Mathematics Anxiety and Mathematics Self-efficacy in Relation to Medication Calculation Performance in Nurses Page: 55
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hour period and no more than 60 hours in a seven-day period, in order to reduce error-producing
fatigue" (IOM, as cited in Trinkoff et al., 2006).
The working environment can elicit emotions that may impede or enhance successful
skill performance. Emotions and stressors are different from an attitude in that an attitude is a
preconceived mind-set about the situation that can influence the emotional state and add to the
stressors. Emotions are the feelings and sensations a person experiences in certain situations and
circumstances. Stressors are underlying phenomena that may lead to physical, emotional, and
psychological symptoms. Symptoms can be negative or positive, depending on type and
presentation. For instance, anxiety can increase the person's awareness of the importance of the
situation, or anxiety can paralyze the person and keep him or her from doing anything. Other
emotions may be anger, frustration, joy, happiness, boredom, hope, pride, or shame. These
emotions may all be involved in critical situations (Pekrun et al., 2009).
Symptoms of heightened awareness and a sense of urgency may be helpful in a critical
situation, whereas symptoms of panic, confusion, and nervous tension may be "unhealthy or
harmful," that is, may make a person forget prior knowledge or make a mistake in the same
critical situation. Students, nurses, and teachers who are anxious about math may experience
high levels of stress any time they encounter a math situation, which can lead to poor
Choking under pressure may be another form of stress in critical situations. Distraction
theories suggest that the working memory can become filled to capacity when one is under
pressure because the added thoughts of the crisis or critical situation compete for attention. The
person's attention would normally be focused entirely on the task, and the working memory
would not be distracted but would bring to mind the elements necessary to successfully perform
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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/m1/63/: accessed August 16, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .