In health and wellness, algebra is greatly applied. Nurses normally calculate drug dosages based on linear equations. In order to work efficiently, nurses must have the ability to apply algebraic concepts like fractions and ratios. Discussed herein is an example of a linear equation that can be used to determine the amount of medicine and dosage administered to a patient. The calculation of correct dosage is based on the drug label information and the prescribed dosage. Subcutaneous injection and oral administration of capsules, liquid or tablet medication requires accurate and correct calculation of the dosage strength. This is because, too much medication results into an overdose while too little medication results into ineffectiveness of the drug.
The dosage calculation method can either be by the use of ratios or by the formula method. In most cases, the drug dosage is given in milligrams of the drug per kg of body weight. It also takes into consideration the drug concentration (strength of the drug) i.e. the milligrams per the milliliters of the drug.
For the treatment of a given disease, 0.25mg of the drug is needed for every 10kg of body weight. If one tablet contains 0.5mg of the drug, how many tablets should be administered to a 60kg patient?
Celia Hoyles, Richard Noss, and Stefano Pozzi, "Proportional Reasoning in Nursing Practice," Journal for Research in Mathematics Education 32:1, 4-27, 2001.