Mathematics Anxiety and Mathematics Self-efficacy in Relation to Medication Calculation Performance in Nurses Page: 54
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learned calculation ability for solving the current problem, and their belief about mathematics or
calculations can influence a person's problem-solving ability (Wright, 2009).
Human factors include those things that happen just because people are fallible, make
choices, and have physical limitations. Human factors such as experience level, attention level,
haste, distraction, fatigue, lack of skills, lack of knowledge, or depression may increase error
rates. Pediatrics, intensive care settings, and high-stress situations may also be more error prone
due the more complex procedures, calculations (based on patient weight), and higher stakes
involved in a more critical environment.
One's education level, age, experience, emotional state, and stress level all contribute to
one's personal performance level. Personal issues can impact overall performance, attitude, and
capability. A person who is fatigued may not be thinking clearly or may have blunted responses.
"After 17 hours of sustained wakefulness cognitive psychomotor performance decreases to a
level equivalent to the performance impairment observed at a blood alcohol concentration of
0.05%" (Dawson, & Reid, 1997, p. 235). Working with too little sleep or for more than 40 hours
a week are attributed to poorer productivity. Working long hours, feeling one is efficient even
when fatigued, and not taking enough time between shifts are all documented contributors to
unsafe work conditions ("Needlesticks," 2008; Rogers, Hwang, Scott, Aiken, & Dinges, 2004;
Trinkoff, Geiger-Brown, Brady, Lipscomb, & Muntaner, 2006).
Rogers et al. (2004) found that the likelihood of a nurse making an error after working
12.5 hours or more was tripled and working overtime increases the odds of an error. Number of
hours worked per week, overtime, and length of work shifts were related to an increase in errors.
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommends that "nurses work no more than 12 hours in a 24-
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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/m1/62/: accessed June 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .