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From The CriticsReviewer: Barbara VandeCastle, MSN, RN (Johns Hopkins University )
Description: This programmed drug calculations textbook contains a sample of problems for each area of healthcare practice. This is the sixth edition, which has been updated from the fifth edition published in 1992.
Purpose: The goal is to enable the reader to solve mathematical calculations that may be stated in different systems of measurement or may be more or less than the amount of medication ordered. The author meets this goal with this text incorporating a group of math problems geared for learners to progress at their own pace.
Audience: According to the author, this book is for anyone responsible for medication administration. I think it is a good review of all areas of clinical mathematics needed by students and practicing nurses. It should also be a great book for those students who want extra practice prior to their clinical rotations.
Features: The author begins with a review of some simple self-assessments of math calculations. She also provides a glossary and a table of abbreviations. The chapters are set up so that the user reads the appropriate text on the left hand side of the page while covering the right hand side with the provided bookmark/cover. Users can proceed at their own pace and test their skills as they go through the book. The chapters follow an understandable sequence that sends the student through samples of problems that build on previous chapters. There are problems to review the metric and household systems and then a follow up chapter on mastering equivalents. There are also chapters on syringe use, reading drug labels, mixing parenteral medications, and intravenous medications. The end of the book has a self-examination that is comprehensive with a total of fifty questions.
Assessment: This book could possibility be the turning point for students with math anxiety. It is straightforward and builds on previous problems. It should be used in conjunction with a complete dosage and calculation text. Calculations that include body surface area are not found in this book, but there is a section on infants and children. The drug label section is new to this edition and is a great addition — even though the problems are easy they do incorporate similar problems thought out the book.