Peta Kilsby, Nurse at the Royal Children’s Hospital
It is the basics, percentages and fractions, that are used constantly in nursing. Most universities require mathematics as a prerequisite to get into a nursing course so you really do need to continue maths up to Year 12.
My job is a paediatric nurse at the Royal Children’s Hospital. There is plenty of maths in nursing, we are constantly calculating.
For the different types of drugs we give to children, we work out exactly how much they will need according to their weight. There are formulas we use, but it is more than plugging numbers into a calculator. You have to have a sense of the result you are expecting.
Nursing is a very fast-paced job, especially in paediatrics. You are required to think on your feet, but in a safe manner, so you are always double-checking yourself as well. If you get a drug calculation wrong, it can potentially be critical to the patient.
Nursing can take you all over the world and there is always a shortage of nurses so you know you’re always going to have a job. I love nursing. It is very enjoyable and rewarding.