Q about dosage tests & calculators


Silly Q: I have not even started school yet (sept08) but I know we have to take the dreded dosage test everyone talks about. Can you use a calculator? Does it depend on the school? I've sort of been practicing and I think I am setting the problem up right but when it comes to solving it I need my calculator. I have not done long division or multiplication on paper since high school. At my college my teachers in both Chemistry and Math let us use calcualtors.


50 Posts

We could use simple calculators only (no scientific calcs, phones, etc).


48 Posts

Some teachers let us use calculators and others made the calculations easy enough to do in your head or on paper.

I rely on the calculator when actually calculating a dose for a pt, most nurses I work have worked with do!

Has 10 years experience.

Our school hands out a basic calculator for each exam. I always double check my work with the calculator, even if its very basic!


1,194 Posts

We were able to use a simple calculator. I would do it by hand and then check it with the calculator. Worked for me!

Daytonite, BSN, RN

4 Articles; 14,603 Posts

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

all the calculators in the world won't do a bit of good if you don't put the numbers together correctly to solve the problem to begin with. all drug dosage problems are word problems. most of the work in solving them is putting on your thinking cap and ferreting out the information given in the problem and being able to plug it into standard formulas used in solving these problems. the remaining work is performing the mathematics (adding subtracting, multiplying and dividing). if you mess up the first part and use the wrong formula or plug wrong information into the formula, your calculator isn't going to help because when wrong information gets input into a calculator wrong answers are what end up coming out.

argue the use of a calculator with your instructors. in the meantime, brush up on long division and multiplication and/or start working through one of the drug dosage tutorials from the weblinks listed on post #3 of this sticky thread:


175 Posts

Specializes in Corrections.

We will be allowed to use simple ones as well, but we were also told we had to show our work.

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