Neonatal nurse advice!

  1. I am currently a student at DCCC. I am taking my basic classes now like math, english etc. I want to become a RN and work as a neonatel nurse. The math that I have to do is outrageous. It has nothing to do with what I want to do. Can some one tell me as a neonatal nurse what math they need to know and how they use it?

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    About Special_kay85

    Joined: Feb '04; Posts: 5
    Full time student & full time worker.


  3. by   carriec
    Sure thing Special Kay!!
    I've been a Nicu nurse for 9 years....Well, like a lot of things we learn in school, we don't use all of it...
    I can tell you that I use my math to do things like double check medication drips...(like the doctor will order it in so many micrograms per kilogram per minute or hour...then you need to figure out how many cc's per hour depending on how your medication comes up.....example...dopamine drips, narcotic drips, insulin drips...
    Then, when it comes to the little ones, they'll write orders like 0.1mg/kg times one have to do some type of algebra (in your head or on paper) to figure out how many cc's of the medication that baby needs.....\
    I know I'm rambling (IT'S LATE!!)
    Did any of this help????
  4. by   Special_kay85
    Thanks for replying to me. It helped alot. I have been so confused in school. My math teacher is giving us questions like: y2+x2-1+y3-x3 then we have to figure out what x is! There is no math like that in neontal care is there? Well how long did you go to school for? I am in my first year. I dont start my main classes untill next year. So is that basically the main type of math you use is algebra? If you can, can you give me another example of how you use it? Thanks alot.
  5. by   prmenrs
    You need math to help you w/chemistry, which you need to help you w/pharmacology.

    If you are given an order for 25mg/kg of some medication, and the medication comes in a vial labeled 100mg/cc, and the baby weighs 2.5 kg, you're going to need to figure out 2 things: how much med to give, and how much to remove from the vial.

    You may also be assigned to read an article from a journal reporting an experiment; they might describe the statistics used in the experiment--e.g., the p value is .002. You will not know if that's good or bad without some math in your background.

    You are laying down the foundation of your education. Take the time and care to make it very solid. It will pay you back in many ways in the future, not just in school, but in your career. I believe math is also important in helping you to learn how to think in a more abstract manner. The discipline of math is good exercise for you brain.
  6. by   Gompers
    Definitely need some algebra background, like the nurse above stated. You will encounter math in chemistry and pharmacology, but it's usually simple arithmetic, fractions, and algebra. I don't know if it's only bachelor's degree programs or ALL nursing programs, but you will probably have to take statistics, which is math in it's most EVIL form. :uhoh21:

    Nurses I know who aren't that great at math just need to write everything down on scratch paper is all. All meds (on my unit at least) are double checked with another nurse. Calculators are ENCOURAGED because it's best to be safe, but then you have to stand back for a second, and make sure that the dose your calculator gave you is correct and and within the normal dose range for that medication. You must have common sense above all!

    Good luck!
  7. by   NICU_RNwantsFL
    all of the above post-ers hit the math nail right on the head. take all the math and all the science you can - you will need it and you will use it!

    you will use it directly when calculating dosages (or recalculating doctors' dosages - remember, if you give the dose the dr. says to give, and it's wrong, it's your butt) -or indirectly, as in relation to your higher-level science courses and (*wince*) statistics, which i am firmly convinced causes brain aneurysms!!!!!

    also,although you are thoroughly convinced now that you want to be a neonatal nurse, but you might change your mind - and you can never go wrong with "too much math".

    besides, if we are going to talk about relevancy, i always wondered how learning about world lit was going to make me be a better nurse......still haven't gotten over that one! :chuckle
  8. by   Gompers
    Quote from NICU_RNwantsFL
    Besides, if we are going to talk about relevancy, I always wondered how learning about World Lit was going to make me be a better nurse......still haven't gotten over THAT one! :chuckle
    YES!!! I am SOOOOO not into history and literature, and SUFFERED during those classes at school! I still have recurring dream that I never finished a literature course (in high school no less) and that they take away my nursing degree because of it! I understand you have to get a well rounded education for a Bachelor's degree, but it was just AWFUL!

    The only history class I liked was one that focused on the sciences. It covered the invention of antibiotics, the Plague, stuff like that.