# Math and Problem Solving used in hospital pharmacy

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#### newslang

##### Full Member
10+ Year Member

I'm really curious about the math skills involved in various tasks of hospital pharmacy such as dosing based on renal function, preparing TPNs etc. I looked up renal dosing online and just found a big chart. There must be some use for calc II, right?

#### twester

##### Senior Member
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
I'm really curious about the math skills involved in various tasks of hospital pharmacy such as dosing based on renal function, preparing TPNs etc. I looked up renal dosing online and just found a big chart. There must be some use for calc II, right?

My exposure is somewhat limited, but the calculations we've done in school so far don't go beyond algebra. Cockcroft-Gault (for estimating creatinine clearance) is pure plug-n-chug.

I guess you could use Calc II to find an AUC (area under the curve used for drug absorption), but a graphing calculator will handle it as will a computer and I don't think the average pharmacist calculates many AUCs.

##### Full Member
10+ Year Member
There must be some use for calc II, right?

yes. To stimulate pain receptors in the butt.

As far as hospital dosing , most have software that helps pharmacists in dosing calculations. I don't think it is so much the math skill that matters but actually knowing how renal dosing or weight dosing works

#### sdn1977

##### Senior Member
10+ Year Member
Altho previous posters had such eloquent descriptions of what we actually do.....no - we don't use Calc II in our daily lives. That is the beauty of software!

But....the importance of knowing Calc & the way the programs work & how they were derived is knowing when the number they give you is NOT RIGHT!!!!!!

That is called judgement - which takes time & experience to gain - thus - pharmacy school. Otherwise...we'd be out of a job (or at least - that job).

I've personally worked with a pharmacist who had the experience of putting pts into acute renal failure not just once - but THREE TIMES! by just plugging & chugging! She had no idea the numbers were coming out wrong & why they were wrong. She just got a number & there you go - Bob's your're uncle - you have a dose.......3 days later the SCr spikes to 4!

That is why you're going to need more than just a degree in the future - you're going to have to demonstrate ability. At least that is the prediction, which I don't think is far wrong (this is both for inpt as well as outpt). Otherwise...you'll be checking pyxis or licking & sticking.