About Me

undergrad RN
I'm a twenty-something Canadian student. After stumbling through a few years of college, I finally managed to get into the nursing school of my dreams, where I hope to graduate in 2012 with a nursing baccalaureate degree. I want to offer an honest look into how a modern nurse is educated, both good and bad. Eventually I hope to compare my education to my day-to-day career and see how it holds up. Whatever happens, it should be somewhat entertaining. Find me on allnurses.com!
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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Gah, stats...

I'm a pretty good student, I think. I show up to class, I do my projects, I contribute, and I get good grades. I think, on the whole, and unless instructors find my contributions irritating, they like having me around.

That said -


It's a 5 week course, which I assumed, following the utter exhaustion of clinical this past winter, meant it would be a cakewalk.

This is THE hardest class I have ever taken, and it's not even related to nursing. In fact I don't really think it's applicable at all to nursing, at least not at the depth to which we are learning it. Apparently the faculty agrees as they are phasing out this particular course and creating an 'Applied Statistics' course that teaches students to analyze data using statistics software.

This particular course has me manually crunching numbers utilizing 4 pages of formulas. I am graphing curves, calculating z-scores, difference of means, means of differences, null hypotheses, critical values, confidence intervals, p-values, probabilities, paired differences, regression lines, and chi squares, and losing. my. mind.

I mean, I get it. Nursing does and must rely heavily on research and it's important to understand how that data was analyzed so I can determine whether it's reliable or whatever. But I will NEVER, NEVER, NEVER be given a set of values and asked to determine BY HAND what the margin of error would be for a 10% significance level. Except as the meanest joke ever.

Get a load of these symbols which I am supposed to differentiate between. They all mean something completely different and the same symbols mean different things in different formulas:

A, a, α, B, β, b, C, d, df, E, ∑, ∈, H0, H1, k, N, n, σ, p̂, P (A | B), P (x), p-value, ρ, q, R, r2, s, Se2, SSx, t, μ, x̄, x, χ2, y, Z


You should see some of the formulas we use. With the simplest calculators you can imagine. This one is particularly spectacular:

I worked hard to ace the midterm and I got a 70. I need 40 on the final to pass the course. C- will give me credit, but the Master's program requires a B in statistics. Which means that unless I ACE this final I will be retaking this course.

Final is tomorrow - it will be over one way or another. Man I hope I never have to see it again. My biggest fear is that I will run out of time on the final like I did on the midterm, and not be able to go back to check my work. I lost a bunch of marks on the midterm due to stupid mistakes that I might have caught on review.

It just takes me soooo long to work through the questions. There were 12 questions in my last assignment. That took me at least 6 hours to do. I have 9 questions on the final, and 3 hours to do them...

Every mark on the final is worth 1/2 a percentage of my final grade. No pressure, right?



lou said...

Good luck on your final tomorrow!! I can definitely relate to your pain - I'm doing Stats right now too. :p What a brutal course! I haven't had time to look over my work on my tests either - I think that's what I find the worst about the course, the insane time limits. I've never felt so rushed & stressed during tests before.
I'm sending my "YOU CAN ACE IT" vibes your way!

Glitter Scrubs - Lesley said...

Ah the stats course! Good luck! To my knowledge, we don't have to take stats in our nursing program, but I took it myself when I was doing my Psyc degree. It was definitely a tough course! Luckily, I had a hardass, but amazing instructor, who pounded this stuff into our heads almost high school style - ie: ++ homework assignments, answering questions outloud, the statistics of how many red M+Ms in a bag (I ate them all after, I deserved it), and painfully breaking down questions one by one. I believe we were allowed a formula cheat sheet, which helped immensely. You're a very smart cookie, I know you can do it!

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