Pharmacy Conversion Chart
Conversions and calculations are a daily part of working in a pharmacy. Being able to calculate the necessary pharmacy conversions is an important skill for anyone working in that environment.
This is particularly true with anyone dealing with working out dosages and dispensing medicine. Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians should be able to read a prescription and give the patient the right dosage and instructions.
What are Pharmacy Conversions?
As a pharmacy technician or pharmacist, you’ll often have to convert the dosage strength or quantity of medication when filling out a prescription.
You’ll typically convert from one unit of measurement to the other. To successfully convert these units of measurement, you need to know the correct methods of calculation. This is where a pharmacy conversion chart can be helpful.
What is a pharmacy conversion chart?
This is a helpful chart that has all common pharmacy conversions listed. Referring to this chart can help technicians convert the necessary values.
Why is a pharmacy conversion chart important?
It’s important to commit the common conversions and formulas to memory so that you can accurately dispense the required dosages and medicines.
You need to know what the prescribed dose is so that you know how much medicine to dispense. Giving a patient the wrong dosage could lead to serious harm or fatal errors. It’s just as important to give the patient the right dosage as it is to give them an adequate supply.
Ideally, both the pharmacist and pharmacy technician should have a good grasp of the different pharmacy conversions and values. A pharmacy technician who isn’t well versed might slow down workflow and create more work for everyone.
You can always print out a pharmacy conversion chart to keep on your person for added security or until you’ve committed it to memory.
The Most Important Pharmacy Measurement Conversions
Here are a few commonly used conversions that you should learn first.
Volume measurement conversions
15 drops gtt = 1 milliliter (mL)
1 teaspoon = 5 mL
1 tablespoon = 15 mL
1 liquid ounce = 30 mL
1 cup = 8 liquid ounces = 236.5 mL
1 pint = 16 liquid ounces = 473 mL
1 quart = 2 pints = 946 mL
1 liter = 1000 mL
1 gallon (4 quarts) = 3785 mL
Weight measurement conversions
1000 microgram (mcg) = 1milligram
1 Grain (Gr) = 65 mg
15 gr = 1 gram (g)
1 ounce (oz) = 28.4 g
1000 g = 1 kilogram (kg)
1 pound (lb) = 454 g
2.2 lbs = 1 kg
Measuring using “grain” is outdated, but you might still come across it from time to time. Also, note that 1 liquid ounce is not the same as 1 ounce.
Which pharmacy conversions do I need to know for the PTCB test?
These following conversions are the ones that’ll come up on your PTCB test at some point. Make sure that you memorize them in preparation.
1 kilogram = 1,000 grams
1 kilogram = 2.2 pounds
1 liter = 1,000 milliliters
1 gram = 1,000 milligrams
1 milligram = 1,000 micrograms
1 grain = 64.8 milligrams
1 ounce = 28.35 grams
1 teaspoon = 5 milliliters
1 tablespoon = 15 milliliters
1 pound = 454 grams
Make sure you learn your pharmacy measurement conversions before you take your exam because they’re sure to come up. This knowledge is also necessary to be successful in your career in pharmacy.