An initial version of Dose Coach Drug Calculation Study App is ready for download.
Search for “Dose Coach” on the App Store to find and download Dose Coach. Please send your questions or comments on Twitter @DoseCoach or as comments to the blog.
It provides hundreds of oral, parenteral and drip problems and provides you immediate feedback and advice as you answer. It is designed to help you practice for that all important Drug Calc exam so that you can go in confident that you can manage the math in your head.
Dose Coach is designed knowing that you don’t go into nursing for your love of mathematics, and that practice makes perfect.
I enjoy tackling a good problem. When Sarah started her graduate entry registered nursing course @Flinders University she told me about the significant numbers of her fellow students who were concerned about and having trouble with drug calculation exams. These routine calculations need to be done correctly to ensure patients get the correct dosages of prescribed medication.
Reasonably, universities expect students to be able to pass the exams with 100 percent correct responses. Unfortunately, the math education routinely lets students down and leaves them with low confidence in their ability to pass. Research (Hodge, 2002) suggests that computers can effectively assist the third of nursing students who struggle to learn dose calculations and improve performance on exams.
What better platform for this type of practice than mobiles?
So with Sarah in school full time, I decided to take some time off my day job to put together Dose Coach, a dose calculation practice app designed to improve confidence with realistic practice problems and easy to understand advice.
This app is not designed to do the calculations, but rather to help students gain confidence in the mental arithmetic required to administer oral, parenteral and intravenous drip problems.
When looking at a medication order, the dose ordered may require two (or more) vials of medication to make up the correct amount to administer to the patient.
There should be no guess-work involved. The correct concentration at which to make up the medication is given in the Australian Injectable Drugs Handbook. This invaluable resource should be consulted for every injection that requires mixing before administration.
The handbook also contains information as to the compatibility of the medication with other medications and whether it should be mixed with water or can be mixed with saline or other solutions.