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Dosage Calculations for Nurses

Dosage Calculations for Nurses

June Olsen, Anthony Giangrasso, Dolores Shrimpton, Sheila Cunningham

Dec 2009, Paperback, 312 pages
ISBN13: 9780132068840
ISBN10: 0132068842
For orders to USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand or Japan visit your local Pearson website
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This comprehensive and easy-to-use guide for dosage calculations and drug administration is an excellent reference guide for nursing and healthcare professionals. Critical thinking case studies, practice tests, and exercises prepare students for real calculations so they can confidently calculate safe and accurate dosage levels

With a workbook style, comprehensive coverage and over 1,000 problems and answers, ‘Dosage Calculations for Nurses’ allows the student to work at their own pace in the areas where they feel need the most support.

"This book is appropriate for new student nurses"
Dawn Reasbeck, Sheffield Hallam University

"Excellent book with lots of examples and practice tests. Clear and easy to understand."
Alison Williams, School of Health & Social Care, Sport & Exercise Sciences, Glyndwr University

"I found this book extremely practical, student friendly with a good range of self assessments for the student"
Sharon Sykes, Senior Lecturer, Department of Nursing Studies, University of Central Lancashire

"An excellent textbook for pre-reg nurses and non-medical prescribers"
Ruth Broadhead, Senior Lecturer, School of Nursing & Caring Sciences, University of Central Lancashire


Unit 1 Basic Calculation Skills and Introduction to Medical Administration

CHAPTER 1 Review of Arithmetic for Medical Dosage Calculations

Short Diagnostic Test (level of comfort with numbers)

Fundamental Skills for Calcualtions

Explaining Decimals and Fractions

Changing Decimal Numbers and Whole Numbers to Fractions

Changing Fractions to Decimal Numbers

Rounding Decimal Numbers

Rounding Numbers (Up or Down)

Multiplying and Dividing Decimal Numbers

Multiplying and Dividing Fractions

Complex Fractions


Practice Sets

Reflection Exercise


CHAPTER 2 Safe and Accurate Drug Administration

The Drug Administration Process

Who Administers Drugs?

Six Rights of Medication Administration

The Right Drug

The Right Dose

The Right Route

The Right Time

The Right Patient

The Right Documentation

Drug Prescriptions

Medication Orders and Administration Records

Prescription Forms

Prescription Variations

Components of a Prescription Medication Administration Records

Computerized Recordkeeping

Drug Labels

Drug Package Inserts

Practice Sets

CHAPTER 3 Changing Units of Measurement

Introduction toUnits of measurment and Conversion

The Mathematical Foundation Changing a Single Unit of Measurement to Another Single Unit of Measurement

Simple Problems With Single Units of Measurement

Complex Problems with Single Units of Measurement

Changing One Rate to Another Rate

Simple Problems With Rates

Complex Problems With Rates

Practice Sets

CHAPTER 4 The Metric Measurement Systems

The Metric System

Liquid Volume Measurements

Weight Measures

Length Measures

Shortcut for Converting Units in the Metric System

Measurements in the Imperial Measurements System

Unit 2 Oral and Parenteral Medications

CHAPTER 5 Calculating Oral Medication Doses

Simple Problems

Medication in Solid Form

Medication in Liquid Form

Medications Measured in Millimoles

Complex Problems

Calculating Dosage by Body Weight

Calculating Dosage by Body Surface Area

BSA Formulas


Case Study 5.1

Practice Reading Labels

Practice Sets

CHAPTER 6 Syringes

Parts of a Syringe


Types of Syringes

Measuring Insulin Doses

Measuring a Single Dose of Insulin in an Insulin Syringe

Measuring Two Types of Insulin in One Syringe

Measuring Premixed Insulin

Safety Syringes

Case Study 6.1 153

Reflection on Practice

Practice Sets 157

CHAPTER 7 Solutions and Drug Strengths or Concentrations

Determining the Strength of a Medication

Pure Drugs in Liquid Form

Pure Drugs in Dry Form

Determining the Amount of Pure Drug in a Given Amount of Solution

Determining the Amount of Solution That Contains a Given Amount of Pure Drug

Molar Solution and Molarity

Drugs Measured in Units

Case Study 7.1 183

Practice Sets

CHAPTER 8 Parenteral Medications

Parenteral Medications

Parenteral Medications Supplied as Liquids

Parenteral Medications Supplied in Powdered Form


Case Study 8.1

Practice Sets

Unit 3 Infusions and Paediatric Dosages

CHAPTER 9 Calculating Flow Rates and Durations of Enteral and Intravenous Infusions

Introduction to Intravenous and Enteral Solutions

Enteral Feedings

Intravenous Infusions

Intravenous Solutions

Equipment for IV Infusions

Infusion Pumps

Calculating the Flow Rate of Infusions

Calculating the Duration of Flow for IV and Enteral Solutions

Case Study 9.1

Practice Sets

CHAPTER 10 Calculating Flow Rates for Intravenous Medications

Intravenous Administration of Medications

Secondary Intravenous Infusion Lines

Calculating Flow Rates Based on Body Weight

Titrating Medications

Calculating Flow Rates Based on Body Surface Area

Case Study 10.1

Practice Sets

CHAPTER 11 Calculating Paediatric Dosages

Safe Paediatric Drug Dosages

Administration of Oral and Parenteral Medications

Oral Medications

Parenteral Medications

Calculating Drug Dosages by Body Weight

Calculating Drug Dosages by Body Surface Area

Administration of Intravenous Medications Using a Volume Control Chamber

Calculating Daily Fluid Maintenance

Case Study 11.1

Practice Sets

Comprehensive Self-Tests


Appendix A Answer Section

Appendix B Common Abbreviations Used in Medical Documentation

Appendix C Summary of Units of Measurement in

Appendix E Tables of Weight Conversions

Appendix F Ratio and Proportion Method for Dosage Calculation


Key Features:

  • Covers safe drug administration, systems of measurement, oral and parenteral medications, solutions and paediatric dosages
  • A ‘Maths Review’ helps the student to brush up on their maths skills
  • Both generic and trade drug names are covered
  • Critical thinking case studies, practice tests and exercises prepare students for real calculations
  • Comprehensive ‘Workspace’ sections at the end of each chapter ensure understanding of difficult concepts