Drug or medication calculation is a skill all nurses and practitioners should practice and master. However, it’s not an easy task and many nurses are unsure whether they can accurately do all the mathematics involved. It is therefore essential for registered nurses as well as midwives and practitioners in general to master this skill.
Here are 10 reasons why medication calculation is essential for nurses:
- Drug administration and monitoring is a duty often performed by nurses.
- Infant, adult and elderly dose calculation depending on the weight of a person and some other factors is also a task nurses have to complete. Without knowing how to administer and monitor medicines and intravenous therapy it is not possible to perform this task.
- Status of liver and kidney function has to be checked before calculating dose of a particular medicine. This is yet another reason why nurses need to learn drug calculation formulas.
- Age and sex also plays a role in determining the dose of a medicine and route of administration. A nurse must know which medicine is better suited to a particular patient.
- Route of drug administration has to be determined by the nurse when giving medicine to a patient. For example, if an epileptic patient arrives at the hospital during fits the most suitable emergency route of drug administration is rectal. This information can only be known if that nurse is equipped with proper knowledge in the context of medication calculation.
- Sometimes a doctor or surgeon is not present at the site when the patient is in need of a medicine. In such a situation, the services of a nurse come in handy.
- Knowing the skill of drug calculation makes a nurse more confident of her abilities as a healthcare professional and she is able to perform her duties more responsibly and with commitment.
- Medication calculation skills also make it possible to correctly interpret the instructions written by a physician or prescriber.
- The skill allows the nurse to monitor a patient for possible side effects of a drug and make decisions in discontinuing the medication in case of a severe reaction.
- Patient assessment becomes easy and alternative therapy can be prescribed by the nurse in emergency cases.
Nurses interested in learning the skill of drug calculation and administer and monitor medicines and intravenous therapy should get enrolled into specialised courses designed to teach precise dosage calculation formulas depending on the requirements of different patients.