’Anyone either embarking on a clinical health care career or who is practising but would like to brush up on their numeracy skills, should read this book.’
Title: Mathematics Explained for Healthcare Practitioners
Authors: Derek Haylock & Paul Warburton
Reviewer: Alison Taylor, senior lecturer in Child Health Nursing, School of Health Sciences, University of Brighton
What was it like?
Mathematics can be a daunting subject in health care, especially for students. This excellent and highly accessible book is a great resource for learners, practitioners and teachers alike, covering a comprehensive array of mathematical principles and applying them to various contexts. Unlike many books on the subject, it is structured around the mathematical concepts themselves rather than clinical practice and instead only introduces this slowly, culminating in a final chapter of full practice scenarios. Everyday situations are used to illustrate points throughout the book along with specific clinical applications, which serves to engage the reader and increase the accessibility of the text.
What were the highlights?
The passion and expertise of the authors really comes across in a relaxed, informally written book whose tone is one of confidence building. Problems are painstakingly picked apart and multiple ”informal” strategies are laid out for each one, demonstrating that the skills involved in numeracy are complex and often highly individual according to the way we each think. A great tactic is the use of a “Spot the Errors” exercise at the start of each chapter, intended to rapidly test the reader’s knowledge before introducing the concepts more fully.
Strengths & weaknesses:
The book is presented in a logical and organised way and encourages readers to think laterally within a range of contexts. Particularly welcome are chapters on the use of calculators, rounding and the complex mixture of imperial and metric systems that we still live with in the UK. Some chunks of text are quite dense but the varied layout using boxes, graphics and diagrams means they do not dominate. The book is perhaps over-detailed for some but for many others will provide a comprehensive and thorough mathematics resource.
Who should read it?
Anyone either embarking on a clinical health care career or who is practising but would like to brush up on their numeracy skills. Various concepts that many of us probably take for granted are expertly explained so this text could also be useful for practitioners in teaching roles.
mathematics explained for healthcare