careertrend article image
Klaus Tiedge/Tetra images/GettyImages

Types of Math Used in the Health Care Field

Growth Trends for Related Jobs

There are many math courses that a doctor, nurse, X-ray technician and all others in the health care field must take before they become certified in their career fields. These math courses are necessary, because math goes hand-in-hand with health and medicine. Knowing how to determine prescriptions, calculating how much of a medication to give a patient at a time and reading X-rays all require the usage of math.

Converting Pounds, Milligrams and Kilograms

Doctors who prescribe prescriptions to patients use milligrams per kilograms. The amount of medicine that a doctor prescribes will depend on the weight of the patient. A person’s weight is often known only in pounds; therefore it is up to the doctor to convert the weight of the patient from pounds to kilograms, and then determine the number of milligrams she should prescribe the patient.

Ratios and Proportions

Nurses do not prescribe medicine, but they administer medication to their patients. When doing so, they use ratios and proportions to help them. The size of the person will help the nurse decide how much, dosage wise, the patient’s body can handle without causing risk of serious complications. The ratios and proportions also allow the nurse to know how long the medication will stay in the body of the patient before needing another dosage.


Measures are used in the health care field. Body mass is a measure in medical terminology. Measurements allow doctors to measure a person’s weight accurately and see which health issues have occurred due to the body mass. After examining the measurements, doctors can advise the patient to reduce body mass, which will help patients avoid health risks and give them the ability to live a longer and healthier life.


Statistics are used in the health field all the time. One example of how statistics are used is with disease reporting. If doctors are speaking to other doctors, a patient or the family of a patient about performing a surgery, the doctor brings up all the statistics of prior surgeries, as well as the patients who had the surgery done to them. These statistics describe the outcomes of the surgery, both good and bad, or the side effects that can occur, or what condition the patient was in prior to having the surgery.


Dimensions are a form of math that is used in the health care profession. When doctors read X-rays, they use three-dimensional calculations as well two-dimensional X-rays. This allows doctors to see inside body organs, such as the brain. X-ray machines allow the view to be seen inside and all around the body, which helps doctors to see the problem. If they do not know how to read dimensions, both 2-D and 3-D, they will not be able to read the X-ray or CAT scan.