Medical Math...barely passed now onto pharm--Scared (m)

  1. We had medical math this past 4 days (YES ONLY 4 DAYS!!!) now I never prided myself as being strong in math. I am scared of math and it hates me, we don't get along. However, I thought I was doing awesome. I did all of my drug calculations beautifully (Except on 1 question I put mg instead of mL! YIKES) so of course I got that wrong. The other questions on the final that I missed were conversions of drams, grains that that sort of thing (Didn't quite get to memorize the 2 sided paper they gave us in 4 days) at any rate we had 2 quizzes worth 20 points each. I got 15 the first one and 17 the second (STUPID MISTAKES!!!) then the final. Out of 35 I got 28.5 (I missed passing by 1.5 points) We had to pass with 85%, I got 81.5 or something. I still passed med math with 86% (Again it had to be 85%) Now we start Pharm Monday and I am so scared that I will be dropped out of the program after my Pharm final. Someone please tell me what Pharm is REALLY like. If it's alot of memorization of drugs I can do that. If it's the drug calculations I ca do that too, it's the other basic crap that I made stupid mistakes on! ARGH! Our Pharmacology class is only 10 days (9 days of learning and the final on the 10th day) If we don't pass the final with 85% we are GONE! I can't even think about being out of the program. I want to be a nurse too bad. In Fundamentals and the rest of the program I have done awesome! I'm so scared.

    Any advice???

    Shannon - spending thanksgiving break doing MATH and drug calculations.
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    About pink2blue1

    Joined: Jul '05; Posts: 299; Likes: 57
    LVN Med Surg; from US
    Specialty: Med-Surg


  3. by   gauge14iv
    AWESOME book - the ONLY way to learn drug calculations reliably!!!! And perfect for math dummies like me!
  4. by   Daytonite
    What I can speak to is the math as I am currently working toward taking Calculus. One of the biggest reasons students make mistakes on math problems is because they get a label wrong, change a + to a -, or erroneously add or multiply something incorrectly that they find out later was so incredibly easy they can't understand how that happened. It is because your mind is going faster than your pencil. Any math teacher will tell you that students lose points for all these little errors. Here's what you do to minimize them. If you have time, rework the math of the problem and then compare both final answers. It they are the same there is a good chance the math is correct. If they are wrong, start comparing the two workings of the problem step by step until you find the error. When reading word problems circle the label that needs to go onto the final answer (mL, mg, tablets, etc.) It also helps if you re-read the word problem after you've gotten an answer, but before you move on to make sure you've given the answer the problem is looking for. The last line of a word problem is usually what tells you what the problem is looking for in an answer. Don't let extraneous imformation contained in the body of a word problem fool you. Some instructors will throw red herrings like that into a problem to see if you are reading closely and to see if you know what you are doing. If you've done division to find an answer, check your answer by multiplying back to get the original numbers you started with. So, if you had to divide two numbers, multiply your answer and the divisor to see if you get back the multiplicand. If your answer is 2 tablets of 500 mg. Multiply the 2 and the 500 to see if you get the 1000mg the problem was asking be determined. If you had to add, change the sequence of the numbers and re-add them again to see if you get the same answer. For subtraction, add your final answer and the term above it to see if you get the top, or larger number back. If a problem is talking about numbers of pills or amounts of cc's draw a simple picture with simple labels--you'd be surprised how your brain will respond to a picture. You can't apply the rule of "the first answer that comes to mind is most likely the correct one" with math problems. It just doesn't work. If a problem is stumping you, don't waste time on it, move on and come back to it later. Part of our brain has the ability to cogitate on a way to solve the problem that we are unconscious of, but often by going back later, the way to solve it becomes as clear as the nose on our face!
  5. by   peds4now
    Pharmacology IS a lot of memorization of drug actions,contraindications, what to monitor when someone takes, and INDICATIONS. Under indications comes a bit of physiology, so be ready to brush up on that.

    the medical math: you will need to get it down at some point. don't forget. You must review it, and online course, or Kaplan, or working a book on your own during a break.

    that said, I'm taking a 16-week pharm course. What do they expect you to memorize (or LEARN?!) in 10 days??????
  6. by   luvmy2angels
    WOW! I would have LOVED to have been able to get an 86% in Med math and pass!! We have to take 2 math tests per semester and get a 100% on both or we must leave the program!!! Good luck in Pharm, I thought it would be hard but managed to get a 96%. A lot of memorizing drug actions, adverse effects, etc.
    Good luck!!
  7. by   PsychNurseWannaBe

    Our Math for Meds was "self taught". They didn't teach it to us at all. My suggestion is don't look at the 2 pages of conversion all at once. It is too overwhelming. Break it apart. Do one section and test yourself, then do another section and test yourself. THAN, take a 15 minute break and go back and test your self on the first part again. Then study the 3rd section and so on... You will fry your brain if you try doing it all at once.

    Possibly try flash cards, but I learned by just writing it over and over and over again. But the main point is breaking into sections and making sure you take multiple breaks or switch into a different subject for a little and then go back.

    We really didn't have to learn apothocary but there is something about the "clock" method. Unfortuanately I borrowed my Math for Meds book to my sister in law so I don't have it to tell you it exactly. You can do it!!

    ~ Psych