Dosage Calc - teaching ourselves ??

  1. This is my 3rd week of semester one. I thought I was staying afloat with all the reading, weekly assignments due, 2 major papers, portfolio, online quizzes, yada, yada,

    Had to take our first dosage calc competency on Monday and MUST get 100%. OK, granted, it was the basic math intro stuff of Roman numerals, decimals, fractions, etc. For the love of all that is good, I hope I passed, because I was so nervous that I was on the verge of blanking out!

    Our school is using an online program called MedsPub. Anyone heard of this? It has a tutorial to start and then different sections that you go into, go over main facts, practice questions/answers. Cool. Neat tool.

    BUT, I think that is all the "teaching" we are going to get? Is that possible? We were given 3 Dosage homework sheets with abbreviations, conversions between units of measurement, that are due next week. The website seems like a good supplemental tool, but isn't this something that needs a little more in depth teaching/learning interaction? Maybe I am daft, but it seems an extremely important part of nursing, actually a life and death issue, when administering meds, I absolutely WANT/NEED more than a website, am I wrong?

    Now, maybe the instructors are just planning to touch base this semester and get into it more perhaps next semester?

    Would love to hear how some of the others here are "learning" dosage calculations? This just CAN'T be it....can it????

    Kim
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  2. 21 Comments

  3. by   Nikkik163
    Quote from kimber3ks
    This is my 3rd week of semester one. I thought I was staying afloat with all the reading, weekly assignments due, 2 major papers, portfolio, online quizzes, yada, yada,

    Had to take our first dosage calc competency on Monday and MUST get 100%. OK, granted, it was the basic math intro stuff of Roman numerals, decimals, fractions, etc. For the love of all that is good, I hope I passed, because I was so nervous that I was on the verge of blanking out!

    Our school is using an online program called MedsPub. Anyone heard of this? It has a tutorial to start and then different sections that you go into, go over main facts, practice questions/answers. Cool. Neat tool.

    BUT, I think that is all the "teaching" we are going to get? Is that possible? We were given 3 Dosage homework sheets with abbreviations, conversions between units of measurement, that are due next week. The website seems like a good supplemental tool, but isn't this something that needs a little more in depth teaching/learning interaction? Maybe I am daft, but it seems an extremely important part of nursing, actually a life and death issue, when administering meds, I absolutely WANT/NEED more than a website, am I wrong?

    Now, maybe the instructors are just planning to touch base this semester and get into it more perhaps next semester?

    Would love to hear how some of the others here are "learning" dosage calculations? This just CAN'T be it....can it????

    Kim

    We went over dosage calculations in class for like 30 mins...if even that. She showed us 2 or 3 examples and then there were about 20-30 problems in our study guides that we were told to practice and there was an answer key. I also had to get 100% to pass. I had mine this morning.....I woke up and was physically sick to my stomach because I was so nervous....BUT I PASSED!!!!!! I mostly taught myself through doing sooo soo many practice problems...now all I have to do is pass my first practical skills test out on Thursday. Good luck!!! A lot of this stuff you just have to learn by practice!
  4. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Our Dose Calc was a self-taught course. We went over the material for 15 minutes for the final exam, then that was it.

    Couldn't make less than an A on any of the tests (yes, hard program).
  5. by   sydie
    Our program was the same...instructor talked about it for 30 minutes, handed out some worksheets w/ an answer key, and told us where to go for help if nescessary. Our exam was today. We need a 90% or better and have 2 tries. I got mine back and passed! I completely self-taught myself, so it is possible. Seems like there just isn't time for the math in the program.
  6. by   LeesieBug
    We were handed a book and the password to log on to the computer to take the math test.


    We take a math test every rotation, and it's up to us to remain current and learn the new types of calculations relative to the type of patients we are dealing with.
  7. by   wonderbee
    MedsPub? Yes, we use it. I think it's a nice resource and great for NCLEX prepping but I haven't checked into the dosage calculation. For that we used Nurse Procalc. We could either purchase the software or go practice on the software in the library. The only face to face teaching we received on calculation was an afternoon skills lab session when we were calculating drips back in semester II.
  8. by   kimber3ks
    Well, at least I feel a teeny bit better that it isn't just my school's way of doing it. So, now to try to grasp this, extremely important concept, along with everything else....I don't know. My resolve is faltering, and it is only week 3 of semester 1



    Kim


    Quote from RNKittyKat
    MedsPub? Yes, we use it. I think it's a nice resource and great for NCLEX prepping but I haven't checked into the dosage calculation. For that we used Nurse Procalc. We could either purchase the software or go practice on the software in the library. The only face to face teaching we received on calculation was an afternoon skills lab session when we were calculating drips back in semester II.
  9. by   meownsmile
    Did your schools give you the name of a calculation book to buy? We also pretty much self taught, however they did give us a dosage calculation book option to buy when we got our class books. Clinical Calculations, With applicaions to General and Specialty Areas. It really is a good resource to explain how dosages are calculated and drip rates. Try your school bookstore or local book store and see if you can find one. They do help.
  10. by   mom2michael
    Drug calcs are all self taught in my program. There is no class, there is no discussion. We started with week #1 last semester doing a CD tutorial. Each week we turned in a module test. This semester, new book, self taught, tested weekly at clinical. We have a min. score. Next semester, same thing. Computer program in school at the lab. Weekly tests to be turned in.

    I'm actually glad that dosages are not taught and I learned to do this alone. Everyone has a different way to get from A-Z and honestly, any discussion about it makes my head spin because I figured out and learned just 1 way to do it all and it works for me. This however is not the same way that say...my friend sitting next to me learned it. So it's confusing whenever we even start talking drug calcs.
  11. by   meownsmile
    You are exactly right mom2micheal,, most people learn to do the math whichever way is easiest for them and trying to do it the other way will totally screw up their reasoning through the problem. I learned ratio:roportion method for almost everything and that is what works for me. Everyone learns this stuff differently.
  12. by   Mommy TeleRN
    Yea our school you are on your own too. We use "dimensional analysis for meds" and have a study schedule and a 2 page study guide and a practice test.

    Our school is pretty generous tho, 4 tries, 90%, 20 quesitons. I take it on Monday. You do get a write up every time you fail it tho.

    They also do not teach us vital signs in lab. We can do outside lab time to practice but we have check off with no official instruction (we do have one lecture, but no hands on)

    I told another student it seems odd we do a whole lab on bed making, bed pans, but on medication and VITAL signs we are on our own. :spin:
  13. by   NurseRock
    We use Dosage Calculations, by Gloria Pickar..we have to self teach also but my school does have a class taught by a Nursing instructor to help those that are weak in math. It sure has helped me a lot! I am glad to be taking it.
    Also, we have a Math Tutor center which can help also. Good luck.
  14. by   anrwagers
    does anyone know the easiest way to do ratioroportion math problems I am having trouble in this area, thanks angie

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