Measurements and conversations every nurse should know

Administering correct dosage of medication to a patient at an appropriate time is one of the essential responsibilities of a certified nursing assistant or a qualified nurse.

Different types of measurements are used in medical industry and for administering medication to a patient, it is essential that the measurements are effectively converted to meet the required dosage requirements.  In this context, the nurse should not only be aware about the various types of measurements, but also the conversion of one measurement to the other form.

The measurements, along with the appropriate symbols, which should be known and understood, are as follows:

  • cup  (c )
  • cubic centimeter  (cc)
  • centimeter  (cm)
  • deciliter  (dL)
  • foot   (ft)
  • gram  (g) or (gm)
  • grain (gr)
  • drop (gtt)
  • dram (dr)
  • inch (in)
  • kilogram (kg)
  • liter  (L)
  • pound (lb)
  • minimum  (m)
  • Meter  (M)
  • microgram  (µg)  or (mcg)
  • milligram (mg)
  • millimeter (mm)
  • milliliter   (mL)
  • nanogram  (ng)
  • ounce (oz)
  • pint  (pt)
  • quart (qt)
  • tablespoon  or tbsp (T)
  • teaspoon  or tsp (t)
  • yard  (yd)

It is essential that the relationship between these measurements, or in other words, effective conversion rates from one type of measurement to the other type of measurement, is not merely known but clearly understood and mastered, by the nurse.  Because, it is the responsibility of the nurse to provide the correct amount of medication to a patient and any mistake in this might lead to complications and also delay the cure of the patient.

Equivalent or approximate liquid conversions

1 m (or) 1 minimum = 1 gtt  (or) 1 drop = 0.07 mL (or) 0.07 milliliters

1 mL (or) 1 milliliter = 1 cc (or) 1 cubic centimeter = 15 m (or) 15 minimums

= 15 drops (or) 15 gtt = 1 gram

1 dr (or) 1 dram  = 4 mL (or) 4 milliliters = 60 gr  (or) 60 grains.

1 t (or) 1 teaspoon = 5 mL (or) 5 milliliters

1 T (or) 1 tablespoon =  3 t (or) 3 teaspoons = 15 mL (or) 15 milliliters

1 oz (or ) 1 ounce = 2 T (or) 2 tablespoons = 30 mL (or) 30 milliliters = 6 t (or) 6  teaspoons

1 c  (or) 1 cup = 240 mL (or) 240 milliliters = 8 oz (or) 8 ounces

1 pt (or) 1 pint = 480 mL (or) 480 milliliters = 16 oz (or) 16 ounces

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