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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Kathryn Kushto-Reese, MS, RN (Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing)
Description: This is a comprehensive tool for computing basic to complex dosage calculations. It addresses critical safety strategies and problem-solving skills essential for safe nursing practice in today's complex, high-tech world.
Purpose: The purpose is to prepare students and other healthcare workers for safe and accurate drug administration through sample techniques and integration of critical safety concerns and decision making scenarios.
Audience: According to the authors, the book is written for nursing students as a primary text and other healthcare workers as a reference. It is a review or supplemental source for both safe medication administration and for NCLEX. This is a good first text and review for students and healthcare workers, but it may be too basic for those in some specialty areas.
Features: All types of drug calculation methods/routes, formulas, and some specialty methods are covered, and basic information on principles of drug calculations is included. The most impressive part of the book is the safety alert in each chapter that addresses common errors and safety concerns in practice. The case studies are also helpful for students to apply critical thinking skills and make important decisions in practice. Students have a lot of trouble with IV calculations and often have difficulty visualizing the IV fluids/piggy back, etc, so more illustrations would be helpful in this area. Some of the material on the CD-ROM is helpful, especially the student/faculty scenarios. However, the interactive examples are not comprehensive enough. For example, the material on IM injection did not include landmarks and safety concerns when giving an IM injection. As a pediatric nurse, I think that the BSA formula for BSA calculation should be included and not just the nomograms. I also have been unable to find a drug book that includes calculations for pitocin or other common delivery drugs. Our students need a reference for these calculations in their general nursing courses. The book does not include references, which would be helpful for readers wishing to locate a source.
Assessment: This is a very good fundamental guide to dosage calculations. It has comprehensive basic information and some excellent additional information, such as the safety alerts, that I have not seen in other books. It has some good scenarios and case studies for critical thinking application to medication administration and it is up to date with current practice. In some ways, I like it better than the book I currently use, Clinical Calculations: With Application to General and Specialty Areas, 5th edition, Kee and Marshall (Elsevier, 2005). That book has tables in the front and back of the book with abbreviations and formulas that I find helpful.