Can I become a nurse if I'm not great at math? - page 2

In the future, I hope to be a nurse but right now I'm finishing a nine month medical assistant program. The math is fairly easy because there's no algebra. One of my instructors is a doctor and he... Read More

  1. by   nurseprnRN
    You have been telling yourself you're not good at math. Now, today, this is the last day you will do this. If you catch yourself saying it out loud or to yourself, you will stop immediately.

    From now on you will tell yourself, "Look at all those nurses out there. Some of them are not as smart as I am, and they can do it. I can do this." The instant you catch yourself saying anything else, stop and repeat this out loud.

    Then go take a remedial high school-level basic algebra I class. This is all you will need. Although I have to say I am really shocked that some schools do not have a math prerequisite; perhaps that accounts for all the wailing requests for help for what should be easy problems in the ballpark of, "You have 125cc of fluid to give over four hours. How many cc/hr do you set your pump for?"
  2. by   Jujubees
    A lot of people who "are not good at math" are worse at it simply because of nerves. Grntea's comment was similar to my point. If you're all nervous about learning something, it's very difficult to absorb the new info. If this is you then try to relax and not worry about anything but what you're working on at the moment, easier said than done I'm sure . But you can do it!
  3. by   StudentN123
    Quote from dolphincatch
    In the future, I hope to be a nurse but right now I'm finishing a nine month medical assistant program. The math is fairly easy because there's no algebra. One of my instructors is a doctor and he said I better become great at math otherwise there's no chance of me ever becoming a nurse. I'm great at anatomy/physiology, science, and anything not involving math. Whenver I'm being taught math, I just can't understand it no matter how many times people teach me. This makes me feel very sad because all my life, all I've ever wanted was to become a nurse but the reality is that if I don't become proficient then it will never happen. Does anyone have any advice for me?
    You don't need advanced math to be a nurse. All that is mostlly required is intermediate-college algebra, which is quite equivalent to Algebra II. It's nothing harcore like Calculus III or something.. Don't put your hopes down already! lol You just need to master math at a certain level.... and I believe that it does serve a importance role nursing; in adminstrating meds. Everybody can learn math, it just takes some patience and determination. And remember that will every challenge comes a gift.
  4. by   alyssakp111
    I am terrible at Math too, and knowing its a weakness for me tends to make it worse. After failing Algebra 1 multiple times (mostly b/c I gave up), I decided to take it again before applying to my nursing program. Last semester I got a B+, and this semester I will finish algebra 2 with hopefully the same grade. The class I am in is self paced, and you mostly teach yourself. I need to finish it in order to get my associates in Early Childhood Ed, but more importantly I needed to prove to myself that I could do it! If taking a class like that at a community college is an option then I would try it out. My highest scores on the NLN PN exam were highest in math!! good luck!
  5. by   LadyFree28
    Case in point...I started my new job this week, had a nursing test. Had a in depth review, got a 100!!! I took a deep breath, knew my formulas, plugged in the info, and got it done! I am working in Peds...PICU to be exact, so there is CONSTANT checking on proper medication and safe dosage. And I didn't have this math in over two years, but I know my formula and can do the work. I have every confidence you can get tis monkey off your back!!!
  6. by   GoodnessFlows
    I LOVE what GrnTea said, "Today is the LAST day you will tell yourself you are not good at math". I swear to you, I JUST had this conversation with my 10 year old daughter in the car on the way home from school today. I looked over at her and asked her to repeat after me. She looked up with her sweet little eyes wondering what I was going to say. Then, I said, repeat after Mommy, "I AM awesome at math and I can do ANYTHING I set my mind to do". She said it out loud, and claimed her ability to excel in math.

    I felt compelled to do this, because like you, I walked around for YEARS, saying out loud, "I suck at math". I said it enough through out my life, and it became my truth. Last year I took a placement test at my local community college, and placed into elementary algebra (God only knows how I did that). I had enough common sense to know that I was not ready, so I registered one step below, which is pre-algebra. I was determined to build a solid foundation in math and knew that if I could master fractions, percentages, decimals, proportions, integers, etc., that I would have not only obtain a good solid start, but my confidence would be boosted as well.

    I received a high A. It took hard work, and determination. I went to every class. If I was stuck, I saw a tutor in our math lab, OR came home and logged into Khan Academy to see if I could find help there. I wanted so bad to suceed. My teacher saw my effort and determination and recommended that my next course be a blended elementary/intermediate class. The class was considered accelerated and would meet, 2x's per week, for 3.5 hours each session. I nearly died when she told me I should enroll. You see, I still at that moment did not believe in myself, but my teacher believed in me. She didn't know I carried around so many insecurities, she simply saw my effort, and BELIEVED in me.

    I took her advice, and enrolled in the course, and I am in it now. This is what I've learned about myself, not only am I pretty good at math, but I LOVE it. I love tackling algebra problems and I'm excited for each opportunity to learn something new. My teacher is phenominal, and I've connected with other students, and we all work together to support each other. By the way, just remember, other students are just as nervous as you, and many lack the belief in themselves, just like you. So far, I am handling the class very well. I walk out of there feeling as if I've accomplished something amazing.

    This is why, I told my sweet girl to say it out loud, "I AM awesome at math"! It all starts with a belief, make it a positive one...
  7. by   sunshine&shots
    Wow! I am the same exact way. I have like a dyslexia with math. I get very verry frustrated with math. No amount of people explaining would help. Obviously I cant really give you any advice as i am in the same boat, but thanks for posting this question and thanks to everyone for answering!!!! Looking forward to see how you do/did.
  8. by   windsurfer8
    Define "not great" at math. Does math require hard work and focus and turning off the cell phone and thinking? for me it does. I don't know what "not great" means? Yes it requires hard work and thought. Same as nursing. It is hard intense work. If you want to do it you do it. If you don't then you do something else.
  9. by   sharpeimom
    I was good in math through the end of the fourth grade, when we learned fractions, percentages, decimals, the times tables up to 12 x 12. After that? YIKES! I got through algebra I and II in junior high with the help of tutors, loved geometry and did fairly well in it, then hit trig and calculus. Again, tutors.

    When I was in college, I was allowed to substitute logic for one math course. The rest were taken with the help of tutors. I memorized every formula, chart, etc. I could memorize. I remember one tutor telling me that any bozo could do addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division and that one you could do those it was only a short way to the answer once you had taken the problem apart into parts. Good advice.

    I also carried an index card in my pocket on which I'd written every formula etc. I might need. The trick is not to panic because then you can't do anything.
  10. by   Peak Curiosity
    I'm terrible at math but that's no excuse to go after for what I want. You can have whatever you want in life, only if you're willing to work for it. God Bless.
  11. by   dtaleton88
    Many people aren't that great at math my chem teacher said that math is a everyday subject where you have to practice it everyday. One thing that I have found that works pretty nicely is youtube just like with anything else youtube has an answer for you if you look.
  12. by   nekozuki
    Oh, man. I stayed out of school for a decade because of a crippling fear of math, OP. I feel your pain.

    Thankfully, you really don't need "math" beyond basic arithmetic until you transition from ASN to BSN. I have dyscalculia (which affects more than math), and managed to get through the math portions of LPN school relatively easy. For my ASN, I only needed to complete a developmental math course to get me to college level. Math difficulty is a widespread problem, so don't worry; many colleges have adapted to the variety of ways in which people learn.

    When the time comes for you to have to tackle the scary stuff, just take some classes at your local community college. I was able to take mine in a lab where I could work at my own pace, wear noise-canceling headphones and have one of the circulating professors stop by and assist me if need be. I get extra time and a calculator (although I choose not to use the calculator, some do). They even offered different ways of completing the course: I could technically fail the final and still pass so long as I had successfully performed a series of tests and assignments to measure my comprehension of the subject chapter by chapter throughout the semester.

    There are a lot of really amazing techniques that can help you adjust to higher level math, so don't count yourself out! Heck, I had an incredible professor teach me how to build narratives around my math problems, and another taught me to turn formulas into songs so I could remember them (memorization without understanding, alas).
  13. by   Kuriin
    Honestly, the math that's "med math" is kind of different than what you would expect. It's easy once you get it down. You just need to know math for when you take statistics (not really, but you kind of do).