Nurses and doctors use maths terms throughout the day. Vital Signs such as blood pressure readings and temperatures are all numbers, Test results are in numbers. Medication dosage uses numbers.
This is a sometimes forgotten area of English courses but very important in EMP. One common mistake when talking about decimal numbers is the use of a comma in the place of a decimal point. Saying '1 comma three' instead of '1 point three' is confusing and potentially dangerous if talking about a medication dose.
Nurses' maths skills are assessed annually in many hospitals and a 100% pass mark is expected. Many nursing students find it difficult to get used to the formulas used in medication calculation, often because of negative feelings they may have towards mathematics. Whilst calculators are always available for nurses to use, it is essential that nurses are able to work out calculations without a calculator if only to judge whether an answer is reasonable or not.
co-author of 'Cambridge English for Nursing' Pre-Intermediate and Intermediate+
- Medical English: Spelling