**Learning Math and Dosage Calculations Using a Computer Program**

**Introduction**
In nursing particularly, absolute competence is a must as
patients' welfare is directly connected to any action or
decision that you take. Give the wrong dosage or medication and
a patient can be killed. Naturally, this can have devastating
consequences so it is absolutely crucial that you take all the
precautions in keeping up to date and maintaining your skills.
Dosage calculations are no exception and the reported cases of
medication errors on an annual basis is very high. Despite this,
many nurses absolutely fear performing calculations of any sort!
Why is this? Most likely because the calculations involve a
knowledge of maths and maths can be a daunting task - especially
if it has been a long time since you studied at school or
university.
The reality of the situation however, is not as bleak as it
often appears to nurses. To perform dosage calculations you
really only need a very basic level of math skills. Basic means
a level that really does not exceed primary school: fractions,
decimals, percentages and ratios.
But how do you learn and maintain your skills in maths? Well
there really are 3 ways:
1> Through a textbook
2> Using Software
3> Hiring a private tutor (which generally requires a lot of
money)
**1. Textbooks**
Learning math from a textbook can be unsettling - often because
it brings back memories of a screaming teacher throwing algebra
problems in front of you while you anxiously try and avoid
looking directly at them just in case they ask you to go to the
front of the class and solve the problem in front of all your
class mates!
Textbooks can also be notoriously dry and have their own
limitations in terms of interactivity and efficiency of
learning. They rarely account for people who don't like (or
can't) read very well and have a limited range of questions.
**2. Software**
Software has a number of advantages - the main one being the
fact that it offers an extremely interactive way to develop your
skills without having to open a book. Questions are in the
thousands, difficulty levels are included to cater for all skill
levels and you receive instant feedback to your answers (without
having to look at the back of a textbook for the answer).
Further most features are only a simple click away. Repetitive
practice suddenly isn't such a dry chore but more of a personal
challenge to beat your best score!
Most Software packages even cater for the computer phobic as
they use large buttons and a simple "click on where you want to
go system". Before you know it your math and computer skills
will be improving!
In a world in which computer are becoming general household
items computer based education is slowly replacing textbook
based methods for its many advantages.
**3. Private Tutor**
Probably best for the wealthy but you will still be referred to
a textbook or computer program to develop your skills!