Math Anxiety!!

Hello everyone,
this site is so helpful! as a nursing student i get really nervous about math and dosage calculations because math and I dont get along very well. I feel like if i make a mistake then.....
I was wondering if anyone else has had this problem and how they overcame it.
Also, do we really do these calculations by hand in the "real world" of nursing?
thanks a bunch! 



Sep 7, '06You are not alone. I let my fear of math keep me out of nursing school for 15 years!! If I can get it, anyone can. I never took any type of algebra in high school either! I just suggest that you take your time and practice. There is more than one way to do a lot of the calculations and you just need to find the one that works for you. Our teacher taught us one way to do some calculations and I was having a hard time with it, then another student showed me a way that she did it and it was much simpler. As long as you get the right answer it doesn't matter how you get there. And yes, there may be instances that you will need to do some calculations. Just tonight at work the RN and another LPN were trying to figure out Roxinal dosages and how many cc's were per drop for the order they recieved. Granted, most of the time the pharmacy already has the dosages done, but there are some times when you will need to figure some out. And always remember that if you are unsure to ask someone else to double check it for you, i almost always have my other LPN go over calculations just as a safety measure for me as well as my patient. Good luck and keep practicing!!!

Sep 7, '06I'm in chemistry and I was very afraid of the math. But, you know what? It's really not hard. I just have to clear my brain and tell myself I'm going to figure this out, no matter what. Sometimes, I have to look on the Internet to find different ways of solving the problems that are in the book. It's all a matter of finding someone, or something, to explain it in a way that it clicks. Still, when I see a really big number, or a complicated looking formula, my brain wants to shut it out, but I tell it, (my brain), "Stop. Look at it. Figure out what it means  in words." Then I can "see" the number, where I couldn't see it before. Sometimes, you do have to talk to your brain. It seems like it would be redundant, but it really does work.
Now, if I could just convince my brain I'm not hungry all the time... 
Sep 7, '06Actually, I am good at math! I have a B.S. in Biochemistry which included math courses up to and including Calculus III!
Well, forgive the self aggrandizement!
What you need is a PDA with relevant medicalnursing mathematical software on the same.
Two good software programs are "Archimedes" and "MedCalc".
With these two PDA programs you can easily calculate the most complicated mathematical problems in nursing.
I suggest that you obtain a TungstenE2 PDA for this purpose.
It costs about $200.
Many nursing schools require their students to obtain PDA's.:wink2: 
Sep 8, '06Quote from nursing4me23Hello everyone,
this site is so helpful! as a nursing student i get really nervous about math and dosage calculations because math and I dont get along very well. I feel like if i make a mistake then.....
I was wondering if anyone else has had this problem and how they overcame it.
Also, do we really do these calculations by hand in the "real world" of nursing?
thanks a bunch!
There are simple formulas to remember nursing math that if you understand the concept of the formula you will never make a error.
I to, got nervous and locked up when it came to math. Just knowing I was going to learn an new formula or be tested on it, I would shut down mentally.
I was shown many formulas to caluculate iv ggt rates and dosage calculations. If you would like to email me at my personal addy, I will be more then happy to send these formulas to you. 
Sep 8, '06I, too, have math anxiety. My math skills are terribly rusty even though I have taken and passed four years of high school algebra. The advantage you have (and may not realize) is the fact that you're an adult who is capable of relearning abstract subjects such as advanced math. My advice is to go to a bookstore and purchase a fifthgrade math workbook. It will review skills that are fundamental to your success in dosage calculations such as fractions, decimals, percentages, mixed numbers, division, measurements, and very simple prealgebra. It is amazing how much an individual can forget as the years pass us by.

Sep 10, '06hi, nursing4me23. . .nursing math is no different from any other kind of math. you have to work practice problems over and over. you need to be able to do math at the prealgebra level to do medication calculation problems. i notice that you have been posting to the general nursing forum. have you explored the student nurses forums? there are many posts there about nursing math and medication calculation. it is a very popular subject. i see someone has already given you a link to math.com, but i am giving you the same link to their site but linking you into basic math. also, i'm giving you another link where you can get a basic review of math. i'm also giving you the links to two of the nursing student forums on allnurses that you should check out.
http://www.math.com/homeworkhelp/basicmath.html  this is the site of math.com. i linked you into the page for basic math. this site gives you good stepbystep explanations of the various subjects in each section in nice easy language.
http://amby.com/educate/math/  a basic math tutorial
http://allnurses.com/forums/f205/  nursing student assistance forums
http://allnurses.com/forums/f50/  the general nursing student discussion forum
welcome to allnurses! 
Sep 10, '06http://www.indstate.edu/mary/n205.htm This site saved my life! If I can do the math any one can....I was scared to death. Check it out, everything is explained very simply...just follow this & you can do any of the math. Good luck to you.....work hard & you will be fine!

Sep 10, '06Make a small card with common drug calculation formulae on it that you can carry. I am not especially good at maths, but drug calcs are really not difficult, just take practise as everyone else said.

Sep 10, '06I feel your pain...believe me!!!! I am horrible at math......always have been. Now I'm going to be a nurse.......go figure!
My father is a physics, math, & chemistry braniac and he used to be a chemist ..........none of that was given to me in my genes...:uhoh21:
I actually had a math exam my first day back to school last Tuesday.......and I was positive I blew it.......we got our tests back on Wed when we went to our hospital orientation for clinicals..............I got 100%...I kept saying Oh My God!! Oh My God!! Everyone was looking at me like I had 3 heads....lol...I just said I am shocked I got 100%........I honestly went blank when I did my test except for the figuring out dose over have x amount.....those are really easy..........the ones I thought I bombed were the iv ones......mg per min etc................so if I can do dosage math.....ANYONE can.....trust me! I have math & test anxiety.....you just have to try to relax for a minute..close your eyes , take some deep breaths and say " I am going to do it"...and above all take your time........I found when I rushed is when I made the little errors like with decimal points in wrong place............even though the answer was the right numbers......if that decimal is in the wrong place..it's wrong......even if something isn't labeled with mg/ml/ etc....it's wrong....................just relax take your time & you'll be fine..............good luck!Last edit by KellieNurse06 on Sep 10, '06