How much math and chemistry do nurses use on a daily basis? - page 2

Hello! I'm a pre-nursing student and I am not a science or maths person. Of course this didn't stop me when I entered an ER about two years ago and realized that this was my calling. So, I... Read More

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    No you cannot depend on the technology. What if you have computer downtime? That's when whatever programs you normally use go down for whatever reason. Will you be unable to work?

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    Quote from sivad05
    Though I did not post the original message, this posting has really put things into perspective for me. Thanks for everyone's response, especially nurse12b. After reading your post, I feel like I can do this and be great at it! Though I have also done well in Algebra and Chemistry and understand they are part of the foundation for nursing fundamentals, I wonder how relative they really are for everyday nursing. Or, in 5 years will I still have to use a book to remember how to come up with the answer for (x+4)^2=-36.
    You may not be figuring out: (x+4)^2=-36......but you could very likely be figuring out:

    8mg x 40,000 units/10mg x 1mL/15,000,000 units=

    Quote from sivad05
    From experience I have learned that when you don't use a skill you lose it. For instance about 20 years ago, I took pre-nursing classes and learned to manually take a blood pressure, then the electronic cuff came out and became standard for use. Eventually I left health care. Today, as I prepare for nursing school, I recall all the things I learned so many years ago and I realize that many things I will have to relearn, i.e. "When you don't use it, you lose it".
    While it's true that automatic BP machines are widely available....there are a lot of patients that I only do them manually on. While it's true you'll have to "learn" it again, I think you'll find it's more of a refresher and that it comes to you much faster this time

    Quote from sivad05
    It is also interesting to see how computers may be impacting nursing and how they are perceived by users. Usually automation is put in place to reduce errors but sounds like it cannot be primarily relied upon.
    There are still people putting the information in the computers, the computer isn't making the error....the folks doing data entry are. The technology does make it easier for me to not make an error (ie right drug, wrong patient, etc)

    Same with the Pyxis, folks are putting the wrong dosage of medication in the machine.
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    I forgot about that. I currently work in the world of ecommerce and computer fail
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    In answer to the original question...every day.
    Intern67 likes this.
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    what if u have failed ur chemistry class at high school and never re-took it? are u not going to be allowed to go in nursing field or what? i m so scared noww....i hated chemistry!!!!! oh anybody knows abt it and can help me out? thank you
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    Quote from sivad05
    are we learning the fundamentals, however with modern technology we will not be starting from "scratch"? are meds delivered to the floor with the dosage already calculated? if not, in the near future will meds be pre-packaged and calculated by a computer?
    meds are usually delivered premixed and it's a simple matter of typing the information into the pump and off you go. even there, though, some very basic maths are required. for example, by policy we generally don't push narcs, we dilute them into a saline flush and then attach that as a secondary. our pumps can't do the math of x ml over y minutes so i have to calculate the rate to run it at. very, very simple math but math nonetheless.

    recall that i said "usually." on occasion (nights, weekends, holidays and sick-time), the pharmacy is closed and we have to go in, get the components, and mix up the solution. sometimes we don't use pumps but instead old fashioned roller clamps and piggybacks.

    i'm one of the few new folks who walked right in and could do it as well as my preceptor. lots of folks flounder for awhile.
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    Quote from angelme2
    what if u have failed ur chemistry class at high school and never re-took it? are u not going to be allowed to go in nursing field or what? i m so scared noww....i hated chemistry!!!!! oh anybody knows abt it and can help me out? thank you
    It doesn't matter if you failed or aced your high school chem class, since it doesn't count towards your ADN or BSN. You need to take one or two semesters of chemistry as pre requisite coursework for your nursing program.
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    Most of the chemistry involved deals with acid-base balance which you will touch up more in pathophysiology, but you need a general knowledge of chemistry. Nothing too difficult like organic chem! As for math, it's basic math/algebra. I always carry a calculator with me just in case but they usually have them out on the units somewhere.

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