How To Overcome The NCLEX Exam With Dyslexia

How To Overcome The NCLEX Exam With Dyslexia

As an NCLEX Prep coach, I have come across and have evaluated so many different types of nurse graduates and really tried to understand why some have problems passing the NCLEX over others.

I remember finding myself  communicating with different graduates via email or just communication that only involves reading something.

I would communicate very important information to someone but in their response, it was as if they did not read anything I just told them and I was starting to get frustrated why this was happening with a number of people.

I thought maybe I need to be even more clearer.

However I noticed there was also a large amount of graduates that completely understood what I was saying.

And then I had a light bulb moment.

I realized that the reason why these particular graduates were having problems understanding what I was writing to them, was not because they didn’t enjoy reading (which is what I thought) but it was actually because they had a common condition known as dyslexia.

From researching this diagnosis, I now really understand what it really takes for a nurse graduate who has dyslexia to overcome and pass their NCLEX exam and this is what I am going to be discussing in this article post.

First I want to describe what dyslexia is.

Dyslexia is a general term for a disorder that involves difficulty in learning to read or interpret words, letters and other symbols but that does not affect the general intelligence.

There are many people who may have dyslexia and don’t actually know it because it’s something they have been used to their whole lives.

I personally do not have dyslexia but what I hope to do through this article post is to hopefully give some insight as to how you can still pass your NCLEX exam even if you have this disorder.

Overcoming the NCLEX exam with dyslexia is about learning how to take something you do know how to do such as memorizing and still make it work for you when it comes the NCLEX.

The Solution

From what I researched, the main problem that someone with dyslexia has is INTERPRETATION.

Meaning that they’re seeing the words on the screen but they’re giving it the wrong interpretation.

And for the NCLEX exam, this can be extremely challenging if you do not correctly interpret what the questions are asking.

So what I believe one should do is that since the problem is how you interpret the information, then you need to actually study for your NCLEX exam by ASSOCIATION.

Let’s explore the definition of these terms.

Interpretation is the action of explaining the meaning of something.

Associate is the connection or relation of ideas, feelings, sensations, etc.

I believe instead of trying to interpret the content/question, you should learn to always associate or connect what it means.

This is how you bypass this learning disability when it comes to the NCLEX exam.

For example, let’s take a look at the question below.

Question

A patient is admitted to the emergency department and upon assessment, the nurse notes that the patient’s sodium level is 179, he has poor skin turgor, he’s having seizures, confused and has a heart rate of 140 bpm. Which of the following nursing actions should the nurse implement? Select all that apply.

A. Administer IV fluids

B. Monitor patient’s calcium level

C. Monitor patient’s sodium level

D. Encourage the patient to do vasovagal manuevers to have a bowel movement

E. Notify the physician to obtain an order of Metropolol IV.

Interpretation Thought Process

Okay so for this question if someone was to look at this question and answer it correctly based on interpretation they would be able to interpret that the patient has HYPERNATERMIA.

And since they have hypernatremia, the correct treatment for hypernatremia is to administer fluids and monitor the sodium level which is answers A and C only. Answer D and E would reflect someone with the wrong interpretation that this patient’s main problem is tachycardia which is not true.

Association Thought Process

Now with the association thought process, this involves one more step in order to correctly help the person with dyslexia lead to the correct interpretation. Let’s take a look at with the same question.

Question

A patient is admitted to the emergency department and upon assessment, the nurse notes that the patient’s sodium level is 179, he has poor skin turgor, he’s having seizures, confused and has a heart rate of 140 bpm. Which of the following nursing actions should the nurse implement? Select all that apply.

A. Administer IV fluids

B. Monitor patient’s calcium level

C. Monitor patient’s sodium level

D. Encourage the patient to do vasovagal manuevers to have a bowel movement

E. Notify the physician to obtain an order of Metropolol IV.

So with this thought process, the person instead needs to CONNECT that any time they see a question that lists several symptoms but no diagnosis, that means that the question wants that person to first decide the diagnosis (which they pulled from what they memorized) and then that will help them to interpret the question correctly.

Step #1. The connection

Questions that list several symptoms with no diagnosis     ——————–>   Need to identify a diagnosis first

Step #2. What is the diagnosis?

From what I memorized, which diagnosis matches all these symptoms? —> Hypernatremia

Step #3. Which answers reflect the same treatment for someone with hypernatremia?

IV fluid administration and monitor sodium levels

Therefore answer is A and C.

Do you see how I just did that?

You have to add one maybe two more steps that helps leads you to the correct interpretation.

Here are some other tips to apply during your study routine that helps you to overcome the NCLEX exam when you have dyslexia.

  1. High engagement- When you’re studying for the NCLEX, you need to be studying and preparing in environments that involves high levels of engagement for you. Meaning that you receive some type of information about the NCLEX (content, questions, etc) and then you say BACK what you received. This will not only improve memorability, but also retention and help you to consistently lead to the correct interpretation. This is why you may not do very well in large group environments when it comes to studying for the exam, because the opportunity to engage in what you understand is usually not included in larger group environments which is why one to one teaching is most beneficial.

  2. Highly visually- When you’re studying for the NCLEX, you want to include as much VISUALS as possible especially with anything that involves step by step processes. It makes a WORLD of difference when you can really see the whole process of something with visual aides then just words.

  3. Exemplify, exemplify, exemplify- The more examples you have about every single thing that you learn especially when it comes to the connection step, the BETTER. Examples are oftentimes the finishing touch that really helps to finalize the complete picture so you never forget it.

These are some valuable tips that I truly believe will really help set you on the right track when it comes down to how to overcome the NCLEX exam when you have dyslexia.

If you find this information helpful, please share this article and make a difference in someone’s life!

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