Hi Conor! Please could you tell us a little bit about yourself and your job?
My name is Conor and I’m a paediatric nurse (that’s looking after children, not feet)! I have been qualified for two years following three years of training. I look after all age ranges from 0-18, as well a variety of illnesses.
Why do you think maths is important?
Maths is important because it is used in everyday life. Whether it is in your job, when buying things or even in video games, there will always be a need for using maths.
How do you use maths in your job?
We use maths in multiple ways within nursing. I use addition, subtraction, multiplication and division when working out the right dose of medication for a patient or checking their fluid input and output (how much water a person takes in and how much they lose through urine or sweat).
We make regular basic observations, which means that we keep an eye on all of the patients and check that there aren’t any changes which suggest they may need more help.
We also have to check the rates at which medication needs to be infused. We have to make sure that we don’t just suddenly put lots of medication into a patient’s body and that we give it slowly enough so it doesn’t affect them. For example: a patient needs 1000ml of a drug, and 15 drops is equal to 1ml. The infusion starts at 10:00am, and the controller is set to 25 drops per minute. What time do I need to come back and take out the tube?
We also use conversions and percentages to ensure correct dosages, weights and fluid requirements.
Do you have any advice for someone who may find some parts of maths tricky?
There are many different ways of working out calculations or any other aspect of maths. You should find whichever way is comfortable for you and stick to it, but be open to other people suggesting new ways of working it out, as it may simplify things for you. Also, always have a piece of scrap paper on you for working out!
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself and stay calm, as things will always work out. This is applicable to education, hobbies and just overall life. In the past, I would worry that maybe things weren’t working out and what would happen next, but things always piece together. If you have a goal in my mind, nothing is unachievable. With hard work, anything can happen!
What’s your favourite number and why?
23 because it has been my lucky number on many occasions. It always seems to pop up, and it’s been worn by many of my favourite sport stars!
If a school wanted a paediatric nurse to visit their school to talk to their pupils, what advice would you give them?
You could ask around and see if there are any parents at the school who work for the NHS and ask if they would be willing to come in and speak to your class.
Alternatively, your teacher could visit the Primary Futures
website or the STEM Ambassadors
page of the STEM Learning website and sign up to one of them. This lets them connect with volunteers from different jobs around the UK. These volunteers offer their time to help inspire young people.
Thank you Conor!