Calculator at work?  page 2
Can nurses carry a calculator on the job to calculate dosages? I'm terrible at math when it comes to solving problems in my head. It's like my brain gets scrambled. Due to this I'm getting... Read More


2Jun 11, '13 by applewhiternYes, you may carry a calculator. Be aware, however, that you will have to be able to pass math and/or calculation tests in school, and your particular school may not allow a calculator during testing. If you think you need a remedial math course, go ahead and take one. Good math skills are important.ktwlpn and sallyrnrrt like this.

2Jun 11, '13 by poppycat, BSN, RNEven if pharmacy does most of the med calculations, you need to double check them. I've caught many errors in calculations done by pharmacy.NutmeggeRN and applewhitern like this.

0Jun 11, '13 by Fiona59Quote from poppycatHow do you check reconstituted bags? That's where most nurses I know have issues, figuring out how to dilute vials of antibiotics. Not how many capsules or pills make up the required amount.Even if pharmacy does most of the med calculations, you need to double check them. I've caught many errors in calculations done by pharmacy.Last edit by JustBeachyNurse on Jun 11, '13 : Reason: correct formatting

0Jun 11, '13 by classicdamewe use own calculators, phones and of course the ones on the computer desktop

1Jun 11, '13 by poppycat, BSN, RNObviously, you can't check reconstituted bags from pharmacy. Since I've always worked in Pediatrics I've never had the luxury of having pharmacy make up piggybacks for my patients. That was something the floor nurses did. However, there's a lot more to figure out than just how many pills to give for the right dose.applewhitern likes this.

2Jun 11, '13 by Meriwhen, ASN, BSN, RN Senior ModeratorQuote from 1Luv_xoHELL YES.Can nurses carry calculators on the job to calculate dosages?
You're not in nursing school anymore, so there's no reason why you can't have a calculator with you. Especially since now you have your own nursing licenseso you'd better get that dose right
Use the calculator in your smartphone/cellphone/iPad. If you are not allowed to use your phone on the floor at work even for this (don't laughsome places are very strict about it), then go to your local dollar store and pick up 23 cheap calculators. Keep one in your bag or on you. Donate another one or two to the desk at your nurses' station.Lossea and NurseDirtyBird like this. 
4Jun 11, '13 by nurseprnRNYou can make the same errors with a calculator as with pen and paper if you don't know how to set up your problem, which is why people still pick the wrong distractors in med math tests even though they can use calculators. Other than that, having an easilyaccessible calculator in your pocket (literal or figurative) can be a boon to the calculatingimpaired. When we used to have to calculate drip rates for mcg/kg/min in the ICU in the 70s we all had little lightpowered ones; I still have mine.

0Jun 11, '13 by JenElizabeth, BSN, RNEven with a calculator, knowing the basic way to get your answer is key.
And if you need ever need a guide to calculate drip titration: Amazon.com: Medication Math Drip Titration Horizontal Badge ID Card Pocket Reference Guide: Health & Personal Care

1Jun 11, '13 by Aussierules1985Took calculus in 10th grade, mistakes are mistakes, I think I'm pretty good at math, but I always check anyways.
It's all about safety, you and your patients are worth it, if anyone makes fun of you, no biggie. No ones perfect.poppycat likes this.