I failed dosage and calculations

  1. I am so upset. I failed dosage and calculations for the trimester. I am feeling very hopeless because this is my first couple months of nursing school and I already failed a class. If we don't get a 90 or better, we fail, which I completely understand because I wouldn't want a nurse giving me meds that wasn't 100% sure of what she was doing. I will take the class again in February, and it will take me 6 months longer to graduate. But what I don't understand is why this was a self-taught class. This is the class that they stressed to us at orientation was going to be one of the most important classes, yet we teach ourselves? Makes no sense to me. We have a cd with a couple of practice problems from each section, then we go take the test which is very difficult. We don't even have lecture....ever. We would only go on test days. I would like to hear some input from different people. Is it like this at every school? I feel like I'm getting ripped off.
  2. 17 Comments

  3. by   mamason
    I'm sorry to hear that this has happened. COuld you possibly invest in a Dosage/Calculation book? You know, like, Nursing Calculations Made Easy. They sell them at BORDERS, Amazon.com, etc. We also had to self teach the calculations. The instructors would give us little tidbits on how to make the formulas easier to use. But, we had to read the book and do the practice questions our selves. Not everything was covered by the instructors. It was stressed by the instructor to practice, practice, practice! Get to know the formulas for converting medications. That will help you. Find a "Made Easy BooK" sometimes they explain the formulas a little bit better. Good Luck and hope this info helps you.
  4. by   suzy253
    I'm sorry you failed. At my nursing school, dosage calculations was a separate course taken at the local community college during the 1st semester of freshman year.
  5. by   Finally2008
    I'm so sorry. I agree, that dosage calculations is so important, but it is also self taught at our school. One 30 minute lecture during our Fundamentals class and that's it...I agree with the previous poster, find a good "Dosage Calculations Made Simple" or something like that and just practice, practice, practice. I wish you well
  6. by   Achoo!
    We havve to self tecah ourselves as well. Considering the amount of presure to pass, you would think they would offer at least a few classes. You don't get a second chance to take the exam? We have 3 tries each semester to pass. No one has ever needed to take it a third time.
  7. by   lisabeth
    First of all, I am very sorry. I know how disappointed you must feel, but dont give up.
    That is hard to understand. Why would they expect you to learn on your own the very concept that is the most critical thing a nurse can know??? I guess everyone should get a dosage/calculation book. I wouldnt have a problem with that, but good grief. It would make sense to get that concept from a class setting where you can ask questions until you do know it.
  8. by   EmerNurse
    I remember back in nsg school our class was medications (with some calculations thrown in) and our teacher was from a different country where they do the calculations differently from what's generally taught in the US. I used the methods taught during my pre-req chemistry class - that was the only way I did well in the calculations. My instructor would try to teach the math and try to teach the US way, but confuse it (in the same problem!) with the way she was taught, which ended in it not making any sense at all! ARGH.

    What part of the calculations is throwing you off? Maybe we can help explain a little here (for example, converting to decimals, mg/kg... etc).

    Good luck! You'll get it, don't worry!!

  9. by   LogCabinMom
    I'm sorry you didn't pass - we have just taken our math test and quite a bit of the class failed, but they can re-take 1 time.
    We're using "Calculate with Confidence" - it comes with a CD which was invaluable, IMO.
    Which part are you having trouble with? Let me know, maybe I can help because I just studied it.
  10. by   mamason
    Yes, I agree. I think it would be beneficial to any student to have a class set aside for nursing calculations. It wouldn't have to be a whole rotation's worth, just maybe 2-3 weeks to get the student familiar with nursing dosages and calculations. I know I would have loved the extra help in this area. Self study was hard for me. I just kept practicing and practing. Also, there are web sites that contain info on this subject matter. Maybe you could do a search and see if you can come up with anything. Some may even be FREE!!:wink2:
  11. by   puggymae
    I teach this course at a community college nursing program - it lasts 45 hours! I cover the calculation party for 30 hours and spend 15 hours on actually giving medications (injections, crushing meds and putting them in a Peg tube, oral meds, suppositories.....).
    Having students teach theirselves this material is insane.
  12. by   missninaRN
    I'm sorry you failed, but at least you get to take it again. Our drug calculations are self-taught as well. If we don't make 100 on the test after 3 tries, we are out of the nursing program. My clinicals group lost 4 students last week because of it.
    Can you find someone in your class to help you with this? It just comes more easily to some people. Find one of them and ask them to tutor you.
    You can do this!
  13. by   keldel
    Thank you all so much for your replies and concerns. We did get to take one retake and I failed the retake. I haven't had a chance to see my test yet because my professor left for out of town immediately after the test. I bought a book at the beginning of the trimester called Math For Nurses, which did help some. The test that I failed was on pediatric meds, titration, and GI tube feedings, which was honestly not that hard to me. I really knew the material before the test. It's just unfair how the CD we use called Calculating Drug Dosages is EXTREMELY more easy than the tests she gave us. It just doesn't make any sense to me. Why not give us hard examples and make the test hard as well? That would be fine with me. Or at least teach us how to work out the harder problems BEFORE the test. But seeing these types of questions as she had on the test for the first time is simply not fair to me. Eight out of thirty of us have failed the class so far and the comprehensive final is next week, which unfortunately more of us will probably not make it. On a positive note, I don't have to retake the class again until February, which will give me plenty of time to master the problems by then! Thanks everyone for listening. I just wanted to see if anyone else was going through this or not.
  14. by   mamason
    Quote from puggymae
    I teach this course at a community college nursing program - it lasts 45 hours! I cover the calculation party for 30 hours and spend 15 hours on actually giving medications (injections, crushing meds and putting them in a Peg tube, oral meds, suppositories.....).
    Having students teach theirselves this material is insane.
    Yes...I agree!! Our instructors taught us HOW to ADMINISTER the meds safely, they just didn't cover the COVERSION/CALCULATIONS with the math. That part was self study. It was like, here's an example, take notes, then practice the next two weeks in the book. Do the exercizes in your workbook, and then there will be a test on such and such day. It was tough. I guess at my school they assumed you knew how to do the math since you had pre reqs before entering the program. But, the only pre-reqs I had were Algebra 1 & 2. Some of that stuff doesn't stick with you if you don't use it all the time. At least for me.