Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Statistically speaking...

I think statistics are bullshit.

Even statisticians think that statistics are bullshit.  When I took the class a couple of summers ago, the first thing I was told was, "This semester, you're gonna learn a shit ton of numbers, formulas, and odds...and it doesn't mean anything, because anyone can manipulate any statistic to mean whatever they want.  So remember that after you spend 30 minutes trying to solve one statistical equation...the numbers can be unreliable."

With that intro to the course, I wondered why in the hell, it was a pre-requisite to the nursing program.

Today, as I sat through the lecture that concluded my second week of the program, they ran a few numbers by us.


That's the percentage of the 58 students in the class that will complete the program, and graduate.  Of the 14% that don't graduate, most of those will not be academic failures, rather, they will be people who quit.  Who give up.  Who have a change of heart.

Another number...99.9%.

That's the percentage of those who graduate, who will pass the nursing boards within two years.

Pretty sweet, huh?

Those are numbers that I can hang my cute little paper nurse's hat on!!  Those are numbers, on which, I can hedge a bet!  THOSE are some statistics that will perk my ears!

After a terrifying first week, and a shaky second week...NOW we're talking!

Even if those numbers and data are manipulated to give us nursing students, who are shaking in our ugly ass scrubs, a false sense of hope and security...I DON'T CARE!  I don't care if there are outliers in this data, or the study was conducted by a biased researcher!

 I needed to hear those numbers today!!

After today, I heart statistics!


Stacey said...

I was thinking exactly what you said in that last paragraph.

You will do a great job! You definitely have the attitude to do so!

Anonymous said...

I absolutely HATE statistics..... the statistics chapter in my nursing research book could just as well be in Greek because I don't understand anything. I simply avoid quantitative research... (another nursing student here, but doing a specialist course, graduated as a nurse 6 years ago)

Kameron said...

What's even more useless is, when you use statistics when evaluating data from your experiement and then writing in the report that even though there is a statistical difference it is ok to ignore! Why the hell do we bother to use them at all??

I know you will be successful! You seem to stubborn to ever let nursing school get the best of you! ha!

Kimmy said...

Uh oh...sounds like things aren't going as well as first anticipated?? I'm sure you will do just fine! Hang in there and don't pay attention to the statistics. Focus on the goal!!

Candi said...

I am ABSOLUTELY terrified that Statistics is going to be the course that keeps me from my dreams :(