I decided to make the cake myself. The recipe was designed for 15 people and ingredients were 156 gram butter, 156 gram self-raising flour and 156 gram caster sugar, 2.5 tablespoons of milk, and 2.5 large eggs. No standard packing in the above measurements (156 gram packing) is available. Nearest available smaller packing is 100 gram. I decided to use 100 grams packing of sugar, butter, and flour. I needed to adjust milk and eggs in the same ratio. Math helped me there. I calculated milk quantity as (100/156) × 2.5 = 1.60 tablespoons of milk and 1.6 of large eggs.
Obviously, my prepared cake was sufficient to serve (100/156) × 15 = 10 people. Math helped me a lot in my experiments of preparing some of the delicious dishes in those days and now. Math in My Profession My flair with math helped me in my nursing career too. Often, I do not have the correct dose on hand as prescribed by the doctor; therefore, I have to calculate the dose that I need to give based on what I have on hand.
Other day, I was working on the 3 to 11 shift when a heart patient complained of chest pain. I assessed the patient to get proper vital signs knowing the on-call physician would need critical information before instructing me on next steps. I conveyed the doctor about patient’s vital signs and told him that the patient might get cardiac arrest. The doctor ordered Dioxin 0.125mg tablets to be given orally. I knew I only had Dioxin 0.25mg in stock so I had to calculate how much medication I needed to give my patient based on what I had in my med cart.
To calculate the dose I used the D/H x Q calculation. This means desired dose divided by dose on hand times the quantity. The equation looks like this 0.125mg/0.25mg x1 = 0.5 or 1/2 tablet should be given to the patient per doctor’s order. As a nurse, we are always challenged to make drug calculations because we often do not have the exact dose that the doctor prescribes. I continued to monitor the patient for approximately 1 hour and she still complained of chest pain.
I immediately called the on-call doctor again and informed him of the situation. The patient’s vitals were not too far from baseline so I did not think that we needed to get the patient to a critical care unit. Instead, I suggested to the doctor that we run an intravenous infusion of nitroglycerin. The doctor agreed and ordered 1000ml of nitroglycerin in dextrose 5% in water to infuse over 8 hour. The infusion set I had on hand delivered 10 drops per minute.
For my nursing notes, I needed to document how many drops per minute my patient was actually getting by using the 10 drop tubing.
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