Importance of Numeracy Skills for Nursing Practice

Written by cherrine banks | 13/05/2017

Numeracy involves the ability to recognise and utilise numerical data, enter data on forms and perform numerical calculations. A major part of your nursing education is learning how to use numbers clearly and accurately. Your success as a nurse depends on your ability to use numbers efficiently and effectively.

Understanding Numerical Data for Nursing

As a nurse, you will be required to understand numerical data. Entry-level nursing courses are dedicated to ensuring your ability to learn and absorb numerical data, such as numbers, percentages and fractions. These numerical skills are building blocks for a nursing career.

You may need to understand and use numerical data during a patient assessment. For instance, a cardiac patient may complain of headaches ,which may trigger you to check for high blood pressure. The data may help the doctor make a diagnosis.

Your advancement as a nurse may depend on searching medical paperwork or listening to patient conversations to offer good nursing advice. Your patients and their families depend on your education and skills to enable you to provide correct information and comforting words.

Entering Numerical Data

Nurses are required to enter accurate numerical information, such a patient's weight or a patient's blood pressure for a doctor to review. Nursing data may be entered on paper at a medical office or via a computer during a mobile nursing visit.

You may be given verbal warning when numerical information is entered incorrectly or missing information is discovered during your nursing review. One suggestion is to perform short numeracy reviews to help maintain your skill set.

Performing Numerical Calculations

A nurse needs to be able to perform numerical calculations to provide effective patient care as well as to manage a health department. Nurses at all professional levels use numerical calculations and in a variety of health settings, from entry-level nurses who work at local hospitals to nursing administrators who manage clinics.

Among the calculations nurses need to make are ratios and equations. Calculating dsages often requires numerical skills, such as when administering insulin to patients with diabetes or vitamin B12 shots to patients with vitamin deficiencies.

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