Prescribing drugs requires specifying the required dose for each patient. Their volume is usually small and can be measured in grams, milligrams, micrograms, and even nanograms (“Metric (SI) Units” 1). An additional factor for confusion is that some patients and personnel representatives prefer to use not a metric measurement system but an imperial one, also known as the British system. Mistakes in any of these measurements may result in medical errors for patients receiving the wrong dose. This situation can lead to harmful circumstances, especially if the patient is a child.
A hypothetical situation that may lead to improper dosing is incorrectly specified weight due to the use of different systems. For example, parents of a child using the imperial system can name weight of 46 pounds, which corresponds to 21 kilograms. In the medical record, one can mistakenly record weight as 46 kilograms, and the child will be assigned a dose almost twice as much as necessary. Errors could be avoided if a single system was adopted for use in hospitals, and parents would pay attention to this. In this case, they could ask for the help of the staff in converting the weight.
In my turn, to avoid dosage errors due to metric systems, I want to practice a lot in their application. First of all, I consider it crucial to learn converting within the metric system, for example, from milligrams to nanograms and vice versa. Since conversion requires multiplication or division by round numbers, training will not take how much time as the change from different systems. For this reason, repetition and practice are critical in the usage of imperial units. To avoid human errors, I strive to double-check doses and train mindfulness.
“Metric (SI) Units.” Royal College of Nursing. 2019. Web.