Calculator not permitted?! - page 3

The school I'm going to doesn't allow its students to use calculators for dosage calculations. This scares me. are dosage calculations possible, and comprehensible without calculators?... Read More

  1. by   Fuzzy
    I'm a certified vet tech. I was not allowed to use a calculator in class or in the the national exam. I found that alot of younger students had problems because they hadn't learned or understood basic math in grade and high school. This is so sad. I've told a few people who have applied for jobs with us that they needed to send their high school diploma back with a note saying, "that they have been robbed out of a good functional education". I do a lot of my dose calculations in my head as its faster for me. I do check them with the calculator on occasion especially if there are a lot of conversions.

    Fuzzy
  2. by   Finallyy
    Well everyone... I'll be honest here. I can't divide to save my life. I've had tutors in high school and whatnot, I just cannot divide. I also could never simplify fractions. I would get taught how to do it,and once I was done being taught, I would forget everything I learned about it.

    *sigh* I guess I'm just mentally preparing myself to fail. I know in my heart and from personal experience that math has sunk my boat so many times before.

    How do the teachers teach the equations? Do they make it easy for you to understand? Because when I look at the sample problems you guys have showed me, I get completely confused and I draw a blank.

    I think I understand the forumulas more than the ratio proportion method.... but regardless. I need to start thinking of a new career. This crushes me. I have wanted to be a nurse so bad; I'll be at a total loss if I fail.
  3. by   dammy
    :heartbeat I think that anything that will reduce medication errors shouldn't be discouraged. Using a calculator ensures accuracy,so that one will be sure he's givng the right dose. it promotes patient's safety.
  4. by   LanaBanana
    FINALLYY....please don't resign yourself to failing before you've even started! You CAN do this, just be prepared to ask for help and to not give up until you can do it. If you have had any kind of learning disorder diagnosed you could get special help for this, but that may not be the case. Whatever the case is, don't give up!!!!
  5. by   Lachrymologist
    Quote from Finallyy
    Well everyone... I'll be honest here. I can't divide to save my life. I've had tutors in high school and whatnot, I just cannot divide. I also could never simplify fractions. I would get taught how to do it,and once I was done being taught, I would forget everything I learned about it.

    *sigh* I guess I'm just mentally preparing myself to fail. I know in my heart and from personal experience that math has sunk my boat so many times before.

    How do the teachers teach the equations? Do they make it easy for you to understand? Because when I look at the sample problems you guys have showed me, I get completely confused and I draw a blank.

    I think I understand the forumulas more than the ratio proportion method.... but regardless. I need to start thinking of a new career. This crushes me. I have wanted to be a nurse so bad; I'll be at a total loss if I fail.
    You took the words right out of my mouth. We are so much the same about math its not even funny.
  6. by   RNsRWe
    Quote from Finallyy
    Well everyone... I'll be honest here. I can't divide to save my life. I've had tutors in high school and whatnot, I just cannot divide. I also could never simplify fractions. I would get taught how to do it,and once I was done being taught, I would forget everything I learned about it.

    *sigh* I guess I'm just mentally preparing myself to fail. I know in my heart and from personal experience that math has sunk my boat so many times before.

    How do the teachers teach the equations? Do they make it easy for you to understand? Because when I look at the sample problems you guys have showed me, I get completely confused and I draw a blank.

    I think I understand the forumulas more than the ratio proportion method.... but regardless. I need to start thinking of a new career. This crushes me. I have wanted to be a nurse so bad; I'll be at a total loss if I fail.
    If you know division is your downfall, please seek out a tutor! Check with your school to see if there is a program that matches tutors to students who need help---many times, it's free, but YOU have to take the initiative BEFOREhand, it won't be offered to you after the fact.

    You may need remedial work before tackling the dosage stuff, but that is completely doable (is that a word??). However, if you let this get to you and make yourself believe that THIS is what's going to fail you, you're setting yourself UP for failure. Don't be your own worst enemy.

    Many people failed out of my program. Not a single one did so because of math dosage calculations. TRUST me when I tell you that those who passed the math requirements were NOT all brilliant! They did, however, get HELP when needed. You should, too
  7. by   catlady
    Quote from Fuzzy
    I do a lot of my dose calculations in my head as its faster for me. I do check them with the calculator on occasion especially if there are a lot of conversions.
    Short of titrating drips, I do almost every calculation in my head. Not long ago, I was showing a nurse the IV piggybacks she was going to have to hang, and she demanded to know the formulas for running them (e.g., 250 cc minibag, instruction on the bag says run over two hours). I don't have any formulas; I just look at them and know what to do. I actually felt stupid because I couldn't help her with formulas.
  8. by   royr
    Quote from Finallyy
    The school I'm going to doesn't allow its students to use calculators for dosage calculations. This scares me.
    are dosage calculations possible, and comprehensible without calculators?
    A calculator is a tool, not a replacment for a Nurses brain. Would you not be sure that you are capable of passing meds to your patients if your battery died in your tool? Practice problems with pencil and paper until you feel confident in yourself. This is basic math - if you are smart enough to be in nursing school you really can do this without any trauma.
  9. by   SharonH, RN
    This is silly. Calculators are available on watches, cell phones and desktop computers, they're not some new-fangled device that only the academically weak use. Using a calculator will not only ensure accuracy but it saves time. If the nursing schools are so afraid that their students do not have the basic math skills to do math without one, then they need to tighten their admission standards and be more selective with their admissions.
  10. by   royr
    Quote from SharonH, RN
    This is silly. Calculators are available on watches, cell phones and desktop computers, they're not some new-fangled device that only the academically weak use. Using a calculator will not only ensure accuracy but it saves time. If the nursing schools are so afraid that their students do not have the basic math skills to do math without one, then they need to tighten their admission standards and be more selective with their admissions.
    First off - Nursing schools seem to be happy to admit anyone who can pay the tuition, and then in classic millitary boot camp style manage to delete students along the path after happily accepting the money. I do not see this practice changing any time soon because it is so lucrative for them financially.
    Second - do you really want to depend on fiddling with electronic gadgets when a life is on the line - what about emergency situations - like in New Orleans recently where they had no power or working gadgets. And what about a true disaster - or did you not realise that a nuclear accident, or any of the new electron pulse weapons that the military has available will render all those "toys" useless and broken. I feel everyone should be prepaired for the worst - and hope for the best. It can't be wrong to be ready for anything that the job could throw at you.
  11. by   LauraF, RN
    Quote from SharonH, RN
    This is silly. Calculators are available on watches, cell phones and desktop computers, they're not some new-fangled device that only the academically weak use. Using a calculator will not only ensure accuracy but it saves time. If the nursing schools are so afraid that their students do not have the basic math skills to do math without one, then they need to tighten their admission standards and be more selective with their admissions.
    In my program you were not allowed to carry any of those tools to tests. You walked in on test day. You put ALL your belongings on the table in the back of the room. If you were caught having a calculator on your watch, having your cell phone even remotely close to you or pda you would automatically fail the test. Who can fit a desk top computer in their pocket? Where did you go to school that you were allowed this luxury? I have not known a school yet that did not allow them at some point.
  12. by   Lachrymologist
    So, basically...if you're bad at math nursing isn't for you?
  13. by   LauraF, RN
    Quote from Lachrymologist
    So, basically...if you're bad at math nursing isn't for you?

    No! If you are bad at math, and nursing is what you truely want to do. YOU need to take the initiative to upgrade your math skills. Yes, math is an important part of nursing. If you want it bad enough you can do it. Trust me I finished my RN with 2 five year old (one that is special needs) and a very high risk unplanned pregnancy at age 39. Just start working now. Go to the academic center get a tutor, take some basic math classes. You can do it if you have the inner desire to be a nurse. But it is something you can't just fake your way through.

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