It is essential to the career of a nurse to safely administer medications. However, a lot of nursing students struggle with calculation of dosages. Students are expected to know how to calculate dosages, unfortunately, a lot of this is self-study.
Developing skills for the mathematical calculation of dosages requires basic knowledge of working with fractions, mixed numbers, ratios, and proportions. There are many books on calculation of dosages and you probably have one that was included in your bundle. It can be hard to pull out the basic information you need. Below are some skills that can help.
1. Review or learn basic math skills.
The beginning of safely calculating drug dosages is basic math skills. Some important math skills needed to calculate drug doses include working with fractions, mixed numbers, ratio, and proportions. It is helpful for a student to learn how to convert fractions and mixed numbers. It is also helpful to learn how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide fractions and mixed numbers. Working with ratios and proportions is very important in learning how to use certain calculation of dosage equations. Learning these few skills will get you on your way to painlessly learning calculation of dosages.
2. Review or learn conversion skills
Metric conversion is a very handy skill to have in your arsenal. Medications are dispensed in different units than order, so conversion is sometimes necessary. Converting medications from grams to milligrams is a common conversion. It also helps to be familiar with kilograms and micrograms. Nurses also work with milliliters to administer medication. Learning to convert between these units assist in safely administering medications.
3. Review and learn a method for calculation
There are a lot of different methods for calculation of dosages and trying to figure out which one you should use can be confusing. There are a lot of different sources out there but not a lot of explanations available for students that need a little extra help. If you need a quick and simple guide for reviewing basic math skills used for calculation of dosage, download this free eBook – Calculation of Dosage Basic Math. This ebook reviews fractions, ratio, and proportions in a compact guide that is easy to understand and quick to review.
Student nurses can become more confident in calculating dosages with an understanding of math skills, learning to do conversions and learning a calculation method you are comfortable with.
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