An important nursing class nursing students take in nursing school is a course called Dosage and Calculations. One of the many duties that nurses perform each day is administering medications to patients. Nurses must know the exact dosage to give to patients, and they must also know how to calculate the appropriate dosage or calculate a specific dosage from a prescription.
2% of those admitted into hospitals receive the wrong dosage of medicine. Although these situations usually do not cause a great deal of harm, these types of errors have the potential to be fatal. Errors in medication dosage and calculation occur so nurses must make the best use of their Dosage and Calculation course in nursing school.
What is Dosage and Calculations?
Dosage and Calculations is a class that nursing students must take as a part of their nursing program. There are some nursing programs that offer dosage and calculation as a part of all other nursing courses. Nurses must use calculations to determine the dosage that a patient receives from a general dosage. They also use calculations to administer prescribed dosages when those dosages are different from what is available.
Nurses must know how to calculate dosages in order to help their patients since this skill in vital to successful nursing careers. Nurses must have excellent mathematical skills in order to calculate their patient’s dosages of medicine. Knowing the proper method in which to calculate dosages can mean the difference between life and death for a patient.
How Nurses Use Dosage and Calculations on the Job
Nurses and nursing students must know how to solve dosage and calculation problems to determine the exact amount of medication. Dosage and calculation can be used for many things; including prescriptions, flow rate set up, and syringe draw up of medications. The dosage calculation is used to determine the amount of medication needed to administer medications. Nursing students need to learn dosage and calculation in order to pass the nursing licensing examination known as the NCLEX-RN.
Nurses use the patient’s weight to calculate the precise dosage of medication needed. Dosages are often given in milligrams and milliliters depending on the type of medication administered. For example, a certain number of milligrams of medication are administered for a certain number of kilograms of the patient’s body weight.
Nurses can calculate the needed dosage for a patient by multiplying the patient’s weight by the general dosage. If a patient’s weight 30 kg and the general dosage is 25 mg/kg, the nurse administers the patient 750 mg (30kg x 25 mg/kg).
Study Guide for Dosage and Calculations for Nurses
Some nursing student have problems with understanding dosage and calculation problems. Math is not a favorite subject among students, especially nursing students. The key to being successful with dosage and calculation problems is to practice them over and over.
A great study guide to help nursing students with solving dosage and calculation problem is a book called ” Dosage Calculation Practices for Nurses” by Bonita E. Broyles. Here is what it looks like:
Tips on How to Study for Dosage and Calculations Tests in Nursing School
- Use a recorder in class. It is always beneficial to have the notes available to study for the exams. It is also a good idea to listen to the recorded notes before all exams in case some notes were lefts off while taking notes during the lecture.
- Use online resources. There is an abundance of information available to study for nursing exams. Dosage and calculation can be broken down for nursing students so that the problems are easier to understand.
- Brush up on basic math skills. Nurses use their math skills to determine dosages. It is a good idea to get additional practice in percentages, ratios, proportions, and decimals. It is also a good idea to revisit metric system conversion for calculating dosages.
- Ask questions during the lecture. If there are any questions about how to calculate a dosage while the professor is lecturing, ask questions so that the information is clear before leaving the class.
- Get involved with a good study group. Find a small group of people who have excellent mathematical skills to form a study group. Make sure that all members of the study group are dependable.
- Form a good relationship with the professor. Talk to the professor during and after class and make an office visit every now and again. Building a relationship with the professor may come in handy during the course.
- Compare notes with a classmate. It is very easy to miss important notes while listening to the lecture. It is a good idea to have a few people to turn to make sure that accurate notes are available to study. It may be a good idea to exchange telephone numbers with a few people in the class.
Proper dosage and calculation is essential in the nursing profession. Administering the wrong dosage of medication to a patient can have a negative impact of the outcome of the patient’s condition. Nurses must make sure that their mathematical skills are exceptional to prevent any unexpected issues from occurring while caring for their patient.