The Dog Ate My Care Plan…

Just a mom/wife/nursing student extraordinaire trying to make it in the big bad city…

HESI Smesi

Posted by isntshelovlei on April 22, 2010

It’s that time again—maternity HESI in T-minus 9 hours. For those unfamiliar with this particular form of headache, HESI is yet another test we take in addition to our regular exams/quizzes. I like to think of it as nursing SAT’s. It’s not quite the NCLEX but it’s supposedly a pretty good indicator of how well you’ll do on the real thing. In our program it doesn’t figure directly into your actual class grade (so depending on if you do well or poor on it, it may feel like a waste or a relief) but they’re currently giving us a few points (on a sliding scale) towards our final exam depending on how well we do.

So I’ve been up to my eyeballs in case studies, practice questions, and reviews/rationales most of this week in preparation (I don’t throw away any free points!). And for some reason, one concept that really gets my panties all in a twist is GTPAL, which basically gives you a summary of a woman’s obstetrical history. I wish they would just do away with that mess and write it the hell out. Damn, you don’t have to abbreviate everything!

Here’s a little scenario from one of my case studies I did last night: Jane Doe, who is currently pregnant, has previously given birth twice, twins born at 35 weeks and a singleton born at 39 weeks. All of these children are alive. She also has a history of having had one miscarriage (the more medicalese term would be “spontaneous abortion”) at 9 weeks into the pregnancy. What is her GTPAL?

Well first a refresher on the acronym/abbreviation itself. Gravidity is the number of times pregnant, including the current pregnancy (which is what I always forget to count). Term is any birth after the end of the 37th week, and Preterm is any birth between 20 and 37 weeks. Both term and preterm include live and stillborn babies. Abortion is any fetal loss, whether spontaneous or elective, up to 20 weeks gestation. Living refers to all children who are living (duh). Multiple fetuses (twins, triplets, etc.) are treated as one pregnancy and one birth. It’s just too many variables and parameters and whatnot…it makes me cross-eyed. So…Jane’s GTPAL is 4-1-1-1-3—four pregnancies including the current one; one baby born at 39 weeks; one set of twins born at 35 weeks; one miscarriage/spontaneous abortion at 9-weeks; three living children.

Well I don’t know about you, but I’m spent…

19 Responses to “HESI Smesi”

  1. charissa said

    Wow!! I am wishing you bestest of the best of luck!!!

  2. nurseXY said

    We have to take the OB HESI as our final. I never know how to study for those things. Historically I’ve done really well, but it’s worth 25% of our grade this time. Generally in our classes it’s worth about 10%, but the OB teachers aren’t messing around. I have my Critical Care HESI on Monday, it’s worth 7%.

    PS: I rocked my OB exam yesterday, studied just the right things I think.

    • isntshelovlei said

      I always do the case studies in Evolve/Elsevier to study for the HESI and that seems to be working pretty well. 25% though? Sheesh–that’s alot. Congrats on your OB exam–I did well on mine last week as well, hope to keep those A’s coming for the final on Tuesday…

  3. A Nurse said

    I studied for the NCLEX by buying a book, intending on studying while in Hawaii, not even opening the book, landing in SFO and driving out to Sacramento….sitting for several days of exams (that was before computers) and aceing it.
    Don’t worry, if you know english, you will do well. It’s pretty simple. 😉 Honest.

    • isntshelovlei said

      Any particular NCLEX books you would recommend? We’re supposed to do 500 NCLEX questions semester anyway. I was thinking of getting the Saunders book but it’s comprehensive so I kinda feel like we haven’t learned everything to be able to use such a book yet. So far I’ve been doing really good with the “Success” series (like “Fundamentals Success,” “Pharmacology Success”). They really help pull it all together and test if you’re absorbing what you’re supposed to from your other textbook. I also like that I can buy them for each specific subject for reinforcement while I’m taking that specific course.

  4. Samantha said

    I am taking the OB Hesi in 2 weeks…any suggestions on how to study for it? OB isn’t me cup of tea, and I have been struggling in this class. The Hesi exam is our final and counts as 50% of our grade. Please anything is helpful!! Thanks!

    • isntshelovlei said

      Definitely do OB case studies! We had access to them on the Evolve website and with our book. If you don’t have access to case studies, the Success series books are really great–I think the one for OB is called Maternal-Newborn Nursing Success. The questions really do help pull all the concepts together–especially since it, like the HESI, is not based on your own textbook. Good luck!

  5. Samantha said

    We are doing all the case studies on Evolve and they are ridiculus! We do them all the time and they count as test grades! Like one we have due tomorrow is on gestational diabetes during pregnancy…I can’t find any of the answers in my book!! But the case studies do help with HESI exam? Do you remember if the exam is multiple choice and how many questions are on it? Any tips on what to study for it? Thank you so much!!

    • isntshelovlei said

      Yes they help with the HESI. Definitely get the Success book if you can. I get them for every class. Yes the HESI are multiple choice for the most part, sometime they’ll throw med math in there. They’re about 55 questions.

      • Samantha said

        How do you get acess to all the case studies? Any way you could send the OB ones to me so I start studying them for the HESI? Thanks.

      • isntshelovlei said

        Our program bought a block of case studies for us to use throughout the program. You can only access them through your personal account. My suggestion would be for you to register for the online resources associated with your specific textbook (most books have these nowadays) and do those. And again, the Success series books (there’s one for OB) are really awesome as well. Good luck!

      • Samantha said

        How much do the success series books cost for one. And did you buy it from your local bookstore?

      • isntshelovlei said

        About $25? I buy most books from If you go to the Resources tab on the home page of my blog, there are links to those books.

  6. Samantha said

    Ok…we use the book Introduction to maternity and pediatric nursing by gloria leifer…we have a huge test tomorrow over chapter 8. Complications in labor and delivery. Anyone use this book and remember what the main points are? PLease let me know!!

  7. gebelik said

    Wishing you Happy New Year 2011! Thankx so much for this! I havent been this thrilled by a blog for quite some time! You’ve got it, whatever that means in blogging. Anyway, Youre definitely somebody that has something to say that people should hear. Keep up the good job. Keep on inspiring the people!

  8. Jo said

    Is the OB HESI hard? How many questions did it have. Im so nervous I have to take the first week of january. Any tips? Thanks.

    • isntshelovlei said

      All of the HESIs I have taken have had about 55-60 questions (except for the Exit HESI, which I think was 160). I used the case studies in Evolve to study (for all the studies). We had access as part of our program, but if you don’t, I think you can buy it. Good luck!

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