What is the answer to this test question?

  1. Hi all,

    OK. This may seem like the dumbest question but for the life of me I can't see how the answer I'm being given is right.

    The question is:

    A Mg is smaller than a mg. True or False?

    OK. I haven't had a math class in over 10yrs so my first thought was that they were the same so I answered False.

    This is incorrect. OK...so I'm thinking I must have my abbreviations messed up but I cannot find a place in any of my books where it indicates that Mg stands for microgram. The notation for microgram is mcg or ug, right?

    Someone help me here

    Sorry if this is totally dumb but I'd better get this figured out now rather than on the first dosage calc. test.

    Thanks!!!
    •  
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    About yeepers

    Joined: Jun '04; Posts: 62

    22 Comments

  3. by   Nurse_Ben
    Howdy,


    The answer is true if the instructor means microgram. This can be abbreviated two ways: mcg or mg. The last one (mg), the m will have a little tail on the end of it. I always use mcg because most likely you are dealing with a critical med.

    -Benny
  4. by   yeepers
    Hey Benny,

    Thanks for the reply. I was doing one of those review tests on the CD that came with my dosage calc. text.

    In this case the only distinguishing factor between the 2 notations is the capital M. I would never make the assumption (if asked on a real test) that Mg stood for microgram since I've never seen it noted that way. I can see if it asked for mcg vs. mg but have you ever seen microgram notated as Mg?

    I'm probably thinking too hard about this but it bothers me since there is no documentation in any of my books to support the answer the test indicates is correct.

    Cheers!

    Yee
  5. by   Hoozdo
    Hi,
    I would take this question to be true. A Mg is the same thing as an mg. They are both milligram. A microgram will always be mcg or the funny u with a tail - ug.
    Cheers,
    Lu Ann
  6. by   yeepers
    Hi Lu Ann,

    So, you're saying you think the answer to the question here should be false, right?

    The question was "Mg is smaller than mg. True or False".

    I said false because I think they mean the same thing. I think I'll have to ask my instructors on Tuesday to really clarify.

    Thanks!
  7. by   stbernardclub
    The answer is false...they are one in the same. Because of medical errors, Mg (mg) are the same, and mcg is always written differently. I have read many changes over the last few years of words that have to be written out eg: u for units...
    Quote from yeepers
    Hi all,

    OK. This may seem like the dumbest question but for the life of me I can't see how the answer I'm being given is right.

    The question is:

    A Mg is smaller than a mg. True or False?

    OK. I haven't had a math class in over 10yrs so my first thought was that they were the same so I answered False.

    This is incorrect. OK...so I'm thinking I must have my abbreviations messed up but I cannot find a place in any of my books where it indicates that Mg stands for microgram. The notation for microgram is mcg or ug, right?

    Someone help me here

    Sorry if this is totally dumb but I'd better get this figured out now rather than on the first dosage calc. test.

    Thanks!!!
  8. by   yeepers
    I think the test on the CD was just wrong So I'm going to go with common sense as you've all said and take the 2 to mean the same and consider my original answer of false as correct.

    Thanks everyone! I'll just mention it to my instructors on Tuesday anyways to see what they say.

    Cheers and have a great weekend!
  9. by   Altra
    All four 4 hospitals where I've had clinicals have had signs, posters, notes in charts & in med rooms, and everywhere else with a list of "dangerous" abbreviations which can easily be misuderstood or mis-read. JCAHO regs require these to be eliminated from documentation. These "no-no" abbreviations include the use of Mg or ug for micrograms -- the only acceptable way to list micrograms is mcg.

    I think possibly the question in the review book is outdated. Let us know what your instructor has to say.
  10. by   chris_at_lucas_RN
    Quote from lu_ann
    Hi,
    I would take this question to be true. A Mg is the same thing as an mg. They are both milligram. A microgram will always be mcg or the funny u with a tail - ug.
    Cheers,
    Lu Ann
    This is exactly why hospitals are rushing away from even using abbreviations.

    We had the same sort of junk in training--after the test, we were told that the "proper" way to express milligrams was initial upper case (Mg). Later of course we saw it all over the place as mg, which, I believe, is more common.

    Microgram does have that little odd "u" in front of the g. That "u" is actually the Greek letter "mu" (pronounced "mew"), and the tail is in front.

    In our hospital we are obliged not to abbreviate anything. It is a safety issue.

    (Normally, I'd suggest googling, but in this case the darned car gets all the references--MG!)
  11. by   yeepers
    Thanks everyone! I'll be sure to get back and post the results after discussion with the instructors.

    If it turns out that the review is correct I'm scared to think of how many errors that could be made because of the ambiguity of the abbreviation!

    Thanks again.
  12. by   Hoozdo
    Quote from yeepers
    Thanks everyone! I'll be sure to get back and post the results after discussion with the instructors.

    If it turns out that the review is correct I'm scared to think of how many errors that could be made because of the ambiguity of the abbreviation!

    Thanks again.
    Ooops, after reading the question again the answer is false. A mg = Mg
    Sorry about leading you astray!
    Lu Ann
  13. by   Plagueis
    Hmmmm. I just finished a math class last semester, so I would think that Mg and mg are the same thing, since mcg is mircorgram. (Or so I thought.) Therefore, I would have answered "false," as well. However, I've always seen milligram as a "mg," not Mg, with a capital M. I wish we could get rid of these abbreviations that can easily be mixed up. Good luck with your instuctor!
  14. by   mauser
    For what it is worth.....

    I have a "Medical Abbreviations" book I use as a medical transcriptionist. Often there are a few choices under each abbrev. The only thing listed under Mg is magnesium.

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