Mathematics Anxiety and Mathematics Self-efficacy in Relation to Medication Calculation Performance in Nurses Page: 41
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pitocin infusions; use of intravenous pumps; and implementation of cardiopulmonary
resuscitation (CPR). They suggested double checking all high-risk medications and medications
given in high-alert situations. Understanding the use and programming of infusion devices and
double checking carefully are not stressed enough in the practice environment.
The percentage of errors due to calculation errors alone is not known because, if an error
is wrong dose, was it an actual error in computation or an error in selecting the correct
medication strength from the supply? Errors can be due to wrong amount measured into syringe,
diluted wrong or wrong strength, and vial or capsule among others. Depending on the definition
a 10-fold error may not be a calculation error but a prescribing or transcription error (Wright,
2010). Many studies use an observational approach, and this method cannot determine what was
going on in the thinking of the caregiver, just that the action or behavior was in error. Wright
(2010) suggests that research be done with a clear definition of calculation error and "the number
of errors caused by miscalculation and ascertain possible causal factors" (p. 96).
Nurses' Perceptions of Frequent Causes of Medication Errors
Causes % of nurses
Nurse fails to check name band with MAR 45.8
Nurse is tired and exhausted 33.3
Physician prescribes wrong dose 30.4
Nurse miscalculates dose 30.4
Confusion between 2 drugs with similar names 29.2
Physician's writing is illegible 28.0
Nurse distracted by patients, coworkers, and events in the unit 25.0
Nurse confused by different types and functions of infusion device 25.0
Medication labels/packaging poor quality/damaged 25.0
Nurse sets up/adjusts infusion device incorrectly 24.0
(Ulanimo et al.)
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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/m1/49/: accessed September 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .