100% dosage calculations? - page 5

I was sitting here looking at my dosage calculations book(& wondering why I decided to go to nursing school:lol2:) &I started thinking. My school requires a 100% on your dosage calculation test and... Read More

  1. by   Daytonite
    Quote from jzzy88
    can anyone give me an example of a dosage calculation. i've never seen this before in my pharmacology class. thanks,
    dosage calculations are usually part of the nursing curriculum when nursing students are also having to learn the normal dosages and the clinical effects of drugs on patients. each nursing program introduced the subject of dosage calculation where it decides to. you can see dosage calculation problems worked out in this sticky thread:
    every school teaches dosage calculations differently. there's no sense getting upset before you even know what your school requires or teaches. these medication calculation problems are based upon real drugs, real dosages. the 100% standard has become common. the reason is because medication errors have become such a huge issue. medicare and the fda have been tracking medication errors and the effect they have on length of patient stay and mortality (deaths) and the figures have been staggering. thus, since these entities made this issue a priority, nursing schools and hospitals have fallen into line as well. medicare, one of the largest payers of healthcare, pretty much dictates a lot of healthcare standards today and addressing medication errors and setting medication administration safety is one of them. you are going to find that most hospitals will also require you to pass a drug calculation test after you are hired but before you even lay a hand on one of their patients as a new grad or as a new rn employee. if you don't pass the test your employment will be terminated before you even get to work on the nursing unit. this is serious stuff and involves patient lives and many hospitals take this very seriously. your nursing schools are merely responding to an industry practice as they prepare you to go out into the working world of nursing.
  2. by   Jenny67
    Hi, I'm locatd in Maine and our college requires a math test each semester. 10 questions and you must get them all correct to move on. If you do not pass the first, you have a total of three times by a certain date to pass.

    I had myself all worked up and was sure that I would not pass and be kicked out of the nursing program when my clinical professor asked me if I could add, subtract, divide and multiply and told me as long as I can do those 4 things I will pass and need to stop setting myself up for failure.

    Good Luck!
  3. by   ♪♫ in my ♥
    Quote from jzzy88
    Aren't their safe guards in practice that would prevent an accident?
    From what I've read on this site, it sounds like the nurses ARE the safeguards.

    I did some online research for an admissions essay and was shocked at how common are medication errors.
  4. by   ♪♫ in my ♥
    Quote from blkgrlwithwings
    Does anyone know of a good website that lists the conversions...1 pt equals x oz, 8 fluid drams equals x fl oz and that sort of thing? I have a book, but it doesn't list them...strange!
    I wanna write them on notecards and tape them to my bathroom mirror! You know those wasted 2 minutes when I'm brushing my teeth... LOL

    Hey, now that I think of it, maybe I can glue them to the toilet roll while I'm at it...uh, maybe not.
    I'd suggest using Google. It doesn't list them per se but you can enter them in and get an answer.

    For example, typing "1 pint in oz" gives "1 US pint = 16 US fluid ounces"

    While it doesn't have every conversion, it does provide Google's usual comprehensive list of websites for the ones that it doesn't have.
  5. by   smk1
    Quote from jzzy88
    So from what I understand they are not providing adequate teaching in order to set that high of an expectation and then punishing the students, that is lame!

    A lot of times though, math tests are anything but straight forward. I don't think it's fair to set a 100 percent standard. Just because someone passes with 100 percent, what if they still make a mistake on the job. That's possible. Sometimes people test worse than others.

    Aren't their safe guards in practice that would prevent an accident?

    On the other hand, I've heard that the math isn't that bad. I haven't started my program yet though. I'm pretty good at math, so I wasn't really worried about this.

    Is it really that hard? Anyway, maybe you can talk to your instructors about being more fair to students.

    I have no problem with a 100% standard if what you are testing is acutally math. Don't add in stuff about what syringe size should be used or other things that are open for debate. (Unless you have specifically gone over this material, or assigned reading that covers it). Don't word the question (order) so ineptly that the student is unsure of what you are asking. This isn't fair because it isn't testing math. We have to put up with these highly subjective questions on our actual tests, but we aren't required to get 100% on those so it works out better. If you want decimals carried to a certain place, then say that at the beginning of the test. If you want certain things rounded and other things not rounded, then be clear about that. A math test should test the students ability to do the conversions and arrive at the correct mathematical solution, not their ability to read minds.
    ---signed SMK who to date has never failed a nursing math test, but manages to get steamed about some of the content every time.
  6. by   peacelovestar
    Quote from SMK1
    In theory I agree with this, however we get math test questions (fake orders) that are so confusing at times that it is ridiculous. In the real world you can call to clarify the order, in the testing lab (for us anyway) there is only a monitor, not the teacher. You have to guess what they really mean because if you read the question one way it would yield a totally different answer that if read another way. This isn't right when students can get kicked out of the program for failing the test. Math tests should be straight forward. Anything else is pretty ridiculous because if there were any question about an order you would clarify it. So giving a confusing math test really isn't testing much.
    I totally 100% agree as this is what happened to me with my test. The fake orders throw me off because I'm thinking "this makes ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE!" Usually they just want the real answer though even if it's impossible to give. (ie. 0.6 of a pill.. :uhoh21
  7. by   karenrnstudent
    My school requires a 90% and we get 2 retakes. However, the tough part is that the test is only 20 questions so 2 wrong and you are out!
  8. by   amzyRN
    Isn't there some kind of reference guide for conversion units? I'd think that would alleviate some of the problems. Are we expected to memorize the conversion units?
  9. by   Lizzy6
    I graduated a while back from a community college. We had 2 tries to make 100%, if not, you were out of the program. If you study the book & practice, you should be fine.
  10. by   User123456
    i just tested out of dosage calc thank god thats over! lol till next semester anyway
  11. by   smk1
    Quote from jzzy88
    Isn't there some kind of reference guide for conversion units? I'd think that would alleviate some of the problems. Are we expected to memorize the conversion units?
    We have to memorize them.
  12. by   Daytonite
    Quote from jzzy88
    isn't there some kind of reference guide for conversion units? i'd think that would alleviate some of the problems. are we expected to memorize the conversion units?
    there are all kinds of conversion tables on the internet and in some of your textbooks, medical dictionaries and nursing drug reference books. yes, you are expected to have memorized the most commonly used conversions for tests.

    here are links to some conversion tables that are on the internet:
  13. by   beth66335
    We take a math test mid way through first semester, we only get one chance at it and we have to make an 80% or better. If we fail we drop Pharm, but we get to finish Foundations, clinicals and lab. We of course can't do meds at clinicals. We can't take classes in the spring because we don't have all core-reqs for them. We take Pharm again the next Fall plus the dratted Math Comp test ( better pass this time or your out!). Then in the spring we take our second semester classes, so we basically end up a year behind. I'm so glad I passed! I just found out we have a test like this every semester and it is 80% to pass each time with only one try! My problem is not the math, I can do it fine if there is no test pressure, I just have test anxiety in math. Also, I found out these tests don't count toward our final grade, so it won't help me pass Pharm! We also have to memorize conversions, but there is a table in our book. And we get to use calculators, thank goodness! We did lose one guy this go round, but he is young and has a good attitude about it.
    Last edit by beth66335 on Nov 17, '07 : Reason: more info obtained.