Fail math exam and we are out!!!! Help!!! - page 2

I am a second year nursing student with a new Director of Nursing. She has turned the program upside down and changed everything. She instituted a policy for 2nd year nursing students that we are... Read More

  1. by   locolorenzo22
    Yeah, we have to pass dosage tests with 100%....we have 3 chances to pass, but the retake times are set in stone, if you can't make it, you miss the chance. Also have to take it and pass with 100% test in 2nd and 4th semester. ....As well we should, if you can't do a dosage properly, then you put your patients at risk. What else would you expect? Just relax, if you're second semester, you should be ok anyways....
  2. by   ExTechie
    Thank you so much for the replies. My contention isn't with the fact that we have to pass the math, I agree how important it is...it is the fact that we aren't given any instruction whatsoever and they keep changing the wording and look of the tests. I have only passed meds twice at clinical and I didn't have ANY dose calc to do. The pills were already in blister sealed packages. We have never gone over ANY dose calc in class and basically had to learn it on our own online. It just doesn't seem fair that they require Algebra as a prerequisite for Nursing but they don't offer a math class specifically for nursing dose calculations and we can be thrown out after 4 years of classes in a 2 year program. Do I also need to mention it is right after the cutoff so we have to pay for the entire semester if we fail? I just don't think they are giving us the tools to succeed.
  3. by   Little Panda RN
    I do feel for you. Nursing school is very hard and when you are trying to learn all that they are throwing at you, the brain starts to explode. We also had to pass our dosage calculations with a 100%. Our instructors believed that there was no room for error. We took a dosage calc test each semester. I do have to say tho, that during our Nursing I class we had a dosage calc book that we were assigned chapters to hand in for a grade. The instructors never actually went over the calculations with us, it was up to us to read and learn it (of course I was a distance education student so I did not sit in a classroom, except for clinicals). The guidelines for attendance at clinicals was very strict, we could miss only one day each semester. So we prayed that we did not get sick Hang in there, you can do it!! It may seem unfair now, but you will look back on it and it won't seem so bad!
  4. by   SNKerri
    I don't know about everyone else but when I entered nursing school we were warned that nursing would be our LIVES for the next few years. We were warned that it would be hard and that a lot of the work would be self learning. I know that some of the expectations seem unrealistic and that nursing school seems horribly time consuming, if it wasnt I would be worried about being a good nurse. I am personally happy that the tests are hard and good scores are required. I am also happy that those who can't cut it, are out, no questions asked. I wouldnt want a sub-par nurse caring for me. I also would not want a nurse who wasnt willing to put in some extra time to learn about and research my illness if they were unsure. I think that unfortunantly you cant have everything handed to you in nursing school or else you would not be prepared for the real world. With that said, I know that you will do great. Just pick up a book, a GREAT one is Math for Meds by Curren. This book really goes over everything step by step, it is also not that large so it can really be done in a short amount of time. GOOD LUCK!!!
  5. by   GeminiTwinRN
    Here's my conversion chart I put together with a couple of classmates. We memorized it, and it sure does help. There are also the pediatric conversions and formulas for BSA, etc, that if you want I could put here. But the basic conversions of course are the same.

    As for the exam itself, we had to pass with a 90% out of 20 questions, and got 3 chances I think. That seems to be the norm.

    Good luck with your exam!!!

    1 mg = 1000 mcg
    60 mg = 1 grain
    1000 mg= 15 grains = 1 gram
    1ml = 15 gtts = 15 Minims
    5 ml = 1 dram = 1 tsp = 60 gtts = 60 Minims
    30 ml = 8 drams = 1 oz = 2 Tbsp
    240 ml = 8 oz = 1 cup

    also, 1 ml = 60 microdrops in soluset

    Those are the conversions I wrote at the top of my tests, and it's worked like a charm. I added a bunch more for peds. stuff this semester, but the basics are there.

    HTH!
  6. by   nicuRN2007
    We have to do the same thing. We have a dosage and solutions test every semester, and we have to get at least a 90% on it. We aren't taught the stuff in school...basically, they give us a worksheet with some practice questions on it, and we are on our own to figure out how to do them. We get two chances, and that's it. If you fail, you can reapply to the program next year. I think it's fair. When we are nurses, we need to get the calculations right 100% of the time. At least they give us two chances.
    Last edit by nicuRN2007 on Aug 31, '06
  7. by   ExTechie
    Thank you so much for the response and for posting the sites. At least now I have some actual calculations to practice. We were given one sheet but I have already memorized the answers!
  8. by   locolorenzo22
    Yeah, same here. We actually were taught basic calc but have to do the practice in book and are expected to know equivlents on our own. We even had a quiz today...SUPRISED! with a gr to mg equivlent problem...30mg tablet, dose is gr 1/4 PO q4h PRN, how many tablets do you give.

    (60mg=1gr, 1/4gr=15mg, so 1/2 tablet...)
  9. by   marilynmom
    Quote from ExTechie
    We have never gone over ANY dose calc in class and basically had to learn it on our own online. It just doesn't seem fair that they require Algebra as a prerequisite for Nursing but they don't offer a math class specifically for nursing dose calculations and we can be thrown out after 4 years of classes in a 2 year program. .
    I think your school is like most others, meaning I don't think your situation is unique. We do not have a dosage calc class, we have to learn it all on our own in our own time and have no clue what the tests will be like until we take them. Do I think it is fair? Yes I do. We have to pass with a 90% which I think is more than fair because this is serious.

    But you can do this!! It seems your feeling very nervous and may just need to take some time to brush up on your dosage calc to feel more confident in your abilities. Work some problems, even if it's just a few everyday, to keep it all fresh. That way when you go to take your test you wont be as scared.

    Good luck!
  10. by   Daytonite
    Quote from extechie
    thank you so much for the replies. my contention isn't with the fact that we have to pass the math, i agree how important it is...it is the fact that we aren't given any instruction whatsoever and they keep changing the wording and look of the tests. i have only passed meds twice at clinical and i didn't have any dose calc to do. the pills were already in blister sealed packages. we have never gone over any dose calc in class and basically had to learn it on our own online. it just doesn't seem fair that they require algebra as a prerequisite for nursing but they don't offer a math class specifically for nursing dose calculations and we can be thrown out after 4 years of classes in a 2 year program. do i also need to mention it is right after the cutoff so we have to pay for the entire semester if we fail? i just don't think they are giving us the tools to succeed.
    allow me to exert my "rights" as an old-timer here. (i'm putting my hand on your shoulder). you have to be pro-active as a nurse. sometimes (ah, heck, most of the time), you have got to take the initiative to find the answers on your own. when you go out into the world as a new grad, i can guarantee that there will be very few to none who will take you by the hand and say "here, sweetheart, this is how to do that". nope. you have to take the bull by the horn and say "where's that dog gone manual" and look something up yourself. the trick is knowing (1) that you have to go to a manual or a book to find some bit of information, and (2) knowing which manual or book to go to. this is part of what you are supposed to come away from school knowing. you won't find that listed as one of the objectives on your course outlines, by the way.

    so, you can't let the fact that you haven't been given any instruction on med calc deter you. swear, punch a hole into the wall at home if you like. then, after the tantrum, get down to business and start self-learning what you need to know to pass the test. this is how you are going to survive nursing school. this is how you are going to survive your days as a new grad in your first job. this is how you are going to survive a 30 year career as a nurse. this is how you are going to survive whatever life throws at you. this is what being a nurse in today's world is about.
  11. by   luvmy2angels
    I would have been thrilled to have had that offer. We had to take a total of 6 math/dosage calculation tests and had to get a 100% on EVERY SINGLE ONE in order to stay in the program, we had 3 chances per test, and yes I have seen many leave the program because they didn't 100%.
    We were all complaining about this policy, at the time we were so overwhelmed and this seemed like an impossible thing to be asking us to do. Our instructor took our second round of tests and put it into "real life" situations. Had all the med errors we made on our tests actually happened in real life we would have killed 80 patients!! That was a SCARY and TERRIFYING thought!! It really put in to perspective the importance of knowing how to do the med calculations.
  12. by   Jules A
    Yes those dratted dosage tests are where we lost a majority of the students that didn't make it. We were also 90% with no calculators.

    What I can share with you that helped me tremendously was that since it was only 10 questions I did the entire exam twice. One time I found a simple math error that would have made the whole problem incorrect. The other thing I can share is to try and stay away from the collective "gripe sessions" that are surely happening. It was my experience that the students that hung around moaning about how unfair this thing was did the worst on the test. Let them keep their negative vibes while you get practicing. Good luck!!!
  13. by   Bala Shark
    I had to graduate with a 90% dosage calculation test also..If a student does not get 90%, it is 95% the second time..The way, I look at it, if you were a patient in the hospital and you would want a nurse to know how to do dosage calculations..If not, how about an overdose on IV drugs and PO drugs?

    In nursing school, it is all about you, but instructors have the pateint safety in mind..I am pretty sure that if you were in a hospital, you would want a nurse giving you the right dosage of the drug all the time!

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