Healthcare Insider Blog

Medical mnemonics for nursing students

  • Healthcare Alvernia

Medical mnemonics for nursing students Did you know Some Angry Lady Figured out PMS? That phrase is actually a mnemonic created to help remember the external carotid artery branches, which will come in handy when nursing students are studying head and neck anatomy.

Mnemonics have been used for several years to help students memorize details.

Nursing students need to know complex functional behaviors of the human body and facts related to these behaviors. Combining aspects of medicine, chemistry and biology contributes to the complexity of study and nursing students need to develop methods for remembering information.

Using mnemonics connects new learning to prior knowledge through the use of visual and /or acoustic cues. The basic types of mnemonic strategies rely on the use of keywords, rhyming words or acronyms.

In mnemonic phrases, each letter stands for a word. Examples of mnemonics nursing students may encounter include:

Nursing Process – A Nice Delicious PIE

A = Assessment

ND = Nursing diagnosis

P = Plan

I = Interventions

E = Evaluation


Heart Sounds – All People Enjoy the Mall

A = Aortic

P = Pulmonic

E = Erb’s Point

T = Tricuspid

M = Mitral or Apex


Stroke Signs – FAST

F = Face

A = Arms

S = Speech

T = Time


Some Angry Lady Figured Out PMS

S = Superior thyroid

A = Ascending pharyngeal

L= Lingual

F = Facial

O = Occipital

P = Posterior auricular

M = Maxillary

S = Superficial temporal

Websites such as NurseBuff, RNpedia and DoctorsLounge  are filled with mnemonics that will help you recall important information. The iTunes Store and Google Play also have a number of free apps filled with helpful mnemonics. Many of these sites and apps include other suggestions and tips for memorizing medical facts.

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