Would they really toss me out of school for failing one test????

  1. I am in my final year of nursing school. I went part-time for three years, held down two jobs while doing it, and hold an 87% average. I've worked really, really hard; and I rewarded myself by taking out a student loan, quitting one job, and concentrating on school this final year.

    I am still doing really well. Except for: Pharmacology. Correction: not Pharmacology - the MATH component of the pharm. I attained 85% on the last test in pharm - and 44% on the computerized IV flow rate test

    A bit of background - I have always done poorly in Math. In high school, I was in grade 13 (Canada remember ) Biology and getting 80's - at the same time I was repeating Grade 10 math for the THIRD time...and failing! I was told I was lazy, didn't work hard, didn't try enough. When I told the guidance councellor I wanted to be a nurse - he laughed. Then he said I had no hope of ever doing it with my math scores. Thus I spent 15 years working in front of a photocopier for a trucking company.

    After I married, I decided to take a few courses. If I do ok, I told myself, I'll try the entrance test. And I did. And I did well; which leads me to now. Most of the dosage calculations up until now I can handle, however, these IV's just throw me - as well as the test itself; which is timed and in a big room with other students from other programs and I just start to hyperventilate and panic and though I can remember the formulas, I made stupid mistakes in my calculations and there it went - 44%.

    I've done everything - I have multitudes of dosage calculation books - yes I have Dosage Calculations made Incredibly Easy, for those about to mention it - I have an excellent, patient tutor, a good friend who is a math teacher and comes over every couple of days to help me out. I have made the teacher aware of my little "problem". But even at home, without pressure, on the practice tests I only average about 70 -75%, and I need 80% to pass!!!

    It's consuming me - and literally making me ill. It's all I can think about. I do math in my head all day. I fall asleep, waking up in the middle of the night trying to divide the time on the digital alarm clock into gtt's per minute It's out of control!!

    I have two more shots at this test, what if I fail them? If they hold me back a semester and I have to retake pharm; I'll have to quit - I'm broke and tired and just can't afford to not finish next semester. And if I fail the math, I am "ineligible to write the final" in pharmacology - even if my average on the regular tests is over 80% - which means I cannot continue on

    What should I do? My practical teacher has offered to meet with the program coordinator with me; she knows how upset I am and wants to vouch for my performance at the hospital. Should I take her up on that, or will that be perceived as bringing along "mommy"???

    I'm at my wits end - and I feel stupid. After all, how can a person possibly do so well and so many subjects, and just completely tank another? I don't get it. I don't understand why my brain won't cooperate with this. I really don't.
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  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   TweetiePieRN
    To answer your question...yes. At my nursing school, we would have to take a math exam each semester and we had to pass with 100%. If we didn't get 100 on the 1st try, we would get 2 more chances...then sadly if that 100% was not reached, we would be dismissed from the program. We didn't have an option to take a semester off or wait it out till the next semester. We were kicked out of the entire program and would have to start from scratch!!


    It may seem unfair from your point of view, but imagine if you were the patient and your nurse made a med error with you...med errors can be deadly!

    The only advice I can give is continually practice as much as you can!! Try and identify what is causing you to not do so well. Good luck!
    Last edit by TweetiePieRN on Oct 17, '05
  4. by   rnthelife4me
    Yes, they will really toss you out. As the post above states...you are to think that you could cause the death of someone if you made the errors in math on a real pts dosages.

    I know it seems harsh, but if you were the pt you would be glad that your nurse had achieved at least an 80 %.

    There are a lot of great sites out there that have med math practice sites.

    If your school has a nursing tutor get some good practice sheets to go over with your friend that has been coming over to help you. Ask other classmates how they study for the math...this can be just what you need.

    RELAX...alot of my classmates who have had trouble 3/4 of their problems stem from anxiety.

    Good luck and keep us posted!
  5. by   Jessy_RN
    hello and welcome to the wonderful family of allnurses.com. enjoy your stay, and best of luck to you.

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