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The Metric System

The Metric System

The biggest challenge that nurses and medical practitioners ever faced is recording measurements of clients from different parts of the world. The mere thought of taking and recording weight and or length of children at the antenatal care unit of the Lancaster Metropolitan Hospital were ghastly horror to Mrs. Linden, a registered nurse at the facility. Every single time she woke up and thought of her routine work, she wished the earth would swallow her up. When asked why she hated her job, “This is an international children clinic and every client insists I record height and weight in their preferred unit of measurement,” she explained.

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Even though many would be tempted to dismiss her concern as meaningless, taking measurements at an international level during the 19th and the first quarter of the 20th centuries was the most daunting task. Just like language, currency and culture, every nationality had its own system of measurement. The classical European, American, Persia and Arabian civilization all had their own systems and units of measurements independent of each another. This made international dealings and commerce quite well an altercation during the time of Mrs. Linden.

As pointed out by Mrs. Linden, there were so many units of measuring weight and heights of children at the clinic depending on their nationality and country of origin. Interestingly enough, there was not even a single connection between the many units of measurement. Some of the commonly used units for the height at the clinic were inch, foot, yard. Similarly, ounce, pound, ton, carrot, stone were used for weight while Fahrenheit and degree Celsius were applicable in the measuring of temperature.

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According to the findings of a quantitative journal, “The History of the International Systems of Units”, the difficulties and inconveniences of converting one system of unit to another prompted for the establishment of a universal units which could then be used across the world for the purposes of commerce and easy service delivery on the international arena. This is the historic phenomenon that led to the formulation and subsequent introduction of the much-awaited International Systems of Unit that is widely embraced in the present day world in 1948.

The metric system of the International Standards (abbreviated as SI) revolutionized all the international dealings and transactions involving measurements and currency. It went into records that standardized units of the metric system is the first one of its kind to be used in all parts of the world notwithstanding the on-going sharp ideological differences in politics and economy. The Arabian world, as does United Kingdom, United States of America, Germany, Asia, Australia and Africa are happy with the metric system.

Today no one ever bother about weight or length conversion together with all hurdles associated with the process. The good news for Mrs. Linden is that the International Health System has fully incorporated metric system in their operations. All hospitals and health care systems in the world use gram, and its derivatives such as kilo, as the basic unit of measuring weight. Meter and its derivatives are used in the measurement of length. It therefore goes without saying that taking measurement is now more than fun in all parts of the world because language poses no barrier in this endeavor.

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In conclusion, the metric system has revolutionized the operations within the health care system across the world. Their constituent health record systems have adopted metric system as the only International System of Units (ISU) for the purposes of convenience and consistency in all countries of the world. This has made the lives of nurses easy and fun.

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