Fail math exam and we are out!!!! Help!!!  page 3
I am a second year nursing student with a new Director of Nursing. She has turned the program upside down and changed everything. She instituted a policy for 2nd year nursing students that we are... Read More

Sep 1, '06I think that's normal. EVERY semester, we are required to do 20 math/meds questions (many which have more than one part) and pass 100% or we're done.

Sep 1, '06I had to self tech myself dosage calculations just this past month, and if i can do it anyoen can cause when it comes to math im not that bright. But my adivse would be to go out and buy a math book and there are tons of them out there and start self studying. I chose to self learn the Dimensional Analysis way, but you can chose any style you feel comfortable with. At orientation at my school the director told us that we have to pass a dosage calculation test every semester to pass meds, and we have to pass it with 90% or better or we are out. And she said now before you all get scared, i have never really seen anyone get dropped because of this math tests. At my school she said there are tutors in place and lab tutors who will help you with it and they should have that for you to at your school OP.

Sep 1, '06we have the same thing but during the 1st semester (not sure about the other semesters) we have to get over a 90% and we get 3 attempts. If you fail, than you fail the semester.

Sep 1, '06We are required to take a dosage and calculation test every semester and it is self taught. On the first day of class we had to sign a piece of paper stating that we were capable of learning the math and that we were aware that our instructors were not qualified to teach math/ that it wasn't a math class.
It was a shock, but what are you going to do? Learn the math.
the book, "Calculations of drug dosages" by Sheila Ogden is super basic. It walks you through every type of math problem step by step and has lots of practice questions and tests.
also, "dosage calculations made incredibly easy" is a great book 
Sep 1, '06We too have to pass calculations. 20 Q's 100% 2 chances. Reasoning if you make a mistake on the floor someone dies! This is our first semester 2nd week of class. Good luck we will all pass and go on to pass medications on the floor. Have faith.

Sep 4, '06I know we were supposed to learn the basic formulas, etc in Pharmacology, but with there only being 4 weeks, we didnt have time.
I did however know this guy that was in the program who showed me some of the different things he knew, and it didnt look that hard. Maybe it was the way he explained it. I cant say I remember that much about what he showed me, but I am hoping at this point the nursing instructor will explain it that good.
I can definitly understand the necessity they place on students. I would rather fail out of the program than kill someone. 
Sep 4, '06One of the best things I did in NS was make a drug calc notebook. Each semester I'd include the math specific to that semester (for ex: safe and therapeutic dosages in peds, pitocin in OB). I labeled each section according to its content. That way I could easily study for upcoming drug calc tests and had all my practice sheets handy.
Honestly, I never found any of the drug calculations to be "over my head". Don't get overwhelmed by the "math" of it, just look at what you have and what you need...and does it make sense?! 
Sep 6, '06We have to take a Nursing ProCalc exam 5 times. Once before we get in, and then in each of the 4 semesters. Each time the test gets harder and you have to have a higher percentage to pass. By your last term, you are taking the hardest test and you must get 100% to pass. I'm not sure how many chances we get to pass though. I actually have to take mine next week for semester one.
Good luck.
Noelle 
Sep 6, '06My program we take a calc test at the beginning and end of each semester. you get 3 chances each time or you fail the course. We lost 3 in our 3rd semester over Pedi dosages


Sep 6, '06Quote from FNPhopefulBecause Ped's orders are usually written in mg/kg/dose, or based on body mass index, which is different than adult prescriptions and which adds an extra layer of calulations (which is usually done by the pharmacy but which the nurse must double check). Even when they aren't, and the order is for an exact amount: 250 mg q4h, you have to go to back out the order and double check that this is within the range that is correct for your pediatric patient, based on his weight. Add to that the fact that we have safe infusion rates to consider too, and some conversions to make, plus the added fun of knowing that some drugs can kill a tiny patient in very small miscalculations...and there you have it! All the joys of Peds math calculations!why are peds dosages harder????????

Sep 6, '06Quote from RebeccaOnethat and you have the rehydration calculations to do, plus we had to draw and label injections sites, how much you can give in each site for pedis/infants, and 3 pros and cons to giving that particular amount in that site.Because Ped's orders are usually written in mg/kg/dose, or based on body mass index, which is different than adult prescriptions and which adds an extra layer of calulations (which is usually done by the pharmacy but which the nurse must double check). Even when they aren't, and the order is for an exact amount: 250 mg q4h, you have to go to back out the order and double check that this is within the range that is correct for your pediatric patient, based on his weight. Add to that the fact that we have safe infusion rates to consider too, and some conversions to make, plus the added fun of knowing that some drugs can kill a tiny patient in very small miscalculations...and there you have it! All the joys of Peds math calculations!
and throw on top of that our instructor does her calculations sort of backwards to everyone else, and you have a room full of confused people trying to learn how to do calcs. and also, they were inconsistent in their rules on rounding. I do believe it was the rounding instead of the actual ability to do the math that caused those 3 ppl to fail the test 3 times. 
Sep 6, '06:yeahthat: You are so right about the rounding errors. It was a source of confusion to us too! Plus when we calculated BSA, some of us were using the math formula and some of us were using some type of quick approximating tool we were allowed to use, I forget what it was called. It looked a little like the percentile charts for growth and you used a ruler to check across and get right answer. If we used the actual math formula (which I learned right away and used), then our answers were different from those who didn't. Thankfully, our instructors allowed both answers.
BSA [Body Surface Area] calculations:
kg X cm / 3600 THEN DO SQUARE ROOT AND ANSWER IN METERS^2 {meters squared}
OR
if using inches and pounds: lbs X in./ 3131 THEN DO SQUARE ROOT AND ANSWER IN METERS^2 {meters squared}
FYI: If all of this seems overwhelming, its really not. :wink2: Its just a matter of learning a few new things and new terminology. Math for Meds, by Curren, teaches nursing math in very easy language, with lots of practice questions!!