Calculator not permitted?! - page 6

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   caroladybelle
    Quote from Finallyy

    My problem mostly, is that I had bad teachers in jr high, and in 5th & 6th grade, when I needed to be in school the most, I was homebound due to a terminal illness -

    ...even if I have some faux-paws....
    And speaking of faux pas?

    (I suppose that if you are deceased, your math skills will be poor...but I don't know that you will pass the physical required of nurses if you are minus a pulse.)
  2. by   Sheri257
    No calculators for our math tests either. Luckily ... Sister Samurai (that's what I used to call the tough as nails nuns at my catholic school) drilled math into my head in grade school.

    Gotta love those nuns. You hate them at the time, but really appreciate them once you get to college.

    :spin:
    Last edit by Sheri257 on Aug 13, '06
  3. by   tddowney
    Quote from tookewlandy
    I also wanted to add, a calculator can make errors to so you gotta be careful with that
    Amen.

    No matter whether you use pencil and paper or a calculator, you have to double check your answer.
  4. by   RNsRWe
    Quote from caroladybelle
    And speaking of faux pas?

    (I suppose that if you are deceased, your math skills will be poor...but I don't know that you will pass the physical required of nurses if you are minus a pulse.)
    LOL! I imagine the terminal illness turned itself around. Still, funny thoughts
  5. by   tddowney
    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.
    The way to not forget is to do about 5 or 10 problems, on your own, while the teacher is there with you. Then do a few more the next free time you have. Keep practicing until you can do them easily.

    It takes me more repititions than some of my more math-savvy friends, but this way does work.

    Don't give up until you try it. :spin:
  6. by   tddowney
    Quote from 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.
    A calculator doesn't insure accuracy. It's easy to enter an incorrect digit, or misplace a decimal, or turn the equation around.

    You still have to double check, and have at least a ballpark idea of what the correct answer is, so that you know if the answer you get is reasonable.
  7. by   nessy
    We're allowed to use calculators in clinical and in class, but we have been warned that we will not be able to use them when writing the CRNE.
  8. by   RNsRWe
    Quote from tddowney
    A calculator doesn't insure accuracy. It's easy to enter an incorrect digit, or misplace a decimal, or turn the equation around.

    You still have to double check, and have at least a ballpark idea of what the correct answer is, so that you know if the answer you get is reasonable.
    Exactly. How many times have any of us punched in some numbers and looked at the result and thought "HUH???". You need to know how to arrive at the answer correctly without one....however, that said, I still always double-check my answer with a calculator. If I get the same answer, life is good

    Makes me think of something an instructor said when we were beginning to prepare for dosage calc test first semester: once you've reached an answer, LOOK AT IT. Does it make sense? If you're being asked to take whatever med is on hand in tablet form, calculate out how much of it you will need to give to fulfill MD order, does it seem reasonable that the answer would be 48 pills??? Also, pay attention to those pesky decimals <grin>: does it make sense you'd give 26 mls of something, or 2.6?

    Gotta be able to think
  9. by   tddowney
    Quote from ortess1971
    ..... My much younger sister was allowed to count on her fingers when doing a math problem in school-I went to Catholic school and my fingers would have been slapped with a ruler if the nuns saw me counting on them. We had multiplication drills daily etc. LOL, I sound like one of those old coots who say "I walked to school in 10 feet of snow, barefoot." .
    LOL

    I'm about 18 years older than you, and I thought the nuns had stopped whackin' fingers before you got to school.


    I don't recall if I ever got my hand smacked for counting with my fingers, but they drilled math into us enough to where I can do a lot in my head, and with paper and pencil, just about anything.

    BTW, did the ground where you live tilt from morning to afternoon, so you walked uphill both ways?
  10. by   puggymae
    Nursing school is college - the actual math procedures of adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing fractions and decimals is fifth grade math (check out the math workbooks at Walmart). Would you want someone to care for you or your family who can't do those calculations without a calculator? I wouldn't.
  11. by   Finallyy
    Quote from caroladybelle
    And speaking of faux pas?

    (I suppose that if you are deceased, your math skills will be poor...but I don't know that you will pass the physical required of nurses if you are minus a pulse.)
    Your sarcasm is appreciated.

    I was given a prognosis and I obviously beat it or I wouldn't be sitting here today.

    If I ever make it far enough to become a nurse, I'll actually have some compassion too.
    Last edit by Finallyy on Aug 13, '06
  12. by   Lachrymologist
    Quote from caroladybelle
    And speaking of faux pas?

    (I suppose that if you are deceased, your math skills will be poor...but I don't know that you will pass the physical required of nurses if you are minus a pulse.)
    Was that necessary?
  13. by   pepsihla
    the math skills are still taught in nursing school,but in block III, and IV, they allow for calculators at the nursing school I attended. These are basic calculators that are allowed. Every math class and statistic class I have had allowed the use of calculators and Excel as a tool for calculations.

    I don't understand the point of doing the math in your head for a magic number to use as a constant for a gtt rate when your titrating vasoactive or inotropic medications and ones where you need accurate calculations.

    I think my patients and family members appreciate the calculator method to calculate their loved ones gtts after a cardiac surgery. I surely don't have time to do these in my head, or want to count on the accuracy of my rushed thoughts when my patients blood pressure is circling the drain.

    I like to use technology to my advantage so I can provide safe and efficient care for my patients, and nursing schools should also recommend the same, but also allow for basic math skills to be assessed.

    I think nursing schools need to focus on not avoiding or eliminating technology but how to use it to your advantage so you can become a safer nurse.

    My question is, do they refrain calculators in your clinical portion? If they don't, then why should they not be used during the test?

    Heidi
    Pro-calculator

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