How to teach self dosage calculations

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    I am in a 4-year RN program that does not offer/require a dosage-calc course as a prerequisite or as a nursing course. Instead, our first semester they required us to purchase the text "Dosage Calculations A Ratio-Proportion Approach" by Gloria D. Pickar, and said this would be a continuous, self-study subject that we would be tested on every semester.

    In the past I have done really well in my math and algebra classes, with the help of decent textbooks and really good "teaching" professors. However, when it comes to teaching myself something I feel like it's next to impossible! Regardless the amount of studying I do I just can't seem to make it click for me. I am also not a huge fan of the textbook we were required to purchase.

    I am wondering if anyone has any helpful tips in regards to teaching oneself, helpful online teaching tools, or recommendations on a REALLY GOOD dosage-calc book?
    Thanks for the help
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  3. 7 Comments so far...

  4. 1
    I would suggest Math for Meds. It's a workbook that stars off really basic (addition and subtraction), teaches dimensional analysis, gives several examples for each subsection, and provides plenty of practice problems with answers.

    This semester I'm using The Nurse, The Math, the Meds and flipping through, it looks pretty good too. It has slightly better reviews on Amazon than Math for Meds.
    AmandaM2013 likes this.
  5. 1
    Our program uses Calculated Drug Dosages by Castillo. It comes with a CD and work book. Mind you, it isn't the latest and greatest technology and has a few errors, at least on my edition. However, it teaches you step by step each different type of calculations you need to know.

    My program had no math class what-so-ever and we also have to take a calculations exam every semester and pass with 95%. Once you get the hang of it, it's like riding a bicycle; you'll never forget how to do it once you do it.

    You should find out what way your school would like you to solve the problems (i.e. dimensional analysis - which is what I see most people wanting help with), but if your school uses something different, Castillo has all 4 ways of calculating.
    AmandaM2013 likes this.
  6. 0
    YouTube has a bajillion tutuorials. And it's free
  7. 1
    that's the book we are using in my Rn course but our school requires Dosage Cal. Our teacher LOVES this book because it has the answers in the back that lets us know if we are right or not...honestly im really good in math and this is my fav class lol. I have powerpoints our teacher gives us that if youd like I could send you that may help? And of course I don't mind helping if you need Somer K
    AmandaM2013 likes this.
  8. 1
    Welcome to AN! The largest online nursing community!

    A 4 year program tha doesn't have this in the curriculum....smh

    Here is a great site!!!!

    DosageHelp.com - Helping Nursing Students Learn Dosage Calculations
    AmandaM2013 likes this.
  9. 0
    Thanks for your feed-back! I also like that the answers are in the back of the book! At least you know where you stand on your math skills! I think powerpoints would be extremely helpful! I would be very great-full if you could send me some copies of your powerpoints!! Thank you so much for your help!!
  10. 0
    Quote from AmandaM2013
    I am in a 4-year RN program that does not offer/require a dosage-calc course as a prerequisite or as a nursing course. Instead, our first semester they required us to purchase the text "Dosage Calculations A Ratio-Proportion Approach" by Gloria D. Pickar, and said this would be a continuous, self-study subject that we would be tested on every semester.

    In the past I have done really well in my math and algebra classes, with the help of decent textbooks and really good "teaching" professors. However, when it comes to teaching myself something I feel like it's next to impossible! Regardless the amount of studying I do I just can't seem to make it click for me. I am also not a huge fan of the textbook we were required to purchase.

    I am wondering if anyone has any helpful tips in regards to teaching oneself, helpful online teaching tools, or recommendations on a REALLY GOOD dosage-calc book?
    Thanks for the help
    When I started nursing school nineteen years ago we used a book called "Dosage Calculations" by the author you mention. It was a good book, easy to study and work the exercises in. We were required to study a number of chapters each week, do the exercises, and periodically hand our book in to an instructor to verify our progress. Based on this book, we also had dosage calculation tests in class periodically, and my scores were always very good. I still have the book in my library. It really did teach me everything I needed to know in nursing school about dosage calculations and preparing medications.

    Good luck with what ever decision you make.
    Last edit by Susie2310 on Jan 13, '13


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