I Had An Anxiety Attack In Math Class Today!

Hi. As some of you may know, from some of my previous posts, I have major math anxiety and a very weak background in math. I am entering nursing school this fall, and so this semester, along with my A and P prereq's, I've decided to tackle a college math class. At first it seemed like it was going to be easy because all we did was use this fancy calculator. But today we did measuring of angles and percentage to change, and I felt like a total dummy. It seemed like evryone else was getting it but me! It brought back those old insecurities from high school, and I felt like I was going to burst into tears. I never learned geometry in high school, just algebra (which I got D's in.) I feel like I'm going to sink so fast in this class because the prof. goes really fast. I plan on getting some tutoring, but what if I just can't "get it?" What if I'm truley math "illiterate?" How can I ever even think of being a good nurse with such horrible math skills?? I want to be a nurse sooooo bad, and I'm not going to let anything stop me, but I'm very scared that I'm going to fail. Has anyone else had a similar experience? Can anyone offer me some advice, and tell me the exact kind of math I really need to be good at to make it through nursing school and to be an R.N.? I know this is a long post but I am really upset! Came home, and plopped on my bed and sobbed. Thanks guys, Louisepug :stone

About Louisepug
Joined: Nov '03; Posts: 169; Likes: 5
RN/case manager
Specialty: 1 year(s) of experience in Geri and adult psych, hospice 
Feb 27, '04Occupation: LPN @ SNF Specialty: 12 year(s) of experience in HIV/AIDS, Dementia, Psych ; From: US ; Joined: Mar '03; Posts: 1,527; Likes: 30Don't worry yourself! You'll do fine as a nurse. I am math illiterate as well...have been all my life. When you get your license, the math you use will be pretty simple stuff like if there's 100mg per mL how many mLs do you give if the doc orders 200 mg? In the real world, if you get stuck you can always use a calculator or call pharmacy for med dosages as I've done in the past before administering liquid digoxin. Just keep your head up and keep reminding yourself that school math is temporary. Find yourself a buddy who's good at math in the meantime, that's how I got through school...good luck!

Feb 27, '04Occupation: RN, ER Specialty: 4 year(s) of experience in ER/Trauma ; From: US ; Joined: Feb '04; Posts: 999; Likes: 341I know exactly how you feel!! I have hated math all my life. I can tell you honestly, I failed HS algebra twice before I was allowed to step down to general math and passed it with a D, just to satisfy my graduation requirements (I graduated hs in 1986) Have not had any kind of math class since then. I went back to school in Jan 2002 with the intent to get my nursing degree. My first semester back I took A&P 101 and a math refresher, which challenged me quite a bit! The next semseter I took introductory algebra and med term, got a bit harder. Last semester, I took AP102 and intermediate algebra, which is the ONLY math class that is required in my program. I took the other 2 to work my way into the algebra. My experience was that I spent the majority of my study time on my math classes and little on my A&P. I wound up passing both A&P's with B's and the med term with an A. I know if I didnt have to work so hard at the math, I would have had the A's in a&p. Being math "impaired" myself, here are my suggestions to get through:
1. Keep up with all your assignments and homework. Ask questions if you really dont understand and don't feel like others in the class are going to think you are stupid. You are paying to be in the class and you have a right to question what you do not understand.
2. On test review sheets, once I found out how to work the problem, I worked it over and over and over again.
3. I cannot stress this enough...GET A TUTOR!!!! I had to hire a tutor to help me with the last class, just to get a grip on things. Class time is short and they cover a lot of material. I am slower to understand the concepts, so I had to have to tutor to work with me and help me "see".
4. Every day, I spent at least 2 hours on my math/algebra. I hated every second of it, but I knew it was something I HAD to go to get to my goal (RN) and I wanted it out of the way before clinicals, so I could devote the time to it. If I had to do it again, I think the semester I took the required class, I would not have taken anything else, maybe I would have had a better grade.
End result of all this work??? I got a B in my math refresher, a C in both introductory and intermediate algebra. I felt bad over it, but then I realized, I am done with algebra. I felt so good at having passed, I even framed my report card and gave to my MOM, just so she could see I finally passed algebra after all these years!! :chuckle 
Feb 27, '04Occupation: OR Nurse Joined: Feb '04; Posts: 565; Likes: 11I'm glad I'm not the only one with discalcula. :chuckle

Feb 28, '04Occupation: Well it was med surg/onc, but now we do ortho/neuro too. Im seeing and doing it all! Joined: Feb '04; Posts: 38oh!! ((((hugs))) to you, i was (and sometimes still am) in the same boat! I never did well in math in highschool, and alwasy a had fear, would hate getting called on, and just felt like i was going under. But i mad it though school, and like some of the other posters said, most math is just if you need 200 and have 100 mg pills how many do you give? and if unsure just ask Youll be fine, just try not to stress, and keep a cool head and youll be ok

Jul 28, '07Occupation: mother and full time student Specialty: Some clinical skills ; Joined: Jul '07; Posts: 399; Likes: 67Quote from LouisepugI know exactly how you feel, I am so ashamed to admit this but the highest level of math that i completed in high school was prealegbra. Not only was i the only seniorso sad!!! but I barely passed the class and had a teacher that could care less if we understood the lessons or not. I also want to be a RN sooooooooooo badly and even though I know I will struggle in math and probably busrt into tears alot trying to understand math but becoming a nurse is something that i want sooooo badly and I know that i can do this!!! Don't give up, you can do this hang in there.Hi. As some of you may know, from some of my previous posts, I have major math anxiety and a very weak background in math. I am entering nursing school this fall, and so this semester, along with my A and P prereq's, I've decided to tackle a college math class. At first it seemed like it was going to be easy because all we did was use this fancy calculator. But today we did measuring of angles and percentage to change, and I felt like a total dummy. It seemed like evryone else was getting it but me! It brought back those old insecurities from high school, and I felt like I was going to burst into tears. I never learned geometry in high school, just algebra (which I got D's in.) I feel like I'm going to sink so fast in this class because the prof. goes really fast. I plan on getting some tutoring, but what if I just can't "get it?" What if I'm truley math "illiterate?" How can I ever even think of being a good nurse with such horrible math skills?? I want to be a nurse sooooo bad, and I'm not going to let anything stop me, but I'm very scared that I'm going to fail. Has anyone else had a similar experience? Can anyone offer me some advice, and tell me the exact kind of math I really need to be good at to make it through nursing school and to be an R.N.? I know this is a long post but I am really upset! Came home, and plopped on my bed and sobbed. Thanks guys, Louisepug :stone

Jul 28, '07Occupation: mother and full time student Specialty: Some clinical skills ; Joined: Jul '07; Posts: 399; Likes: 67Quote from missy120808sorry i spelled burst wrong:selfbonk:I know exactly how you feel, I am so ashamed to admit this but the highest level of math that i completed in high school was prealegbra. Not only was i the only seniorso sad!!! but I barely passed the class and had a teacher that could care less if we understood the lessons or not. I also want to be a RN sooooooooooo badly and even though I know I will struggle in math and probably busrt into tears alot trying to understand math but becoming a nurse is something that i want sooooo badly and I know that i can do this!!! Don't give up, you can do this hang in there.

Jul 28, '07Occupation: mother and full time student Specialty: Some clinical skills ; Joined: Jul '07; Posts: 399; Likes: 67Quote from LoriRN2BThank you so much, i will defintely use your tips and i am sure that I will do much better in mathI know exactly how you feel!! I have hated math all my life. I can tell you honestly, I failed HS algebra twice before I was allowed to step down to general math and passed it with a D, just to satisfy my graduation requirements (I graduated hs in 1986) Have not had any kind of math class since then. I went back to school in Jan 2002 with the intent to get my nursing degree. My first semester back I took A&P 101 and a math refresher, which challenged me quite a bit! The next semseter I took introductory algebra and med term, got a bit harder. Last semester, I took AP102 and intermediate algebra, which is the ONLY math class that is required in my program. I took the other 2 to work my way into the algebra. My experience was that I spent the majority of my study time on my math classes and little on my A&P. I wound up passing both A&P's with B's and the med term with an A. I know if I didnt have to work so hard at the math, I would have had the A's in a&p. Being math "impaired" myself, here are my suggestions to get through:
1. Keep up with all your assignments and homework. Ask questions if you really dont understand and don't feel like others in the class are going to think you are stupid. You are paying to be in the class and you have a right to question what you do not understand.
2. On test review sheets, once I found out how to work the problem, I worked it over and over and over again.
3. I cannot stress this enough...GET A TUTOR!!!! I had to hire a tutor to help me with the last class, just to get a grip on things. Class time is short and they cover a lot of material. I am slower to understand the concepts, so I had to have to tutor to work with me and help me "see".
4. Every day, I spent at least 2 hours on my math/algebra. I hated every second of it, but I knew it was something I HAD to go to get to my goal (RN) and I wanted it out of the way before clinicals, so I could devote the time to it. If I had to do it again, I think the semester I took the required class, I would not have taken anything else, maybe I would have had a better grade.
End result of all this work??? I got a B in my math refresher, a C in both introductory and intermediate algebra. I felt bad over it, but then I realized, I am done with algebra. I felt so good at having passed, I even framed my report card and gave to my MOM, just so she could see I finally passed algebra after all these years!! :chuckle 
Jul 28, '07Occupation: High School Nurse Specialty: 23 year(s) of experience in School Nursing ; From: US ; Joined: May '07; Posts: 699; Likes: 520I had to take statistics as part of my BSN program. I had been out of nursing school 17 years, out of high school 20. I was lousy at math clear back then. Things were so bad, I would sometimes get up and leave in the middle of class, go to the bathroom, cry, wash my face and go back. I did homework non stoptoo my book on a camping trip and everywhere else. Got help from everyone I could. Tried to go to the tutor at the campus, turns out they didn't understand statistics either!! Long story short, found a tutor, passes with a "B". Got my BSN. You can do it!!