Thursday, December 31, 2009

"SNG" in science...

My students know that attention to detail is something I try to convey to them in science class. A doctor off by a decimal point, for example, was responsible for giving my grandfather a blood thinner 10 times too strong. You might only think of it as a decimal, but, an error like that cost Grandpa his life. Nurses, too, need to pay attention, for example, to insulin medications (among others). Even those who don't select a science career benefit from attention to detail.

One of the measures I developed for my students for detecting attention to detail was, "SNG." SNG is,, "spelling, neatness, and grammar." You might complain that that is not science, however, spelling, neatness are good indicators of attention to detail---an essential of good science. In addition, writing is a needed skill for scientists. For example, writing prescriptions, writing reports, writing journal articles... so, in addition to attention to detail, a scientist also needs, "SNG."

Words commonly misspelled or misused:
  • allot and a lot. (Note:"alot," is not a word.) To help you remember: I have a lot or I have a little.
  • separate has, "a rat," in it.
  • believe has, "lie" in it.
One of my friends, knowing that I encourage science students to use, "SNG," sent me the following link. which I believe you will enjoy.
I hope that you enjoyed this post and the related comic link.

One of my students did learn this, "attention to detail," in my classes. She was training her institution's staff to avoid medicine errors. She was the first person in Massachusetts whose unit scored a perfect score (No medicine errors) following her training where she conveyed what SNG has to do with science. Think of the lives she and her staff saved. Think of the lives you will save.

Happy New Year. May it be health-filled, prosperous, and joyous.

Dr. J

(c) 1990-2009 J. S. Shipman

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