# Nurse medication calculations-The nurse's quick guide to I.V. drug calculations : Nursing made Incredibly Easy

Many nursing students panic in their drug calculation exams. These are useful because you can watch them at home and play them back as many times as you like. Gatford, JD. Nursing Calculations. Churchill Livingstone.

Calculate volume doses This activity will guide you through the process to calculate volume doses. Turn recording back on. Similarly, Nurse medication calculations you have to round off the number You have a 90kg patient and ccalculations bag of mg in ml. Using ratio and proportion, this problem is set up and solved as shown below.

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This article has been saved into your User Account, in the Favorites area, under Nurse medication calculations new folder " ". Once you are finished, click the button below. Write at bedtime or a designated time. The procedure for converting mixed numbers into improper fractions is: Multiple the denominator of the fraction by the whole number Add the numerator of the fraction to this number Place this number over the denominator of Black movie website bollywood fraction The calculation below shows how you how you convert a mixed number into a fraction. Any insight will really be helpful. The process for calculating intramuscular and subcutaneous dosages is practically identical to that of calculating oral dosages using ratio and proportion. Your support and acceptance will help smooth their transition back to civilian life. Once you do this step, you can do anything! Thank you, Emma. I have been practicing and the instructors have sent us practice problems. Keep on trucking, Michael…50 is the new 30 and Nurse medication calculations a third career just makes you experienced and curious about life. This quiz will test your ability on how to calculate the amount of liquid medication to give the patient based on the Nurse medication calculations amount. Nurse medication calculations safe always, practice safely always. Write once daily or Knitted skirts eye.

In this section of the NCLEX-RN examination, you will be expected to demonstrate your knowledge and skills of dosage calculations in order to:.

- Nursing Tutoring Essentials can assist you in in preparing for your drug calculations test, which generally occurs throughout your RN nursing university degree.
- In the actual NCLEX, these type of dosage calculations are usually formatted as a fill-in the blank question type.
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Many nursing students panic in their drug calculation exams. These are useful because you can watch them at home and play them back as many times as you like. Gatford, JD. Nursing Calculations. Churchill Livingstone. This is a good book to start with. It is easy to read and has lots of exercises to work from. Nursing Guernsey : Drug calculations. Drug calculations Many nursing students panic in their drug calculation exams.

It has some great animation too. Subjects: Health.

Please enable scripts and reload this page. You have not finished your quiz. Add Item s to:. Perhaps they are both divided? Thanks so much!

### Nurse medication calculations. Learn More. Stress Less.

The completion time for this infusion is? Is the question asking you how many hours total for the infusion to run, or what time will it complete? If you want to know at what time the infusion will be complete, then you just look at what time it is now and how much fluid is gone half of it.

If it takes 10 hours to run the whole bag, then you have 5 hours left on the bag and your infusion will be complete at What a great site! I am a Professor teaching basic chemistry to incoming freshman nursing students.

I am not a nurse, I have been a research scientist and teacher for a long time. I have the science part down, but I need insight into the daily lives of nursing students and nurses in general. I want to emphasize good habits, etc for them in addition to the science. I will do my best to explain the science, but how can I convey how important things like conversion factors and calculations are for dosages, etc?

Any insight will really be helpful. The best way to teach this, in my opinion, is to utilize examples that are related to the field of nursing. So, when you are teaching dimensional analysis maybe throw in a few samples that are related to med dosing…when discussing chemistry, try to relate it to the field of nursing whenever you can. It doesnt cross cancel with any and it not labled at the end.

I appreciate you taking the time do this! Oh my goodness nevermind.. So, total thanks for this tutorial and your site! In your calculations as listed, does one not multiply all of the numerators, then multiply all of the denomenators together then divide the numerator by the resultant denominator? Implying we were dividing all of those numbers by each other straight across, but they work when multiplied. Math is my weak spot, so feel free to school me.

Thanks so much! Maddrey…I always multiply across the top, hit the equal sign, then divide all across the bottom and hit the equal sign one last time. Hi Nurse Mo! I have a dosage question that is throwing me through the loop. The question reads…. When the intravenous solution has infused at the correct rate for 15 minutes, how much ampicillin will the patient have received rounded to the nearest tenth of a gram?

This is a great example of a dosage calc question designed to trick you! The key is knowing which information you need for each calculation…once you figure that out, the calculations are pretty simple! For the second part, the question is really asking…how much ampicillin will the patient receive each minute? So, set it up like so: 3. Now just multiply by 15 to get a total of 2.

Thank you so much Nurse Mo! Thank you for this post — I had watched about 40 different Youtube videos covering nursing numeracy but nothing seemed to click aha! Its safe to say I have some basic dosages down. However, questions with g, mg, mcg make my brain hurt.

I may be overthinking it but I feel stumped as how to work it out!! A client is ordered How many tablets will you give? I set out my problems as shown above, is this wrong? Perhaps they are both divided? I know mcg is smaller than mg…but…HELP?! Please, Id love to hear how you might work this out.

Hi Tayla…this is just a simple conversion from mcg to mg. Write it out like this: Then cross out your units…mcg and mg this leaves you with tablets, which is what you want.

Hi Nurse Mo, Thank you — I actually worked it out pretty soon after posting this and felt like such a silly billy! Thank you anyway, hopefully my brain remembers now! Hey Nurse Mo! This comes from the pediatric section. Your patient weighs I am at a loss trying to figure out how to set up this problem.

This has exacerbated my maths anxiety — there seem to be numerous different formulae for intravenous delivery — and l have become totally confused — l might be right off track here Nurse Mo but does your method work for All the infusion calculations? Hi Sandra…. My advice is to work through the tutorial step by step, then check out the other posts on dosage calculations and the sample quiz.

This is a great resource for this 50 something on his 3rd career. Dimensional analysis just had me confused. Now I think I have this. Glad it helped! Keep on trucking, Michael…50 is the new 30 and having a third career just makes you experienced and curious about life. All good things! Hi Mary, Thanks for spreading the word on how easy and safe dimensional analysis is in medical calculations.

I have a series of YouTube videos on pharmacy calculations, and I stress how this method can be used for so many different types of calculations. Keep up the good work! Brad Wojcik, PharmD. Hello Nurse Mo! I had a question when it comes to the set up for a problem of Intermittent and Bolus IV push medications where the drug reference states each XX amount of med is to be delivered over x amount of time.

For example: Order: Furosemide 80mg to be administered in IV. Thank you, Emma. Awesome post!! Dosage calculation is one of the very important thing which every medical student should know especially nurse.

The simple problems I can solve, sort of, but the ones wanting drops per min are killing me. After 3 hours, mL remains to be infused. Round answer to the nearest whole number. Any assistance you can give is greatly appreciated!!

Hi Michelle…questions like this can be infuriating because the question it is asking is obscured. We also know that we have ml remaining in the bag. So…what is the actual question? In this case.. Nursing school has been great, until I got to medication math with dimensional analysis.

You, have done a great job simplifying a complicated subject. Finally, I get it! I thank you for that. I have a calculation, and I was wondering if you could help me with it. It says, a prescriber ordered 0. Hi Denise, So as always, start with the order…so it looks like your order is for 0. The whole thing looks like this: 0. The answer is 2. Thank you for your posts. I have been practicing and the instructors have sent us practice problems.

Nice thought, but some of the information is missing, which is what happens often in our tests. This makes it next to impossible to get a calculation correct.

Thank you very much. I have a few dosage quizzes on this site search for quiz , so definitely do those! Best of luck to you Hang in there!!! Did you by any chance end up creating the dosage calc quiz that you mentioned at the end of your post? Hi Kim…there are a few dosage calc quizzes on the site…check the search bar bottom right and type in quiz…they should come up! Dear Nurse Mo, Thanks for your insights and the explanation on dimensions.

Margaret W. You are so great!!! When you have to round off a number like Similarly, if you have to round off the number You will have to convert from one measurement system to another when the doctor's order, for example, orders a medication in terms of grains gr and you have the medication but it is measured in terms of milligrams mg.

In this case, you will have to mathematically convert the gr into mg. The table below shows conversion equivalents among the metric, apothecary and household measurement systems. It is suggested that you memorize these. If at any point you are not sure of a conversion factor, look it up.

Accuracy is of paramount importance. Although there are other methods, like dimensional analysis for example, that can also be used, only ratio and proportion will be used in this NCLEX-RN review for brevity sake.

For example, the ratio of women less than 18 years of age compared to those over 18 years of age, who attend a specific college, can be 6 to 1. This means that there are 6 times as many women less than 18 years old as there are women over 18 years of age. There are a couple of different ways that ratios can be written. These different ways are listed below. When comparing ratios, they should be written as fractions.

The fractions must be equal. If they are not equal they are NOT considered a ratio. For example, the ratios 2 : 8 and 4 : 16 are equal and equivalent. In order to prove that they are equal, simply write down the ratios and simply criss cross multiply both the numerators and the denominators, as below.

Proportions are used to calculate how one part is equal to another part or to the whole. For these calculations, you criss cross multiply the known numbers and then divide this product of the multiplication by the remaining number to get the unknown or the unknown number. Here is an example of how to calculate oral medication dosage using ratio and proportion:. In this problem you have to determine how many tablets the patient will take if the doctor order is mg a day and the tablets are manufactured in tablets and each tablet has mg.

Here is another example of calculating an oral dosage with a liquid oral medication:. The process for calculating intramuscular and subcutaneous dosages is practically identical to that of calculating oral dosages using ratio and proportion. Here is an example:. Nurses apply clinical decision making and professional thinking skills to the calculations of dosages and solution rates. There are times that nurses make an error in terms of their calculations and these error can be absolutely ridiculous and, at other times, these calculations can appear to be correct.

Although there is no room for errors, a nurse should be able to immediately recognize that a calculation is wrong and incorrect. For example, if the nurse calculates an intravenous flow rate and the answer is that the rate of the flow should be gtts per minute, the nurse should immediately recognize that this answer is ridiculous because it is not possible to accurately count this number of drops per minute.

The nurse should recalculate the flow rate in this instance. You can also apply clinical decision making and professional thinking skills to the calculations of dosages and solution rates based on your knowledge of pharmacology and the usual pediatric and adults dosages for all medications. Again, you should do your calculations over again and check them to insure that you are accurate.

The procedure for converting mixed numbers into improper fractions is: Multiple the denominator of the fraction by the whole number Add the numerator of the fraction to this number Place this number over the denominator of the fraction The calculation below shows how you how you convert a mixed number into a fraction. All decimals are based on our system of tens; in fact the "dec" of the word decimal means For example: 2.

### Medication Calculation

All nurses need to be competent in the calculation of medication dosages. You need to know how to calculate required dosages accurately, including doses of tablets, doses of solutions, and intravenous fluid rates and medications. You will also need to be able to:.

There are lots of online resources to help you develop and practice your maths skills. Find out about the Math Skills Program. Medication dosage orders are provided and dispensed in a variety of ways. It is important that you familiarise yourself with the terminology used to measure weight and volume, and how to convert from larger to smaller units - and vice versa.

When applying formulas to calculate dosages, make sure that you are using the same units of measurement ; this means that, in some cases, you will need to convert units of measurement.

This section will show you how weight and volume are measured. The gram is the basic unit of weight. The table below shows equivalencies between units of weight:. The litre is the basic unit of volume; a subdivision of a litre is the millilitre. The table below shows the equivalence between litre and millilitre:. Because all metric units are multiples or subdivisions of the major units, you can convert units by dividing by the appropriate multiple or multiplying by the appropriate subdivision.

If you need to convert between a larger a smaller unit for example, from kilogram to gram , you will multiply by , or move the decimal point 3 places to the right. To convert from smaller to larger units, divide by or move the decimal point three places to the left. This is needed in order to calculate IVT rates, for example.

First of all, make sure you are familiar with how time is measured and the equivalencies between units of time:. There are lots of online and printed resources to help you develop your skills to calculate medication dosages:. Drugs may be administered via several routes. Drugs that are administered orally are usually in tablet, capsule or liquid form.

Drugs can also be administered by injection or intravenous infusion. You will need to be able to calculate dosages for oral and liquid medications. Before applying the formula to calculate medication dosages, review important concepts that will help you identify what information you need to look for, and how to use the formula. To calculate medication dosages, you will use the stock required, stock strength and volume as part of the formula.

It is important to understand what it is meant by strength and volume, as you will need to check this information about the drug to use it correctly in the formula. The strength is the amount of drug in units or g, mcg, while the volume is the amount of liquid in which the drug has been diluted.

The formula to calculate the required dose includes the stock required prescribed by the doctor , the stock strength amount of drug available and volume amount of solution available. To calculate oral doses, the formula can be simplified. The volume is not needed in this case because the drug comes in tablets.

We first have to ensure that we are using the same units of measurement for stock strength and stock required. In this case, the stock strength is presented in mcg, but the order is in mg. Therefore, you will need to convert the order dose from milligrams mg to micrograms mcg so that you have the same units:.

If you need to review how to convert units of measurement, see section on units of measurement above. Once stock strength and dose ordered are expressed in the same units of measurements, the formula can be applied:. Yes, in this example the stock available is expressed in mg, and the dose required is expressed in g.

The formula will now be applied to calculate volume doses, including the volume of stock solution. Remember to include the unit of measurement in the result : mL, as you are using a liquid solution of the drug. Yes, in this example the dose required is expressed in mcg, and the stock strength is expressed in mg. Therefore, you will need to take into account the weight of the patient when calculating dosages. For each kilo of weight, the child should receive 15 mg of drug.

To calculate the drug suspension dose, you will use the formula to calculate drug dosages that uses the stock strength, stock required and volume strength. This is the maximum amount of drug that the child can receive per day. This is the maximum safe dose that the child should receive per day.

We have calculated that the maximum dose per day is mg. To calculate the maximum safe individual dose:. You will need to take into account the time in hours to set the intravenous pump. The formula to calculate the fluid rate is:.

Note that if the time is given in minutes, you will need to convert minutes into hours to use this information in the formula. Alternatively, you can use this formula:. Time in mins. To calculate fluid drops per minute, you will use the same elements as in the previous formula, but you will have to also include the drop factor assume a drop factor of 20 unless otherwise stated.

Maths for Nursing All nurses need to be competent in the calculation of medication dosages. Units of measurement Converting units of measurement Weight Volume From larger to smaller units From smaller to larger units Time calculations Further resources Medication dosage orders are provided and dispensed in a variety of ways.

Units of measurement: weight The gram is the basic unit of weight. Units of measurement: volume The litre is the basic unit of volume; a subdivision of a litre is the millilitre. Converting from larger to smaller units Because all metric units are multiples or subdivisions of the major units, you can convert units by dividing by the appropriate multiple or multiplying by the appropriate subdivision.

Converting from smaller to larger units To convert from smaller to larger units, divide by or move the decimal point three places to the left. Convert units of measurement Choose the correct option Q1- Convert 0. Hint: check how many places you need to move the decimal point to the right. Hint: You need to convert from a larger to a smaller unit.

Since you are converting from a larger to a smaller unit, you need to multiply by or move the decimal point three places to the right. Q2- Convert 0. Q3- Convert mg to g: Hint: you are converting from a smaller to a larger unit. Hint: check how many places you need to move the decimal point to the left. Since you are converting from a smaller to a larger unit, you need to divide by or move the decimal point three places to the left. Q4- Convert mL to L: 4 L.

Q5- Convert 0. Time calculation Convert the following into decimals: Q1- 90 minutes 1. Q2- Five and three quarters of an hour 5. Thus, 5 and 0. Q3- 20 minutes 0. Q4- minutes 1. Further resources There are lots of online and printed resources to help you develop your skills to calculate medication dosages:. Drug calculations quiz Quizzes to calculate dosages, metric conversions, fluid dosages, and IV drop rates.

Calculating dosages Drugs may be administered via several routes. Finding the volume required This short video shows you the difference between strength and volume. Interpret stock strength and stock volume How to find the volume required and how to calculate the volume of solution required.

Formula to calculate dosages The formula to calculate the required dose includes the stock required prescribed by the doctor , the stock strength amount of drug available and volume amount of solution available.

Before you apply the formula, take into consideration two key aspects: The dose and form in which the drug is available. Ensure that all dosages are expressed in the same units of measurement i. Calculating oral doses To calculate oral doses, the formula can be simplified.

Calculate tablet doses This activity will guide you through the process to calculate tablet doses. Q1- A patient is prescribed paracetamol 1g, orally. The stock available is mg tablets. Calculate the number of tablets required. Do you need to convert units of measurement? Thus, you need to convert the order dose from g to mg. The dose prescribed is now expressed in mg: mg. Q2- 25 mg captopril PO is prescribed. How many 50 mg tablets should be given?

No, in this example strength and dose required are expressed in mg. Q3- Dixogin micrograms is prescribed. Tablets available are 0. How many tablets should be given? Do you need to convert units? Yes, in this example dose required is expressed in mcg and strength is expressed in mg.

Dose required is now expressed in mg: 0.

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