I failed dosage and calculations  page 2
:( :( I am so upset. I failed dosage and calculations for the trimester. I am feeling very hopeless because this is my first couple months of nursing school and I already failed a class. If we... Read More

Oct 18, '06Our school gives you a piece of paper for the formula with an example and two 10 question practice tests. We didn't get any prior instruction on it, had to have it done before lab, then went over any confusing ones. Second semester we had a test the 1st day, covering the same material. A few weeks later we had a test for IV calcs. Same scenerio. Do the practice tests, show up to lab, go over the answers and then got a little help. I never understood why they didn't give instruction on it first, but give hours of lecture on health insurance programs.
Then again, we read our chapters before class, drive through rush hour to be to class on time, with all the crazy, crazy drivers on the freeways to sit and listen to the instructor read the words straight from the book that I have already read. Oh well. We keep plugging along and get one day closer to graduation with every day that passes! Good luck to you! 
Oct 18, '06HI.
I had just wanted to chime in with a book that has helped me greatly. Our instructor recommended Math for Meds: Dosages & Solutions. It is a practice workbook, that begins with beginners math on up to calculations. There is also helpful info regarding syringes, IV's, Rx labels and this book has been a blessing. It was great to refresh the very elementary math for several students in the class, myself included.
I am sorry with your frustration because Math doesn't come easy for everyone. Maybe I could suggest that you check to see if your college has a skills type lab where you could make use of a math tutor? Our college has these services available to students, and maybe they can explain in a way that it will click for you. 
Oct 18, '06I am srry , you having trouble , but yes i believe almost all of us have to learn it on our own. We were told to by this book : Caculation of Drug dosages , ISBN 939287129 . I got it on Amazon, used for around $ 15.00 andit is very easy to read and understand. Also here is a website that might help you http://www.accd.edu/sac/nursing/math/default.html
Good luck 
Oct 18, '06I have a 'no fail' method that my pharmacology professor has invented...
You work backwards in the word problem... if, for example, your question is asking "How many gtts per minute", you will put gtts over minutes and then an "=" sign. Then, you will put the numerator on the right side of the "=" sign in gtts and the denominator in the corresponding item that goes with gtts in the question. Then, follow with all other items to cancel out each other until you have only gtts in the numerator and minutes in the denominator.
The key is to start with what the question is ultimately asking for and place it in a numerator/denominator fashion. Then put an "=" sign. Then, find the corresponding numerator in the question and go from there.
EXAMPLE:
Ordered: Micronase 0.01 Gm. Supplied: Micronase 5mg/tablet. How many tablets should be administered to the client?
tablets/dose = 1 tablet/5mg x 1000 mg/1 Gm x 0.01 Gm/dose
Sometimes, like this one, you have to put in a conversion (ie: 1000mg = 1 Gm) to get to the asked for conversion.
Write it down on paper in numerator over denominator fashion and then, you can see where you can "cross out" the same items to end up with tablets over dose. This is the answer to the question.
It might sound confusing, but if you try it  just remember to WORK BACKWARDS.
Hope this helps! I would never have passed pharmacology if my professor had not taught me this method! 
Oct 18, '06Our medication dosage calculations isn't a separate class, but we do have to pass a test given 1 time per semester with a 100%.
We use the Dimentional Analysis for Meds book which really explains and makes everything really simple. There are a few typos in the book, but for the most part, it's been really nice so far. We'll use this book throughout the entire program, not just the first semester.