School of Nursing & Midwifery
Flinders University
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Basic drug calculations

Recommended text & CD


The School of Nursing & Midwifery recommends the following text to help students gain competency in doing medication calculations:

Hext, Valda & Mayner, Lidia 2003, Practical nursing calculations: getting the dose right, Allen & Unwin, Crows Nest, New South Wales.

From the book’s back cover:

Practical Nursing Calculations provides easy to understand explanations of key calculations. The many exercises offer opportunities to practise basic problem-solving to help build your confidence. The use of real-life situations demonstrates how maths is actually applied when working with patients. Realistic scenarios introduce common presenting illnesses and the medications used to treat them, and enables you to calculate the correct dosages.

From the book’s table of contents:

  • Basic skills
  • Medications
  • Advanced medication and intravenous calculations
  • Paediatric dosages
  • Calculating complex volumes
  • Complex calculations

The Sturt Library has copies available for loan and copies may be purchased from UniBooks.



There are a number of CDs available to practice drug calculations. One of the best we’ve found, which is endorsed by the Royal College of Nursing, Australia, is:

Nursing calculations: a course to develop and assess skills in nursing calculations 2005, CD-ROM, Educational Innovations, North Adelaide, South Australia.

A free 14-day trial version of the Nursing calculations software may be downloaded from . Copies of the CD may be purchased from UniBooks. The CD is also available for use in the Sturt Library and the Rural Clinical School in the Riverland.


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