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Medicines management for nursing practicePharmacology, patient safety, and procedures$
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Graham Brack, Penny Franklin, and Jill Caldwell

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199697878

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199697878.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 15 June 2021

Medicines Management: Drug Calculations

Medicines Management: Drug Calculations

Chapter 8 Medicines Management: Drug Calculations
Medicines management for nursing practice

Graham Brack

Penny Franklin

Jill Caldwell

Oxford University Press

After reading this chapter you should be able to:.. ● Understand the importance of drug calculations ● Recognize different types of calculations ● Know where you can find help with numeracy ● Successfully complete basic calculations for medicines…. Are you good at drug calculations? This is a question you must ask yourself and be honest about the answer. There is no room for inaccuracies when calculating medicine dosages and if you are not happy working with numbers then you need to practise. Drug calculation is a critical area when managing medicines and is open to error. All health professionals who are dispensing, supplying, or administering drugs will need to perform drug calculations to a greater or lesser extent. Registered professionals are accountable and responsible for their decisions and actions and cannot rely on others to check the accuracy of their calculations. The NMC’s medicines management skills cluster for pre-registration nursing programmes (2010) states that patients can trust registered nurses to undertake medicines calculations correctly and safely. Numeracy skills are required to ensure this and to enable registered nurses to perform the drug calculations required to administer medicines safely via appropriate routes. All branches of nursing must also recognize the specific requirements for children and other groups with regard to medicines’ calculations. Within this chapter we offer some explanations and the chance to practise some calculations. There is an expectation that all pre-registration health care professionals will have at least GCSE mathematics or equivalent, such as the Scottish Certificate of Education, therefore explanations will assume you have this level of knowledge. Universities recognize that some students have real difficulty with numeracy and they make additional support available from local study skill centres. Your personal tutor will have details. One area of frequent confusion is the use of SI units (International System of Units). SI units are units of measurement for example grams, milligrams, or micrograms, which measure weight; and millilitres or litres, which measure volume. When calculating drug doses, make sure that you are aware of the SI unit that is being used, for example, grams or milligrams, litres or millilitres; see Table 8.1 for equivalences of weight and volume.

Keywords:   SI units, dose calculations, solutions of drugs, weight-related doses

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