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Mathematical skills are essential for people practicing nursing.Most or all institutions require students undertaking nursing to havemathematical skills before starting the course. More often than not,institutions will require students to take remedial mathematicalcourses. Nurses require mathematical skills to administer the rightdosages and monitor the health developments of their patients(Vagliardo 77). Research has indicated that nursing practitionersused addition, division, multiplication and algebra throughout theirpractice. This paper will illustrate that it is extremely difficultto separate nursing practice with the mathematics. Mathematics, andespecially calculations, forms an integral part of the field ofnursing.
Nurses are required to administer drugs to patients during theirpractice. It is clear that some or all of the drugs are administeredin specific measurements. These drugs may be supplied in differentpackages with varying amounts or measurements. In such instances, thenurse is required to calculate and measure the appropriate amount toadminister. For instance, a nurse may require to administer 750mg ofdrugs to a patient after every 6 hours (Vagliardo 105). However, thetablets provided might be in 250mg. In such an instance, the nursehas the responsibility of ensuring that he or she calculates theright amount and number of tablets to administer to the patient. Itis also useful to state that some patients will be administered drugsdepending on their ages. This implies that the nurse will have tocalculate the right dosages for differently aged patients. This is aclear indication that the nurse must have sufficient skills inmathematics and must be extremely careful and accurate.
The nursing field also demands that the practitioners havemathematical skills in order to calculate the fluid and food intakeand output by the patient. Such data is essential in ensuring thatthe doctor administers the correct medication. Additionally, thenurse may require to know the amount of calories that the patient hasconsumed for a certain period of time (Vagliardo 44). In order tocorrectly calculate these amounts of input and output, the nurserequires mathematical skills. Nursing is a sensitive field and thepractitioner must be extremely accurate in his or her calculationsand measurements. Mathematical skills ensure that the nurse and otherpractitioners in the field of nursing work with the accurate andcorrect data. In cases of pregnant women, nurses are required tocorrectly determine the due date of birth. This will require thenurse to have mathematical skills. It is also essential to mentionthat measuring glycemic index and body mass index will requiremathematical skills. It is clear that the field of nursing requiresprofessionals who have sufficient skills in mathematics.
There are some drugs such as the intravenous drugs which requirethat the physician consider flow rates such as those of the urine.Such drugs may require titration and it is clear that this requiresnurses with special training and those who have excellent skills inmathematics. Drug titration requires calculations and special skillsin mathematics (Vagliardo 125). It is therefore clear thatmathematical skills are indeed essential in the nursing field. A goodexample is the titration of insulin which requires the involvednurses to have specialized training. It is useful to note that theintravenous drugs are mainly administered electronically or manuallyand their amounts are closely monitored.
When recording the health progress of patients, nursingpractitioners are sometimes required to draw and fill graphs. It isabundantly clear that this is a mathematical skill. The nurses mustshow clearly how a patient is progressing through the graph. Thisrequires calculations and mathematical skills. Additionally, nursesin the nursing field are required to record patient informationeither manually or using computers (Vagliardo 59). Such informationis recorded and then analyzed to find averages, record trends andeven find totals. These are calculations which particularly depend onmathematical prowess of the practitioner. Whereas recording andstoring information in computers may require computer skills, it isessential to note that mathematical skills are indeed extremelyuseful.
In the nursing field, there are numerous conversions that arerequired between different systems. The nurse must have mathematicalskills that will enable him or her to convert the variousmeasurements correctly. It is clear that the American think andrecord measurements using the apothecary measurement. For instance,American use the pounds, Fahrenheit temperature and inches (Vagliardo61). These are different from the measurements used in the nursingfield where degrees Celsius, kilograms and centimeters are used.Workers in the nursing field will be required to convert thesemeasurements for purposes of recording. This will requirecalculations and therefore require mathematical skills.
In conclusion, it is clear that mathematics cannot be separated fromnursing field. Nurses and other workers in the nursing field requireto apply mathematical skills in their everyday activities. Be it inthe administration of drugs or recording of patient information,mathematical skills are extremely vital in the nursing profession(Vagliardo 78). This is main reason why many institutions across theworld require students applying for nursing to have attained acertain threshold in mathematics. It is impossible to separatemathematics from nursing field and the role mathematics plays innursing field is integral to the success of the field.
Vagliardo, James J. Mathematics and Nursing: Students`Conceptual Understanding of Mathematics for Nursing., 2008. Print.