Please Help!

  1. I am starting the evening/weekend RN program in Jan and have received the packet with all the required tasks prior to beginning. My question is regarding the dosage calculations. Can anyone that is currently in a RN program tell me what all you needed to know regarding the dosage calsulations? I am curretnly studying out of Dosage Calculations Made Incredibly Easy however I am getting very nervous about how much I need to learn on my own. Clearly it is important that I learn this but do they really leave you on your own?? Math is not my strong point - any feedback is greatly appreciated. Thanks everyone!

    Thanks,
    Jen
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  2. 19 Comments

  3. by   ShockerGirl07
    Math isnt my strong point either but i've passed all our med exams we've had (im in 2nd semester, one per semester). It depends on which program you are in, with ours, we didn't have to know the apothocary (sp?) system. We had to know basic conversions, and stuff like how to turn milligrams into milliliters
    ex: Ordered: Demerol 75 mg IM
    Supply: Demerol 50 mg/ml
    Answer: 1.5 ml (75/50)

    stuff like that. If you really want to know what all you need to know i'd call the school, or try to contact your instructor. our school gave us a great packet to work on once we started school. Good luck!
  4. by   RNfromMN
    Math was never my strong point, either...I believe it was strongly recommended that we review some of the chapters in our Math for Meds book about conversions & cross multiplying before we started the program, but, the rebel I am, I never did it .

    Don't worry if you're getting flustered going over equations...I'll bet they're only expecting you to review conversions (ex. mg to g) and concepts like cross multiplying. If I could do it all over again, I would have worked on memorizing some of the conversion factors before starting the program...Good luck!
  5. by   AggieNurse99
    Math is my strong point (sorry!), but the easy explanation of dimensional analysis is that it is basically stoichiometry (basic chemistry). Set up your problems WITH the units, and get your answer's units right, and the math is usually right. Just make sure your units cancel each other out. And it is easier than it sound. In above example:
    Demerol 75mg x 1mL/50mg =
    75mL/50 =
    1.5 mL

    Antibiotic G 1500 mg IV
    avail: 3g/mL [1g=1000mg]
    1500mg x 1mL/3000mg = 0.5mL
  6. by   Tweety
    Whether or not you need it in the real world they are going to grill you in nursing school.

    Take a deep breath, read one page, one problem at a time and go through it methodically without freaking yourself out.

    The big problem with those who say "I'm no good at math" is their fear and anxiety.

    You can do this otherwise, they wouldn't have accepted you into the program.

    Best of luck!
  7. by   lmorgan708
    I am currently in my first level of RN school. I have had dosage calculations. I was not very strong in math, but I found this very simple. We were given the option of choosing which formula to use. I dont know how your program will be. I found that the basic formula (D/H x V) was the easiest for me, but some like the dimesional analysis. I found out that if you know where to plug in what then you should be fine. I did have the hardest time remembering conversions, but if you know those and the formula then you should do well. I have a final next week in that class and I have a 93% going into it so I feel okay about it. Good luck!
  8. by   carol72
    Jen, may I ask where you will be attending school? Are you an LVN?

    Thanks
  9. by   melissar121
    you need to memorize all your conversions, ex. 1 lb = 2.2 lbs, 1 gr = 60 mg, so that you can do all your calculations. know the drip factor calculations, and then what the others said above, if you aren't strong with using the dimensional analysis formula, try ratio proportion (cross multiplying). ex. 2mg/30 ml = 4mg/ x (cross multiply, 2x = 120mg then divide each side by 2, so x = 60)
  10. by   I RN A
    It depends on your school. In my school we had to pass a dosage calc exam with 100%. We were allowed to use the calculator and could retake it 3 x. If you don't pass after the 3rd time, you are off the program. The math was easy. There were only 3 conversion factors to know. We used this formula: (desired/have)xquantity(mL). There is a book that will help you to study: Math for Nurses, A pocket Guide to Dosage Calculation and Drug Preparation, 6th ed, Mary J Boyer.
    Also make sure you put the desired over have and not have over desired. I have done it, although math wasn't a problem, and I had to retake the test. Seems easy, but you really have to pay attention and read those questions carefully.
  11. by   NewBrand
    hello everyone

    I am wondering what did everyone do to get by when they first started school for nursing. I am a single mother of a 5 yr old and am currently pregnant yet not married.( what a statistic right) I am waiting till after school to be married. However, my significant other isn't capable of paying the bills alone. Any help of what I could do. thanks so much
    brandy:trout:
  12. by   4jen
    Sorry for such a late response. I am not a LVN - I will begin the ADN program and have never worked in healthcare.
  13. by   moongirl
    I hate cross mulitplying. so I used the formula they gave us in class

    dose ordered
    dose on hand x the vehicle

    works every time
    I was TERRIFIED of the math, but its not terrible, I promise. The Made Incredibly easy is a great book. you will be fine. Hopefully you will be given practice problems each week like we were, it really helps
  14. by   moongirl
    [quote=NewBrand;1958673] hello everyone

    I am wondering what did everyone do to get by when they first started school for nursing. I am a single mother of a 5 yr old and am currently pregnant yet not married.( what a statistic right) I am waiting till after school to be married. However, my significant other isn't capable of paying the bills alone. Any help of what I could do. thanks so much
    brandy:trout:

    /quote]


    when is your baby due, and do you expect to stay in the program and take time off for the delivery ?!?!?
    How many days a week is your program?
    who will watch your 5 yo and new baby while you do class and clinicals ( usually 4 days per week)
    you plan on working as well?

    before you make a plan, you have to take all factors into account. Nursing school is extremely time consuming and demanding. Most clinical hours start at 6 am twice per week, will you have child care?

    Find out what your program requires of you and then go from there.
    it can be done with proper planning and resources

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