Thursday, June 12, 2014

EHRs and Math Skills - kill two birds with one stone!

For non-nurses, it may come as a surprise that math is such a big factor in nursing education and nursing in general. But here at EHR Tutor, we understand just how crucial it is for a nurse to be able to determine the correct dosage of a medication or attach the proper amount of fluid in an IV bag.

However, nursing students are so overwhelmed by the courseload as it is, we can't possibly expect them to go home and brush up on their algebraic formulas. So here are some ideas for how you can use an Academic EHR system to cement those skills while relating the lesson to something our nurses need to understand - medications. 

Here's an example with simple math. The numbers can be switched to make things more complicated than doubling the dose. 

- In your EHR System place an order for 60 mg of a medication. 

If you're in a simulation setting: 
- Have students go in and find the order for the medication themselves when reviewing the patient summary. 
- When students are ready to pass the med to the mannequin, they should find only "tablets" (or pieces of paper with the name of the medication written on them) in 30mg doses. 
- When the student charts the medication they gave the patient, instruct them to record any math they had to do in the "comment" field so you can review it after the simulation and make sure all students gave two 30mg tablets to the patient. 

If you're in a classroom: 
- Open the Patient Summary for your patient on a projector or Smartboard. Have students review the order and call out what medication they need to administer. 
- When you go into the MAR to record that you've given the medication, announce that you only have 30 mg tablets available. Ask students what to do. 
- If student have access to their own computers or tablets, have them enter the information into the MAR themselves. If not, ask for the right answer from the group.