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Pharmacology Math

Paramedic students, you MUST be able to do basic math without a calculator or other electronic devices to deliver medications in the field safely at ALL times, and it is EXPECTED in our program! We are not talking about difficult math calculations – we are talking about 8 to 10th grade math. Know your multiplication tables. Know how to move decimals left or right and when.

We get asked why during the Pharmacology Qualifying exam that you are not allowed to use a calculator. That is because it is a simple exam, and because there are (and always will be) occasions in the field where electronics will fail you. (You will forget and leave it at the station, your partner’s phone is dead, you drop it in the mud while on scene, whatever). And that is NO excuse to harm or kill your patient because you cannot do simple math. 

We understand that many of today’s schools for Jr. High and High School are no longer teaching basic math – they are teaching you how to do everything electronically. This is NOT to your patient’s advantage. Please, we want you to realize that you must go above and beyond in your own personal development and be able to do these simple things on paper or in your head. Practice. Look online for methods to practice and learn. But learn it you must if you want to be a GOOD Paramedic and want to keep your patients safe from YOUR mistakes. Remember the first rule of EMS is “Do No FURTHER Harm.”