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Improving undergraduate nursing students’ drug calculation skills – A multi-modal approach

Selvaraj, Nelson 2023. Improving undergraduate nursing students’ drug calculation skills – A multi-modal approach. Presented at: Royal College of Nursing Education Forum National Conference & Exhibition 2023, Birmingham Conference and Events Centre, 25-26 April 2023.

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Drug calculation skills are fundamental to medication safety. Despite the importance of this skill, evidence suggests that more than half of nursing students around the world fail drug calculation assessment. It is therefore important to strengthen nursing students’ drug calculation skills during their education. The aim of the project is to evaluate the impact of a multi-modal educational (MME) approach on undergraduate nursing students’ drug calculation skills. A MME approach has been implemented in the final year nursing curriculum to improve students’ drug calculation skills. Quality improvement principles were used to guide the MME approach. Initial data from previous numeracy assessments were reviewed by the Numeracy lead to identify common types of errors made by students. Following the review of the initial findings, several strategies have been planned and implemented in collaboration with the school of mathematics. In this MME approach, students were given daily online mock drug calculation exams and offered one-to-one or group math tutorials by the Numeracy lead or by the School of Mathematics prior to their summative assessment. During the summative assessment, students were allowed to use calculators to double-check their answers. User-friendly guidelines and learning materials have also been developed and made available for students to access. Data from daily mock assessments were used to monitor students’ performance and design appropriate teaching strategies. An evaluation of this MME approach revealed that the new initiative had a positive impact on students’ drug calculation abilities and improved the overall first attempt pass rate from 64% to 84%. The teaching strategy of one-to-one math tutorials, which provide more opportunities for students to ask questions about drug calculations, was clearly identified by students as a benefit. These encouraging findings are congruent with current evidence, suggesting that with a MME approach, students’ abilities to calculate accurate dosages can be improved.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Healthcare Sciences
Subjects: R Medicine > RT Nursing
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2023 09:15

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