Drug Calculations


by Malcolm Rosenberg, RN 

If you have trouble with drug calculations, these caricatures will be your friends. 

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During my long stay in nursing school, I have seen many students struggle
with the mathematics of drug calculations. As someone who had previously
struggled with the numbers I have been quite successful in explaining this
material to students who hate numbers.
As I drew pictures, did examples, made analogies and anything else to explain the material, this book wrote itself. I believe that the same pictures, examples and analogies that worked for my fellow students will work for you. Throughout the book, I use cartoons to show the medicine as visible objects not just numbers. While teaching other nurses, I have found that the cartoons make the quantities and/or motion very easy to grasp. Here are a couple of examples from the book... 
The
last pill that we'll talk about is scored so you can break it into thirds.
The antidepressant, Desyrel 150mg, is scored so it can be broken into thirds of 50mg each. 
If
the prescribed dose should be 100mg,
you would break off one part and give the other two. 
Here's another example from the book "Drug Calculations for Nurses Who Hate Numbers."
Typically,
critical care IV orders are written, "mcg./kg../min."  Or more
clearly stated, one microgram per minute 
Each kilogram of body weight should have one microgram of medication flowing through it each minute. 