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Lesson 11 Med Terms

Common Abbreviations S through W and Specialized Abbreviations

S(Line over it) (without) The patient was c/o pain. Explanation The S with a line over it represents sine, which is Latin for without.
sig. (write; to be labeled) Explanation This is used when the doctor wants the pharmacist to label the medication with specific instructions. It is usually written on a prescription.
SOB (shortness of breath) The patient experienced SOB upon exertion. Explanation Contrary to popular usage, this acronym stands for the phrase shortness of breath.
ss (half) The doctor ordered the patient to take ss tab. of the medication. Explanation The Latin for ss is solo semi. This is used in reference to medication. Some medication does not come in smaller doses and must be broken in half.
SSE (soap suds enema) The GI doctor ordered SSE until clear for the patient scheduled for an upper GI series. Explanation An enema is given by introducing a fluid into the rectum. This may be done to relieve constipation or to give medication.
staph (staphylococcus) The doctor placed the patient on antibiotics for her staph infection. Explanation Staphylococcus, or staph for short, is a common bacteria that can be quite harmful to patients.
stat (immediately) The doctor ordered a CXR stat. Explanation Stat is short for statim, which is Latin for immediately. (CXR stands for chest X ray.)
strep (streptococcus) The doctor placed the patient on antibiotics for her strep throat. Explanation Strep is a common respiratory infection. Stre
syr (syrup) The doctor ordered acetaminophen syr. for the small boy. Explanation This abbreviation concerns prescriptions. A doctor may order a syrup liquid rather than a pill if the patient has trouble swallowing pills.
T (temperature) The patient had a 97.6 T. Explanation This is the abbreviation for temperature.
tab (tablet) The doctor ordered x2 tabs acetaminophen 650mg for the pt. c/o a headache. Explanation A tablet is always in reference to medication.
tbsp. (tablespoon) The patient was given 2 tbsps. of medication. Explanation Three tsps. or 15 cc's = 1 tbsp. Obviously, the patient in the sample sentence would be having 2 tbsps. of syr.
tid (three times a day) The doctor ordered the patient to be OOB tid. Explanation The Latin phrase for tid is ter in die. This term refers to both medications and procedures. With medications, tid is usually 9 a.m., 1 p.m., and 5 p.m.
TO (telephone order) The doctor gave a TO to restrain the patient. Explanation A doctor must be the one to give an order regarding the treatment and care of patients. All orders must be written, but sometimes the doctor is not locally available
TPR (temperature, pulse, and respirations) The nurse's aide recorded the vital signs on the TPR sheet. Explanation This concerns three vital signs: temperature, pulse, and respirations.
tsp. (teaspoon) The patient was given 1 tsp. of medication. Explanation Here are some equivalents for teaspoons: 3 tsps. or 15 cc's = 1 tbsp. 1 tsp. = 5 cc's. A cup = 250 cc's An ounce = 30cc's. 1 cc = 1 ml.
UP (universal precautions) All patients are to be handled with UP standards. Explanation UP is not used frequently. What it indicates is that all patients are considered infectious.
URI (upper respiratory infection) The patient was having dyspnea (difficulty breathing) due to his URI. Explanation You'll see this notation a lot during the flu season.
UTI (urinary tract infection) The patient with the Foley cath had acquired a nosocomial UTI. Explanation UTI is an acronym for urinary tract infection. (Nosocomial means hospital-acquired, and a Foley cath is a catheter inserted into the bladder.)
v.o. (verbal order) The doctor issued a v.o. for atropine during the code. Explanation Orders regarding the treatment and care of patients must come from doctors. Normally, orders must be written.
v.s. (vital signs) The patient's v.s. are stable. Explanation The vitals signs include BP (blood pressure), T (temperature), P (pulse), and R (respirations).
W/C (wheelchair) The patient required a W/C for discharge. Explanation Most patients are taken via wheelchair to their car when they are released from a hospital.
wt. (weight) The patient's wt. is up 2 kg (2 kilograms = 4.4 lbs.) from yesterday. Explanation Weight is referred to in both pounds and kilograms.
CCU (coronary care unit; critical care unit) The patient with angina (chest pain) was admitted to the CCU. The CCU was full of accident victims.A coronary care unit is an intensive care unit with severe cardiac complications are treated. CCU is same as ICU
CS (central supply) The nurse had to go to CS to pick up the sterile packages of bandages. Explanation CS is a shortened reference for central supply, an area in the hospital where most of the medical equipment and supplies are maintained.
EENT (eyes, ears, nose, and throat) The patient with severe sinusitis was sent to an EENT specialist for consultation. Explanation EENT is a shortened reference to eyes, ears, nose, and throat. This usually denotes a physician who specializes in EENT.
ER (emergency room) The child hit by a car was taken to the ER. Explanation The ER is where patients are taken for immediate care
GI lab (gastrointestinal lab) The patient with the bleeding ulcer was taken to the GI lab. Explanation Tests in this lab deal with the stomach and both the small and large intestines.
lab (laboratory) The specimen was sent to the lab for analysis. Explanation Lab is a shortened reference to a clinical laboratory.
MICU (medical intensive care unit) The patient with active tuberculosis was admitted to MICU. Explanation A medical intensive care unit is an intensive care unit where patients with severe illnesses are admitted.
NICU (neuro intensive care unit; neonatal intensive care unit) The newborn baby was admitted to NICU. NEONATAL ITENSIVE CARE UNIT The accident victim was admitted to NICU. NEURO INTENSIVE CARE UNIT
OB-GYN (obstetrics and gynecology, or obstetrician gynecologist) The patient went to an OB-GYN for a Pap smear (an exam to detect uterine cancer). Explanation An OB-GYN takes care of female patients with gynecological or obstetrical complaints or pregnancie
OR Meaning Sentence Usage OR (operating room) The patient was sent to the OR for his tonsillectomy. Explanation This is where most surgeries are performed.
pedi (pediatrics) The little boy was admitted to the pedi ward. Explanation Pedi is a shortened reference to pediatrics.
PT (physical therapy) The doctor ordered the patient to be examined by the PT department. Explanation PT is a shortened reference to physical therapy, not to be confused with pt., which means patient.
RT (respiratory therapy) The RT department was in charge of doing the blood gas work. Explanation RT is a shortened reference to respiratory therapy.
SICU (surgical intensive care unit) The recovery room patient was admitted to SICU because the staff could not successfully remove him from the ventilator. Explanation Patients with surgical complications are treated in a surgical intensive care unit.
ABG (arterial blood gas) The doctor ordered an ABG on the cyanotic (blue) patient. Explanation An ABG is a blood test on blood that has been drawn from a patient's artery. It evaluates whether there is adequate oxygenation in the bloodstream.
ACP (acute care panel) The doctor ordered an ACP as part of the patient's daily lab work. Explanation An ACP is a collection of chemistry tests that is also known as an electrolyte panel.
BUN (blood urea nitrogen) The BUN level was high on the dialysis patient. Explanation A chemistry that is routinely evaluated as part of an electrolyte panel. Along with CRE, BUN usually indicates renal (kidney) failure if high.
C&S (culture and sensitivity) The doctor ordered a C&S of the patient's green sputum. Explanation A C&S is ordered to check bacterial growth. If a bacteria is discovered (through a culture), then a sensitivity is performed to see what antibiotic to use.
CBC (complete blood count) A CBC was ordered for the patient with the flulike symptoms. Explanation A CBC is a blood test that evaluates the blood's capacity to carry oxygen and cells that fight off infection.
chem. (chemistry) The doctor ordered a chem. 24 for the patient's a.m. lab. Explanation The abbreviation chem. denotes lab tests used to measure blood chemistry levels.
CSF (cerebral spinal fluid) The doctor ordered the CSF fluid to be tested for C&S. Explanation Cerebral spinal fluid rests in the interior of the spinal column and protects the spinal cord.
CXR (chest X ray) The doctor ordered a CXR for the new orally intubated patient (a breathing tube was inserted through the mouth and into the lower trachea). Explanation CXR takes the first letters of chest X ray.
DPT (diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus) The school nurse wanted to know if the children had received their DPT vaccinations. Explanation This is a vaccination for the diseases diphtheria, pertussis (better known as whooping cough), and tetanus.
FBS (fasting blood sugar) The doctor ordered an FBS for the new onset diabetic. Explanation A fasting blood sugar is obtained in the early morning after the patient has not had anything to eat since the previous midnight.
HCT (hematocrit) The doctor ordered a blood transfusion because the patient's HCT was low. Explanation HCT is a blood level that is usually evaluated as part of a CBC. The hematocrit looks at the volume of blood in relation to the volume of cells.
Hgb (hemoglobin) The patient's Hgb was normal two hours after the blood transfusion. Explanation A blood level that is usually evaluated as part of a CBC. It's part of a red blood cell and is responsible for carrying oxygen.
Lytes (electrolytes) The doctor ordered lytes on the dehydrated patient. Explanation Lytes is a laboratory blood test and usually contains potassium (K+), sodium (Na), chloride (Cl), carbon dioxide (CO2), and sometimes glucose (Glu).
O&P (ova and parasites) The doctor ordered the stool to be tested for O&P x3 (three separate specimens are to be obtained). Explanation O&P usually denotes a lab test performed on fecal matter (stool, bowel movement).
O2 (oxygen) The doctor ordered the patient to be placed on a 50% oxygen face mask (the oxygen content is 50%). Explanation O2 is the chemical representation for oxygen.
RBC (red blood cells) The patient with anemia had a low RBC count. Explanation A blood level that is usually evaluated as part of a CBC. It's also known as an erythrocyte. Red blood cells are critical in the blood's capability to carry oxygen.
TB (tuberculosis) The TB patient was placed on respiratory isolation (specially fitted mask and gloves). Explanation TB is a shortened reference for the contagious disease of tuberculosis.
UA (urinalysis) The doctor ordered a UA for the patient with dysuria (painful urination). Explanation A urinalysis is a laboratory test of urine that looks for protein, specific gravity, sugar, pH, and other chemistries.
WBC (white blood cells) The doctor ordered an antibiotic because the WBCs and the bands were elevated. Explanation Different types of WBCs are checked when a doctor orders a CBC with diff.
Ca (calcium) The doctor ordered a Ca supplement because the patient's Ca level was low. Explanation A chemistry that is routinely evaluated as part of an electrolyte panel.
Cl (chloride) The patient's Cl was normal, but the rest of his electrolytes were a little off. Explanation Chloride is a chemistry that is routinely evaluated as part of an electrolyte panel.
CRE (creatinine) The CRE level was high on the dialysis patient. Explanation CRE is a chemistry that is routinely evaluated as part of an electrolyte panel. Along with BUN, this usually indicates renal (kidney) failure if high.
Fe (iron) The doctor ordered an Fe supplement for the anemic female patient. Explanation Fe is the chemical symbol for iron.
Glu (glucose) The patient's Glu level was considered normal at 110. Explanation Glucose is a chemistry that is routinely evaluated as part of an electrolyte panel.
K+ (potassium) The doctor ordered a K+ supplement because the patient's K+ level was low. Explanation A chemistry that is routinely evaluated as part of an electrolyte panel.
Na (sodium) The patient's Na level was within normal limits (WNL). Explanation A chemistry that is routinely evaluated as part of an electrolyte panel.
NaHCO3 (sodium bicarbonate) The patient's NaHCO3 was slightly low, so the doctor ordered an increase in the ventilator rate. Explanation NaHCO3 is usually studied as part of an ABG (arterial blood gas) and is indicative of the patient's pH acid base balance.
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Created by: selonimes