Mathematics Anxiety and Mathematics Self-efficacy in Relation to Medication Calculation Performance in Nurses Page: 49
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significant correlation with the nursing students' comfort level and calculating IV medication
doses (pretestp = 0.008; posttestp = 0.024) and IV flow rate (pretestp = 0.004; posttestp =
0.011) with test scores. There was also a correlation of the pretest scores of practicing nurses
with the frequency of performing medication calculations (p = 0.017). There were no significant
differences among the four interventions. Simply bringing their calculation skills and the
possibility of making errors to their attention may have influenced their improvement.
Calculation skills required by nurses vary according to the clinical areas in which they are
working (Wright, 2009). Depending on the clinical area, nurses have the opportunity to use
certain medication calculation skills more often than others. For instance, a nurse working on a
general medical floor may not use pediatric calculations or complex intravenous drips. The
pediatric, neonatal, or nursery nurse may use small doses and not be familiar with adult drugs
and doses. The nurse working in an adult intensive care unit may not know pediatrics, but may
be able to calculate the complex intravenous drips.
Skill assessment and ongoing competency evaluation need to be tailored to the safety
needs of the patient. Medication calculation errors can be decreased by ongoing practice, by
evaluation of basic dosage calculations, and by ameliorating other factors. Many hospitals
currently do not routinely evaluate calculation skills or medication calculation competency.
Since many nursing programs give a calculation test every semester or before all clinical courses,
it is assumed that the graduate nurse comes with calculation skills. As discussed in a previous
section, this is not the case. Hospital educators and nursing education programs must collaborate
on methods to systematically evaluate medication calculations skills. Further research is needed
to identify performance factors and implement teaching/learning/training systems to promote
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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/m1/57/: accessed November 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .