Mathematics Anxiety and Mathematics Self-efficacy in Relation to Medication Calculation Performance in Nurses Page: 10
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Many medication errors are related to dose errors, and it is documented that nurses are
not good at mathematics (Calliari, 1995; Gladstone, 1995; Grandell-Niemi, Hupli, & Leino-
Kilpi, 2001; Jukes & Gilchrist, 2006; Lee, 2001; Wright, 2006). Jones (2009) stated, "Nurses
poor mathematical competency has been identified as a key cause of medication administration
errors" (p. 41). Harne-Britner et al. (2006) found that 41.6% of students and 54.8% of nurses
could not calculate IV medication or IV flow rates with 90% accuracy. McMullan et al. (2010)
found no statistical significant difference between the medication calculation ability of registered
nurses (RNs) and nursing students; the failure rate was 45% and 55%, respectively, on a
mathematic test. Many schools and health care agencies do not have consistent practices in
assuring medication calculation skills. Polifroni et al. (2003) indicate that many acute care
agencies require specific passing scores ranging from 70% to 100% and most require a score of
80% and above.
Mathematics anxiety is defined as "feelings of tension and anxiety that interfere with the
manipulation of numbers and the solving of mathematical problems in a wide variety of ordinary
life and academic situations" (Richardson & Suinn, 1972, p. 551) and may manifest itself in
avoidance of certain situations, including courses in math and statistics, in feelings of
inadequacy, or in added pressure and physiological symptoms (Betz, 1978; Richardson & Suinn,
1972). Mathematics anxiety is such a negative experience to some people that they actively and
purposely avoid mathematics situations (Alexander & Cobb, 1984). Richardson and Suinn
(1972) have noted that "it has been demonstrated that mathematics anxiety exists among many
individuals who do not ordinarily suffer from any other tensions" (p. 551).
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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/m1/18/: accessed December 12, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .