There are 9 key areas of study that you will want to focus on when studying for the HESI A2 exam. Each section requires a different set of skills and each skill can be improved using a blend of techniques, from flash cards to repetition. We understand that every nursing student is different and will learn better from some methods than others. This is why we’ve prepared a range of FREE online resources to give you all the resources you need to succeed.
Anatomy and physiology are perhaps the most fundamental areas for a nurse to study. Anatomy is the area of study in-between biology and medicine that considers the structure of the body. Physiology is the scientific study of how the body and its organs and cells work. Understanding the location of parts of the human body is critical. A nurse must understand how each part of the body works in order to deliver the best patient outcome. Simply knowing where the heart is located is not enough, you must understand how the heart works, and how the other systems that depend on it work in conjunction.
Biology is the study of living organisms and in order to understand anatomy and physiology a nurse must first grasp the science of biology. While you may not use your knowledge of biology directly every day, biology serves as a prerequisite before moving on to to other sciences such as anatomy, physiology and microbiology.
While chemistry may not seem relevant to nursing, it’s more applicable than you might think. A nurse must understand what the medication is they are providing, the conversions, and they even need to understand how the medications work. Advancing your career into more specialized fields will require you to posses not only a basic understanding of chemistry, but perhaps organic chemistry, or physical chemistry. Having a solid foundation in chemistry is key to understanding how certain drugs interact which directly affects patient outcomes.
Simply passing the HESI A2 exam or any other test isn’t enough to make you a nurse, you must also learn to think like one. Nurses think differently than a doctor, scientist, or CEO. A nurse deals with unique challenges in providing patient care on a day-to-day basis. A nurse must see the patient differently than others in the medical profession. Thinking like a nurse requires you to take all of your academic learning and apply it in a disciplined manner in conditions that can be overwhelming. This is why nursing is considered both an art and a science.
Grammar is very important to all nurses and has little to do with simply being technically correct, but a lot to do with communicating effectively. When a patient’s life is on the line, a simple slip of the tongue can make all the difference. Understanding grammar is a key part of having good communication skills for any job, but in the role of a nurse, as the patient advocate, communication is key.
All nurses and nursing students will use mathematics for a number of calculations in nearly every area of their job. From Urology to Gastroenterology, nurses will use math to conduct dimensional analysis, read and analyze patient charts, and carry out day-to-day functions.
Physics is one of the most basic sciences and serves to give nurses a deeper scientific understanding of the other sciences, such as biology. Physics relates to many areas in nursing such as radiation, which is applicable to oncology and x-rays, or the study of waves which applies to ECG’s and EEG’s. One fo the most basic functions a nurse must master is taking blood pressure which requires the nurse to understand what pressure is and how it works.
Most careers require a firm grasp of reading and writing. In nursing having above average reading comprehension skills is paramount to your success. If you cannot read a chart or worse yet, read a chart and immediately understand everything that is written, you could be endangering the lives of your patients. Nurses need to read and read at a high level in order to function in a professional manner.
Nurses with a greater range in their vocabulary have greater chances of communicating correctly than those that do not. In the operating room or on the floor, nurses need to be able to communicate effectively and having a robust vocabulary is a key part of being able to do that.