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From The CriticsReviewer: Diane Aschenbrenner, MS, RN, CS (Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing)
Description: This text provides the foundation for using dimensional analysis. Problems requiring dosage calculation are presented with answers. Step-by-step instructions are provided for each sample question. Units on special populations (e.g., pediatric and elderly), settings (e.g., community), and medications (e.g., chemotherapy) are included.
Purpose: This book is designed to provide an introduction to dimensional analysis for all nursing students learning dosage calculation.
Audience: It is intended for nursing students.
Features: Examples of using dimensional analysis to calculate dosage in all routes of drug therapy, with various populations and settings, are presented. Drug labels are used to help illustrate questions. A highly effective special feature is the use of four icons to highlight information in a side panel. Some cartoons are included which depict some common drug administration and dosage calculation problems. While adding some visual interest, they are not helpful in increasing understanding of the content. Shortcomings of the text include too many examples with the answer of 1, 2, or 1/2 . These problems seem to require minimal math computation and using dimensional analysis for problem solving seems to be unduly complicated. One notable exclusion is the formula for determining body surface area. While excluding any and all math formulas may have been intentional, nomograms do not provide as exact a calculation of BSA as the formula does. Minimally, students should be aware that a more accurate method exists.
Assessment: This text explains dimensional analysis very clearly. Each step is delineated for every example. The highlights in the sidebars are precise and useful. Information in the problem which is not necessary for dosage calculation is also identified. This text does not have the detail of some other texts on dimensional analysis, focusing instead on the applications that will be most useful to students and new nurses.