the information.
  • Mnemonics. These are great. I created a few of my own. The layers of the epidermis from superficial to deep: Carl Likes Girls At Sports Bar = Stratum corneum, Stratum lucidum, Stratum granulosum, Stratum spinosum, Stratum basal. There are a lot of websites out there that have them, but I can't remember any off the top of my head. Just do a Google search.
  • Cliffs Review Anatomy & Physiology. Since I knew how much information was covered in the course when I took it before, I thought it was important to pick up this book (ISBN 0764563734). It explained all of the major concepts, but not quite as in-depth as the textbook, which is where I got lost most of the time.
Anyway, that is my advice. I made a B+ in the course this time around, which is a lot better than the 60 I was making when I dropped it last time. Best of luck, if you haven't already taken it.



P.S.- My thoughts on taking this class during a 4-week summer mini-mester? I kept saying I wish we didn't have to cover two chapters a night and I wish we didn't have a test every 3 days, but not that I look back, I'M GLAD IT IS OVER WITH. If you have the time to commit to the amount of class and study time, I'd definitely do it this way.

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