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At Pharmacy Tech Lessons we get a ton of students that have tons of questions about pharmacy math, alot these questions stem from the fear of not knowing if they will be good enough to pass the PTCB or ExCPT exam due to “not being good at math”. A huge component to getting good a pharmacy math is practice exams.
In our experience of teaching thousands student successfully to pass the pharmacy technician exams, we have come to understand that even the worst person at math can become a math tutor with the right information. Let’s go into all the elements of pharmacy technician math.
The difficulty level of pharmacy math is one of the biggest questions we get a Pharmacy Tech Lessons.
And the answer to this question is, pharmacy math is really not that hard, once you have a strategy on how to learn the information such as formulas, word problems, etc.
One of the biggest issues that students have is knowing how to solve a math word problem.
Now, be cautious to this number because depending on the student, the amount of math students say they have on their exam varies drastically.
On the other hand, the ExCPT states that their exam has 54% of math.
To learn pharmacy math you do not have to have a solid background in chemistry or physics.
You basically need a good background in knowing basic algebra.
Here is a general list with some of the types of math you need to know to pass pharmacy technician exams:
Pharmacy business calculations involve markup, discount, net/gross profit, and inventory control are routinely encountered in the pharmacy.
Pharmacy alligations include the “tic-tac-toe” method that most pharmacy technicians commonly use.
An example question that you would commonly come across when it comes to pharmacy alligations looks like this:
“An order has arrived for 250mL of 2% solution. You stock solutions of: 1 Gal. of 3%solution and 1 Gal. of 1%solution. You must mix together the two solutions to compound the custom ordered volume.How much of the 3% will you use?”
A bunch of the medications that pharmacy technicians deal with are prescribed to patients in decimals. It is important to understand decimals and know how to use the decimal formats when solving problems.
To accomplish temperature conversions most pharmacy technicians use the F = 1.8C + 32 formula.
It is good to know how to convert temperature to both celsius and fahrenheit. If you don’t understand this already, take a look at this video that can give you understanding.
Watch this video on pharmacy temperature.
There are many dosage calculation formulas out there, here are a couple to start out with:
This formula can be used when AGE is involved.
The formula can be used when patient WEIGHT is involved.
The formula can be used when HEIGHT and WEIGHT involved
More indepthly students trying to pass the pharmacy technician exam whether the PTCB or ExCPT can sometimes have the hardest time with word problems, and pharmacy math conversions.
Here are a list of the most popular pharmacy conversions:
1 oz = 30 grams
1 lb = 454 grams
1 kg = 2.2 lb
1 gram = 15 grains
1 grain = 65 mg
1 mL = 1CC
5 mL = 1 tsp
15 mL = 1 tbsp
30 mL = 1 ounce
480 mL = 1 pint
3840 mL = 1 gallon
3 tsp = 1 tbsp
2 tbsp = 1 oz
16 oz = 1 pint
2 pint = 1 qt
4 qt = 1 gallon
16 oz = 1 lb
1L = 1000 mL
1kg = 1000 g
1 g = 1000 mg
1 mg = 1000 mcg
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