Calculator at work? - page 4

Can nurses carry a calculator on the job to calculate dosages? I'm terrible at math when it comes to solving problems in my head. It's like my brain gets scrambled. Due to this I'm getting... Read More

  1. by   umcRN
    Quote from needshaldol
    Just carry a calculator if it makes your job better. It is doubtful that you will have to use it these days. Where and what do you do where you need a calculator? There ought to be on on the electronic computer and one on your cell phone too. I have been a nurse very long and I remember the days when we had to calculate. So grateful for pharmacy and IV machines that do 99%.
    But there is that 1% of times when they send up something wrong and I've seen it too many times for comfort. A bag of what should have been 800mcg/1ml of dopamine instead sent up 3200/1 but with the 800/1 sticker. Always double check everything. Plus I work in an ICU and we draw up many meds from the pyxis, specifically narcs and paralytics and if you're giving your non-intubated infant morphine you want to make sure it's the right dose or you'll be running for the narcan real quick!
  2. by   turnforthenurse
    Phones generally have calculators built into them so that what I use if I need it. Our computers have them too. There are calculators everywhere!

    Pharmacy generally has everything calculated for us but you still need to check. For pedi patients, we need to have 2 RNs to verify the dose, math and the amount you are drawing up for anyone <40kg.

    If in doubt, I call pharmacy. I once had a 22 month old who had to get an IM shot of Rocephin...the provider ordered lidocaine to e mixed with it. I don't remember the dose, but I had to call pharmacy to know what concentration the med would be once mixed and figure out how much I needed to draw. Then of course I had another nurse verify with me.

    Always check, double check and triple check.

    Sent from my iPhone using
  3. by   DoGoodThenGo
    Quote from umcRN
    I've probably got three calculators in my bag, we have them at all our pyxises (pyxi? haha) and outside most rooms, and for anything i'm not sure about I double check with someone else. This is peds and a decimal point could kill, no pride here.
    Atta girl!
  4. by   needshaldol
    Personally, I would just take my calculator and do my job as best as I can. I don't ask permission for items like this. About 3 years ago we had to sign a paper that we were not to carry our own cell phones. Well guess what? Three years later, everyone is with their cell phone in their pocket. I see the manager walking around looking at hers.
  5. by   Lossea
    Thanks for sharing your experiences, everyone. I just had that question pop up when I was reading the Calculating Dosages in the Fundamentals book, and thought to myself, "Hmm, I might need a calculator...I wonder if nurses use it?"
    I'm glad that it's OK to use them! I'm not a Nursing student yet, but learned this much from you guys to always double-check the medication.