Nursing is one of the most rewarding professions that people can work in. It provides help for people who are sick, injured, or disabled. It also requires emotional intelligence and communication skills on top of strong math knowledge. Nurses must be able to perform many measurements throughout their careers. Some examples of common measurements include weights (in both kilograms and pounds), body temperature (in degrees Fahrenheit or Celsius), blood pressure (in millimeters of mercury), pulse rate (beats per minute), and respiration rate (breaths per minute).
Values like these are commonly recorded in tables. It is important to remember that every situation requires a different set of tools in order to come out successful! This set of tools may include equipment, medicine, or knowledge – which includes math knowledge.
Math skills are important in any career field because they are necessary to complete daily tasks accurately and efficiently. Knowing how to solve complex equations can help you gain a better understanding of a disease or a procedure and can help you to perform at your best.
Every day, nurses are required to make quick decisions that affect the lives of their patients. These judgments often depend on mathematical equations that rely on research that is based on averages, not specific situations.
Some examples include medication dosages, insulin injections, and intravenous flow rates. As new research comes out, math formulas may change from being accurate for certain groups of people to incorrect for others.
For example, medications used by children have different levels of safety than medications used by adults so it is important to recognize when the math formula is wrong and apply a different one in favor of a patient’s health.
Following Are Some Math Practice Questions That Nurses Can Practice
Here are 20 math practice questions for nurses.
1. The physician orders Wellcovorin 1mg IM. The drug comes in powdered form in a vial containing 50mg. The directions for reconstitution are: Add 5mL of diluent for a final concentration of 10mg/1mL. After reconstituting, how many mL should you draw up?
2. A patient is receiving an infusion of aminophylline. The IV solution contains 250mg of aminophylline in 250 ml of D5W, infusing at 15mL/hr. How many mg of aminophylline is the patient receiving per hour? Per-minute?
3. The recommended dose range for carmustine is 200-250mg/m /dose. What would be the appropriate dose range for a patient with a BSA of 0.83m?
4. A patient is to receive lidocaine 1mg/min IV. You have a solution of 2g Lidocaine in 1000mL D5W. How many mL/hr should the patient receive?
5. The physician orders IV Diprivan 100mcg/kg/min. Your patient weighs 165 lb. How many mcg/min should the patient receive?
6. Your patient is to receive dacarbazine 375mg/m /day IV. The patient’s height is 72 inches and his weight is 180 lbs. How many mg should your patient receive? (Use nomogram).
7. The physician orders D5LR 1000mL/10hr. The IV set drop factor is 20gtt/mL. How many gtt/min should the patient receive?
8. Your patient is to receive an infusion of Pitocin. The drug comes 20U/1000mL in D5W. The doctor orders 0.01U/min. How many mL/hr should the patient receive?
9. The physician orders D5W 500mL/5hr. The drop factor of the IV set is 15 gtt/mL. How many mL/hr will the patient receive?
10. The physician orders cephalexin capsules 0.5g PO. The drug on hand is 250mg/capsule. How many capsules should the patient receive?
11. The patient is to receive penicillin V potassium oral solution 500,000U PO. You have on an oral solution labeled 200,000U/5mL. How many mL should the patient receive?
12. The physician orders the patient to receive heparin 1500U/hr of a solution containing 30,000U/1L. At what rate would you set the IV using a 60gtt/mL administration set? The answer should be in both ml/hr and gtts/min.
13. A patient is receiving an IV infusion of 100 mL NS with 100U of regular insulin added. The solution is infusing at 1mL/hr. How many units of insulin is the patient receiving every hour?
14. The physician orders heparin 1250Units/hr. You have a solution of 50,000Units/1000mL. How many gtt/min should the patient receive, using a 60gtt/mL set?
15. The order is to add 30,000Units heparin to 1000mL D5W and infuse at 30mL/hr. How many units of heparin will the patient receive per minute?
16. The physician orders morphine 5mg IM PRN for pain. You have on-hand ampules containing 1/6gr per mL. How many mL should your patient receive?
17. Your patient is to receive 500mg Levaquin IV daily. The drug comes mixed in 100mL of NS to be infused over 30 min. How many gtt/min should you infuse using a 15gtt/mL IV set?
18. The physician orders Cytoxan 425mg IV for a patient weighing 154lb. The recommended dose range is 3-5mg/kg IV twice weekly. Is this an appropriate dose for this patient?
19. A patient is to receive Vibramycin 100mg PO twice a day for 7 days. On hand are 50 mg capsules. How many capsules will the patient receive for the 8 AM dose?
20. The physician orders Zantac 50mg IM every 6hours. The drug comes in a 6mL ampule labeled 25mg/mL. How many mL should the patient receive for the 6 AM dose?
You can check your answers here.
The above-mentioned questions are a classic example of a type of math problem presented to nursing students in the clinical setting. These problems are done most commonly with IVs but can be applicable for other types of medications and fluids given via other routes such as oral, inhalation, rectal, etc. Let’s move to some faqs.
What Math Is Involved in Nursing?
Nursing math is often applied in calculations involving drug dosage (how much), continuous drip rates, blood transfusion calculations, intravenous fluid flow administration rates, etc.
How Do You Perform Nursing Math?
Math is performed with the use of a calculator when administering IV medications/fluids. The number of gtts per min is set on an IV pump through which the medication runs. When using syringes in addition to the IV fluid bag, you will have to manually do all that math with either a ruler or just by sight. There are tables for this purpose available online and it is important to be familiar with these however not necessary to memorize them as most RNs don’t even know what they are called! These are used when administering drugs through a syringe.
Which Resources Do You Use for Nursing Math?
Nursing math problems are solved with the use of a calculator or basic knowledge in mathematical conversions (for example, 1 mL = 20 gtt) This is why it is important to know your mathematics. If you do not, many websites will helpfully provide tables filled with this information for quick reference.
Why Should a Nurse Know How to Use Math?
Nurses use math in their daily work. Many nurses do not know how to perform nursing math and simply “guess” the answer. This is unacceptable as it may lead to errors, incorrect dosages or fluid infusions, etc which can result in serious patient complications or even death.
Does Every Job Require Some Knowledge of Mathematics?
No, not every job requires nursing math. The clerical staff, for example, use calculators to do their mathematical work and so there is no need for them to know any mathematics.