Adult Nursing Job interview(Barts Health Trust) Watch

Amuwaoluwa
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Hello,

I have a job interview next week at Barts Health Trust. I am quite worried with the drug calculations, please do you have any tips for me.


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jojot
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Umm, if you're a nurse already surely you know how to do drug calculations?!


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Amuwaoluwa
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Yes I can do drug calculations, just need to know what sort of ??? I should be expecting.


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Digi
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(Original post by Amuwaoluwa)
Hello,

I have a job interview next week at Barts Health Trust. I am quite worried with the drug calculations, please do you have any tips for me.


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I am a nurse and I have never ever had to work out drug calculations at an interview and if you DO have to work out drug calculations, the very least they should do is provide you with a calculator. They might ask you the theory behind drug calculations and what formula you would use.

The easiest way I have always remembered it is:

What you need (divided by) what you've got x what its in

So for example - you need to give 5mg IV morphine that comes in a 1ml vial at a concentration of 10mg/ml

5mg divided by 10mg x 1ml = 0.5ml

or you need to give 20mg oramorph that comes in a concentration of 2mg/ml

20mg divided by 2mg x 1ml = 10ml

As long as you remember the formula then it works for anything - tablets, medicines, IV drugs

For IV fluids then they should always be prescribed as an hourly rate and a set amount prescribed.

So for example, 1 litre of NaCl over 8 hours - then its just a case of dividing your fluids by how long it has to run over. 1000 divided by 8 hours = 125ml per hour.

The complicated part is if you then have to start calculating drip rates if you are not using a pump. The drops delivered per minute should be displayed on the giving set packaging (the standard is 20 drops per ml if you are giving crystalloids) so using the 1000mls of NaCl again you would calculate it like this....

volume of the infusion
--------------------- (divided by)
time in hours

and then multiply by

drops/ml of the giving set
------------------------ (divided by)
60 minutes

SO

1000ml
-------
8 hours

x

20 drops per ml
---------------
60 minutes

= 41.66 (rounded up to 42 drops per minute)

A blood giving set usually gives 15 drops per ml and a microdrop giving set usually gives 60 drops per ml

Hope this helps - please feel free to give me a shout if you need any more help.
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moonkatt
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I had to do drug calcs at the interview for my first job, you got a calculator and they were really simple ones, you didn't even need the calculator tbh.

A lot of nursing posts are now assessing applicants English and maths skills, it's becoming more common.
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Amuwaoluwa
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Thank you Digi and moonkatt that really helped.


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Digi
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You are very welcome!

I have an interview myself for a Sisters post on Thursday so it did me no harm to have a quick look at drug calculations. I have a WHOLE heap of notes in word format regarding the themes of clinical governance and 'the patient experience' which is quite big on the nursing agenda at the moment. Although they are really tailored for a band 6 post you are quite welcome to them, as is anyone else with interviews coming up who may find them useful

Other things to possibly look at would be reducing Health care associated infections, reducing risk such as pressure ulcers and patient falls

Good luck with your interview

Edited to add - Trusts are always really impressed if you know beforehand what their targets are for things like MRSA and C-Diff, and what their priority improvement areas are for the coming years. So for example, for 2012/2013 Leeds are focusing on reducing grade 3 and 4 pressure ulcers (patient safety), Dementia care (clinical effectiveness) and the discharge process of patient's from hospital (the patient experience). You can usually find out this type of information in the annual reports published for the previous year were they set out the following years targets
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