Reading, Language Use, and Nursing?

Reading, Language Use, and Nursing?

I want to be a nurse, not an English major.

When you were younger, you bandaged up your stuffed animals after wheeling them out from “surgery” for a perceived ailment that threatened their furry life. In high school, you looked forward to science and health classes that allowed you to better understand the human body. Now, you look forward to a rewarding career in the nursing field and, while preparing for the TEAS, you find out 47% of the test covers reading and language skills. What? Well, actually, language skills are critical in effectively communicating with, and treating, patients.

Why are reading and writing important skills in nursing?

As with all higher education programs, nursing students need to be able to read and write. The TEAS assesses knowledge and skills that will be needed in a college-level program of study, including language skills. And, when you think about it, you will employ reading and writing skills throughout your nursing career—from reading medical references, to adding notes to patients’ charts, to possible participation in research studies as your nursing career develops.

Reading is a key nursing skill. You must be able to identify the main idea, determine the author’s purpose, recognize relevant supporting details, and assess patterns and trends in words and data (graphs, charts, and other forms of informational text). Then, you’ll need to draw appropriate conclusions and effectively apply the information and conclusions to your work on a daily basis.

When writing in a medical setting, you will need to use carefully constructed sentences and create an organized flow of information using appropriate vocabulary and correct application of the standard rules of English. These are all important elements to ensure effective communication between you, your colleagues, and your patients.

What does this language stuff look like on the TEAS assessment?

Time may be the enemy on this test. Because the reading portion requires 53 reading questions to be completed in 64 minutes, you may feel pressure to rush through and skim the reading material. Try to resist this temptation and read carefully. The English and language usage section of the test gives you 28 minutes for 28 questions. You’ll need to thoughtfully analyze the information provided in the question, anticipate the answer, and then evaluate the answer options to determine the best answer.

What’s the best way to deal with these sections?

As on the rest of the TEAS test, there is no penalty for incorrect answers, so try to make educated guesses for the questions you might not feel as confident about and try not to skip answering any questions.

The material included in the test covers concepts and skills generally taught in grades 7–12. Though you probably know most of the information, if it’s been a little while since you’ve actively applied those skills of critical reading and writing, it would probably be a good idea to review some of the skills and practice the question types you are likely to encounter.

Union Test Prep has developed study guides, flashcards, and practice tests that will help refresh your memory about the skills covered on the test. Check them out as part of your preparation for the TEAS test and good luck in your future nursing career!

Why Reading and Writing is Important in Nursing

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