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Dosage Calculations

Resources are available for you to understand how to calculate dosages.

Where to begin

Calculating dosages is a challenge for many, and for health professionals errors may cause significant morbidity and morality. 

William and Davis argues that "a student's accuracy on drug calculation tests may be influenced by maths anxiety, which can impede one's ability to understand and complete mathematic problems "(2016).

We have found some resources to help you understand dosage calculations.

Williams, B., & Davis, S. (2016). Maths anxiety and medication dosage calculation errors: A scoping review. Nurse education in practice, 20, 139-146. doi:10.1016/j.nepr.2016.08.005

Understanding Dosage calculation

When you're learning about medications in nursing, it's essential to know how to calculate the right dosage. Here are the key steps:

1. Know the Prescription:

  • Start by understanding the prescription or medication orders. It includes the drug name, dosage, and frequency.

2. Understand Measurements:

  • Learn different units of measurement like milligrams (mg), milliliters (ml), and micrograms (mcg). They tell you how much of the medication is in each dose.

3. Learn the Basic Formulas:

  • There are formulas to calculate doses based on a patient's weight or the concentration of the medication. Practice these formulas regularly.

4. Practice Decimal and Fraction Operations:

  • Drug calculations often involve decimals and fractions. Get comfortable adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing them.

5. Use Conversions:

  • Sometimes, you'll need to convert between units (e.g., mg to ml). Knowing how to do these conversions accurately is crucial.

6. Double-Check Your Work:

  • Accuracy is vital in medication administration. Always double-check your calculations to avoid errors.

7. Seek Help if Unsure: