Mathematics Anxiety and Mathematics Self-efficacy in Relation to Medication Calculation Performance in Nurses Page: 6
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administration. The Joint Commission's "sentinel events data shows 60% of medication errors
were linked to orientation and training" (OR Manager, 2006).
A pilot study by Oldridge, Gray, McDermott, and Kirkpatrick (2004) found that less than
14% of health care providers sampled (physicians, pharmacists, and nurses) could calculate
correctly five medication questions. The poorest performers in their study were the nurses.
Harne-Britner et al. (2006) found poor medication calculation skills in nurses and nursing
students. Nurses at all levels of experience, type of degree, type of nurse and specialty
demonstrate limited accuracy in medication and intravenous infusion calculations (Ashby, 1997;
Bayne & Bindler, 1991; Cinar, Akunduran, & Dogan, 2006; McMullan, Jones, & Lea, 2010;
Morgan, Luo, Fortner, & Frush, 2006; Wright, 2009). "Patient acuity, staff shortages, decreased
preceptor availability, elimination of unit-based clinicians, and shortened orientation time
contribute to the need for new graduated to be highly proficient in medication calculation
abilities"(Greenfield et al., 2006).
Knowledge of basic mathematic skills, multiplication, division, ratio, and proportions are
some of the basic elements needed to perform medication calculations. Positive attitudes toward
mathematic performance and critical thinking skills are also essential. Mastery of basic
mathematic skills and the ability to focus on the task at hand with less anxiety and more
confidence should decrease medication calculation errors and are key elements that need to be
investigated when designing a medication calculation training program. Other skills related to
medication administration are demonstrated by following the established procedures
consistently. Attitudes related to mathematic performance are more difficult to determine.
Attitudes regarding medication calculations may relate to motivations, emotions, confidence
including self-efficacy, defensive behaviors, and socialization. Pekrun, Elliot, and Maier (2009)
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Melius, Joyce. Mathematics Anxiety and Mathematics Self-efficacy in Relation to Medication Calculation Performance in Nurses, dissertation, May 2012; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc115119/m1/14/: accessed September 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .