Apothecaries' system?

  1. I'm still studying for this drug math test and have a question about the apothecaries system.
    This system seems a little outdated. Can those of you who have some experience tell me if this system is even used any longer? I had thought that the metric system was the standard, but we're expected to be able to convert between metric and apothecaries. How often do you REALLY use this system?
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   colleen10
    Good Gosh Todd!!!!

    That really stinks. I am in drug calc. now and we do not have to know much aobut the apothecary system at all. We do have to be able to recognize drams, etc. as being units, but we don't have to convert them to metric or do any problems using them.

    Our instructor told us that it is not readily used anymore so she isn't having us memorize it, etc.
  4. by   memphispanda
    We have to be able to convert grains to milligrams and recognize that sometimes they will use ii for example. And I have seen it used on charts. I also have seen gtt and gtts used often, but that doesn't really make any difference for actual measuring.
  5. by   PJMommy
    We also get a lot of grains to mg questions on tests and also the ii, iv, etc. One nurse told me that they sometimes still do aspirin in grains...

    Bottom line, I've memorized all these apothecary things and then promptly forgot all but the ones I mention above. If I ever *really* need to know while on the job, I'll either call the pharmacy or look it up.
  6. by   NurseDixie
    Believe it or not there are still a few "older" doctors that order some meds in grains. So I think it wouldn't hurt to know some of the apothecary system.
  7. by   puggy
    I teach pharm and med-math and I just touch on drams and grains. Occasionally you run into a doc that is older and still uses drams and grains. If you run into it on NCLEX it is usually a question regarding ASA or Tylenol which is ordered gr x (and that is 600 mg but the drugs come in 325 mg tabs which is 650 mg because a grain can be 60 to 65 mg), gosh no wonder it is obsolete!

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