The presence of mathematics and computer anxiety in nursing students and their effects on medication dosage calculations
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Aim: To determine if the presence of mathematical and computer anxiety in nursing students affects learning of dosage calculations. Method: The quasi-experimental study compared learning outcomes at differing levels of mathematical and computer anxiety when integrative and computer based learning approaches were used. Participants involved a cohort of second year nursing students (N = 97). Results: Mathematical anxiety exists in 20% (n = 19) of the student nurse population, and 14% (n = 13) experienced mathematical testing anxiety. Those students more anxious about mathematics and the testing of mathematics benefited from integrative learning to develop conditional knowledge (F (4,66)=2.52 at p <.05). Computer anxiety was present in 12% (n = 11) of participants, with those reporting medium and high levels of computer anxiety performing less well than those with low levels (F(1,81)=3.98 at p<.05). Conclusion: Instructional strategies need to account for the presence of mathematical and computer anxiety when planning an educational program to develop competency in dosage calculations.
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