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Unit 7: Effective Healthcare Practice using Maths

Unit 7: Effective Healthcare Practice using Maths

Numeracy is a fundamental skill in all aspects of healthcare. Healthcare workers need good confidence and skills in measuring, calculating and recording data to support service user outcomes, and improve the quality of care. To work as healthcare practitioners, they need to understand the interrelationship between numeracy, physiology and biochemical processes in the body. The strength of workers’ numeracy skills can significantly affect the health outcomes of individuals they are providing care for. They must appreciate that inaccurate calculations can lead to serious consequences, e.g. incorrect dosages of medicines being administered can have serious adverse and even fatal effects on a patient in their care. In this unit, students will learn to apply mathematical principles and appreciate the scientific rationale for the information they are collecting and the methods they are using. They must be able to understand the significance of the results they obtain and explain the scientific basis for that significance. Topics included in this unit include the contextual use of mathematical methods which will include: selecting relevant information for different purposes and the observation and recording of different forms of data, using mathematical methods such as: fractions, decimals, ratio, percentages, averages and unit conversion for different purposes, e.g. in obtaining and analysing physiological readings, medication administration and management. The scientific rationale for the information and methods used include the biochemistry of disease, disorder and lifestyle choices. The ability to use mathematical methods accurately and the understanding of the scientific rationale for those methods is intrinsic to the caring professions and is a skill that students will need in any area of healthcare that they progress to.

Learning Outcomes By the end of this unit students will be able to:

1 Explain different purposes of mathematical information used in healthcare practice

2 Apply mathematical methods accurately to report on and work to improve individuals’ health status

3 Investigate the scientific rationale of the mathematical methods and information used to predict health outcomes

4 Assess the implications of the use of mathematical methods and scientific rationales for healthcare practice.

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