Does Nursing Require Math Classes?

Does Nursing Require Math Classes?

Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) are an essential part of the care provided in hospitals, long-term medical facilities, and doctors’ offices. Nurses need to know a little bit about a lot. But do nurses need to know math, and if so, how do they use it in their daily duties?

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Math Requirements for Licensed Practical Nurses

A nursing diploma prepares learners to take on the challenges of working as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). In order to effectively complete their daily duties, LPNs and other professional nurses need these math skills:

  • Fractions and decimals (adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing)
  • Ratios
  • Proportions
  • Solutions and equations

Computer programs and calculators simplify many of our daily math interactions. However, nurses need to understand how these calculations work in order to accurately apply the operations in their work.

How Nurses Use Math in Daily Duties

Math classes help nurses during their daily duties in a number of ways:

  • Determining the proper dosage of prescribed medication. Too much medication can cause severe reactions. Too little medication could leave patients suffering needlessly. Since most dosages are based on body weight, nurses need to be able to determine the right amount of medicine for each patient.
  • Converting measurements. Nurses work with medications and substances that are measured with the metric, apothecary, or US systems. In order to ensure the proper dose is administered, LPNs need to be comfortable converting measurements into other numbering systems.
  • Administering IVs. Nurses add medications or other solutions to IV bags as a way to administer them over a period of time. Math classes help nurses calculate the right amount of solution to add to the bags and adjust the flow so that medication is delivered as the doctor orders.
  • Mixing solutions. Some medications need to be prepared before patients can use them. Nurses use their math skills in order to properly mix solvents and solutes in the proper ratio. These calculations can be complex, as nurses have to work with multiple variables like patient weight, frequency of dosage, and other factors that change from patient to patient.

Math is a vital part of an LPN’s training. It gives them the ability to provide precision, high-quality care in an efficient manner.

Math Instruction in Nursing Education

Nursing candidates will encounter math instruction throughout their formal training program. Some classes concentrate solely on mathematics. Others combine the math instruction with other subjects, like pharmacology, medical surgical nursing, and acute care nursing classes. These classes are often more advanced and require students to already possess certain math proficiencies.

Those who lack confidence in their math skills may want to take a remedial or refresher course before entering nursing school. This will give them a firm foundation on which to build their medical math knowledge, and make it easier for them to grasp operations that are more complex. Nursing schools often offer tutors, study groups, and other supplemental resources, to help those who struggle with math to achieve their goals.

Does Nursing Require Math Classes?

Are you interested in taking your first step towards a future in nursing? If you want to earn a Diploma in Practical Nursing, consider ECPI University for the education you will need to apply for a license. For more information, connect with a helpful admissions advisor today.

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