Mathematics Anxiety and Mathematics Self-efficacy in Relation to Medication Calculation Performance in Nurses Page: 45
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calculation test at 90%, there is an urgent, continued need to evaluate the medication calculation
ability of practicing nurses and also to research ways to enhance remediation processes.
Harne-Britner et al. (2006) examined IV calculations of 22 RNs and 31 senior nursing
students, finding that 54.8% of nurses and 41.6% of students could not calculate IV medications
or IV flow rates with 90% accuracy. The nurses' pretest scores correlated positively with the
frequency of medication calculations in practice (p = 0.017). There were no statistically
significantly differences between the students and nurses on pre- and posttest scores. It was
noted that the students had significant positive correlations (p = 0.024, IV med doses; p = 0.011,
IV flow rates) between self-rating of comfort level and IV medication doses and IV flow rates on
pre- and posttests. The authors discussed the need for skill practice; because students and nurses
continue to have weaknesses in calculations, nurse educators have an opportunity to find some
new and creative ways to develop, improve, and maintain skills.
In order to improve nurses' poor mathematic performance three areas of the problem
need to be addressed: relationships, practice, and expectations (Polifroni et al., 2005).
Relationships between acute care staff development educators and nursing student educators
need to be enhanced to improve the connection of what is being done to master good medication
calculation skills and share information about teaching and learning methods that produce better
results. The practice environment must emphasize the importance of accurate calculations,
promote regular practicing of mathematical skills, and have clear expectations that excellence in
practice is to be the standard (Polifroni et al., 2005).
Attitudes, beliefs, and work ethics also influence performance in the practice area.
Mathematics self-efficacy, mathematics anxiety, and beliefs about mathematics have been
correlated with mathematic ability (Hackett & Betz, 1989; Walsh, 2006). Andrew et al. (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/m1/53/: accessed October 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .