Many students who plan to apply for medical studies suggest that they are not going to need mathematics and any mathematics-related sciences in the future and successfully forget anything they learned in school or college. However, mathematics and statistics are an essential part of healthcare research. This essay will focus on the application of statistics in healthcare and will analyze my experience as a nurse who applies statistical analysis in everyday practice. Statistics is used in healthcare practice to investigate defects in the population and to perform screenings.
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To provide patients with quality and safe treatment, health professionals use statistical analysis. It is difficult to predict whether the drug is effective by evaluating only one individual. The medicine can cause improvements in one person but can be ineffective or even cause side effects in another. Instead, the population sample has to be taken to evaluate the effectiveness of the drug to conclude that the improvement was not caused only by chance (Aggarwal, 2018). Thus, statistical analysis allows for accurate drug development and further quality and safe treatment of patients.
Statistical analysis is not only crucial for research but also can be implemented in everyday clinical practice. One of the types of statistical analysis is statistical process control (SPC) charts. According to Hagan (2018), “many hospitals use SPC charts to monitor nurse sensitivity indicators, and adverse events such as rates of falls, central line-associated bloodstream infections, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, ventilator acquired pneumonia” (1). Not only can these charts perform the analysis mentioned above, but they can also be used to calculate parameters such as average hospital stay or how much money is spent on patients on average. Statistics in everyday practice also allow people to be aware of their health problems and lead to health promotion in the population. For example, statistical analysis is performed in the countries to collect data on the causes of morbidity and mortality. If cardiovascular diseases are one of the main causes of mortality in the country, then the government will organize campaigns to raise awareness about these diseases to prevent them, promoting health.
I am specialized in nursing, and I find statistical analysis an essential part of my work. The statistical data is obtained by collecting information about a patient’s condition, and then this information is used to prioritize treatment. For example, the signs and symptoms of the patient will show whether he or she needs immediate treatment or not and whether interventions that the nurse uses are valid. Sometimes emotional instinct is not enough to make important decisions about a patient’s treatment, so statistical analysis becomes useful. Using frequency charts or tables, nurses can decide whether, for example, replacing the intravenous fluid is an effective treatment. Moreover, the statistical analysis makes me confident in my decisions and helps me to develop my leadership skill in the healthcare field because patients and hospital staff can rely on me.
To conclude, statistical literacy is an essential skill for medical professionals, and it is widely used in nursing practice in every hospital. It is a useful tool to make predictions and decisions on the condition of the patients because sometimes it is difficult to rely only on emotional intuition. Statistics are particularly crucial in the estimation of drug efficiency, assessment of nurses’ well-being, quality and safe treatment, health promotion, and leadership skills development. That is why for those who are planning to pursue their career in nursing, it is important to understand at least the basics of statistical analysis to analyze findings on a patient’s medical history and to provide high-quality treatment.
Aggarwal, A. (2018). Statistical literacy for healthcare professionals: Why is it important? Annals of Cardiac Anaesthesia, 21(4), 349-350. Web.
Hagan, J. L. (2018). The use of statistics in healthcare quality improvement. Nursing and Health Care, 8(5), 1-3. Web.
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