These five myths about Anatomy & Physiology can keep you from A&P success. Avoiding or overcoming these myths will help lead you on a path of success. Let’s talk about each one.
Myth Number 1
The first myth I have heard over and over. This myth has to do with preparation and can be used by students as an excuse for poor performance. The myth is that Anatomy & Physiology is a freshman level class so it doesn’t have any prerequisites.
Just because it is not an upper division course doesn’t mean there isn’t previous coursework that it builds on. A&P builds on coursework that was taken during high school. These courses include physical science, biology, chemistry courses.
It is the expectation of your college level A&P instructors that students taking this course have taken these courses in high school and that students will be able to use that from high school science course work as foundational for the A&P classroom.
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Myth Number 2
Myth number two is all about time. This course cannot be completed in addition to working full time, or part time, and/or having lots of extracurricular activities, raising children with mutiple activities, having a very hard course load, etc.
Students do best in A&P when they can really focus on this course. I suggest spending three hours for every hour in class. That means if you’re in class five hours between lecture and lab then you’ll spend another 15 studying.
That’s 20 hours a week for this course alone so I suggest that students really sit down and determine where that time is coming from. Ideally this happens before a student even registers, but definitely before classes start. Put it in the calendar as if it were a class time and don’t negotiate with that time.
Myth Number 3
Students don’t need to attend lab. This is followed closely by students don’t need to prepare for lab. Lab is a major component of the grade. At most colleges and universities, lab is going to account for 25% or more of your grade in the class. Lab can make or break your grade in the course. You need to go and you need to be ready to learn.
There is no substitute for spending time in lab. You weren’t born knowing that your nose was your nose . Your parents had to point out your nose and your grandparents and your babysitter pointed at your nose and said nose over and over again. One day you pointed to your nose and said nose. That’s how that works. It takes repetition and time to get the structures down.
I also encourage students to take their lecture notes into lab and use that time to help reinforce their lecture material.
Myth number 4
If you don’t do well, you’ll just take the class again. While that is always an option, it’s gonna cost a lot of time and money to take it over and over. My local community college charges $800 without books for one semester of A&P.
Keep in mind that some programs will penalize you for taking A&P multiple times. It can decrease your likelihood of being able to get into the program. You want to make sure that you’re well aware of your program’s rules.
Instead of planning to taking the course over, I think preparation is key. By having the information and skills that you need before you take the class, you will be better prepared and get a better outcome the first time. I also don’t always see grades improve from retaking the course.
Myth Number 5
Your instructor doesn’t want you to succeed or they’re out to get you. None of those things are true. The majority of instructors have full and busy lives outside of that classroom and while they may want you to succeed I highly doubt they are spending time plotting your failure. I have never seen it happen in my time as an instructor.
There is a lot of responsibility associated with this course. Anatomy & Physiology is often the gatekeeper for healthcare programs. A&P instructors feel responsible for making that sure that students who are getting into these programs are prepared and capable of doing the work. That these students have the information they need to keep their patients healthy to the best of their ability. That starts with that strong A&P foundation.
These instructors are not out to get anyone, but they are driven to make sure that they are providing the best foundational course for healthcare workers. Instructors are also consumers of healthcare and want the best for themselves and their families.
Make informed decisions…
Don’t decide how you will approach A&P based on myths you might have heard. Come prepared and ready to learn and I think you will find it a challenging and worthwhile experience. If you are planning on taking A&P, grab The A&P Starter Kit. This kit include guides, checklists, and resources to help you prepare and plan for the course.