Polyatomic Ions

     Poly – Many

      Atomic – Atoms

On your journey through Chemistry Health, you’ll come upon a dragon called Polyatomic Ions! Many students seem to have trouble with these, but really all it is — is — just a bundle of memorization. You have to find a pattern for your brain to absorb these. In my case — I just remember them by the numbers (exponents and subscripts) along with the “letters”. We’ll call them letters to be organized and for the sake of simplicity. Just remember them as you do anything else — perhaps as if they’re an algebra formula. They’re not! However, memorization is memorization! There’s NO need to fear Polyatomic Ions. 

Here is a list of Polyatomic Ions, however, my professor ONLY made us remember 21 of these!

ion list

My advice is study and memorize whatever x ions your professor gives you. They’re pretty easy to recall once you get several down in your mind. If you can get several down, you can get them ALL down! Later on, they could perhaps come in useful in your nursing career. 

Learning the Elements one step at a time

The Elements I’m starting out with are common ones, that you may see on tests. This could vary, given all chemistry professors are different. 

Na – Sodium

Ag – Silver

Au – Gold

K – Potassium 

Cl – Chlorine

Mg – Magnesium

Ba – Barium

F – Fluorine

Fe – Iron

Xe – Xenon

Sn – Tin

Cu – Copper

H – Hydrogen

He – Helium

Ar – Argon

Co – Cobalt

C – Carbon

Fr – Francium

I – Iodine

Kr – Krypton

Pb – Lead

Li – Lithium

Ne – Neon

Ni – Nickel

Zn – Zinc

Al – Aluminum

I underlined the ones that you see mostly in the medical field give or take. 

The above elements are the ones I suggest learning first, as I find them easily remembered. It’s optional, really; you can learn whatever elements you choose first. I don’t advise trying to learn all of them at once, because cramming is NEVER good. I don’t recommend procrastinating either. You have to get yourself motivated and learn them. You’ll feel better if you do — and you will — especially if you have a chemistry class ahead in the foreseeable future. 

Preparing for chemistry course(s) to become a Registered Nurse

  I have decided to blog my academic quest through chemistry. I know many students have a hard time with this particular subject, and more than likely, you’ll have a chemistry course or two! In my nursing program, I have a course called Chemistry 151 (Chemistry Health). It is a chemistry course for those who are going into the medical field. However, each program is different, and the name varies, but the concepts and majority of what you will learn in your chemistry course will be what I’m noting within this blog.  Different name, but really — there’s much of the material the same.

   To prepare yourself for chemistry, you must study at least 2 – 3 hours daily! I suggest getting it down before the actual course starts. This way, you’ll feel more confident in succeeding within your course. STUDY, STUDY, STUDY! I cannot stress that enough! If you’re like me, and never had a chemistry course in your life — you’ll want to grasp as much as you possibly can! Even if you’ve had a chemistry course, maybe in high school, you still want to study and prep yourself! 

  • Take notes about everything you could possibly imagine! EVERYTHING!
  • Buy yourself a thick notebook to write all your notes in. 
  • Calm your anxiety and worries about failing! You’ll be fine.
  • Listen in class! If you have an online course! Trust me, you’ll still want to study! It’s not a walk in the park either way.

Learn the periodic table. More than likely, your professor will NOT give you a periodic table during a test with the names of each element. It will be a periodic table with the symbol, atomic number and relative atomic mass. The periodic table our professor gave us was like this:


ONLY WITH NO CHARGES AT THE TOP ! NO CHARGES AND NO ELEMENT NAME. It all had to be memorized. Perhaps, you could luck up and get a professor that has a different table, but I doubt it. It is best to start studying the periodic table, if you haven’t yet started your chem. course.

  • I find the best way to study and learn all the element names and symbols, is to write down several everyday. Alternate across the table, and recall what you’re absorbing in. Write them down over and over. You’ll finally get them all down, or at least a good 75% of them. 

I will stop there for now, and will continue on later . . .