# How much math is required?

1. I am going to my orientation tomorrow to sign up for the prereq. courses I need to enter an ASN program. I am really worried about my poor math skills. How much math is required in nursing? I don't know how complicated drug calculations are. I am good with basic math, multiplication, addition, subtraction, division etc, but fractions, percentages and algebra I struggle with. Can anyone give me an example of the math you use on a typical day? I would really appreciate it.
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Joined: Jul '08; Posts: 1; Likes: 1

3. To get through nursing school you're going to have to get a handle on the basics of working with fractions and percentages (they're really the same thing, it turns out) and being able to solve SIMPLE algebraic equations for one unknown (which, it turns out, is just basic fraction arithmetic).

Practice working with fractions.
4. It doesnt really matter "how much math is used in the working world" what matters is that you pass the math classes in nursing school.

Every semester some student would say "but we will never do this in the working world" and they were basically correct, we dont figure out drip rates or at least I have never had to those magical pumps do it all for us.

But we all had to take algebra and maybe statistics as a pre-req and every semester we had to take math test, at my school we had to get a 90% or higher and we only had two chances to do it.

So learn the forumulas, memorize them. Know the conversions. Mls to oz. lbs to kg etc etc etc.

I hated math never thought I was good at it, but you do what you have to do. We got through it and so will you!!
5. I was nervous about the math thing too before going into nursing. In Nursing School, the main focus is memorzing conversions - like to the metric system. We also had to do drip conversions (like figuring out how many millileters a patient should get depending on their weight, etc.) At my school, we learned dimensional analysis, which once you get it, it's actually quite easy. I graduated in 2005, so I think that's the newest method of figuring out drips/conversions. In the old school, you learned how to use a drip factor - which is a lot harder, because you figure out a formula for each individual patient. That's much more inefficient.

In the real world, I personally use this math, like 4 times a year at the most. The pharmacy usually already has it figured out, and it's programmed into our pumps. And, there are always other nurses around to check your math. It's good to learn it in school, but your math skills are not a good indicator on whether or not you'll be a good nurse. I rarely use them.
6. Racing Mom said:

So learn the forumulas, memorize them. Know the conversions. Mls to oz. lbs to kg etc etc etc.

That's it in a nutshell. I too am lacking in math skills but I had no problem with nursing math once I learned the correct way to set up a problem and solve it. All you need is your calculator.