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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 26 (2021) pp 1-4

An Exercise in General, Organic and Biochemistry to Stress the Importance of Math Mindfulness and Critical Thinking to Nursing Students

Anne P. Vonderheide

University of Cincinnati, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Chemistry, Cincinnati, Ohio 45221, anne.vonderheide@uc.edu
Received June 15, 2020. Accepted November 19, 2020.

Published: 27 January 2020

Abstract. In recent times, many nursing colleges across the U.S. have made the transition to a one semester General, Organic & Biochemistry (GOB) course as opposed to the historical two semester class. This has led to a rather fast-paced course in which nursing students must learn a great deal of relevant material in these three fields of chemistry. The rapid pace of the course may sometimes not allow for the extra emphasis of various crucial subjects. In addition, some students may not clearly see the relevance of topics covered as well as the importance of critical thinking. In this paper, a short assignment for freshman nursing students with the goal to stress the importance of these is discussed alongside student submissions. Summarily, students were asked to go to the public literature and find a report in which critical thinking played an important role in a real-life situation. The majority of students investigated the medical field, but a few chose other areas. Each student was asked to write a report, summarizing the events that transpired; within the same assignment, students then were asked to decipher what went wrong and how that related to the importance of critical thinking for the nursing student. Collectively, the student submissions were excellent and their subsequent reflections, in many cases, worthy of publication. This short assignment may therefore prove valuable to nursing students at other institutions to stress the critical nature of their GOB chemistry course and the knowledge gained there within.

Key Words: In the Classroom; general chemistry; organic chemistry; biochemistry; GOB; nursing student; undergraduate chemistry curriculum; math skills; critical thinking

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail: anne.vonderheide@uc.edu)

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