Pharmacology Math

by admin

Posted on Monday 27th of October 2008

Nurses must perform dosage calculations when administering medications and intravenous fluids. Pharmacology math requires the nurse to know systems of measurement (metric, household, apothecary, and avoirdupois) and how to convert within those systems of measurement. Other system of measurements include units (common for insulin and heparin), milliequivalents (mEq) (common for some drugs such as potassium chloride), and international units (IU) (common for vitamins). Since nurses need to accurately calculate medication dosages, it is essential to understand drug weights and measures.

Math computation skills (addition, subtraction, division, multiplication, fractions, etc) are necessary to calculate medication dosages.

To interpret physician's orders, the nurse must also understand abbreviations used to describe those units of measurement and frequency of administration.

Other instances in which the nurse may use math (pharmacology) includes calculating safe dosages of medications.

Nurses may use basic math to determine intake and output.

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