# Feeling discouraged

1. Hello everyone. Long story short. I took the LPN exam in Dec 2011. I failed by 5 points. I then decided that I would take a refresher course in basic math. I did take the course, and I had a wonderful teacher. I learned a lot, and was so proud of myself for doing well. I passed the math class and the final. Fast forward. to May 20th, I re tested for the math portion. This was the only part of the test that I failed. Well, I failed again by 5 points. I feel like all my hard work is out the door. I am going to continue to purse my goal, but I am feeling let down. Any suggestions? Thanks.

Joined: Sep '10; Posts: 1,256; Likes: 2,509
Nursing student; from US
Specialty: None

3. You took a math coarse.

Before you test again, find somewhere (or some source) that teaches you medication administration and calculation, also features reading med labels, and conversions. Going from mg to g decimal goes to the left. G to kg decimal goes to the right. 5 mls in a teaspoon, 3 teaspoons in a tablespoon therefore 15 mls in a tablespoon. In math you learn 3a = 24, a = 8. On a med test the baby has to get 24 ml of med in three divided doses, how much do you give at 0900 and when is the next dose due?
4. Many students fail because they don't understand WHY and WHAT they are calculating. U have to understand your conversions and formulas. If you don't know which formula to use for any given calculation, then you will fail.
As poster says above, you may understand maths but u need to learn NURSING maths. If you can't covert say from mcg to mg or vice versa, then you need someone to teach you all this.
Also if you calcluate something, look at it and ask: DOES THIS LOOK RIGHT? If it doesn't look right or is too big, you know u have done something wrong. Have a look at the drugs being calculated in an online drug book, and see what dosages they are given in. For instance, with the drug Thyroxine, you would never give this in mg, it is always given in mcg. But most drugs are pretty standard when ordered. However you still need to know how to calculate because you may get an odd drug in an odd dose. Always double check calculations if unsure or follow your facilities'/countries policy re this.
If you want help, I have a bit of time before I start a new job, I would be more than happy to help you.
You also need to sit and write down what you DON'T understand as well. What do you have trouble with? Try and identify ur weak spots.
BTW virgo, I was THE BIGGEST DUNCE at maths, and if I can get it and pass medication calculations, you can too!
Last edit by carolmaccas66 on May 21, '11
5. Thank u for the encouragement. I just got back from Barnes and Nobles, and I purchased the LPN entrance exam book as well, as the TEAS study book. The entrance exam makes more sense to me, and I seem to get these questions. I had a hard time with ratios and proportions, but I realized. I am having the problem with putting the correct info in the proportion (setting it up). Thank u all.
6. There's a little book I taught myself from. It's called Nursing Calculations by JD Gatford and Ron E Anderson. Very easy to follow with good examples and all the answers are in the back. It goes through all the basic calculations, common medications and how they are calculated, syringes used, all oral, IV and other meds, and also tells how to calcluate for adults and kids.
Also don't feel like u have to struggle alone. If you need help again, come on here and ask - don't just sit in a funk of despair feeling like ur an idiot (like I used to tell myself!), thinking nobody cares. There is always someone happy to help you
7. THANK U for all the information. I will be getting a copy of the book, the above poster advised. I feel better knowing I am not the only one. I am feeling better. I will get through this. Advise was great.
8. im not an LPN so i dont know what that test is like but i know the feeling your going through. i have been trying to take my kaplan entrance test for to be in nursing school for my BSN im already in the program i just need this math score UGH and the math section is getting me too. were not allowed to use calculators or scratch paper (probably just like you) and its tough. the math seems simple but its so hard and disapponiting when you keep taking a test and keep failing. my advice is is keep going you made it to this point and dont feel discouraged, your not alone dont worry and im sure many people are in the same situation as you are. keep taking the test, practice your math just how youll be taking it for the test (dont use calculators or scrap paper if your not allowed to use it during the test). you can do this ! like some else suggested try to understand the formulas to the problems you know will be on the test because if you know the formula and have it down youll be able to do the problems. im going tomorrow to re-take my test so hopefully i pass and i sure you will also get thoes 5 points extra you need next time you take your test. good luck, you can do it!
9. Dosage Calculations by Pikar

There is not a more clear book out there. I've looked at a lot of them and this one really is the best.

Meghan91: no paper and no calculator? are they nuts? we get a calculator and a white board for the NCLEX for goodness sake!
10. When I was studying for my RN exam, I took about 1 full week to practice multiplication and division long hand, because we weren't allowed a calculator. That helped A LOT. Also, try to break each problem down into small parts, so you can understand what they are asking. And, a Math For Nurses book of some sort is a great tool.
11. Thank u all for your suggestions, and words of encouragement. I am glad that I am not the only one who feels, or has felt this way. I am so glad thatI found this forum.