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College Resource Center : Health Careers : Medical Assisting Study Aids : How to Use Medical Assisting as a Study Tool

How to Use Medical Assisting as a Study Tool

This textbook is designed with productivity tools that will guide your study.

Before You Read Each Chapter

  • Read through the chapter outline before you read the chapter. It provides a road map for the content to follow.
    • Ask yourself how the heads relate to the chapter title.
    • Review the titles of the procedures that are included in the chapter and ask yourself how they relate to the overall chapter content.
  • Skip to the end of the chapter and read the chapter's Clinical Summary. It will provide an overview of the chapter.
  • Read the list of Learning Outcomes and Performance Objectives at the front of the chapter. The Learning Outcomes are knowledge-oriented and the Performance Objectives are procedure-oriented. Upon completing your study of the chapter, you should be able to explain or demonstrate all of these points.

While You Are Reading

  • Highlight or underline key points as you come across them in the textbook. Ask yourself questions about the material as you are reading. Pay special attention to the tables, figures, photos, and yellow side bars. These elements highlight and reinforce the teaching text.
  • Read through the procedure boxes when the text references them. Try to visualize actually doing each of the steps. Pay special attention to the italicized text as well as the steps with Note!, Attention!, Caution!, and Warning! points. These are the steps that might be more difficult. You will practice these procedures in the lab, but it is important to make sure that you understand the key terms and the rationales behind the steps before you actually practice the steps.
  • Make a copy of the electronic chapter outline file found in the Course Sessions and Activities section of WebCT and take notes in it as you read.
    • Summarize the key points and if possible, add examples from your own experience.
    • Write a brief definition of each key term (bolded in the text) in your own words. Compare this definition with the definition provided in the Language of Medicine section at the end of the chapter.
    • Write on your outline how this procedure fits into the chapter's teaching text. This will help you prepare for your lab practice.

After You Have Finished Reading Each Chapter

  • Re-read the Clinical Summary. If you cannot connect the bulleted points to your chapter outline, go back to learn more about the concepts.
  • Read through The Language of Medicine list of terms and definitions. If you are still unsure of a definition, find the term where it is bolded in the text and read its contextual definition. The CD-ROM included with your book offers pronunciation examples and definitions for many of these terms as well as additional terms.
  • Answer the Signs/Symptoms of Progress questions on your chapter outline notes. Answers to the Recall, Question, Connect and the Educating the Patient activities are provided in the back of the text in the Self-Check section. Review these to check your answers. If you are not able to answer these questions, go back into the chapter to review the appropriate material.
  • Open up the corresponding chapter's Objectives and Outcomes list file found in the Course Sessions and Activities section of WebCT. For each Learning Objective, write a short paragraph to demonstrate that you understand each concept. For each Performance Outcome, list the procedures that will demonstrate the skill.
  • Begin working the corresponding exercises in Part I of the Student's Resource Guide. Flip back to the textbook whenever you come across a question that you cannot answer with certainty. Mark the pages where the answers to the questions can be found in the textbook.

One Final Note

Although your schedule will not always allow it, it is best to study a chapter prior to attending the lecture that will cover that chapter content. This will help you get the most out of your instructor's presentation. Arrive for class a few minutes early and review the notes you took on the chapter outline. During the lecture, write your notes in outline form. After class, compare the chapter notes to your lecture notes. Was your instructor's focus different from the textbook's focus? Because of limited time, instructors will often choose to stress the most important or the most difficult concepts in the lecture. Just because the textbook covered something that the instructor didn't cover doesn't mean that the information is not important.

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