# Math for Meds

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I am finishing up my pre-reqs this semester and will be entering nursing school in the fall of 2006. I am wondering if anyone happens to know what type of math I should be focusing on. I have completed up until College Algebra however I still don't feel competent with my math skills. If anyone knows of any links, books, websites etc that would help me improve the skills I will need specifically for nursing I would appreciate it.

4 Articles; 14,603 Posts

Specializes in med/surg, telemetry, IV therapy, mgmt. Has 40 years experience.

hi, kasm296!

i will attach a link at the end of my post that will take you to a page that gives an explanation of something called dimensional analysis for calculating drug problems and another for a nice easy to work with tutorial on drug calculations that has a lot of links within it as well as quizzes that you should bookmark for your future adventures into the world of drug calculations! basically, elementary algebra is really all you'll need. that, and an understanding of how ratios (aka fractions) work. dimensional analysis is a way of putting an equation together that is often used in chemistry. it allows you to add measurement conversions (such as 1 foot/12 inches) as a fraction (or ratio) to the equation and to set up and manipulate a series of ratios/fractions so that you are left with a number that contains the final dimensions (labels) you want. when you are working with these drug and med calculation problems you are often being asked to convert from milligrams to grams and from iv infusion tubing that drips at 10 drops a minute to 15 drops a minute. these are just examples. they may sound like greek right now, but when you start to get into this stuff and study it, they will make more sense. also, you will find a thread on drug calculations there with lots of links to practice problems on the student nurse assistance forum here https://allnurses.com/forums/f205/dosage-calculations-88867.html

http://www-isu.indstate.edu/mary/tutorial.htm - from the indiana state university a "basics" page on medication math with explanations on how to do a number of different types of medications problems (including iv problems), conversions and dimensional analysis with links to lots of practice quizzes.

http://www.accd.edu/sac/nursing/math/mathindex2.html - basic tutorial on getting started with pharmacology math. at the bottom of this home page is a drop down box where you link into any of the following subjects: common conversion factors/equivalencies, common abbreviations, ratio and proportion, iv problems, titration problems, and pediatric pharmacology math.

http://www.accd.edu/sac/nursing/math/default.html -- the start page of this pharmacology math tutorial presented by the nursing department at the san antonio college. by clicking on the "go figure" button you can access quizzes on basic med calculations, iv, pediatric and ob med calculations. the quizzes all have answers. follow the directions.

401 Posts

Dosage Calculations Made Incredibly Easy was also very helpful for me. It's a tough class, but if you get a good teacher, it makes a lot of sense. The hardest part for me was remember all the conversions! But definately check out the doasge calculations thread. Lots of valuable info there!

5 Posts

I am in a class actually called math for medication administration it has greatly help to break down the complex to the simple. for the first time in my life I'm enjoying math.

506 Posts

I am finishing up my pre-reqs this semester and will be entering nursing school in the fall of 2006. I am wondering if anyone happens to know what type of math I should be focusing on. I have completed up until College Algebra however I still don't feel competent with my math skills. If anyone knows of any links, books, websites etc that would help me improve the skills I will need specifically for nursing I would appreciate it.

I took a class with ccconline (http://www.ccconline.org). It was a nursing pharmacology class completely online. I think I paid \$150 for it. Boy, did I learn a lot.

Just a thought.

755 Posts

Specializes in Geriatrics. Has 22 years experience.

We were required to buy and finish the first 15 chapters of the Math for Meds book before the first day of school. I think it taught me all I had to know. I am AWEFUL in math so to learn this stuff basically on my own was even more terrifying!! But the book broke it down and made thigs that seemed difficult very easy for me to understand. We had take 2 math drug calculations tests in each level and we had to get a 100% on ALL of them to graduate, I DID IT!!!! So, there is hope for all!!

Oh, and that was the title of the book "Math for Meds, 8th edition". I'm sure they are at least on the 9th edition by now!

262 Posts

Specializes in OR Peri Operative. Has 7 years experience.

Last semester I took a math for health class (dosage calculations) and I was never great at math, but I did VERY well in this class and learned ALOT. It definatly helps having a good understanding teacher. I ended up with a A- in the class and enjoyed it very much. Now I know how to convert doses, and lots more. Def. a class I would recommend!!

4 Articles; 14,603 Posts

Specializes in med/surg, telemetry, IV therapy, mgmt. Has 40 years experience.
http://www.nursesdrughandbook.com/safe_drug_admin/calculations_compatibility/conversionsandcalculations.cfm - here are quick reference tables of conversions and calculations on one page from the nursing spectrum drug handbook. with this page of tables is information to convert from one unit of measure to another, convert between fahrenheit and celsius, and practical formulas to calculate drug dosages and rates of iv administration. nice resource!
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