Calculations question

I'm thinking of going to school for nursing, and I just recently found out about all the math that is involved in the actual job of nursing and its kind of scaring me a little (I'm horrible with math). An RN said that you really don't do your own calculations for meds,drip rate, etc. because the pharmacy does them. Is this true? or does it depend on what dept you work in?


Nov 25, '06Occupation: RN Specialty: OB, ortho/neuro, home care, office ; Joined: Aug '05; Posts: 965; Likes: 49Well to be brutally honest, you will need some rudimentary to get through nursing school, once on the floor, yeah most doses are sent up precalculated or rates set by pharm so on and so forth, but you will need some math to get through school. Good luck with whatever you decide


Nov 25, '06Specialty: med/surg, telemetry, IV therapy, mgmt ; Joined: May '05; Posts: 15,027; Likes: 8,983yes, it's true that in most hospitals the pharmacy calculates the drip rates and the dosages for you. however, that doesn't account for the iv rate changes and dosage changes that might occur between the time the pharmacy got the original order and the doctor has come in and changed everything. the last thing you want to do is to depend on anyone, a pharmacist included, to calculate your dosages that you are going to give a patient. they might have calculated incorrectly, you never know, but it's been known to happen.
honestly, this math is not that hard. it's prealgebra level math. what makes it difficult to most people is probably because these are all those dreaded word problems. however, there are only a handful of them because they are almost all worked out the same. if you can do basic algebra, you can do this math. this is all very practical applied mathematics. not like you are doing calculus and finding derivatives or working with imaginary numbers! 
Nov 25, '06Joined: Aug '06; Posts: 156; Likes: 1Hello,
We had a class, Math for Meds we had to take before we could pass meds. It was broken down and became very simple. If you have trouble with math go to Math.com They break everything down there from simple math on up. you can work to improve your skills at your own pace.
When you take pharm you will learn most of your math. Don't stress it too much. The formula's are basically very simple, once you have worked them a few times.
Dabuggy 

Nov 26, '06Occupation: Medical Specialty: Med/Surg <1; Epic Certified <1 ; Joined: Nov '05; Posts: 2,257; Likes: 366I never considered myself a rocket science when it came to math (I had to hide my high school report cards from my kids  ugh!)...but found once I got in college as a "nontraditional student", I did much better....struggled through that final college algebra course, but held on to a "B"...
That being said, the math for nursing is not that difficult once you understand the concepts for setting up the problems....I definately wouldn't let that keep you away from this dream if it's what you want for yourself....get a dosage calculation book or two and check out the sites listed here on allnurses....one book we got is "Calculate with Confidence"....everyone in my class agreed it's been VERY helpful and a musthave!! (Read the user reviews at the bottom of the Amazon site)
Good luck!! 
Nov 27, '06Joined: Apr '06; Posts: 2,699; Likes: 7,018I too am mathematically challenged and was really scared that nursing math would be my downfall. But it's nowhere near as bad as I thought it would be. "Calculate with Confidence" is a great book. There are also some excellent websites such as:
Welcome to Maag Nursing
Pharmacology Math: a Tutorial for Nursing Students
Medication Math for the Nursing Student  DA rules for figuring out dosage calculations. No messy formulas!
Good luck! 
Nov 27, '06Joined: Nov '05; Posts: 1,883; Likes: 95The math is really not that difficult. It is basically formulas that you have to plug in numbers. You just have to memorize the formulas and practice. I was never really good in math, before I started the program; I purchased a good math book on amazon and did some problems over the summer. I tackled the areas I was weak at and passed the math test with a 98%. If I can do it, so can you. You have to break the spirit of fear.Last edit by NaomieRN on Nov 27, '06

Nov 29, '06Joined: Mar '06; Posts: 8Hi do anyone know a website that could hepl me with Maths? I would love to start Nursing School next year but I would have to get the Maths. I'm from Jamaica.
Your assistance will be graetly appreciated.
Thank you! 

Dec 7, '06Joined: May '05; Posts: 316; Likes: 33Quote from wdwpixieWe are using Calculate With Confidence as well. It is a really great book and has a ton of practice problems. I am not a star student in Math either. I did get an A in prealgebra though. If you study long enough you can learn anything. Finding the time to study long enough is another story..........I never considered myself a rocket science when it came to math (I had to hide my high school report cards from my kids  ugh!)...but found once I got in college as a "nontraditional student", I did much better....struggled through that final college algebra course, but held on to a "B"...
That being said, the math for nursing is not that difficult once you understand the concepts for setting up the problems....I definately wouldn't let that keep you away from this dream if it's what you want for yourself....get a dosage calculation book or two and check out the sites listed here on allnurses....one book we got is "Calculate with Confidence"....everyone in my class agreed it's been VERY helpful and a musthave!! (Read the user reviews at the bottom of the Amazon site)
Good luck!! 
Dec 8, '06Occupation: waitress/cna Joined: Dec '06; Posts: 9the formulas aren't that hard. as for checking them when you are an rn if you come up with a different number than what its suppose to be you should always ask someone