They didn't make it :( - page 3

I'm just getting the bad news from some of my friends who found out on late on Friday that they're being withdrawn from the program. The nursing dept dropped a surprise math exam on all of us at the... Read More

  1. by   Jennerizer
    This is ridiculous. One quiz can get you kicked out of a nursing program after you're already a semester or two into it? Absolutely ridiculous. I could maybe see sending them to remediation, but dismissal is uncalled for.

    My school is tough, but they do not intimidate you like that. Thank god! I understand that medication errors do need to be caught, but hello....they're still students, they're still learning. Show them what they're doing wrong so it doesn't happen again rather than being lazy & kicking them out. I'd like to know what the dropout rate is in that program.
  2. by   TLC RN
    suzanne4 is the answer for the infant 4.62 mg and the adult 156.4 mcg/min?
  3. by   suzanne4
    Quote from Tootyx121
    suzanne4 is the answer for the infant 4.62 mg and the adult 156.4 mcg/min?
    Congrats----you got the first part right, but how are you going to give the drugs? How are you going to dilute them, what are you going to use for the diluent, and how would you mix them?

    Example, how can you give that much dobutamine to the patient in a very controlled amount? How would you be able to get that exact amount of gentamicin?

    Besides just doing the actual math, many other things come into play......

  4. by   TLC RN
    Quote from suzanne4
    Congrats----you got the first part right, but how are you going to give the drugs? How are you going to dilute them, what are you going to use for the diluent, and how would you mix them?

    Example, how can you give that much dobutamine to the patient in a very controlled amount? How would you be able to get that exact amount of gentamicin?

    Besides just doing the actual math, many other things come into play......


    Sweet! I am just a pre nursing student. I am sure I will learn the rest in school once I start At least I have the math part down!
  5. by   suzanne4
    Quote from Tootyx121
    Sweet! I am just a pre nursing student. I am sure I will learn the rest in school once I start At least I have the math part down!
    But now you can see how everything works together..............how important math skills really are. If you know the other parts, part miscalculate the amounts, what happens to your patient?
    This is why us "old-timers" keep telling and harping on the fact that math is a critical point to being a nurse. Calculations are used all of the time, whether you are in critical care or LTC. As long as someone is getting frugs, the need for being able to calcualte the amounts will be there. Even if pharmacy does the work for you, you are the one giving the drug, so you need to recheck the numbers.

    Good luck with your studies..............
  6. by   Tony35NYC
    For those of you who asked, I don't want to say the name of the school in case any of the admins are in this forum and perceive my comments as negative backtalk. Its not that I'm complaining about the math because it was made very clear during the orientation that we should expect these math tests throughout the program. Most of the time, they give it at the beginning of each course, but they can give it at any time. They are so big on the math that they usually include a variety of dosage calculations questions in the theory exams.

    I've heard that the reason they've gotten so strict with the math is because of the high number of upper level students who are making serious dosage errors during clinicals. As you know, the instructors watch you like a hawk when you're drawing up meds. If you do the math wrong and pull the wrong doses they don't say anything to you then, they wait to see if you catch the mistake by the time you do your third check. If you don't catch your mistake at that point, they document it as a medication error even though you didn't actually give the med. Mess up more than a couple times and you can almost be sure you're not going to pass that clinical. I saw this happen to two students in my group last semester.

    As far as they are concerned, these mistakes are unacceptable because we can kill the patients. They believe that if you get more than 10% of the questions wrong you will likely make many mistakes in the hospital. I've heard there are some schools that don't allow you to get any of the math problems wrong, so I guess my school isn't as tough as some of you might think. They don't kick you all the way out of the program for failing the math, but you lose an entire semester to do the remedial stuff and then you have to wait for an opening to take the class again. I've heard they're good about squeezing people back in for the next semester after after they've completed the remedials, but with the large number of students coming in, you may have to wait an extra semester for a spot (which is almost an entire year down the toilet). And, the ole "three strikes" rule applies. If you fail three times, you have no more chances for remedials and you are permanently ineligible to continue.

    Maybe I'm mouthing off because it happened to my friends, but I suppose the other way of looking at it is that there are sooo many students with near perfect GPAs out there dying for a chance to get into nursing school, and its not unreasonable for the school to give an opportunity to somebody else.
  7. by   SKM-NURSIEPOOH
    either one knows the math calculations or they don't. if you don't know how to execute or know how to set-up the formulas by the time the second or third semester rolls around then.... it's just like statistics for example....learning the formulas & doing them by hand before learning how to execute those formulas using the preset buttons on the ti89 calculator. if you don't know how to get around on that device (the calculator that is), you can always then fall back on the formulas previously learned by hand & execute them via a regular calculator. heck...that's just like the old days of arithmetic where students had to learn the multiplication/division by long hand grades before they were allowed to use calculators. students had to learn & understand the theory first....this is the same exact thing~

    for me, there are two issues here: math calculations & reading comprehension...it's not about fairness. there are several ways/methods to perform med calculations....most of which requires algebra. that's why college level algebra is one very important prereq! i'm at a lost as to how these students aren't getting it at this point...is it that they're not reading the questions correctly? are there a lot of unnecessary numbers put into the question...you know...like a lot of those silly third grade word problems....the ones where train a leaves this city at ..... & train b leaves this city at.....train a is traveling at.....train b is traveling at.....at what point will they met sort of question? do the professors throw in a lot of fillers or word the question to the point where you have no idea what is being asked in order to throw the students off? in other words...are the questions fair? imo....asking question(s) that contains more than two lines is a bit much. i prefer the type that's short & to the point. but often times....professors will give situational questions which may involve several things such as vital signs & trauma but the question maybe about how long a iv should run. some like to give lengthy scenarios where four to five med/surg or med calc questions can be drawn from....for example: questions 15-20 will be based on scenario b where the answer to say question 16 maybe required to answer question 17 before moving on to question 20. some professors like giving these types of scenarios cuz they're a) nclex type questions, & b) it show how students can think critically/logistically. it shows how they'll able to follow the nsg process taught in the very first semester to see if they're be able to apply them in practice.

    if there's a large percentage of students passing the med calculations then how on earth can anyone justify the smaller percentage being removed if they don't meet standards? it wasn't like they didn't know what those standards were before hand (needing x on quiz to remain in the program). i know the administration didn't change their policies med-term/year just to wean certain students out. competency quizzes/tests are done at certain intervals for a reason. why have students go-on with classes/ clinicals & not be able to figure-out how to execute or even set-up equations if they don't know what is being asked of them? that wouldn't be very fair to said students, their clinical instructors, & rn preceptors in the units in the long-run should they make it to their last semester & then make an error or fail because they weren't able to meet the minimum math calculation standards...whatever they maybe.

    please...don't think i'm being insensitive cuz i'm not...i'm just trying to help you see it from the standpoint of the nursing dept facility. schools are accredited on a yearly basis by the pass/fail rate of the nclex & they can't afford to lose-out from that status cuz people aren't able to measure-up....it's both a safety issue as well as a basic accreditation issue. how on earth will any of these student pass nclex & the new integrated test where med calculation answers are typed in instead of the answer lying among four choices in the old style multiple choice format. trust you me...schools aren't willing to take that chance & waste valuable time & effort for remediation & said students may still fail in the long-run anyway.

    i'm sorry for your colleagues/classmates & what sounds like dear friends....but things like this happen for a reason. maybe they're not really cut-out for nursing....perhaps they need to mature a bit more before they're ready to take-on this field...or maybe they just need more time to develop algebra skills....i do believe in the long-run...this will only save them from possibly causing harm, injury, or worse to a patient or even plain embarrassment from having future employers/colleagues finding out they can't execute simple math functions if this isn't caught now.

    cheers!
    moe
    Last edit by SKM-NURSIEPOOH on May 20, '04
  8. by   Tony35NYC
    SKM,

    These were not just rote dosage calculation questions or NCLEX-style math questions. They were also nothing at all like junior high word problems. The exam was about 50% college algebra. Its one thing to calculate the safe doses of a medication, but it takes a little more effort than D/H x Q to set up problems with elaborate equations and then solve for 'x'. I believe that people who aren't good at algebra had little chance of scoring well on that exam. Even some people who are reasonably good with math, such as myself, were sweating some of the questions because we don't use those formulas everyday and we get rusty with some of them. I think that's what threw some people off because they didn't expect that level of math on a nursing quiz. There was even one question (which I skipped over) that looked like linear algebra to me, and even NCLEX, in all its glory, doesn't go that far into mathematics. If these were all straight NCLEX type dosage calculations questions I doubt anyone in the class would have failed.

    I disagree with your view that my friends are immature or not cut out for nursing just because they failed this quiz. I doubt that most practicing RNs who haven't recently studied college algebra would have gotten super high scores on that quiz either (with or without calculators) and btw, we are not permitted to use calculators.
  9. by   Monica79
    I think this is horrible...how can someone say by one stupid test that they will fail as nurses. The ultimate test is the NCLEX....I mean come on! I do understand the safety issue and medication errors but I mean your learning right now not practicing! I feel so bad for your friends!


    Quote from Tony35NYC
    I'm just getting the bad news from some of my friends who found out on late on Friday that they're being withdrawn from the program. The nursing dept dropped a surprise math exam on all of us at the end of the last lecture, and they didn't pass. They have this rule that math competency quizzes can be given at any time, and you're only allowed to get 10% of the questions wrong, otherwise you have to withdraw from the program and take remedial courses in safety and prevention of medication errors. I feel soooo bad for these guys because I know how hard they've worked to get this far. And even after they get through the remedial stuff, they have to wait until next next spring (if there's space available) before they can apply to continue in the program. Now, that just sucks, doesn't it!!!
  10. by   suzanne4
    The ultimate test that really measures how well a nurse will succeed is definitely not NCLEX. It doesn't test you in all areas, nor is it a timed exam, where you have to make a decision in a hurry. What nursing is really about! That fast decision can mean whether someone lives or dies.

    You must know math to function as a nurse. No way around it. Not saying that you need to have a year of calculus, but you better be able to caculate any type of dose and figure out the drip rate. And without a calculator.
  11. by   SKM-NURSIEPOOH
    i'm at a lost regarding this whole situation. everyone had to have taken algebra at the every least in college/uni right? so if this type of quiz were given before, why in the world didn't everyone get-out their old algebra textbooks & do some practice test questions?

    on the other hand, if none of the type of algebra questions on this last quiz were on any of the previous quiz, then perhaps your friends my have a strong chance to win an appeal. the only thing about that is, if they were made to stop going to class(es)/clinicals cause of this quiz, they'll have to wait to pick-up where they left off next year cuz too much time have gone passed.

    again, as stated above, i'm sorry for your friends situation! unfortunately, it sounds like you all were caught unprepared for something that you all should be able to perform/do...at the very least...on a basic level. nursing degrees/diploma are hard to come-by but well earned & something as simple as mathematics shouldn't be taken for granted. everything taught to you in a previous pre-req course could very easily be fair game! a lot that is taught in nursing courses do often fall-back on these subjects. for example, a&p, microbiology, biology, algebra, nutrition, & yes....even chemistry you'll see again especially in your critical care course....these will come into play in regards to system failures & how to keep that from progressing. that's why when taking these pre-req courses, one is suppose to learn & retain whatever was taught in them & not take for granted that they won't show-up in the nursing courses. the same holds true regarding what is being taught in early nursing courses. much of what is taught in nsg fund will be needed throughout the course of the nursing program & just cuz one passed that subject doesn't mean that they can forget what was in it cuz they have bigger & better subjects to study now.

    perhaps some good can come out of this for you, your other classmates, & those unfortunate dear friends that were dismissed from the program. learn from their mistake(s) so that you all can be successful.

    good luck ~ cheers!
    moe
    Last edit by SKM-NURSIEPOOH on May 21, '04
  12. by   camrn
    Tony: I'm curious, are you in an ADN program?
  13. by   Tony35NYC
    Quote from camrn
    Tony: I'm curious, are you in an ADN program?

    Cam,
    I'm doing a BSN. I 'm not sure where Moe is going with this, but I sense that I'm being spoken down to and scolded because I commented about the increased difficulty of the math exams. I think the point was missed entirely. This is not about people being unable to retain nursing fundamentals because we're all well beyond that point. Prior to this, the nursing math exams were 100% dosage questions. Now, approximately half of them are traditional college algebra questions, and the level of difficulty of those algebra questions is on the high side. As I said before, this level of math is WAY above and beyond any type of dosage calculation any nurse will ever do. Its total overkill for nursing school. Its easy to say we should have pulled out our old algebra textbooks and review. But, review what? How would we know what algebra topics we'd be tested on? Mid-level algebra we all could have pulled without any type of review, but the sh*t we got was hard.

    I feel happy for Moe that he so perfectly retains everything he learns. Most of the rest of us are not that good and sometimes we just forget certain things, especially abstract mathematical formulas. We're training to become nurses, not actuaries; and in my opinion, a successful career in nursing has nothing to do with one's ability to set up and solve a lengthy algebraic equation in less than a minute and twenty seconds.

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