Most Common Nursing Abbreviations – Medical Acronyms

Most Common Nursing Abbreviations!

Have you ever think why you can’t read the doctor’s writing on a prescription? Acronyms and abbreviations are used throughout the healthcare profession. Healthcare professionals commonly use abbreviations or Acronyms as a reference to rapidly search and accurately record data about, and instruct their patients.

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Here is the list of most common nursing abbreviations:

@

<                                          Less Than

>                                          Greater Than

@                                         At

A

AV                                       Atrioventricular

AU                                       Both Ears

ATP                                      Adenosine Triphosphatase

ATC                                      Around the Clock

AT                                        Axillary Temperature

AST                                      Aspartate Aminotransferase

ASO                                     Antistreptolysin-O

ASA                                     Acetylsalicylic Acid

AS                                       Left Ear

AROM                                  Active Range of Motion

aqua                                     Water or H2O

APTT                                    Activated Partial Thromboplastin Time

Approx.                                Approximately

AP                                       Appendectomy

AP                                       Apical Pulse

AP                                       Anterior/Posterior

AoA                                     Administration on Aging

Angio                                   Angiogram

ANA                                     Antinuclear Antibody

ANA                                     American Nurses Association

Amt                                      Amount

Amb                                     Ambulatory, Able to Walk, Walking

AMA                                     American Medical Association

AMA                                     Against Medical Advice

AM/am/A.M./a.m.                  Morning

ALT                                      Alanine Aminotransferase

AK                                       Above the Knee

AIDS                                    Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome

AICD                                    Automatic Implantable Cardiac Defibrillator

AI                                         Aortic Incompetence

AI                                         Adequate Intake

AHNA                                   American Holistic Nurses’ Association

AHF                                     Antihemophilic Factor

AHCPR                                 Agency for Health Care Policy and Research

AHCA                                   American Health Care Association

AHA                                     American Hospital Association

AFP                                     Alpha-Fetoprotein

AFB                                     Acid-Fast Bacillus

AF                                        Atrial Fibrillation

AED                                     Antiepileptic Drug

AEB                                     As Evidenced By

ADN                                     Associate Degree Nurse (Nursing)

admov.                                 Apply

Adm                                     Admission and Discharge

ADL                                     Activities of Daily Living

ADHD                                  Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder

ADH                                     Antidiuretic Hormone

ADA                                     Americans With Disabilities Act

Ad. Spec.                             Admission Urine Specimen

ad sat.                                  To Saturation

ad lib                                    as Desired, Freely

AD                                       Right Ear

ACTH                                   Adrenocorticotropic Hormone

ACS                                     American Cancer Society

ACE                                     Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme

acc. (see A)                          Accommodation (see A)

ac or a.c.                              Before Meals

AC                                       Adrenal Cortex, Air Conduction

ABR                                     Absolute Bed Rest (See CBR)

ABO                                     Blood Types

ABI                                       Ankle-Brachial Index

ABG                                     Arterial Blood Gases

ABD, Abd, Abdo                   Abdomen, or  Abdominal

ABC                                     Airway, Breathing, Circulation

AATH                                   American Association for Therapeutic Humor

AAT                                      Animal-Assisted Therapy

AASM                                  American Academy of Sleep Medicine

AAA                                     Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

aa                                        Equal Parts, Arteries

a¯                                        Before

A/G, or A-G ratio                   Albumin and Globulin Ratio

A/CA                                    Accommodative/Convergence Accommodation Ratio

A&E                                     Accident and Emergency

A&D (see Adm.)                    Admission and Discharge

A (see acc.)                          Accommodation

A                                          Anterior

A                                          Anode

A                                          Acetum

B

BWO                                    Bowels Wide Opened

BUN                                     Blood Urea Nitrogen

BSN                                     Bachelor of Science In Nursing

BSL                                      Blood Sugar Level

BSI                                       Body Substance Isolation

BSE                                     Breast Self-Examination

BSA                                     Body Surface Area

BPM                                     Beats Per Minute

BPH                                     Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy

BP or B/P                             Blood Pressure

BO                                       Bowels Opened

BNO                                     Bowels Not Opened

BMR                                     Basal Metabolic Rate

BMI                                      Body Mass Index

BMD                                    Bone Mineral Density

BKA                                     Below Knee Amputation

BK                                       Below Knee

BGL                                     Blood Glucose Level

BE                                       Base Excess

BD, or bid                             Twice A Day

BCC                                     Basal Cell Carcinoma

BBA                                     Balanced Budget Act

Ba Meal                                Barium Meal

BA                                       Bowel Action

Ba                                        Barium

B6                                        Pyridoxine

B2                                        Riboflavin

B12                                      Cobalamin

B1                                        Thiamine

C

CXR                                     Chest X-Ray

CVC                                     Central Venous Catheter

CVA                                     Cerebrovascular Accident or Stroke

Cu                                        Copper

CT scan                                Computerized Axial Tomography Scan

CT                                        Computed Tomography

CSM                                     Circulation, Sensation, Motion

CSF                                     Cerebrospinal Fluid

CRNA                                   Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist

Cr                                         Chromium

CPR                                     Computerized Patient Record

CPR                                     Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation

COOH                                  Carboxyl Group

consult                                 Consultation

COBRA                                Comprehensive Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act

CO2−                                   Carbon Dioxide Ion

CO2                                     Carbon Dioxide

Co                                        Cobalt

CNS                                     Clinical Nurse Specialist

CNO                                     Community Nursing Organization

CNM                                     Certified Nurse Midwife

CNC                                     Clinical Nursing Consultant

CNA                                     Certified Nursing Assistant

CN                                       Cranial Nerve

CMS                                     Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

cm                                       Centimeter

CLTC                                    Certified In Long-Term Care

Cl−                                       Chloride Ion

Cl                                         Chlorine, Chloride

CK or CPK                            Creatine Phosphokinase or Creatine Kinase

CICU                                    Coronary Care Unit

CHON                                   Protein (Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen and Nitrogen)

CHO                                     Carbohydrate (Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen)

CHIP                                    Children’s Health Insurance Program

CHD                                     Coronary Heart Disease

CHAP                                   Community Health Accreditation Program

CEU                                     Continuing Education Unit

CEA                                     Carcinoembryonic Antigen

CDC                                     Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

CCU                                     Cardiac Care Unit (See CICU)

CCRC                                   Continuing Care Retirement Community

CCF                                     Congestive Cardiac Failure

CBR                                     Complete Bed Rest

CBE                                     Charting By Exception

CBD                                     Common Bile Duct

CBC                                     Complete Blood Count

Cath                                     Catheter

CAT                                      Computerized Adaptive Testing

CAT                                      Computed Axial Tomography

CARF                                   Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities

Card                                     Cardiac

cap                                      Capsule

CAM                                     Complementary/Alternative Medicine

CAI                                       Computer-Assisted Instruction

CAD                                     Coronary Artery Disease

CaCl2                                   Calcium Chloride

CaBG                                   Coronary Artery Bypass Graft

Ca++                                    Calcium Ion

Ca                                        Calcium or Cancer

C/O                                      Complaint Of

C/A                                      Complementary/Alternative

C&S                                     Culture and Sensitivity

C & S                                   Culture and Sensitivity

c                                          Cup

C                                          Celsius

D

DX                                       Diagnosis

DVT                                     Deep Vein Thrombosis

DTP                                     Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis

DTaP                                    Diphtheria, Tetanus, Acellular Pertussis

DT                                        Delirium Tremens

DST                                     Dexamethasone Suppression Test

DRI                                      Dietary Reference Intake

DRG                                     Diagnosis-Related Group

dr                                         Dram

DOB                                     Date of Birth

DOA                                     Dead on Arrival

DO                                       Doctor of Osteopathy

DNR                                     Do Not Resuscitate

DNA                                     Deoxyribonucleic Acid

DMD                                    Doctor of Dental Medicine

DMD                                    Diabetes Mellitus

dL                                        Deciliter

DICC                                    Dynamic Infusion Cavernosometry and Cavernosography

DIC                                      Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation

DHHS                                   Department of Health and Human Services

DEA                                     Drug Enforcement Agency

DDS                                     Doctor of Dental Surgery

DDB                                     Disciplinary Data Bank

DC or d/c                             Discontinue or Discharge

DAR                                     Document, Action, Response

E

EVAD                                   Explantable Venous Access Device

ET                                        Ear (Tympanic) Temperature

ESR                                     Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate

ERT                                      Estrogen Replacement Therapy

ERG                                     Electroretinogram

ERCP                                   Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatogram

ER                                       Emergency Room

EPO                                     Exclusive Provider Organization

EPA                                     Environmental Protection Agency

EMT                                     Emergency Medical Technician

EMS                                     Emergency Medical Services

EMG                                    Electromyogram

elix                                       Elixir

ELISA                                   Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay

EKG (ECG)                           Electrocardiogram

EGD                                     Esophagogastroduodenoscopy

EEG                                     Electroencephalograph/Electroencephalogram

EDTA                                   Ethylenediaminetetraacetic Acid

ED                                       Emergency Department

ECG (EKG)                           Electrocardiogram

ECF                                     Extracellular Fluid

ECF                                     Extended Care Facility

EAR                                     Estimated Average Requirement

F

Fx                                        Fracture

FVD                                     Fluid Volume Deficit

ft                                          Foot or Feet

FSH                                     Follicle-Stimulating Hormone

FOBT                                   Fecal Occult Blood Test

Fl                                         Fluorine

fl                                          Fluid

FF                                        Forced Feeding, or Forced Fluids

FeSO4                                  Iron Sulfate

Fe                                        Iron

FDA                                     Food and Drug Administration

FCA                                     False Claims Act

FBS                                     Fasting Blood Sugar

FAS                                     Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

F                                          Fahrenheit

G

Gyn                                      Gynecology

GU                                       Genitourinary

gtt/min                                  Drops Per Minute

GTT                                      Glucose Tolerance Test

gtt                                        Drop

gr                                         Grain

GI                                         Gastrointestinal

GHB                                     Glycosylated Hemoglobin

GH                                       Growth Hormone

GGTP                                  Gamma-Glutamyl Transpeptidase

GGT                                     Gamma-Glutamyl Transpeptidase

GFR                                     Glomerular Filtration Rate

GER                                     Gastroesophageal Reflux

GED                                     General Education Development

GCS                                     Glasgow Coma Scale

GAS                                     General Adaptation Syndrome

GAO                                     General Accounting Office

g/dL                                     Grams Per Deciliter

g                                          Gram

H

HRSA                                   Health Resources and Services Administration

HR                                       Heart Rate

HPO4                                   Phosphate

HOB                                     Head of Bed

HMO                                    Health Maintenance Organization

HLA                                      Human Leukocyte Antigen

HIV                                       Human Immunodeficiency Virus

HIS                                       Hospital Information System

Hgb                                      Hemoglobin

Hg                                        Mercury

HFA                                     Hospice Foundation of America

Hep B                                   Hepatitis B

HDV                                     Hepatitis D Virus

HDL                                     High Density Lipoprotein

HCV                                     Hepatitis C Virus

Hct                                       Hematocrit

HCO3−                                 Bicarbonate Ion

HCl                                       Hydrochloric Acid, Hydrochloride

hCG                                     Human Chorionic Gonadotropin

HCFA                                   Health Care Financing Administration

HBV                                     Hepatitis B Virus

HB5AG                                 Hepatitis B Surface Antigen

H2O                                     Water

H+                                        Hydrogen Ion

h.s.                                      Hour of Sleep

H&H                                     Hemoglobin and Hematocrit

h                                          Hour(S)

I

IVPB                                    Intravenous Piggyback

IVP                                       Intravenous Push, Intravenous Pyelogram

IVAD                                    Implantable Vascular Access Device

IV                                         Intravenous

ITT                                        Insulin Tolerance Test

Isol                                       Isolation

IOM                                      Institute of Medicine

IOL                                       Intraocular Lens

INR                                       International Normalized Ratio

in                                         Inch

IM                                        Intramuscular

IHCT                                     Interdisciplinary Health Care Team

IgM                                      Immunoglobulin M

IgG                                       Immunoglobulin G

ID                                         Intradermal

ID                                         Identification

ICU                                       Intensive Care Unit

ICN                                       International Council of Nurses

ICF                                       Intracellular Fluid

ICF                                       Intermediate Care Facility

IADLs                                   Instrumental Activities of Daily Living

I&O                                      Intake and Output

I&O                                      Intake and Output

I                                           Iodine

K

KVO                                     Keep Vein Open

KUB                                     Kidneys/Ureters/Bladder

KS                                       Ketosteroids

kg                                        Kilogram

KCl                                       Potassium Chloride

kcal                                      Kilocalorie

K+                                        Potassium Ion

K                                          Potassium

L

LPN                                      Licensed Practical Nurse

LP/VN                                  Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurse

LP                                        Lumbar Puncture

LOC                                     Level of Consciousness

LMP                                     Last Menstrual Period

LLQ                                      Left Lower Quadrant

LH                                        Luteinizing Hormone

LFT                                      Liver Function Test

LES                                      Lower Esophageal Sphincter

LE                                        Lupus Erythematosus

LDL                                      Low Density Lipoprotein

LDH                                     Lactic Dehydrogenase

lb                                         Pound

LAS                                      Local Adaptation Syndrome

L/min                                    Liters Per Minute

L                                          Liter

M

MUGA                                  Multi-Gated Acquisition

MSDS                                  Material Safety Data Sheet

MS                                       Morphine Sulfate

MRSA                                  Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus

MRI                                      Magnetic Resonance Imaging

mOsm/kg                             Milliosmoles/Kilogram

MOM                                    Milk of Magnesia

Mo                                       Molybdenum

Mn                                       Manganese

MMR                                    Measles, Mumps, Rubella

mmol/L                                 Millimoles Per Liter

mL                                       Milliliter

min                                       Minute

MI                                        Myocardial Infarction

MgSO4                                 Magnesium Sulfate

MgCl                                    Magnesium Chloride

Mg++                                   Magnesium Ion

mg/dL                                  Milligrams Per Deciliter

mg                                       Milligram

Mg                                       Magnesium

mEq/L                                  Milliequivalents Per Liter

mEq                                     Milliequivalent

MDS                                    Minimum Data Set

MDR-TB                               Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis

MDR                                    Multidrug-Resistant

MDI                                      Metered-Dose Inhaler

MD                                       Doctor of Medicine

mcg (or μg)                           Microgram

MAR                                     Medication Administration Record

MAOI                                    Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor

MAO                                    Monoamine Oxidase

m2                                       Square Meter

m                                         Meter

N

NSF                                     National Sleep Foundation

NS                                       Normal Saline

NREM                                  Non-Rapid Eye Movement

NPO                                     Nothing By Mouth

NPO                                     Nil per os, Latin for “Nothing By Mouth”

NPDB                                   National Practitioner Data Bank

NP                                       Nurse Practitioner

Noct                                     At Night

NOC                                     Nursing Outcomes Classification

NMDS                                  Nursing Minimum Data Set

NLN                                      National League for Nursing

NIS                                       Nursing Information System

NIOSH                                  National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health

NIH                                       National Institutes of Health

NICU                                    Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

NIC                                       Nursing Interventions Classification

NIA                                       National Institute on Aging

NHO                                     National Hospice Organization

NH2                                      Amino Group

NG                                       Nasogastric

NCLD                                   National Center for Learning Disabilities

NCHS                                   National Center for Health Statistics

NAPNE                                 National Association of Practical Nurse Education

NaOH                                   Sodium Hydroxide

NANDA                                North American Nursing Diagnosis Association

NaHPO4                               Sodium Monohydrogen Phosphate

NaHCO3                               Sodium Bicarbonate

NAHC                                   National Association for Home Care

NaH2PO4                             Sodium Dihydrogen Phosphate

NADSA                                National Adult Day Services Associations

NaCl                                     Sodium Chloride

Na2SO4                                Sodium Sulfate

Na2HPO4                             Disodium Phosphate

Na+                                      Sodium Ion

Na                                        Sodium

NA                                       Not Applicable

N2                                        Nitrogen

O

oz                                        Ounce

OU                                       Both Eyes

OTC                                     Over-The-Counter

OT                                        Oral Temperature

OT                                        Occupational Therapist

OSHA                                   Occupational Safety and Health Administration

OS                                       Left Eye

ORIF                                    Open Reduction/Internal Fixation

OR                                       Operating Room

OH−                                     Hydroxyl

OD                                       Right Eye

OBRA                                   Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act

OAM                                    Office of Alternative Medicine

O2                                        Oxygen

O&P                                     Ova and Parasite

P

PVD                                     Peripheral Vascular Disease

PTT                                      Partial Thromboplastin Time

PTSD                                   Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

PTH                                      Parathyroid Hormone

PT                                        Prothrombin Time

pt                                         Pint

PT                                        Physical Therapist

PT                                        Patient

PSP                                     Phenolsulfonphthalein

PSDA                                   Patient Self-Determination Act

PSA                                     Prostate Specific Antigen

PROM                                  Passive Range of Motion

PRO                                     Peer Review Organization

PRN                                     Pro Re Nata

PRL                                      Prolactin Level

PRA                                     Plasma Renin Activity

PPS                                     Prospective Payment System

PPO                                     Preferred Provider Organization

PPG                                     Post Prandial Glucose

PPE                                     Personal Protective Equipment

PPBS                                   Post Prandial Blood Sugar

Post op spec                        After Surgery Urine Specimen

PO4−−                                 Phosphate Ion

PO2(PaO2)                           Partial Pressure of Oxygen

PO                                       By Mouth (Per os In Latin)

PNS                                     Peripheral Nervous System

PNI                                       Psychoneuroimmunology

PMS                                     Premenstrual Syndrome

PMR                                     Progressive Muscle Relaxation

PMI                                      Point of Maximum Intensity

PLMS                                   Periodic Limb Movements In Sleep

PKU                                     Phenylketonuria

PIE                                       Problem, Implementation, Evaluation

PICU                                    Pediatric Intensive Care Unit

PICC                                    Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter

pH                                        Potential Hydrogen

PFT                                      Pulmonary Function Test

PET                                      Positron Emission Tomography

PEG                                     Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy

PDPH                                   Postdural Puncture Headache

PCV                                     Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine

PCR                                     Polymerase Chain Reaction

PCP                                     Primary Care Provider

PCO2                                   Partial Pressure of Carbon Dioxide

PAR                                     Postanesthesia Room

Pap                                      Papanicolaou Test

PA                                       Posteroanterior

PA                                       Physician’s Assistant

p¯                                        After

p.c.                                      After Meals

P                                          Pulse

P                                          Phosphorus

Q

qd                                        Every Day

qt                                         Quart

qh                                        Every Hour

qs                                        Quantity Sufficient

qod                                      Every Other Day

qid                                       Four Times A Day

q2h                                      Every 2 Hours

q                                          Quaque, Latin for “Every”

R

RWJF                                   Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

RUQ                                     Right Upper Quadrant

RUGS                                   Resource Utilization Group System

RTI                                       Respiratory Tract Infection

RT                                        Respiratory Therapist

RT                                        Rectal Temperature

RSV                                     Respiratory Syncytial Virus

RR                                       Recovery Room

RPR                                     Rapid Plasma Reagin

RPh                                      Registered Pharmacist

RPCH                                   Rural Primary Care Hospital

ROS                                     Review of Systems

ROM                                    Range of Motion

RNFA                                   Registered Nurse First Assistant

RNA                                     Ribonucleic Acid

RN                                       Registered Nurse

RLS                                      Restless Leg Syndrome

RLQ                                     Right Lower Quadrant

RF                                        Rheumatoid Factor

REM                                     Rapid Eye Movement

RDA                                     Recommended Dietary Allowance

RD                                       Registered Dietician

RBC                                     Red Blood Count, Red Blood Cell

RAST                                   Radio Allergosorbent Test

RAIU                                    Radioactive Iodine Uptake

R/T                                       Related To

R (Resp)                               Respiration

S

SW                                       Social Worker

susp                                     Suspension

supp                                    Suppository

STD                                     Sexually Transmitted Disease

STAT/Stat                             Immediately, (Statim In Latin)

SSA                                     Social Security Administration

SPF                                     Sun Protection Factor

SOB                                     Shortness of Breath

SOAP                                   Subjective Data, Objective Data, Assessment, Plan

SNF                                     Skilled Nursing Facility

SL                                        Sublingual

SGPT                                   Serum Glutamic Pyruvic Transaminase

SGOT                                   Serum Glutamate Oxaloacetate Transaminase

Se                                        Selenium

SCHIP                                  State Children’s Health Insurance Program

SC/SQ                                  Subcutaneous

SBC                                     School-Based Clinic

SaO2                                    Oxygen Saturation

SAMe                                   S-Adenosylmethionine

S                                          Sulfur

T

tsp                                       Teaspoon

TSH                                      Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone

TSE                                      Testicular Self Examination

TRH                                      Thyrotropin-Releasing Hormone

Tr or tinct                              Tincture

TPR                                      Temperature, Pulse, Respiration

TPN                                      Total Parenteral Nutrition

TMJ                                      Temporomandibular Joint

TICU                                     Trauma Intensive Care Unit

TIBC                                     Total Iron Binding Capacity

TIA                                       Transient Ischemic Attack

THA                                      Total Hip Arthroplasty

TF                                        Tube Feeding

TENS                                   Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation

Td                                        Tetanus/Diphtheria

Tbsp                                    Tablespoon

TB                                        Tuberculosis

TAC                                      Tetracaine, Adrenaline, Cocaine

tab                                       Tablet

T4                                        Thyroxine

T3                                        Triiodothyronine

t.o.                                       Telephone Order

T                                          Temperature

U

UTI                                       Urinary Tract Infection

USP                                     United States Pharmacopeia

URQ                                     Upper Right Quadrant

UPP                                     Urethra Pressure Profile

UMLS                                   Universal Medical Language System

UL                                        Upper Intake Level

UIS                                       Universal Intellectual Standards

UAP                                     Unlicensed Assistive Personnel

UA or U/A                             Routine Urinalysis

U-100                                   100 Units Insulin Per Cc

U/L                                       Unit Per Liter

U                                          Unit

V

VS                                       Vital Signs

VRE                                     Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococci

VMA                                     Vanillymandelic Acid

VLDL                                    Very Low-Density Lipoprotein

VDRL                                   Venereal Disease Research Laboratory

VAS                                     Visual Analog Scale

VAD                                     Ventricular Assist Device, Vascular Access Device

VA                                       Veterans Administration, Veterans Affairs

W

wt                                         Weight

WPM                                    Words Per Minute

WNL                                     Within Normal Limits

WHO                                    World Health Organization

W/C                                      Wheel Chair

Y

YWCA                                  Young Women’s Christian Association

Z

Zn                                        Zinc

Interesting lesson is here: Chatting Abbreviations

Most Common Nursing Abbreviations Infographics

Most Common Nursing Abbreviations

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list of nursing abbreviations

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