Anyone wanting to become a nurse will need an in-depth knowledge of the human body and the way that it works.
This foundation is often set in a human anatomy and physiology class taken during the first or second semester of nursing school.
Get prepared with the following tips.
*Disclosure: This article on is human anatomy and physiology hard may contain affiliate links. If you click and make a purchase, I may receive a commission. For more info, please see my disclaimer.
Is Human Anatomy and Physiology Hard?
Human anatomy and physiology is one of the most difficult prereq classes pre-nursing and pre-health majors are going to take. The high volume of information presented in the class will require a lot of time and dedication to memorize and understand.
Human A & P must be sufficiently understood before you can start applying to nursing. However, by dedicating enough study time to it and taking good class notes, you should find this class to be quite doable even during a busy semester.
What Should You Know About Human Anatomy and Physiology Before Beginning?
Human anatomy and physiology is often studied after a basic biology course and along with a microbiology course so that students gain a thorough knowledge of cells and structures of the human body.
This understanding will then guide how you are able to help your patient (or client) with a variety of acute and chronic health conditions in the future.
You will also use what you learn in human anatomy and physiology for many of your other classes, including maternity, pediatric, and medical/surgical nursing.
Much of this course requires you to memorize names of organs, tissues and body functions. Each unit will build on the last one until you have a very intricate understanding of how the human body is designed to work at its most healthful level.
Although some of the information is not actually difficult, the sheer amount you are required to know and understand can make the class seem insurmountable at first glance.
However, this does not have to be the case if you divide this class into doable chunks and spend time working on concepts each week.
What Do You Learn in Human Anatomy and Physiology Class?
Most human anatomy and physiology classes are broken down by body systems, making the material easier to memorize and understand.
Some of the major topics you will cover in this class include the following:
- Overall body structure
- Organ location
- All body systems
- Anatomic terms
- Chemical reactions in the body
- Connections between body systems
- Ideal physiologic functioning
What Is the Hardest Part of Human Anatomy and Physiology?
As I already touched on, the sheer amount of detailed information you will have to memorize to pass quizzes and tests is sure to be the most difficult part of this course.
Many of the things you will learn will be similar to the biology courses you have taken in the past. However, you will probably find that this course moves very quickly and covers each subject in far more detail than ever before.
My experience with this class was that I had an astronomical amount of reading due each week and that I had to work quickly to keep up with the amount of notes that I had to take each week.
However, these notes will become invaluable during your study times. I found they were even more helpful than my textbook when studying for a test.
How Much Time Will You Need to Dedicate to Human Anatomy and Physiology?
I would plan on dedicating a moderate amount of time to this class each week. You should not have a laboratory portion with this class, which will save you some time.
However, memory work will take up an hour or two each week, and your reading and homework will probably take up several more hours.
You may also have one or two major projects to turn in for this class. Anatomy models are a favorite requirement of many professors.
If possible I would try to pair these classes with easier classes for the semester. What you don’t want is a scenario where you have multiple classes that are taking a large chunk of your time.
How Can You Make Human Anatomy and Physiology Class Easier?
As with any college class, the steps you take from the beginning to aid your learning will be what get you through with the best grade.
Whether you want to get started on the right foot or want to improve your grades in the middle of your semester, use these tips to make your human anatomy and physiology class easier.
- Take complete class notes, but try to jot things down in your own words.
- Ask your teacher for help if you do not understand a concept.
- Consider requesting tutoring from a student who has already passed the course. Or you can find an anatomy and physiology tutor online using this platform.
- Study in a group every week. Here are some ideas of good study spots for groups.
- Opt for Mosby’s Anatomy flashcards from Amazon.
- Practice terms with free Quizlet flashcards.
- Use Youtube videos to study A & P concepts. I give some examples below ↓.
Example YouTube Videos for Human Anatomy and Physiology
Here are some example videos from YouTube. This first one is from Crash Course on YouTube for digestible anatomy and physiology segments.
This second one is from Khan Academy. You can go to their YouTube channel for more in-depth physiology information.
Example flash cards for Human Anatomy and Physiology
As stated above Mosby’s Anatomy flashcards is a good option for students studying Human A & P.
- Matusiak EdD, Dan (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 710 Pages - 05/02/2018 (Publication Date) - Mosby (Publisher)
How Will You Use What You Learn in Human Anatomy and Physiology in Your Career?
Unlike chemistry and similar classes, it is very easy to imagine how your newfound anatomy and physiology knowledge will come in handy not only during future nursing classes but also in your career.
This class will give you the fundamental facts you need for understanding how the human body works. It is a highly practical course that will help you understand ideal physical health and help you track and manage health changes in your patients.
Human anatomy and physiology is definitely not a class that should scare you. Simply plan to take plenty of time for weekly study and memorization.
Comment below with study tips that have helped you with human anatomy and physiology or similar classes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is anatomy and physiology difficult?
Human anatomy and physiology is considered very hard by many pre-health and pre-nursing students.
Why is anatomy and physiology so hard?
Anatomy and physiology is considered hard because there’s a lot of material in the class that requires several hours each week to be able to learn and memorize the material.
What do you learn in a physiology class?
In physiology you learn about how the human body systems works.
Which is harder biology or anatomy and physiology?
Many students will find anatomy harder, but ultimately it will depend on the student and the professor who’s teaching the class.
Is A&P 1 or 2 harder?
Many students will find A & P 2 harder because it builds on the information from A & P 1. Therefore if a student hasn’t mastered the information from anatomy and physiology 1 they’re going to struggle in anatomy and physiology 2.
What’s the difference between Anatomy and Physiology 1 and 2?
Anatomy and Physiology 1 is typically the prerequisite for Anatomy and Physiology 2. The reason is because A & P 2 builds on what was taught in A & P 1.
Can you take A&P 1 and 2 at the same time?
Many schools won’t let you take Anatomy and Physiology 2 until you take Anatomy and Physiology 1. The reason is because A & P 2 builds on what was already taught in A & P 1.
Is it a bad idea to take anatomy and physiology at the same time?
Many students will struggle taking both of these classes at the same time because of how difficult and time consuming both classes are. Students should consider taking each class in different semesters.
Is taking anatomy and physiology in the summer hard?
Many students will find taking anatomy and physiology in the summer harder than if they took it in the Fall or Spring. The reason is because in summer classes you’re learning material in 8 weeks that would normally be taught over 16 weeks.