Dosage Calculations: A Ratio-Proportion Approach, 4th Edition

  • includes Premium Web Site Printed Access Card
  • Gloria D. Pickar, RN, EdD
  • Amy Pickar Abernethy, MD Duke University
  • ISBN-10: 1285429451  |  ISBN-13: 9781285429458
  • 784 Pages
  • Previous Editions: 2011, 2007, 1999
  • © 2016 | Published
  • List Price = $ 141.95
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An excellent resource for anyone in or entering the field, market-leading DOSAGE CALCULATIONS: A RATIO-PROPORTION APPROACH, fourth edition, teaches you how to reduce errors and build your confidence in dosage calculation. It carefully examines both basic and advanced calculations, including intravenous medications and those specific to the pediatric patient. Extremely reader friendly, the book includes a comprehensive math review and a unique three-step method of calculating dosages that trains you to approach calculations logically. The new fourth edition reflects the latest drugs and protocol, regulations on medication abbreviations, medication administration technologies, and safe medication practices. Clinical simulations and Clinical Reasoning Skills scenarios based on QSEN principles help sharpen your clinical reasoning skills, while Section Examinations help prepare you for your future with test items formatted like graduate licensure examinations.

Features and Benefits

  • Proving that math does not have to be intimidating for nursing students, DOSAGE CALCULATIONS: A RATIO-PROPORTION APPROACH, fourth edition, includes one of the most extensive math reviews on the market, preparing students for the math they will use in the course-and in real-world practice.
  • A hallmark of this student-friendly text is its unique three-step approach to calculating dosages. Designed to reduce math anxiety and build reader confidence, the three steps-Convert, Think (what's the logical answer), and Calculate-emphasize logical thinking as part of the mathematical process.
  • An entire chapter is devoted to alternate calculation methods-formula and dimensional analysis.
  • Completely current, the text highlights the latest regulations on medication abbreviations, medication administration technologies, and safe medication practices.
  • Preparing readers for work in the field, the text simulates a clinical environment through the use of real drug labels and life-size syringes.
  • Real-world clinical scenarios demonstrate the importance of safe medication administration.
  • Facilitating the mastery of dosage calculations, valuable, hands-on tools include hundreds of examples, practice problems, review sets, and self-tests.
  • Ensuring safe and current use of standardized terminology, the text includes only approved Joint Commission and Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) abbreviations.

Table of Contents

1. Fraction and Decimals.
2. Ratios, Percents, Simple Equations, and Ratio-Proportion.
3. Systems of Measurement.
4. Conversions: Metric and Household systems.
5. Conversions for Other Clinical Applications: Time and Temperature.
6. Equipment Used in Dosage Measurement.
7. Interpreting Drug Orders.
8. Understanding Drug Labels.
9. Preventing Medication Errors.
10. Oral Dosage of Drugs.
11. Parenteral Dosage of Drugs.
12. Reconstitution of Solutions.
13. Pediatric and Adult Dosages Based on Body Weight.
14. Alternative Dosage Calculation Methods: Formula and Dimensional Analysis.
15. Intravenous Solutions, Equipment, and Calculations.
16. Body Surface Area and Advanced Pediatric Calculations.
17. Advanced Adult Intravenous Calculations.
Essential Skills Evaluation.
Comprehensive Skills Evaluation.

What's New

  • New clinical simulations provided in examples and test questions in Chapters 10-13 help students develop clinical reasoning skills, beginning with seeking drug information from reputable resources through the logic and safety precautions in the drug dosage calculation and administration process.
  • Giving students plenty of practice for beyond the classroom, Section Examinations include test items formatted like graduate licensure examinations, such as the NCLEX-RN and NCLEX-PN exams.
  • Completely up-to-date, new questions throughout the fourth edition reflect current drugs and protocols.
  • New photographs showcase state-of-the-art equipment, including the latest medication storage and retrieval systems.
  • Clinical Reasoning Skills scenarios based on QSEN principles help students sharpen their critical thinking skills to prevent medication errors.
  • Emphasizing the application of concepts using real medication labels and examples, the book includes approximately 365 drug labels.
  • Available online, student study software includes tutorials, a glossary review, a bank of more than 2,000 practice questions, self-evaluation tests and post tests, a drop-down calculator as used on NCLEX exams, and interactive label and syringe activities.
  • Instructor support includes a Solutions Manual, PowerPoint, test bank, and an online companion/premium website. The Solutions Manual includes answers and solutions to all the questions in the book. The approximately 400 PowerPoint slides are helpful in facilitating classroom presentations. Available in Cognero, the test bank includes several hundred questions testing students' knowledge and mastery of dosage calculation skills. The premium website includes the instructor supplements and the student study software.

Alternate Formats

Choose the format that best fits your student's budget and course goals

To customize your learning solution, contact your Learning Consultant for more information.

  • Book Only

    ISBN-10: 1285429508 | ISBN-13: 9781285429502

    List Price = $153.95  | CengageBrain Price = $153.95

Efficacy and Outcomes


"The writing style is straightforward, clear, and concise. Explanations are easy to follow—a student could use this text as self-study. Readability of the chapters is very good – easy to follow from one concept to the next. The reading level is appropriate for my students. The coverage is comprehensive and the organization is very effective. I have used Pickar's text for over 10 years and find the order very effective."

— Michele Bach, MS, Mathematics Professor Kansas City Kansas Community College

"Great pictures of real drug labels and actual syringes. Well organized from basic to more advanced. I think it (the book) is very good and will recommend to my students."

— Irene Coons, RN, MSN, CNE, Professor of Nursing College of Southern Nevada

"I found the use of Math Tip, Quick Review, Rule, Remember, Caution, and Critical Thinking Skills to be extremely beneficial. They reinforce the content as well as learning style of the text. I feel my student could greatly benefit from these areas. The use of reasoning skills assist the student to understand material. The lay out of the content, ERROR, Possible Scenario, Potential Outcome, and Prevention are areas I have not seen express in this way in other texts. This will assist the individual student in understanding the potential outcomes of their actions with every chapter."

— Melanie Moore, RN, MSN, PhD, Practical Nursing Assoc. Professor Virginia Western Community College


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the main title. Select the main title's "About" tab, then select "What's New" for updates specific to title's edition.

For more information about these supplements, or to obtain them, contact your Learning Consultant.

Instructor Supplements

Premium Web Site Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 1285429532 | ISBN-13: 9781285429533)

The Premium Website is a password-protected Student Companion Site that houses the student practice software

List Price = $36.00  | CengageBrain Price = $36.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $36.00

Cengage Learning Testing, powered by Cognero Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 1305268660 | ISBN-13: 9781305268661)

Cengage Learning Testing Powered by Cognero is a flexible, online system that allows you to: author, edit, and manage test bank content from multiple Cengage Learning solutions; create multiple test versions in an instant; deliver tests from your LMS, your classroom or wherever you want. Start right away! Cengage Learning Testing Powered by Cognero works on any operating system or browser. No special installs or downloads needed. Create tests from school, home, the coffee shop – anywhere with Internet access. What will you find? Simplicity at every step. A desktop-inspired interface features drop-down menus and familiar, intuitive tools that take you through content creation and management with ease. Full-featured test generator. Create ideal assessments with your choice of 15 question types (including true/false, multiple choice, and calculation). Multi-language support, an equation editor and unlimited metadata help ensure your tests are complete and compliant. Cross-compatible capability. Import and export content into other systems.

Student Supplements

Premium Web Site Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 1285429532 | ISBN-13: 9781285429533)

The Premium Website is a password-protected Student Companion Site that houses the student practice software

List Price = $36.00  | CengageBrain Price = $36.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $36.00

Meet the Author

Author Bio

Gloria D. Pickar, RN, EdD

Gloria D. Pickar, R.N., Ed.D., is President and Chief Academic Officer of Compass Knowledge Group in Orlando, Florida. She is a former Academic Dean at Seminole State College in Sanford, Florida. She is also the author of nine editions of best-selling DOSAGE CALCULATIONS.

Amy Pickar Abernethy, MD

Amy Pickar Abernethy, MD, is Associate Professor of Medicine and Nursing at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.