1. Getting ready to take my semester II med calc test. I'm seeing some stuff on the practice test that I don't quite know what to do with. First, what is the conversion of meq to mL or whatever it's best converted to; and what in the world is an meg? I've never seen an meg and it's not in any of my resources.

Here's a question and maybe a doseage queen/king can tell me how to set it up:

NS with ammonium chloride is infusing at a rate of 131 mL/hr. The IV solution was prepared by adding 200 mEq of ammonium chloride to NS. The final solution contained a total volume of 1,000 mL. How many mEq are infusing per hour?

As always, thanks!
Last edit by wonderbee on Apr 10, '04
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Joined: Sep '03; Posts: 2,355; Likes: 619
Nurse, of course
Specialty: critical care; community health; psych

3. you are getting a little confused...a meq is a unit of measurement like a mg - a ml is a measure of volume .

so you have 200meq/1000cc -- break that down -- you have 1meq/5cc

(200meq/1000cc --> 2meq/10cc --> 1meq/5cc)

ok - you have your most basic measurement...so your infusion is going at 131cc/hr (and you have 1 meq in every 5 cc)

so divide 131 by 5 = 26.2

so they are getting 26.2 meq every hour w/ an infusion of 131cc/hr

hope that helps
4. Athomas is correct about that specific question but I thought adding this would help, it is quoted from my calculations book:

meq = milliequivalent

Milliequivalents are specific measurements that have no conversion to another system. They are specific to the medication being used. Meqs measure electrolytes and the ionic activity of the drug.
5. this is a simple formula i learned to determine how many cc's/tabs to give-take the dose ordered, divide it by the amount of med on hand then multiply by the volume. example- dr ordered 800 mg Acme ABT q 12 h. available to the nurse is Acme ABT 500mg in 5cc. how many cc's do you give?

800 mg
______ X 5 cc= 8 cc
500 mg

1. Dose (800 mg)
2. Divided by med on hand (500 mg)
3. Multiplied by the volume (5 cc)
= amount to give

in order to find out the answer to your problem, RNkittykat, you change the above formula around a bit. say the dr ordered 8 cc Acme ABT. available to you is Acme ABT 500mg/5cc. how many mg are ordered?

8 cc
____ X 500 mg= 800 mg
5 cc

1. take the volume ordered (8 cc)
2. divide it by the volume of the med on hand (5 cc)
3. multiply by the amount of the med on hand
(500 mg)
= amount of mg ordered (800 mg)

once i learned these formulas nursing math became so easy. just remember to practice. best wishes on your test!
Last edit by cursenurse on Apr 10, '04
6. if it is about what dose you want to give the easiest formula is Desired/Have
ex. Dr orders 75mg Lopressor PO QD, you have 25mg Tabs

Desired/have = 75/25 = 3 tabs....

works for everything and it is easy

one way they will trip you up in nursing school is try to confuse your volume w/ your doseages...
7. And as always, one of the most helpful books on the subject of dosage calculations is the "Made Incredibly Easy" series !!! Sure broke things down for me in easy to understand, even fun terms... and it STUCK.

Any and every type of med situation is covered, as well as all the various measurements and conversions. I liked it because it wasn't "dry"... a fun and enjoyable way to learn.
8. Quote from jnette
And as always, one of the most helpful books on the subject of dosage calculations is the "Made Incredibly Easy" series !!! Sure broke things down for me in easy to understand, even fun terms... and it STUCK.

Any and every type of med situation is covered, as well as all the various measurements and conversions. I liked it because it wasn't "dry"... a fun and enjoyable way to learn.
Incredibly Easy here I come! Last night I brought my sample problems to work. The nurses (even the charge nurse) must have worked on one problem for 15-20 minutes. You know what they said? They said they call the pharmacy to do their complex calculations. Another one of my bubbles of real world vs school world nursing bursted.
9. I ordered this book from eBay last week and cannot wait to get it. I want to make certain am comfortable doing calculations before I start my clinical rotations.

I'll post back here after I receive it, but I've heard so many good things about the book I'm sure it's great!

Michelle
10. Quote from jnette
And as always, one of the most helpful books on the subject of dosage calculations is the "Made Incredibly Easy" series !!!
For those who aren't aware, "Nursing Made Incredibly Easy" comes in a magazine format: