I didn't want to be the "one" who went on about it in class, but...


1Sep 23, '13 by KuriinCongrats! Sounds like your school doesn't require a 100% to pass. Makes me a little sad because every semester is a new med calc test that must be achieved with 100% or else you fail the semester. :loriangel14 likes this.

0Sep 23, '13 by LoriBSN2b, ADNThat's great! We haven't had ours yet. I suck at math. I get the fractional method of dosage calc but dimensional analysis freaks me out.

0Sep 23, '13 by OrizzaQuote from lorirn2bWe were taught the ratio & proportion way, but I actually used dimensional analysis on the test. Unfortunately, I don't think it's simple to explain in text. :/That's great! We haven't had ours yet. I suck at math. I get the fractional method of dosage calc but dimensional analysis freaks me out.

4Sep 23, '13 by i♥wordsGreat job! I too was really nervous about my dosage calc test. Passed it, so I'm happy. I think dimensional analysis is great. Once I figured it out I realized how simple it is compared to the other methods. Plus, I don't have to remember a formula.
This is how I do dimensional analysis. By the way, this is a question from the book Dosage Calculations Made Incredibly Easy!, which I highly recommend if you (as in, the person in the online abyss reading this right now) are having problems with dosage calculations.
A patient is to receive 50 mcg of levothyroxine (Synthroid). The drug is available as 200 mcg per 5 ml. How many milliliters should the nurse prepare?
First, figure out what the the question is asking. How many milliliters? Start setting up the equation.
ml =
Now, what quantities does the problem give us?
50 mcg and 200 mcg/ 5 ml
I always set up the equation putting what I need to end up with first. So, since I need to end up with milliliters I will put milliliters (5 ml/200 mcg)right after the equal sign.
ml = 5 ml/200 mcg
Now I have to figure out how to get rid of that mcg since I only need to end up with ml. The only quantity I have left is 50 mcg.
ml = 5 ml/200 mcg x 50 mcg
Cancel out the mcg and do a bit of math and you get 1.3 ml.
It's just easier for me to remember that if I need, say, mg when I'm all done then I need to write mg = ___ mg/_____ x _____.
So it doesn't matter what you're calculating, whether it's drip rates, number of tablets, or dosages. Just start with what you need and on the other side of the equal sign start with that same unit. So if you need gtts/min you write out gtts/min = ___ gtts/______ x _____.
It is hard to explain this in writing! 
0Sep 24, '13 by ruralnurse84, ADN, RNWe just had our first day of 2nd year and, of course, had the beginning of the quarter math quiz. Our school only requires and 80% but I got 100%. Completely blanked on the very first question because I forgot to look at this particular type of question before school started. I have no issues with dimensional analysis and could honestly do this math stuff in my sleep, but I had to work backwards to figure this problem out. Fortunately I had the right answer.

0Sep 24, '13 by krisiepooCongrats!!
Our dosage calc tests are pass/fail and you fail if you get 2 wrong. You do get a 2nd shot at the exam later on. If you fail, you fail the entire semester. It's harsh, but in the end we could kill someone if we get it wrong.
Our entire class, for the first time ever in the history of our school, passed our test this semester! 
0Sep 24, '13 by Pink Magnolia, BSN, RNThats great! I begin my dimensional analysis class in 3 weeks! I love math and have been practicing this method, so I'm super excited to get started! I hope I do as well as you

0Sep 24, '13 by Meriwhen, ASN, BSN, RN Senior ModeratorQuote from lorirn2bMy program taught dimensional analysis, which was the "preferred" way. I tried understanding dimensional analysis several times, and it made me cry every time.That's great! We haven't had ours yet. I suck at math. I get the fractional method of dosage calc but dimensional analysis freaks me out.
So I gave up and stuck to ratio and proportion, which was allowed for the tests. I'd get 95%100% each time.