Understanding Decimals


Once upon a time a baby's physician had prescribed morphine ".5 mg" IV for the management of post-operative pain. However, a unit secretary did not see the decimal point and transcribed the order by hand onto a medication administration record (MAR) as "5 mg." An experienced nurse followed the directions on the MAR but her knowledge of decimals lead her to question the dosage as it appeared to be 10 times too much. This knowledge prevented a potentially fatal dose of medication being given. This is a short bi-lingual training film, in English and Spanish, about understanding decimals in a medical situation to help save lives.

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