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Do nurses in your area lack numeracy skills?

  • Comments (5)

Last week we reported claims that some nurses are not able to pass numeracy and literacy tests as part of the recruitment processes.

Central and North West London Foundation Trust tests nursing applicants for numeracy and literacy, and regularly sees failure rates of 50-80%.

Health Education England has now appealed for evidence of the “anecdotal” problem amid greater focus on the education and training of qualified nurses following the Francis Report into care failings at Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust.

What do you think?

  • Do you feel confident calculating drug doses?
  • Are you confident that your colleagues have adequate numeracy skills?
  • Should greater emphasis be placed on numeracy skills in nurse training?



Additional information:

Dyscalculia: awareness and student support

“You can nurse with dyscalculia - but know your limitations”

  • Comments (5)

Readers' comments (5)

  • I'd say 300% of the nurses on my ward have difficulty with numeracy.

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  • Anonymous

    I am a nursing student, majority of my fellow peers worries about numeracy test.

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  • Anonymous

    I am quite concerned to learn that some nursing staff have difficulty with numeracy. Working on neonatal unit with medication requiring quite complicated calculations, I assumed all registered staff were tested rigorously as ours are. At the present time all neonatal staff from band 6 down are required to get a 100% pass mark on a rigid questionnaire testing their knowledge of dilutions, action, side effects and the actual calculations on drugs in use. This will be repeated in the future also. It is an excellent way to identify anyone who requires extra help and instruction, and is in no way a punishment. Surely all wards, could do the same periodically. Perhaps now is the time to include numeracy skills in annual updates.

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  • michael stone

    Mikey Rich | 27-May-2014 1:44 pm

    Mikey, I was just wondering: is that 300% using the Imperial or the Metric system ? This type of detail, is important.

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  • There should be more numeracy and literacy booster sessions laid on for people who would like them (+ for those who need them).

    Should include different types of documentation, how to be concise and accurate, and what's required for good documentation. eg legibility.

    Tests should extend to the multidisciplinary team, especially if involved with prescribing, dispensing or administering any medication (including feeds and medical gases).

    ps. conversion charts available somewhere accessible, so 300% of staff can also improve, not just leaving it to nurses ;)

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