# Med Dose Calc - Is It Possible Some Just Don't Get "It"?

- 0Jun 25, '12 by DoGoodThenGoRan into an aquaintance hadn't seen in awhile and we began to shoot the breeze.

Last time we spoke she had finally got into a nursing program here in the City but was struggling with Med Dose Calc. The poor thing tried six ways from Sunday to wrap her head around the concept from dimensional analysis to good old fashioned tried and true formulas, but her grades were never good. Long story short she got bounced out after failing nursing math too many times. Now one could understand if the girl was dumb as a bag of rocks, but she's actually quite clever (had a GPA >3.5), just couldn't wrap her head around things.

Am hearing from various quarters about lots of persons who are otherwise academically brilliant but cannot hack nursing math. Is this normal and how is it possible? ## Get the Hottest Nursing Topics Straight to Your Inbox!

- 1,742 Views
- 0Jun 25, '12 by
*nursel56***Guide**I don't know if it's normal with med calculations. Once I learned the rules I was fine. I do struggle with basic math (arithmetic) compared to verbal skills, but I think the reason for that is I was taken out of Catholic school in 5th grade and started public school in 6th, which turned out to be bad timing for me.

This was when they taught long division with fractions and decimal points. At the time, these things were taught completely differently and I lost a huge chunk of instruction. My 11-year old friend showed me how to divide the new-fangled way ("daddy, mommy, sister, brother" - I still remember that) but none of my teachers ever noticed the large gaps in basic math instruction I had. So I was strangely fine with algebra and geometry but spotty on the basics for a long time. - 0Jun 25, '12 by DoGoodThenGoQuote from nursel56I don't know if it's normal with med calculations. Once I learned the rules I was fine. I do struggle with basic math (arithmetic) compared to verbal skills, but I think the reason for that is I was taken out of Catholic school in 5th grade and started public school in 6th, which turned out to be bad timing for me.

This was when they taught long division with fractions and decimal points. At the time, these things were taught completely differently and I lost a huge chunk of instruction. My 11-year old friend showed me how to divide the new-fangled way ("daddy, mommy, sister, brother" - I still remember that) but none of my teachers ever noticed the large gaps in basic math instruction I had. So I was strangely fine with algebra and geometry but spotty on the basics for a long time.*"daddy, mommy, sister, brother" ?*

Must have missed that one! *LOL*

We had the standard long division with fractions and decimals and my teacher didn't give any memory aids nor did anyone in my class offer as I recall. - 0Jun 25, '12 by
*nursel56***Guide**"divide, multiply, subtract, bring down" --**lol.**We were taught the "ladder" method. Any pesky remainders were supposed to be turned into a fraction (I think, that's when I left). I just have to imagine my school considered decimal points to be the spawn of Satan, just as ball-point pens were. Fountain pens were mandatory, too. - 0Jun 25, '12 by roser13I don't believe that it's necessarily "nursing math" that can't be conquered. In most cases, it's "math concepts" {abstracts) that can't be conquered.And it's not necessarily a bad thing that certain types of thinkers are eliminated before they advance. $$ saved on misdirected educations. Immeasurable frustration eliminated before it occurs.
- 0Jun 25, '12 by minnymilots of people struggled with dosage/calc...including myself.

they made us use dimension analysis...no other option. that style is more about memorizing formulas than actually thinking. not everyone's brain works the same. in fact, math is taught totally different in elementary schools now. kids aren't forced to use a certain formula. as long as they get the correct answer and their method works every time...it's acceptable. way different than from when i was in school.

when i was doing dimensional analysis...i could sometimes look at the problem and almost immediately know the answer (on the simpler conversions) but couldn't for the life of me remember how it was supposed to be set up. so, even if i had the correct answer...it was counted wrong. they also got counted wrong if you forgot to circle your answer. imagine being the person who failed and had the correct answer, but didn't put a circle around it! - 0Jun 25, '12 by DoGoodThenGoQuote from netglowIIRC she was in an ADN program where the chem was more like "chemistry for nurses" rather than the heavy stuff like organic.This person, were they OK with Chem? If they were, then tell them to ignore all else and do the calcs using the same methods they used in Chem.

Most ADN programs here NYC don't require organic chem, and some may require full college level chemistry. This was the last time one looked which was awhile ago so things may have changed.

It didn't help that she had one of those "do the problems .... and show all work" instructors. Like the poster above just knowing the correct answer wasn't enough, but the rest counted as well or the whole thing was marked incorrect. - 0Jun 27, '12 by Cali22i think its all about being able to visualize the outcome in math. Go with the flow and try to check answers whenever possible. Some people never realize they need to go back even further to eventually advance for example take remedial math for no degree credit vs. starting with college algebra.