Jump to content

How often do you do dosage calculation?

Posted

I am starting my job as a new grad RN. This week has been a whole week of orientation. Yesterday, they had us go through a "skills lab" with pages of nursing questions regarding different topics. I realize how much I have forgotten my dosage calculation. When it came to that section, I was total clueless. I am now freaking out because I feel incompetent and looked like a total dumbie working with nursing students who were there orientating to work as externs. :uhoh3:

I feel so incompetent knowing that I need review and master the dosage calcuation among other nursing things like herparin, etc. Is this just me or anyone else too??? I'm so worried because I start training on the floor next week.

roser13, ASN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, Ortho, ASC. Has 17 years experience.

How often do I use dosage calculations? Every day. I'm not saying that I have to actually determine the doses every day, but I always have to check it. If I'm not doing that, then I'm being cavalier about my meds.

Try not to stress....you obviously figured it out at one time and a refresher will be much easier than the new learning. After all, it's fairly simple arithmetic and very basic algebra. You're probably just overwhelmed with all of your orientation.

Kitty Hawk, ADN, RN

Specializes in hospice, ortho,clinical review. Has 5 years experience.

well I'd tell you don't stress, but if you're anything like me, you won't listen! ;)

Other than using desired/have x volume ex for solumedrol. I haven't really used much. I don't know what method you learned but I learned by dimensional analysis not desired method and it's still not a big deal b/c I can see that method is quicker and you can use the calculator feature. But if I need DA I know it.

The IV meds come up with instructions what to run them at. So I've yet to use that math.

I had a freak out post about not understanding the morphine and dilaudid cylinders for pca's how to figure out the waste, but it was now explained to me in the 5 or 25mg increments on the cylinder and it's super easy. (take home point here, is don't freak!)

Other stuff like a dilaudid carpuject that's 1mg/1ml and the order was 0.2mg It's prefilled, so I just wasted till the 0.2ml mark on the syringe. So that's pretty easy too. If it wouldn't have been a 1:1 ratio I would have probably fell back on my DA unless desired/have made more sense. Other than that...cutting pills I'm sure you get that. Simple adding.

It'll be okay, trust yourself...that if you need to figure something out it's really is just simple math. For the most part pharmacy takes care of things with prefilled medications and premixed solutions. Sure you need to make sure it's right, but most of it for me have seriously been no-brainer type math. Maybe other floors are different.

Edited by Kitty Hawk

I use dosage calculation everyday in my job, too. It's not difficult math though. It's mostly to determine how much to draw up for IV push for pain meds, steroids, diuretics, etc. Our IV pumps do calculate most drips thankfully, but as the PP mentioned, we still have to double check. Sometimes I will set a pump to the correct med, dose, and pt weight, but it doesn't seem right at first glance so I will do the math out myself to be sure.

Ruby Vee, BSN

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching. Has 40 years experience.

how often do i do dosage calculations? as often as i give meds or titrate drips. the good news is that the more you do it the easier it gets. and lots of people have trouble with it at first. just have a preceptor double check you, and by the time you're off orientation it should be second nature.

SlightlyMental_RN

Specializes in chemical dependency detox/psych.

I use dosage calculations every time I work. Generally, they're the kind I can do in my head. However, about once a month, it's the kind where I have to break out the paper and calculator and have a co-worker check it. It truly does get easier the more that you do it.

Meriwhen, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Psych ICU, addictions.

Just about every day...and like slightymental_RN, most of mine are the type I can do in my head, with the occasional "someone get the calculator!" problem.

BabyLady, BSN, RN

Specializes in NICU, Post-partum.

I am starting my job as a new grad RN. This week has been a whole week of orientation. Yesterday, they had us go through a "skills lab" with pages of nursing questions regarding different topics. I realize how much I have forgotten my dosage calculation. When it came to that section, I was total clueless. I am now freaking out because I feel incompetent and looked like a total dumbie working with nursing students who were there orientating to work as externs. :uhoh3:

I feel so incompetent knowing that I need review and master the dosage calcuation among other nursing things like herparin, etc. Is this just me or anyone else too??? I'm so worried because I start training on the floor next week.

How can you get through nursing school without mastering dosage calculations?

I'm not trying to be mean...but seriously...this will be on your NCLEX.

I do dosage calculations every time I work...I make sure that what the physician ordered is the same that pharmacy has for the dosage and at least once very two weeks I catch an error...once, a major one.

If the physician makes an order and you don't double check the dosage entered by pharmacy and you give the wrong amount, it is your license....so you need to get a nursing math book and master this..it is dangerous, to work without knowing exactly how it works.

I understand how important it is... that is why I need to review on it. I haven't been on the floor for almost a year now. These kind of calculation I should know. It's like one of those, you don't use it, you lose it. I need to brush up on it. Thanks for all the suggestions and advices. Appreciate it.

Bobbkat

Specializes in NICU.

I calculate every single med I give. I know, it's anal and a little paranoid, but I'm in the NICU and dosage slip-ups can be way too detrimental too NOT calculate out each dose.

No two ways about this question... I always do the math, even if it has been done for me - each and every time, regardless... I also ask my colleagues, including the pharmacist to check my calculations... sometimes the MD.

SharonH, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, Geriatrics. Has 20 years experience.

I don't provide direct patient care anymore but up until the last time, I calculated every single time. You cannot trust pharmacy or someone else to calculate it for you, that's an error waiting to happen. Don't let anyone tell you that you don't need to double check the calculations. This is a basic nursing skill. The good news is that once you get back into the swing of it, you will master it.

klone, MSN, RN

Specializes in Women's Health/OB Leadership. Has 14 years experience.

I had to do a dosage calculation last week. It was probably the first time in about 2 years. I had another nurse double check me, because I'm so out of practice. We pretty much deal only with single dose vials, or single dose pills.

PediLove2147, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatric Cardiology. Has 7 years experience.

How can you get through nursing school without mastering dosage calculations?

I'm not trying to be mean...but seriously...this will be on your NCLEX.

I do dosage calculations every time I work...I make sure that what the physician ordered is the same that pharmacy has for the dosage and at least once very two weeks I catch an error...once, a major one.

If the physician makes an order and you don't double check the dosage entered by pharmacy and you give the wrong amount, it is your license....so you need to get a nursing math book and master this..it is dangerous, to work without knowing exactly how it works.

She has a a job therefore she has already taken the NCLEX. I am not trying to be mean but... read the post.

I know I am really embarrassed. I promise myself I will review and work on it before I start the floor...so I can be a better and competent nurse. :nurse:

biblepoet

Specializes in Correctional Nursing, Orthopediacs.

I use it frequently sometimes in is in my head other times I need to get paper and pencil out.

I do dosage calc everyday. When I worked on an inpatient floor I never did...pharmacy prepared everything and it was all packaged nicely and neatly in the exact dose. The IV pumps were preprogrammed with the recommended rate, etc.

I'm in ER now and we mix all of our own drips (Epi, Nitro, Dopamine, Insulin, etc) so they are not in the dosage amounts that match what is programmed into the pumps...so we have to figure mcgs/min into mls/hr, etc.