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Dosage Calc advice

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by doublehelix doublehelix (New Member) New Member

doublehelix works as a HCA - Float Pool.

3,175 Visitors; 165 Posts

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Hi! I began my orientation to first year nursing on monday. For nursing skills we received a schedule with our skills tests, and our first dosage calc test is Oct. 4. Here is the thing, This chapter is all supposed to be self-learn; we are not taught anything about dosage calc during our skills lab. We do not even take med adminstration lectures until after 2 dosage calc tests. This does not make sense to me... I worked as a HCA for a year, and reviewed my basic math over the summer, so I do have a bit of previous knowledge. I just cannot understand how they expect someone who has not worked in healthcare or practiced to know this information in advance. We had a hour lecture on math tutorial, but all they did was give us a sheet of dosage calc questions and ask us to see what we could do. Afterward they went over the answers and told the class if they were having problems, to obviously seek help and start preparing NOW. But if everything is self taught... i am confused at to who we should talk to. They included things like identifying items on a supplier label, and put p.o., q6h, ti.d in their questions, just expecting the class to know. I can't even imagine how overwhelming this must be to the fresh students. Did anyone else have an experience like this?

I have around a month to prepare, what advice do you have? I always write down mnemonics and things I don't want to forget on my test paper before I even start the answers. I will obviously include the mnemonic for the metric system, anything else that may help me out? I have the Canadian edition of Med Math to work on (which again, we are expected to do as self study) and a couple of helpful sites I found on this forum to help me out, and i've sent them to my classmates as well. What else would you suggest I do to prepare??

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Mandychelle79 has 2 years experience and works as a Psych Nurse.

9,147 Visitors; 771 Posts

Do you have a medicine math book as one of your required books? If so do the problems in the books that will cover the math that you have to do. Also meet with one of your instructors during their office hours to get extra help.

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doublehelix works as a HCA - Float Pool.

3,175 Visitors; 165 Posts

Do you have a medicine math book as one of your required books? If so do the problems in the books that will cover the math that you have to do. Also meet with one of your instructors during their office hours to get extra help.

Yes, I have the Med Math book as mentioned, but what are some other forms of self study? We have 2 optional math tutorials to attend to, but our instructors said if we need additonal help to get a tutor or form a study group... I think they are avoiding extra work and helping us, :lol2:

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Mandychelle79 has 2 years experience and works as a Psych Nurse.

9,147 Visitors; 771 Posts

If they are optional, make them mandatory for YOU :)

We HAVE to use dimensional analysis to do our math problems, so i thats all I know.

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dudette10 has 14 years experience as a MSN, RN.

1 Article; 25,680 Visitors; 3,528 Posts

If they are optional, make them mandatory for YOU :)

Excellent advice! A lot in nursing school is self-study because the time frame for everything is compact. Use the resources provided, regardless of whether or not they come from your class instructors. Your goal is to learn the material, not make the teachers do what you want them to do. (You'll drive yourself crazy if you continue trying to do that!) :)

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1,914 Visitors; 62 Posts

Dosagehelp.com is a great site ...i had a few diff math books and jus kept doing problems at first i would keep gettin things wrong but the more i reviewed why the more i learned and i finally became good at the problems..math for nurses is a good book. i also had one called dosage calculations ..jus do problems over and over again. set a schedule for yourself like 10-15 problems a day ..a time 2 do them and all

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1 Follower; 47,478 Visitors; 2,165 Posts

you need to learn how to work these problems using dimensional analysis. there are many short-cuts and formulae available, however they are all based upon dimensional analysis.

i have not deeply reviewed the following sites, but from a brief glance you might find them useful.

fun with dimensional analysis

tutorial: dimensional analysis

medication math for the nursing student

useful nursing math links (pdf)

drug calculation tutorial (pdf)

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4,523 Visitors; 157 Posts

Try youtube if you need a visual. I'm sure someone has done videos explaining dosage calculations. :)

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CRIMSON works as a RN.

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Dimensional Analysis by Curren 2nd, 3rd or 4th edition. Any of these WALK you through the math step by step and then give you trial problems to see if you understand. Covers all nursing math and makes it a breeze.

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cjm0404 works as a Unit Assistant.

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the formula for dosage is pretty simple.

basically memorize this formula

dd x q = x

dh 1

dd stands for desired dose

dh stands for dose on hand.

q stand for quantity the ml volume the dosage strength available is contained in.

the unknown x will always be expresses in the same unite of measure as q in ml volume the dosage is contained in.

desired dose divided by the dose on had times ml

basic problem:

a dosage of 80 mg is ordered. the dosage strength available is 100 mg in 2 ml. calculate the ml to administer this dosage.

the desired dosage (dd) is 80 mg. you have 100 mg (dh) in 2ml (q) always set up the formula with the units of measured included. units must match sure as mg for dd and mg for dh. if they do not you must convert to have the same metric/si units.

(dd) 80 mg x (q) 2ml = 1.6 ml will be given

(dh) 100mg 1

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4,523 Visitors; 157 Posts

I have a Curren book as well. I believe mine is called Math for Meds. It's a good one too.

Dimensional Analysis by Curren 2nd, 3rd or 4th edition. Any of these WALK you through the math step by step and then give you trial problems to see if you understand. Covers all nursing math and makes it a breeze.

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2,988 Visitors; 124 Posts

Here's what my program recommended. Its an interactive CD with modules that walk through anything you need to know regarding drug calculations (including reading labels, general unit conversions, input output calculations, IV titration, etc.). The CD has numerous practice tests and there's a book of practice questions.

De Castillo, SLM and Werner-McCullough, M (2007) Calculating Drug Dosages: An Interactive Approach to Learning Nursing Math (2nd ed). F. A. Davis

ISBN 13: 978-0-8036-1532-8

Edited by bdanders
add more info

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