MATHSPHOBIA: THE FEAR OF DRUG CALCULATION ASSESSMENT…. An undergraduate nursing study

Mrs Ann-Marie Brown1

1University Of Tasmania, Launceston, Australia

The ability for nurses to perform accurate drug calculations in the clinical arena is essential to safeguard the health and wellbeing of clients and prevent any complications in their satisfactory recovery. Drug calculations play a major role in pharmacology knowledge, and this is an essential element in nursing education The practice of delivering medications in a safe and correct approach is a key nursing activity. The assessment of drug calculations is of utmost importance to university undergraduate nursing programs. Safe medication administration enhances patient care, and strategies to improve mathematical skills need to be employed to reduce medication errors. The main reason that drug calculations are assessed is to alleviate medication calculation errors thus ensuring patient’s safety in the clinical area. Inaccuracy of calculations is one of the factors that contribute to medication errors.

Drug calculation assessment in undergraduate nursing programs can be seen as an anxiety-provoking experience for many students. By identifying these, educators are able to develop assessment items suited to different students from varying backgrounds and abilities

This study aimed to identify elements which cause anxiety and stress in relation to drug calculation examinations Themes developed from this research include the fear of failure, poor mathematical ability and the format of the examination and its relationship with clinical practice.


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