Is the Med Surg HESI hard?
If you are soon going to take your Med Surg HESI, I know exactly how you feel. Confused, stressed, and possibly panicking a little bit… I feel you.
If you asked your professors how to prepare for this exam and they said, “I don’t know, nobody knows what’s going to be on it”… You are not alone. They truly don’t. Nobody really knows what will be on it.
So is the Med Surg HESI hard? Yes, it is hard, but it is absolutely doable. However, the test will be ten times harder if you still do not grasp the importance of ABCs and Maslows Hierarchy of needs. Let’s go over those, and three specific resources that greatly helped me score in the 98th percentile in the whole country.
So yes, let’s talk about the resources that helped me score a 1217 which converted to a 99.94% and guaranteed me passing Med Surg 1 with flying colors.
1. Know your ABCs for the Med Surg HESI Exam
I know you are probably SICK of hearing this. But mastering your ABCs is absolutely essential to not only passing nursing school, but the NCLEX too. So FIRST, we need to talk about this above before anything else.
Airway, breathing, circulation, and Maslows Hierarchy of Needs
Remember, the RN’s number one job is to assess the patient.
Almost every single question on nursing exams involves first knowing critical signs and symptoms, then applying what you need to do. That is the “trick” in a nutshell.
So what takes priority? You got it… ABC’s.
Ask yourself, “What would harm my patient first?”
And let’s absolutely avoid that happening to the best of our abilities as healthcare workers.
Does the question involve?:
1. A patient who possibly has an airway obstruction that needs to be removed, and/or opened back up? ex: choking, epiglottitis, surgery in the airway that has now swollen it shut, anaphylactic shock, etc.
2. A patient with a diseased respiratory system that is preventing the patient from breathing oxygen into their lungs? ex: COPD, Asthma, left-sided heart failure, etc.
3. A patient with a circulation problem? ex: right-sided heart failure, MI, atherosclerosis, etc.
Sleeping on the ABCs results in many wrong answer choices on the Med Surg HESI
Master canceling out multiple-choice answers using your ABCs and you are going to do so much better on exams.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs for HESI
So you have looked at your question and thought about your ABCs, but they just don’t seem to perfectly apply. So this is when we double-check with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.
1. Physiological Needs
This includes a human’s needs for food, warmth, water, and rest. The most basic needs for the physical body.
So when applying this to nursing questions, are we dealing with a patient who:
- Can’t eat?
- Is hyper or hypothermic?
- Can’t drink water or fluids?
- Can’t sleep?
If any of the following are present, answers that include those will take priority over the following level in Maslows.
2. Safety Needs
This includes a human’s needs for security and safety.
Let’s apply this to some common Med Surg nursing question types.
- Is the patient being abused by their caretaker or family member?
- Is the patient homeless?
- Does the patient have a deficit in hearing or smell? (Can’t smell smoke, can’t hear a fire alarm, etc.)
- Does the patient have neuropathy and can’t feel the temperature of their bath or shower water?
- Are they bed-bound which could predispose them to a pulmonary embolism, or pressure ulcer?
- Are they a fall risk?
- Do we need to isolate the patient to protect other patients?
3. Psychological Needs
These are usually related to the communication questions.
- Is your patient feeling heard?
- Are they saying things that raise flags for depression?
- Do they need a support group for grief or addiction?
Levels 4 and 5
I am not going to go into these in much depth because in my experience, I don’t really find them very relevant to Med Surg questions, but you never know. So be at least familiar.
Level 4 is esteem needs and 5 is self-actualization.
Three resources I used to score a 1217 on the Med Surg HESI:
Once you feel super confident in knowing how to prioritize ABCs and using Maslows as your backup, you are on your way to earning a high score on your Med Surg HESI. However, the following can really help you get a top score in your class.
When I started school, I spent so much money on things that promised to help me do well. So many nursing bundles, and study guides. Sadly, I found them all so busy and crammed with too much information that they just overwhelmed me, and I never used them.
I heard the senior nursing students talking a lot about yourbestgrade.com to pass the HESI exams.
I did not want to buy another membership, or “nursing thing” to be honest. However, once my specialty HESI exams were coming up I started to panic. I had NO idea how to focus and study for this test. My professors taught me all they could, but there was no consolidated, specialized place to study for this thing.
So I took the leap. I purchased a one-year membership to yourbestgrade.com and I just got to work. I took as many practice tests for my specialized exam as possible.
I was terrified. I had no idea if this was going to work because I had no prior experience. I had never studied this way before.
Well, when I pressed submit after taking my Med Surg HESI, and saw my score, I fought tears of joy. My teacher even came up to me to ask me if I was okay lol.
NEVER could I have imagined I could get a score that high on an exam like this. I truly, honestly believe the majority of my success was because of your best grade.
The test banks are very challenging, and the rationales are just pure gold. They over prepare you to where the HESI seems kind of easy… Just keep taking the tests and keep reading the rationales. You will learn so much.
If you have not heard of Saunders created by Evolve yet, this could really change everything for you. However, make sure you buy the book NEW, do not buy it used or rent it.
The book will come with an access code that you can register on Evolve, and has a HUGE practice test bank for every single thing you will learn in nursing school.
Rest assured, if you are struggling in nursing school and you focus on this resource, you will bring your grades up dramatically.
Once I started really focusing on my Saunders content to summarize all the information I was learning, it helped streamline my study sessions dramatically.
The test bank is not only great for your nursing exams but is also very challenging and will help you prepare for your HESI and NCLEX exams so much. Again, over-preparation is better than being underprepared.
3. Level Up RN
If you manage your time well, definitely watch Level Up RN’s Med Surg playlist before you take your HESI. I would listen to her playlist while doing the dishes, while eating, and while cleaning.
She makes short videos on YouTube coving important points to know, FREE.
So is the Med Surg HESI hard?
Yes, it is a difficult test. However, I strongly believe if you follow the advice I have laid out in this post, that you can do extremely well.
If you have trouble focusing, and finding the time, and energy to study efficiently, you can read an article I wrote right here to give you tips on how I have remained a 4.0 GPA nursing student through nursing school.
Please feel free to comment below and share how you studied and prepared for your Med Surg HESI exam and how did it go?
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