Mathematics Anxiety and Mathematics Self-efficacy in Relation to Medication Calculation Performance in Nurses Page: 52
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minute classroom tutorial session; a self-study using a published workbook; a self-study using
their own reference; no intervention (Harne-Britner et al., 2006, p. 192). The average pretest
score for the senior baccalaureate nursing students was 15.9 and posttest 17.4, and the average
pretest score for practicing nurses was 15.5 and posttest 18.6. The researchers found "a
significant correlation with the nursing students' comfort level and calculating IV medication
doses and IV flow rate with test scores" (p. 192), and a correlation of the pretest scores of
practicing nurses with the frequency of performing medication calculations (p. 193). The
researchers found no significant difference among the four interventions. They concluded that
simply bringing their calculation skills and the possibility of making errors to their attention may
have influenced their improvement. However, it was of concern that few subjects made 100% on
the tests, and it was wondered how that would correlate with an error rate.
Mathematic and Medication Calculation Performance Factors
Many factors influence medication calculation performance. The acute care environment
has many activities occurring simultaneously while a nurse is required to prepare and administer
medications. Medication error risk factors may include work shifts, workloads, inadequate
staffing, medication distribution systems, distractions and interruptions, poor mathematical skills
of nurses, lack of knowledge of medications, not double-checking doses, and poorly written
orders (Balas, Scott & Rogers, 2004; Jones, 2009; Kuitunen et al., 2008; Parshuram et al., 2008;
Tang et al., 2007). Lack of knowledge may include not knowing how to use resources such as
setting up the infusion device; using the automated dosage system; using the reference materials
and lack of basic knowledge in anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, and mathematics. Staffing
issues and workload issues include such factors as fatigue, stress, skill levels of nurses and other
staff, and poorly trained or oriented staff. Currently the CPOE initiative is directed at decreasing
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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/m1/60/: accessed January 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .