’The book is aimed at undergraduate students or nurses requiring a refresher of their numeracy skills, but the basic level means it is probably best suited to junior students.
Title: Numeracy and Clinical Calculations for Nurses
Author: Neil Davison
Publisher: Lantern Publishing
Reviewer: Alison Taylor, senior lecturer in Child Health Nursing, School of Health Sciences, University of Brighton
What was it like?
Numeracy is a skill required in many areas of nursing. This book seeks to explore the topic as applied to the clinical environment and as would be expected, it focuses on medicines management. It also covers other areas where confidence in numeracy is required, such as making fluid balance calculations and the use of clinical scoring tools.
What were the highlights?
The style is chatty and the layout visual, making good use of different graphics to illustrate abstract concepts such as fractions and measurements. This is particularly strong in the Back to Basics chapter on decimals and units. The content is constantly related back to clinical and real life practice and uses examples as diverse as calculating annual leave and staffing ratios as well as drug and fluid calculations.
Strengths & weaknesses:
The self-assessment test in the introductory chapter directs the reader to the appropriate chapter according to their area of weakness. There are many other opportunities to practice the concepts explored throughout the book with tests and assessments both within the chapters and at the end of the book for revision. Basic mathematical ideas are well explained and often long-forgotten skills such as how to multiply decimals are thoroughly broken down. Common sense checks and pitfalls to avoid are useful additions. Although percentages are tackled in the Back to Basics chapter, an exploration of their use in fluid and drug composition (for example the meaning of 5% glucose) would have been helpful, as in my experience this causes consternation in practice. The safety issues regarding insulin and doses/units of measurement are also curiously overlooked.
Who should read it?
The book is aimed at undergraduate students or nurses requiring a refresher of their numeracy skills, but the basic level means it is probably best suited to junior students. Although the attempt to relate maths and numeracy to areas beyond drug and fluid calculations is laudable, the link to some subjects like clinical tools is rather tenuous.
numeracy and clinical calculations for nurses