24 SES 16, Proportional Reasoning
This presentation will report on the student responses to an interdisciplinary initiative to develop the numeracy and mathematical skills of undergraduate nursing students. Additionally we will explore some of our reflections on the preparation, delivery and evaluation of this initiative.
Does a constructivist, conceptual approach to teaching maths to nurses improve nurse’s numeracy skills?
What was the student nurses perception of this approach to teaching maths for drug calculations?
Nurses spend much of their clinical time undertaking medication dosage calculation. Safe, error free administration of medications is a fundamental requirement of ensuring optimal patient outcomes. However, errors regularly occur, the cause of errors in medication administration is multifaceted. One aspect that has been highlighted in the literature leading to medication errors relates to errors in dosage calculation. Up to 30% of medication errors can be attributed to incorrect dosage administration. Numerous studies have identified deficiencies in the medication calculation and numeracy skills of nurses. This problem is not isolated to nurses or one country alone with deficiencies in numeracy skills of healthcare professionals identified as a problem in Europe, Australia and North America. Internationally there has been consistent concern in the healthcare literature over many years relating to the lack of mathematical / numeracy skills of healthcare professionals. Despite many attempts at improving numercay skills of nurses there continues to be significant problems in this area that potentially contribute to poor outcomes for patients.
Typically, the method for teaching drug calculation to nurses has been by learning formulas and repetitive practice. However, this approach is very procedural rather than process oriented and may work in the short term but does not foster long term learning or understanding. Additionally, the teaching is conducted by nurse teachers who do not specialize in teaching numeracy and maths.
This Australian initiative used student teachers to teach the student nurses maths skills using visual, spacial and linguistic approaches to teaching maths.
Method: To answer the research questions the research was conducted in 2 stages. Stage 1: Quantitative date was obtained via a quasi-experiment conducted in 2017 to examine the effects of a constructivist approach to teaching numeracy maths skills to nursing students. In stage 1 a pre-test and two post-tests were given to the students. The first post-test immediately following the completion of the teaching period and a second post-test three months after completion of the teaching period. Stage 2: Students were interviewed to determine their perceptions of the teaching approach and if they thought it was beneficial in improving their numeracy skills.
Outcomes: Analysis of the results showed significant improvement in numeracy skills which was maintain 3 months following the completion of the program. Feedback from students was varied with some indicating very positive experience and improved numeracy skills. Some students found the teaching approach confronting, suggesting that they thought the approach used was for children rather than adults. We are currently conducting further analysis of the data which we intend to present at the conference.
Arkell, S. and Rutter, P.M. (2012) Numeracy skills of undergraduate entry level nurse, midwife and pharmacy students. Nurse Education in Practice. 12(4) pp.198-203. Bagnasco, A. Galaverna, L. Aleo, G. Grugnetti, A.M. Rosa, F. and Sasso, L. (2016) Mathematical calculation skills required for drug administration in undergraduate nursing students to ensure patient safety: A descriptive study: Drug calculation skills in nursing students. Nurse Education in Practice. 16(1) pp.33-39, Dilles, T. Vander Stchele, R.R. Van Bortel L. and Elseviers, M.M. (2011) Nursing students' pharmacological knowledge and calculation skills. Ready for practice? Nurse Education Today 31(5) pp.499-505. Eastwood, K.J. Boyle, M.J. Williams, B. and Fairhall, R. (2011) Numeracy skills of nursing students. Nurse Education Today 31(8) 815- 818. Eley, R. Sinnott, M. Steinle, V. Trenning, L. Boyde, M. and Dimeski, G. (2014) The need to address poor numeracy skills in the emergency department environment. Emergency Medicine Australia. 26 pp.300-302. Foss, B. Mordt, P. Oftedal, B.F. and Lokken, A. (2013) Medication calculation. The Potential Role of Digital Game-Based Learning in Nurse Education. Computers in Nursing 31(12) pp.589-593. Jukes, L. and Gilchrist, M. (2006) Concerns about numeracy skills of nursing students. Nurse Education in Practice. 6(4) pp.192-198. Mackie, J.E. and Bruce, C.D. (2016) Increasing nursing students understanding and accuracy with medical dose calculations: A collaborative approach. Nurse Education Today. 40 May 2016. 146-153. Marks, R., Hodgen, J., Coben, D., Bretscher, N. (2015). Nursing Students’ Experiences of Learning, Numeracy for Professional Practice. Adults Learning Mathematics: An International Journal, 11(1), pp.43-58. Ridlon, C.L. (2009) Learning mathematics via a problem-centered approach: A two-year study, Mathematical Thinking and Learning, 11(4), pp.188-225, Sullivan, P. and Davidson, A. (2016) The role of challenging mathematical tasks in creating opportunities for student reasoning, In Curriculum in focus: Research guided practice (Proceedings of the 37th annual conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia) Sydney: MERGA. 2014, pp. 605–612. Young, S. Weeks, K.W. and Hutton, B.M. (2013) Safety in numbers 1: Essential numerical and scientific principles underpinning medication dose calculation. Nurse Education in Practice. 13(e11-e22.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
The programme is updated regularly (each day in the morning)
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.