Drug Calculations for Nurses : A step-by-step approach, Fourth Edition book cover
4th Edition

Drug Calculations for Nurses
A step-by-step approach, Fourth Edition

ISBN 9781482248456
Published June 5, 2015 by Routledge
334 Pages 52 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The administration of drug treatments in hospitals has become increasingly complex. It sometimes involves potent drugs that may be fatal if administered incorrectly. The ability to perform drug calculations accurately is therefore paramount to prevent placing patients at risk.

Drug Calculations for Nurses: A Step-by-Step Approach teaches healthcare professionals how to perform drug calculations with confidence and competence. It provides step-by-step guidance to carry out accurate drug calculations, with units and drug strengths clearly explained.

This bestselling pocket-size book begins with the basic mathematical skills required to perform calculations, including tips on estimating answers. It then covers drug strengths and concentrations, dosage calculations, IV infusion therapies, and pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics. Two separate chapters focus on children and the elderly, addressing specific challenges encountered in these populations.

Helpful worked examples, key points, and objectives are included in every chapter. Useful tables with common prescription abbreviations, estimation of renal function, and body surface area estimates are easily accessible through the appendices.

This new edition comes with an online pre-test enabling readers to benchmark their knowledge. Specific weaknesses can then be identified and addressed in the printed book. Also included is a revision test that allows readers to assess their ability to perform drug calculations after completing the book.

Table of Contents

Arithmetic Symbols
Basic Maths
Rules of Arithmetic
Fractions and Decimals
Roman Numerals
Powers or Exponentials

First Principles
Before We Start
Sense of Number and the Use of Calculators or Formulae
Estimation of Answers
The ‘One Unit’ Rule
Checking Your Answer – Does it Seem Reasonable?
Putting it All Together
Minimizing Errors

Percent and Percentages
Percent and Percentages
Converting Fractions to Percentages and Vice Versa
Converting decimals to Percentages and Vice Versa
Calculations Involving Percentages
Drug Calculations Involving Percentages
How to Use the Percentage Key on Your Calculator

Units and Equivalences
SI Units
Prefixes Used in Clinical Practice
Conversion from One Unit to Another
Guide to Writing Units

Moles and Millimoles
What are Moles and Millimoles?
Millimoles and Micromoles

Drug Strengths or Concentrations
Percentage Concentration mg/mL concentrations
‘1 In …’ Concentrations or Ratio Strengths
Parts Per Million (ppm)
Drugs Expressed in Units

Dosage Calculations
Calculating the Number of Tablets or Capsules Required
Drug Dosages Based on Patient Parameters
Ways of Expressing Doses
Calculating Drug Dosages
Displacement Values or Volumes
Prescriber Calculations

Infusion Rate Calculations
Drip Rate Calculations (drops/min)
Conversion of Dosages to mL/hour
Conversion of mL/hour Back to a Dose
Calculating the Length of Time for IV Infusions

Intravenous Therapy and Infusion Devices
IV Infusion Therapy
Infusion Devices
Infusion Device Classification

Action and Administration of Medicines
Action and Administration of Medicines
Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics
Administration of Medicines
Promoting the Safer use of Injectable Medicines

Children and Medicines
Drug Handling in Children
Routes of Administration of Drugs
Practical Implications
Useful Reference Books
Approximate Values Useful in the Calculation of Doses in Children

The Elderly and Medicines
Drug Handling in the Elderly
Specific Problems in the Elderly
General Principles

Sources and Interpretation of Drug Information
Sources of Drug Information
The Internet
Summary of Product Characteristics (SPC)
Revision Test
Section One: Basics
Per cent and Percentages
Units and Equivalences
Drug Strengths or Concentrations
Dosage Calculations
Infusion Rate Calculations
Compare Your Scores
Answers to Problems

Answers to Problems Set in Chapters
Per Cent and Percentages
Units and Equivalences
Moles and Millimoles
Drug Strengths or Concentrations
Dosage Calculations
Infusion Rate Calculations
Action and Administration of Medicine

Body Surface Area (BSA) Estimates
Weight Conversion Tables
Height Conversion Tables
Calculation of Body Mass Index (BMI)
Estimation of Renal Function
Abbreviations Used in Prescriptions

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Robert Lapham, BPharm, Clin Dip Pharm, clinical pharmacist, Sunderland, UK


"…covers everything nurses need to know to administer medications … The step-by-step approach includes examples of how to work problems. In addition, there are practice tests online, as well as tips and key points to help students understand math concepts. Some pharmacological concepts are also covered, such as pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics."’
—Carol Agana, MNSc, CNP, APRN, University of Arkansas in Doody’s Book Reviews