4 applications of math skills in healthcare

Medicine and Math - Math Central

Doctors who prescribe prescriptions to patients use milligrams per kilograms. The amount of medicine that a doctor prescribes will depend on the weight of the patient. Nurses do not prescribe medicine, but they administer medication to their patients. When doing so, they use ratios and proportions to help them. The ratios and proportions also allow the nurse to know how long the medication will stay in the body of the patient before needing another dosage.


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Measures are used in the health care field. Body mass is a measure in medical terminology. After examining the measurements, doctors can advise the patient to reduce body mass, which will help patients avoid health risks and give them the ability to live a longer and healthier life. Statistics are used in the health field all the time. One example of how statistics are used is with disease reporting. If doctors are speaking to other doctors, a patient or the family of a patient about performing a surgery, the doctor brings up all the statistics of prior surgeries, as well as the patients who had the surgery done to them.

These statistics describe the outcomes of the surgery, both good and bad, or the side effects that can occur, or what condition the patient was in prior to having the surgery.

Dispensing Medications

Dimensions are a form of math that is used in the health care profession. When doctors read X-rays, they use three-dimensional calculations as well two-dimensional X-rays. This allows doctors to see inside body organs, such as the brain. X-ray machines allow the view to be seen inside and all around the body, which helps doctors to see the problem.

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Her first novel was published by T. Nurses need to know how much medicine a patient needs depending on their weight. Such an order may be given as: If the patient weighs 52kg, how many milligrams should the patient receive in one hour? In order to do this, nurses must convert micrograms mcg to milligrams mg. If the patient weighs 52kg, then the patient receives 0. There are 60 minutes in an hour, so in one hour the patient should receive 1. Nurses use ratios and proportions daily, as well as converting important units.

White blood cell counts are generally given as a numerical value between 4 and However, a count of 7.

In much the same way, the measure of creatinine a measure of kidney function in a blood sample is given as X mg per deciliter of blood. Doctors need to know that a measure of 1. They provide measurements of health, which can be warning signs of infection, illness, or disease. Your BMI is equal to your weight in pounds, times This method is not always accurate for people with very high muscle mass because the weight of muscle is greater than the weight of fat.

In this case, the calculated BMI measurement may be misleading. This is a normal Body Mass Index.

How to Use Math in Health Care Careers

A normal BMI is less than A BMI between 25 and The image below is a BMI table that gives an approximation of health and unhealthy body mass indexes. One of the more advanced ways that medical professionals use mathematics is in the use of CAT scans. A regular x-ray can only provide a two-dimensional view of a particular part of the body. Then, if a smaller bone is hidden between the x-ray machine and a larger bone, the smaller bone cannot be seen. It is like a shadow. CAT scans allow doctors to see inside the brain, or another body organ, with a three dimensional image.

In a CAT scan, the x-ray machine moves around the body scanning the brain or whichever body part is being scanned from hundreds of different angles. Then, a computer takes all the scans together and creates a three dimensional image. Each time the x-ray machine makes a full revolution around the brain, the machine is producing an image of a thin slice of the brain, starting at the top of the head and moving down toward the neck.

Converting Pounds, Milligrams and Kilograms

The three-dimensional view created by the CAT scan provides much more information to doctors that a simple two-dimensional x-ray. Numbers provide information for doctors, nurses, and even patients. Numbers are a way of communicating information, which is very important in the medical field. Another application of mathematics to medicine involves a lithotripter. This is a medical device that uses a property of an ellipse to treat gallstones and kidney stones. To learn more, visit the Lithotripsy page.


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