Memorizing the Blood Flow Around the Heart
One of the toughest exams for many student nurses is the Cardiology exam. There is so much knowledge and terminology that many nursing students find the topic overwhelming. I’d like to share with you my way of studying the function and flow of blood through the heart. My recommendation is to read through this article out loud several times as a means of studying and memorizing. Once you have reviewed this material so you can recite it confidently, the memory aids within the article should help you to remember everything in the long run.
First, you should remember LOX. LOX stands for Left: Oxygenated, and it is a tool to remember that the left chambers of the heart contain blood that has already picked up oxygen in the lungs.
Blood always enters the heart in an atrium, just like the atrium of a building is where we enter. Ventricles are where blood is “vented” or let out of the heart. Atria and Ventricles are in top-down alphabetical order when studying the heart. A on top of V.
Now for the flow of blood moving through the system. Deoxygenated blood enters the heart through the right atrium. Right is deoxygenated, atrium is an entrance. The blood moves down (A over V) to the right ventricle where it is “vented” through the pulmonary artery (artery = away from the heart) to the lungs.
The blood picks up oxygen in the lungs, travels through the pulmonary veins (veins to the heart), and enters the left atrium (left = LOX, atrium is an entrance). From here it travels down (A over V) to the left ventricle. The left ventricle has the task of pumping this oxygenated blood out to the rest of the body, therefore it is the biggest and strongest chamber of the heart.
I hope this review along with the memory tips helps you to better study up and understand the flow of blood through the cardiopulmonary system.
LOX: Left, oxygenated
Ventricle: Vent out
A over V