Mathematics for Nurses by Grace G. Johnson. New York, Appleton - Century-Crofts, 1981. 196 pages, paperback, $10.95.
Nurses and mathematics long have misunderstood each other. The precipitate from this combination ranges from ill feelings to wanton incompatibility. Nevertheless, accuracy in the preparation and administration of medications is essential to safe nursing practice - and this means understanding mathematics.
This understanding is made easier through the use of self-paced texts. Ms. Johnson, a nurse herself, has written such a text for nurses. Mathematics for Nurses advances the learner from the simple to the complex - from a review of arithmetic, decimals, and fractions to calculations for drug administration. The text could be used in the classroom setting or as a reference for the practitioner.
The author makes helpful suggestions in her "Preface" and "Introduction" so that readers may receive optimum benefit from the text. The text is divided into 19 lessons. Each lesson contains: learning objectives, content with examples, plenty of practice problems for mastery, and answers for all the problems. There are four appendices that proved a quick reference for rules of medication administration, tables of measurement, formulae, and abbreviations.
Specific topics covered in the book are: review of arithmetic, weights and measures, metric and apothecaries' equivalents, household measures, oral medications, parenteral medications, insulin dosages, dosages for children, drugs in powder form, intravenous flow rate, Celsius and fahrenheit scales, dosages for injections using tablets, making solutions from tablets, measuring minims, preparing solutions from pure drugs, and solution preparation.
Language used throughout the text is clear. Some illustrations are used, and the problems given regarding medication calculation are practical and representative of current nursing practice. The text is sof tcover and has some space avail· able for computation of answers to problems. The problems in the lesson on insulin administration are particularly effective.
As with all self-study approaches to learning, the problem lies in the motivation of the learner to take advantage of the information available. Ms. Johnson has done a creditable job in presenting mathe^ ma tics in a clear, concise and thorough way. Mathematics for Nurses is a recommended selflearning text for nursing students in any type of curriculum, as well as a useful reference for professional nurses who need a "refresher" course in mathematics.