Aim The objective of this study was to determine if undergraduate paramedics could accurately perform common drug calculations and basic mathematical computations normally required in the workplace.
Method A descriptive paper-based questionnaire collecting demographical data, student attitudes regarding their drug calculation performance, and answers to a series of basic mathematical and drug calculation questions was administered to undergraduate paramedic students.
Results The mean score was 39.5% with only 3.3% of students (n=3) scoring greater than 90%, and 63% (n=58) scoring 50% or less. Conceptual errors made up 48.5%, arithmetical 31.1% and computational 17.4%.
Conclusion This study suggests undergraduate paramedics have deficiencies in performing accurate calculations with conceptual errors indicating a fundamental lack of mathematical understanding.
- Drug dosage calculations
- medication errors
- emergency ambulance systems
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Competing interests None.
Ethics approval Monash University Human Research Ethics Committee.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.