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Why You Need To Be Good At Math To Work In Healthcare

General Health

Why You Need To Be Good At Math To Work In Healthcare

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Why You Need To Be Good At Math To Work In Healthcare

Interested in pursuing a career in healthcare? Besides the right education, many applicants wonder if they need to excel at math. Fortunately, there are healthcare roles that only require basic arithmetic skills. Learn more about the use of numbers in healthcare and the different job options available to those with average math abilities.

Math Is Used In Health Care

Healthcare professionals need numerical literacy to analyze data and provide proper treatment to patients. Here are some situations where math skills are utilized:

Calculate Medication Dosage

Pharmacists and doctors must understand the metric system and be able to calculate fractions and ratios to determine medication dosages based on a patient’s body weight.

Learn The Probability Of An Event Occurring

Medical professionals use probability to make healthcare recommendations with the least possible risks. For example, they might use data to predict the success rate of a surgery.

Monitor Patient’s Health

Health professionals use quantified treatment plans to track a patient’s progress and understand if their health is improving or declining. They also use numbers to monitor vital signs during surgical procedures.

Predicting Risks For Illnesses

Doctors use numerical values to interpret a patient’s health and assess the severity of their condition. For instance, specific cholesterol levels can indicate an increased risk of heart attack or stroke.

Math-Intensive Healthcare Professions

Some healthcare roles involve critical thinking and demand advanced mathematical skills. Here are a few examples:


Pharmacists must accurately calculate medication dosages and infusion rates, making it crucial for them to possess advanced math skills to avoid errors.


This field requires the use of various mathematical techniques to understand and interpret data related to diseases and their impact on different age groups.

Cognitive abilities are essential for these professions, but these skills can be developed over time through education and practical experience.

Professions With Basic Math Requirements

Not all healthcare careers require advanced math skills. Here are a couple of examples:


Nurses primarily focus on patient care and communication, requiring only basic arithmetic skills to measure vital signs and interpret them.

Physical Therapy

Math plays a minimal role in this field, with basic skills being sufficient to assess and track a patient’s progress.

Although these roles only require basic math skills, continuous learning can benefit individuals and improve collaboration within the healthcare team.

Math Skills Are Useful In Health Care

While not all healthcare roles demand advanced math skills, having a standard knowledge of math can be beneficial. For those pursuing careers that require advanced math skills, ongoing training and experience can help develop these abilities.

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