Title: Calculation Skills for Nurses
Author: Claire Boyd
Reviewer: Paul Watson, head of child development, Marshland High School.
What was it like?
This book claims to provide nursing students with words of wisdom and advice from real–life student nurses. As the title is “Calculation Skills for Nurses” not Student Nurses I was most surprised by some of the basic maths that was being provided, and felt that it should have been advice from qualified staff, not students. The book provides basic skills that should enable nurses to calculate drug dosages with ease, boosting their confidence and competence in this core area of nursing practice. Having taught GCSE maths in the past I was pleased to see the general approach of the book, taking away the fear of calculations, making it approachable, easy and fun, and tying in with the NMC standards for pre–registration education and the Essential Skills Clusters. This did not, however take away the total dismay that I felt at having to teach students the 24-hour clock, times tables, rounding, conversions, percentages and fractions just to mention a few. This was work that I was teaching to 11 year olds in year 7 and makes me question the quality of student nurses, if this is having to be taught at this late stage. That said, the book is filled with examples and questions based on real life nursing and healthcare situations and includes key information displayed on the inside back cover for quick look–up on clinical placements, making it easily accessible and valuable to all.
What were the highlights?
Having been disturbed by the basic maths that was having to be taught, I was incredibly impressed with the quality of the book and the way that the questions and scenarios were constructed. To have the answers in the back of the book is of great help, allowing practitioners to confirm that they have understood the questions.
Strengths & weaknesses:
What a GREAT book, so well presented and thought out. This book is one that I am going to hang on to, not only for my nursing but just in case I get roped into teaching maths again (This is better than many of the maths texts I was using, and I believe the students would find the real life questions great fun).
Who should read it?
Everyone who has anything to do with drug calculations should have this book, even the doctors! Anyone who enjoys maths would also love this book, especially if you are likely to want to teach any of it.