The week after orientation we jumped into medical terminology which was our first theory related course. Besides the terminology itself, I learned a lot from this course such as time management skills, study habits, and how to effectively use the online classroom. I quickly learned how much work there was to do each day and how long it took to complete it. It was a little stressful at first but I realized getting into a routine in the beginning of the week made the work later in the week easier to complete. I had to make a schedule for myself to prevent getting sidetracked which involved a 5-6 hour study day with a half an hour break in between. Taking a break in the day was extremely helpful for staying focused and allowed me to get chores done, a brief walk in, or cook a nice lunch. This course was very assignment heavy with 2-3 assignments a day along with learning the theory for the assignments that day. This seemed like an overwhelming amount of work to complete but by the time I finished at the end of the day the material started to get repetitive and I fully understood the terminology. This assignment heavy course taught me that taking the time to do the work each day made studying for quizzes or exams a breeze. My teacher Steve was the person who designed this learning tactic which I am so grateful I learned in the start of my program.
When it came to studying, taking good notes was easy for me as I learned how to through my 4 years of university. What I didn’t expect to learn was other helpful study tools from my classmates in our live meetings which ended up being extremely beneficial to my learning. Study tools I learned from my peers included ‘khan academy’ videos, companion websites for our textbooks with audio files you can listen to on the go, and laminating diagrams so you can label them as many times as you want with a dry-erase marker. My classmates’ online forum questions and discussions also expanded on my learning as we could share resources and life experiences with one another to benefit our understanding of the material. Medical terminology was the beginning of many courses that covered the basics of health sciences before we got into our cardiac courses. We were also introduced to the CSCT (Canadian Society of Cardiovascular Technologists) website where there are study tools for our exam at the end of our program that certifies us as Registered Cardio Techs in Canada. Their NOCP (National Occupational Competency Profile) document states everything we will be required to know for the exam and is referenced in each course outline we obtain for what NOCPs we will learn in that course.
After medical terminology we had Anatomy and Physiology (A&P) and then Keyboarding, Research & Statistics. A&P was extremely interesting to me and really brought me closer to my classmates. Our weekly discussions were a lot of fun because they were informative but also very personal and allowed me to get to know my classmates better. Some students found A&P to be the first difficult course we had but I really enjoyed it and found it easy because I looked forward to the new material each day. Our teacher Steve also made this course enjoyable as he was super encouraging, fun, and helpful. Next we had keyboarding, research & statistics which was filled with information on how to find good research articles, how to understand research articles, and tools to increase your typing speed and accuracy. This course was a little tedious but I understand the importance of research in health sciences and why it is important to keep up to date with new medical discoveries. The less interesting parts of this course were balanced out with fun, silly, typing games that increased our typing accuracy and speed. If you want to try out one of these games for fun here is a link to one of my favorite keyboarding games: http://www.shockwave.com/gamelanding/typershark.jsp . These first few weeks really prepared us for the cardiac courses that were to come and really let me know that this is a career I am interested in and want to pursue.