Dosage Calculation FAQs
What is Dosage Calculation?
Remember how hot dogs come in a package of 10 but hot dog buns come in a package of 8? Well, medication volumes and units can sometimes feel like that too — but the stakes are much higher. The volume and units that a medication order is written in, is rarely the same volume or units that you have on hand. You must calculate, and often convert, the correct dosage to administer a patient.
Why are dosage calculations important to nurses?
In order to provide safe nursing care and medication administration, you must calculate dosages correctly. Mistakes can put patients' lives at risk, so dosage calculations are a key part of patient safety.
Some consider drip and infusion percentage calculations to be more dificult than calculations for solids, liquid oral and injections, so it's important to practice all types of dosage calculations through regular testing and assessment.
How do you calculate medication dosage by weight?
Dosages are often listed by how much should be administered per unit of the patient's body weight. For example, ".3ml/kg." You may first have to convert your patient's weight from pounds to kilograms, then you calculate the total medication volume from there.