# Basic Drug Abbreviations and Conversions

Conversion of units within the system:

Length Conversions:

Convert 2.85 Kilometer to Meter.

Step– 1: Equivalent?

As we know that 1 km = 1000 m                    conversion factor =1000.

Step-2: Multiply or divide?

Conversion is to smaller units. Multiply by the conversion factor.

2.85 km = 2.85 x 1000 = 2850 m

Hence 2.85 km = 2850 m

1. 25 mm = ____ cm

Step– 1: Equivalent?

As we know that 1 cm = 10 mm                     conversion factor =10.

Step-2: Multiply or divide?

Conversion is to larger units. Divide by the conversion factor.

25 mm = 25 / 10 = 2.5 cm

Hence 25 mm = 2.5 cm

1. _____ m = 57 mm

Step– 1: Equivalent?

As we know that 1 m = 1000 mm                   conversion factor =1000.

Step-2: Multiply or divide?

Conversion is to larger units. Divide by the conversion factor.

57 mm = 57 ÷ 1000 = 0.057 m

Hence 0.057 m = 57 mm

1. 0.04 m = _____ cm

Step– 1: Equivalent?

As we know that 1 m = 100 cm                      conversion factor =100.

Step-2: Multiply or divide?

Conversion is to smaller units. Multiply by the conversion factor.

0.04 m = 0.04 X 100 = 4 cm

Hence 0.04 m = 4 cm

Length Conversion between Metric and English

1. Convert 5 inches to centimeters.

Step– 1: Equivalent?

As we know that 1 in = 2.5 cm                       conversion factor =2.5.

Step-2: Multiply or divide?

Conversion is to smaller units. Multiply by the conversion factor.

5 in = 5 x 2.5 = 12.5 cm

Hence 5 in = 12.5 cm

1. Convert 5 feet 7 inches to centimeters

Step– 1: 5 feet 7 inches (5¢ 7²) must be converted to inches before converting to centimeters.

As we know that 1 ft = 12 in then 5¢ 7² = (5 X 12) + 7 = 67 inches = 67²

Step– 2: Equivalent?

1 in =2.5 cm                            conversion factor =2.5.

Step-3: Multiply or divide?

Conversion is to smaller units. Multiply by the conversion factor.

67² in = 67 x 2.5 = 167.5 cm

Hence 5¢ 7²  = 167.5 cm

1. Convert 0.75 meter to inches

Step– 1: Equivalent?

As we know that 1 m = 39 in              conversion factor = 39.

Step-2: Multiply or divide?

Conversion is to smaller units. Multiply by the conversion factor.

0.75 m = 0.75 x 39 = 29.55 in

Hence 0.75 m = 29.55 in

Conversion of units within the system:

S I Length Conversions:

1. Convert 2.85 Kilometer to Meter.

Step– 1: Equivalent?

As we know that 1 km = 1000 m                    conversion factor =1000.

Step-2: Multiply or divide?

Conversion is to smaller units. Multiply by the conversion factor.

2.85 km = 2.85 x 1000 = 2850 m,    Hence 2.85 km = 2850 m

 On the Job Practice
1. The heights of two patients were recorded. Convert the units.
2. 1.8 m = _____ cm.
3. 1.025 m = _____ cm.
4. The range of lengths of newborn babies is 45-55 centimeters. Express the length in millimeters.

_______ mm – ________ mm.

1. During a physical assessment, a mole on a patient’s back was noted and measured.

Mole: 21 mm = _____ cm.

1. A child was admitted to the emergency room with a cut which was noted in the records.

Cut: 95 mm = _____ cm.

Convert the following units as indicated

1. 60 in = _____ cm
2. 5’5” = _____ cm
3. 6 ft = _____ cm

DESCRIBE SIMPLE PHYSICIAN ORDER

Physician’s order is also called drug order. The order of physician to administer drug having the following information is called physician’s order.

• Name of drug to be given(trade/brand name is started with capital letter & generic name is written with small letters)
• Dosage and form
• Route
• Frequency
• Additional description (for special instructions it may or may not be included)

Following are some examples of physician’s order

Name                                     Dosage                  Route                     Frequency                            additional description

Paracetamol                 500 mg tab      P.O                  q.3-4h. P.r.n.               severe muscle pain

NPH insulin                 25 units           SC                   q.d.                              a.c. breakfast

nitroglycerin                0.4 mg tab       SL                   p.r.n.                            chest pain

Interpretation of above drug orders:

1. Administer a 500 mg tablet of Paracetamol by mouth every 3 to 4 hours as necessary for  severe muscle pain.
2. Administer 25 units of NPH insulin subcutaneously every day before breakfast.
3. Administer 0.4 mg tablet of nitroglycerin under the tongue as needed for chest pain.
 On the Job Practice

Read the following and interpret the drug orders:

1. morphine sulfate 15 mg SC       q4h.
2. Tylenol 0.6 g                PO       q.6h                 p.r.n.    headache
3. atropine sulfate(optic) 1% sol 2gtt OD      q.d.t.i.d.
4. Demerol 75 mg IM       q.4h                 p.r.n.    pain