# Do you need math?

1. I am currently taking College Algebra for my Pre Nursing Major. Its hard, but not the HARDEST thing in the world, and I also have to take Statistics after this. so I had a few questions.
1. Do you use college algebra daily as a nurse?
2. Do you use stats as a nurse?
3. Can I have a senario of where math would be used?
4. Whats the hardest math that you have to do as a nurse on a daily basic
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Joined: Jan '12; Posts: 15

3. LOL yes sweetie you need math everyday , everywhere.
4. Like I said on the other thread, not a nursing student or nurse...but if you are doing research or trying to comprehend someone else's research, you need to understand statistics. As far as other math, I don't know, but I would guess that having a good grasp of math is useful to nurses.
5. http://www.alysion.org/dimensional/analysis.htm is a great site to become familiar with nursing math. To answer your question though, yes we use math on a daily basis.
Last edit by ChrissyRN74 on Feb 1, '12 : Reason: Format issues
6. Most nursing programs have a medication calculation proficiency exam at the start of each semester that you need to demonstrate competency on in order to progress. Most of these are dimensional analysis type problems. You might not need calculus to be a nurse, but basic math can mean the difference between life and death for a patient.

1.) Yes.
2.) Yes.
3.) Calculating dosages, drip rates, ANCs, BMIs, fluid replacements, etc.
4.) In research, some pretty complex math and stats. In practice, some dosage and rate calcs can be fairly complex.
Last edit by BostonFNP on Feb 1, '12
7. Yes, you will most definitely need math. Will you need to whip out a number for a derivative of a function? Absolutely not. It's more like Chemistry math--a lot of multiplying and dividing.

An example might be:
Bob is a patient with *insert debilitating illness here*. He has an order for 0.2g of BLAH. The vial of BLAH reads 5mg/ml. How many mLs would you give Bob?

0.2 g x (1000mg/g) x (1mL/5mg) = 40mL

It gets more complicated than that, but the gist is... it's still basic math!

As far as Statistics goes, it's just used for Research. It's good to have an understanding of it, but you won't be using statistical math in your everyday work. Unless, I suppose, your everyday work IS research.
8. Quote from RN_ICU
It's more like Chemistry math--a lot of multiplying and dividing..
Right! As a nurse you will be responsible for administering drugs that when given in the wrong dose may be lethal. The math you need to know is not complex, but you really have to know it.
9. dosagehelp.com - helping nursing students learn dosage calculations check this out for a fraction that you will use everyday on a regular nursing floor.

mass/liquid for liquid questions

given an amount of mass per liquid, how much liquid do you require?

formula:
 ordered have
x volume per have = y (liquid required)

example: phenytoin (dilantin), 0.1 g po, is ordered to be given through a nasogastric tube. phenytoin is available as 30 mg / 5 ml. how much would the nurse administer?
 ordered have
x volume per have = y (liquid required)
convert 0.1 g to mg.
• mcg ← mg ← g ← kg ( x by 1,000 )
• 0.1 g x 1,000 = 100 mg
 100 mg 30 mg
x 5 ml = 16.7 ml

example: ordered lasix 40 mg iv push now. available: 80 mg in 1 ml. how much will the nurse draw up?
 ordered have
x volume per have = y (liquid required)
 40 mg 80 mg
x 1 ml = 0.5 ml