Nursing is a challenging profession, but it can also be rewarding. The field of nursing is constantly evolving and requires members to keep up with new technologies and ideas. Math helps nurses to do their job more efficiently and effectively. Nurses are required to perform various tasks, including delivering medical care and educating patients. They also need to be able to understand the science behind their work and make informed decisions that will help improve patient outcomes.
One aspect of nursing that we don’t usually think of is math. It enables the nursing staff to collect, organize and interpret data and use it for patient care. It also helps the nurses carry out statistical analysis and is an important skill. Above all, maths also helps critical thinking. Hence, in this post, let us look at some of the aspects of mathematics that are used in nursing.
Nursing and math what is the connection?
Nursing is a profession that requires sound technical knowledge. They need to know math and understand how it works. It becomes a prerequisite for nurses to know how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide large numbers. These skills are necessary because nurses work with large amounts of data daily, like calculating a patient’s heart rate or blood pressure reading. For example, the daily role of nurses includes reading charts that show numbers in different units too. Nurses who do not have strong math skills may struggle with some of these concepts.
Math is used in nursing because they need to know how much fluid or medication they are giving patients based on their weight, age, gender, and other factors.
They also use statistics when they take measurements of patients’ vital signs (breathing rate and heart rate) as well as body temperature or blood pressure so that they can determine if there is something wrong with them before treating them further.
Every time medication is given out, or an assessment of the patient’s condition is performed – measuring vital signs or body temperature is carried out. For this purpose, it is necessary for nurses to know basic mathematical concepts so that they can do their job properly without having to consult with other professionals like doctors all the time. Maths also gives a better understanding of how the body works as it gives a deeper insight into physiology.
On top of all, having a basic knowledge of common conversions and formulae, such as ounces (oz) to milliliters (ml), Fahrenheit to Celsius, grams, kilograms, etc can be lucrative for the nursing staff. A nurse is also expected to understand the basic concepts like oxygen pressure, saturation, and its optimum values.
Other important basic math skills for nurses include converting decimals to percentages, percents to decimals, doing fractions as well as knowing how to solve ratio and proportion problems.
Where exactly is math used in nursing?
Math is one subject that is used broadly in many spheres of life. Being an essential part of medicine and patient care, here are a few uses of the concept in nursing:
- Math helps to calculate patient weights, which are essential for managing patients with chronic conditions. The amount of medicine given to a patient depends upon the body weight and frame of the patient.
- When calculating medicine or IV drips, nurses need to know how much a patient needs as well as how fast it should be given. The amount of medication a patient needs depends on their age, weight, and other factors.
- There are also several complex formulas that involve mathematical calculations. An example is a formula used to calculate a person’s body surface area. Inaccurate calculations could lead to an overdose of a drug or an improperly administered IV. This could have serious consequences for patients and the nurses who care for them.
- Nurses also need math skills when it comes time for them to chart blood pressure readings or other vital signs.
- Nurses also use mathematical calculations in order to determine the ideal amount of blood or fluid required for certain conditions such as dehydration or infections. This is infused accordingly. Accurate calculation is therefore necessary.
- Nurses also use mathematical equations when they calculate weights for patients with severe allergies or other medical conditions that affect their ability to eat or drink properly.
- The standard values of all the blood components, electrolytes in the body, and various components of urine are all to be remembered and understood by the nurse. This is based on a sound knowledge of physiology and mathematics.
- The nurses also have to convey important data to other healthcare professionals. Maths help in conveying this data.
To wrap up, it will not be wrong to say that mathematics plays a key role in nursing because of its varied applications. It can be used for different purposes such as designing nursing care plans, analyzing clinical data, and even for statistical analysis. The importance of mathematics in nursing cannot be overemphasized especially when it comes to the development of research strategies that will help improve patient outcomes and reduce mortality rates among other things.
An engineer, Maths expert, Online Tutor and animal rights activist. In more than 5+ years of my online teaching experience, I closely worked with many students struggling with dyscalculia and dyslexia. With the years passing, I learned that not much effort being put into the awareness of this learning disorder. Students with dyscalculia often misunderstood for having just a simple math fear. This is still an underresearched and understudied subject. I am also the founder of Smartynote -‘The notepad app for dyslexia’,