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# What kind of math is used in nursing?

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Nurses often use basic arithmetic and algebra on the job. Some nurses, particularly those who work in the public health and epidemiology fields, also use statistics.

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Nurses must be able to perform basic calculations to ensure each patient receives the correct amount of medication. If a doctor writes a prescription for 1 milligram of medication per kilogram of body weight, the nurse must be able to convert the patient's weight from pounds to kilograms and determine how many milligrams of medication to administer.

Nurses use addition, subtraction, multiplication and division on a daily basis. A nurse must also be comfortable working with fractions and decimals, using ratios and proportions and converting one unit of measurement to another. Geometry is not used as often as algebra or basic arithmetic, but is helpful when working with orthopedic patients or when using some medical equipment. If a nurse is inserting an IV line, for example, he must insert it at the correct angle to ensure it pierces the vein and delivers medication to the bloodstream. An orthopedic nurse may have to position his patient's limbs at certain angles to ensure they heal properly after joint replacement surgery.

Nursing administrators also use math daily. A unit manager, for example, uses math to determine if she has enough money in the budget to hire a new nurse or pay current staff members overtime to fill in for sick employees.

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## Related Questions

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Pharmacists uses basic algebra, fractions and percentages in their daily work, according to the Everest college group. Retail pharmacists, for example, also need a working knowledge of basic business math, according to Pharmacy Tech Pros, an online resource center for pharmacists.

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Job seekers should consider positions that cater to their educational skills, training or personal interests. Positions that provide opportunities for advancement, additional education and training, or perks such as telecommuting, flexible work schedules or tuition reimbursement help employees stay engaged and motivated at the workplace.

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Universities with schools of nursing can provide sample application letters for nursing jobs. For example, the Office of Career & Professional Development at the University of California, San Francisco, has a dedicated page on its website as of 2014 with sample application letters, resume formats and other resources.