Cheat Sheet

Nursing Calculations & IV Therapy For Dummies Cheat Sheet

From Nursing Calculations and IV Therapy For Dummies - UK, UK Edition

By Claire Boyd

Administering intravenous (IV) therapy to patients requires you to develop your competency in the following two areas: mathematics, so that you can work out correct dosages and understand the effect of IV drugs and fluids on the body; and administration techniques, so that you employ the correct means, use the correct equipment and monitor the effects accordingly. This Cheat Sheet examines the mathematics portion.

Converting Metric Units

Before administering medications to your patients, you need to be absolutely confident in your mathematical and conversion abilities, because the amounts of drugs you’re giving to patients, especially neonates, are incredibly small. You must be certain of the differences between these weights and units and how to convert from one metric unit to another:

  • 1 kilogram: Equals 1,000 grams

  • 1 gram: Equals 1,000 milligrams

  • 1 milligram: Equals 1,000 micrograms

  • 1 microgram: Equals 1,000 nanograms

    To Change From To Do This
    kilograms grams multiply by 1,000
    grams milligrams multiply by 1,000
    milligrams micrograms multiply by 1,000
    micrograms nanograms multiply by 1,000
    nanograms micrograms divide by 1,000
    micrograms milligrams divide by 1,000
    milligrams grams divide by 1,000
    grams kilograms divide by 1,000

Converting Imperial and Metric Weights

It’s very important that you know the right conversions when admitting patients or titrating their drug dosage according to their body weight. Ensure that you know the following conversions:

  • 1 kilogram: Equals 2.2 pounds

  • 1 stone: Equals 6.35 kilograms

  • 1 pound: Equals 0.45 kilograms

Here’s the table for converting kilograms to pounds at a glance:

Kg Pounds Kg Pounds Kg Pounds Kg Pounds Kg Pounds
1 2.2 21 46.2 41 90.2 61 134.2 81 178.2
2 4.4 22 48.4 42 92.4 62 136.4 82 180.4
3 6.6 23 50.6 43 94.6 63 138.6 83 182.6
4 8.8. 24 52.8 44 96.8 64 140.8 84 184.8
5 1.0 25 55.0 45 99.0 65 143.0 85 187.0
6 13.2 26 57.2 46 101.2 66 145.2 86 189.2
7 15.4 27 59.4 47 103.4 67 147.4 87 191.4
8 17.6 28 61.6 48 105.6 68 149.6 88 193.6
9 19.8 29 63.8 49 107.8 69 151.8 89 195.8
10 22.0 30 66.0 50 110.0 70 154.0 90 198.0
11 24.2 31 68.2 51 112.2 71 156.2 91 200.2
12 26.4 32 70.4 52 114.4 72 158.4 92 202.4
13 28.6 33 72.6 53 116.6 73 160.6 93 204.6
14 30.8 34 74.8 54 118.8 74 162.8 94 206.8
15 33.0 35 77.0 55 121.0 75 165.0 95 209.0
16 35.2 36 79.2 56 123.2 76 167.2 96 211.2
17 37.4 37 81.4 57 125.4 77 169.4 97 213.4
18 39.6 38 83.6 58 127.6 78 171.6 98 215.6
19 41.8 39 85.8 59 129.8 79 173.8 99 217.8
20 44.0 40 88.0 60 132.0 80 176.0 100 220.0

Here’s the table for converting stones to kilograms:

Stone Kilograms Stones Kilograms
1 6.35 15 95.25
2 12.7 16 101.6
3 19.05 17 107.95
4 25.4 18 114.3
5 31.75 19 120.65
6 38.1 20 127.0
7 44.45 21 133.35
8 50.8 22 139.7
9 57.15 23 146.05
10 63.5 24 152.4
11 69.85 25 158.75
12 76.2 26 165.1
13 82.55 27 171.45
14 88.9 28 177.8

Here’s the pounds-to-kilograms conversion table:

Pounds Kilograms
1 0.45
2 0.9
3 1.35
4 1.8
5 2.25
6 2.7
7 3.15
8 3.6
9 4.05
10 4.5
11 4.95
12 5.4
13 5.85
14 (1 stone) 6.35