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Common Unit Conversions

Nursing Knowledge

# Common Unit Conversions

Calculating medication dosages, ensuring adequate fluid balances, and other treatment parameters – unit conversions are an essential mathematical tool in clinical nursing practice. A failure to accurately convert units can lead to medical errors with potentially serious or even fatal consequences. Keep reading for an overview on how to convert between various units such as milliliters to liters, grams to milligrams, or pounds to kilograms.
Last updated: December 4, 2023

## Converting Celsius to Fahrenheit (°C→°F)

Table: Common temperatures

Formula: (°C • 9) ÷ 5) + 32 = °F

## Converting Fahrenheit to Celsius (°F → °C)

Formula: (°F – 32) x 0.5556 = °C

## Converting Feet to Centimeters (ft → cm)

Table: Common heights

Formula: ft • 30.48 = cm

## Converting Centimeters to Feet (cm → ft)

Formula: cm ÷ 30.48 = ft

## Converting pounds to kilograms (lbs → kg)

Formula: lbs ÷ 2.205 = kg

## Converting kilograms to pounds (kg → lbs)

Table: Weight conversions overview

Formula: ks • 2.205 = lbs

## Converting ounces to milliliters (oz → mL)

Formula: oz • 29.574 = mL

### Tips

• Most common for I&O tracking is oz → mL.
• 8 oz is about 240 mL.
• Commonly missed equals:
• 10 u = 0.1 mL
• 1 mL = 1 cc
• TB syringes: 0.1 & 0.01 mL measurement → total 1 mL syringe
• Standard/commonly used syringes: 0.1 mL → 5 mL, 10 mL

## Converting milliliters to ounces (mL → oz)

Formula: mL ÷ 29.574 = oz

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