Soa???????????????? - page 2

by nursejennie76 8,603 Views | 16 Comments

Ok this may be a stupid question, but I started in a ER recently and we are not allowed to use the term SOB (shortness of breath), we have to use SOA (shortness of air) I have been in the health care feild for a number of years,... Read More


  1. 0
    Years and years ago, the first time I did a psych assessment on a nursing home patient, I was APPALLED that the staff kept documenting that the pt was an "SOB"! Granted, he was acting crazy, but to write that...

    Needless to say, I asked the charge nurse...

    So glad I did....

  2. 0
    SOA's an abbreviation here for 'swelling of ankles' - granted they often go hand in hand, but I think it would just contribute to confusion!
    The whole SOB thing reminds me of something I read once (but can't find now I'm looking for it). The author (who had no medical qualifications as far as I can remember) was 'demystifying' medical terminology for laypeople - it was a kind of patient's guide, maybe regarduing litigation, certainly about understanding your patient notes. Under 'medical abbreviations' she'd included ISQ. I've seen it used a short-hand for "in status quo" (ie no change), but she said that it meant "is still queer"!
  3. 0
    I have to agree it's PC run amok. We use SOB, but then I still have a tendency to use COAD instead of CAL, alternatively there is COPD. But there is also FBC and FBC (Full Blood Count or Fluid Balance Chart). The main thing we get in trouble for is Acopia as a dx on our admit screens.


    Quote from Dixielee
    I think it is PC run amok! I worked at a hospital that changed it to SHOB (shortness of breath), which worked pretty well, and was easier to remember than SOA. I think it is as stated above, so no one might be offended.

    Sometimes I think we go overboard in an attempt to please all of the people all of the time. One place I worked would not let us microwave popcorn because it smelled good and patients who were NPO might want it. Of course we could microwave fish that made everyone including the staff nauseated!
  4. 0
    Quote from mtnmom
    we use DIB...difficulty in breathing.
    That's a between abreviation than SOB. I know that there was an old joke in a Reader's Digest a long time ago about a pt who looked at his chart and demanded to know why the doctor thought that he was SOB... the punchline was "Shortness of Breath." You probably get the idea of the job. Sorry, it's late, umm, I mean early and this joke happened a LONG time ago.
  5. 0
    Quote from traumaRUs
    We use resp distress, not SOB either.
    Great idea; 12 letters instead of 3. But seriously folks, I have been given to understand that shortness of breath is a symptom (i.e., subjective) and respiratory distress is a sign (i.e., objective). Imagine yourself at triage. Somebody tells you that they have been unable to breath for some period of time. If you just cannot bring yourself to write "c/o SOB", then I suggest quoting the patient..........like we are supposed to do. That is their chief complaint; the reason that they came to the ER. When the chief complaint is SOB, our focused assessment is all about determining if the patient is in respiratory distress or not. Here is a recent example from my practice of emergency nursing: c/o "completely unable to breath" x 1 - 2 weeks. Nose stopped up. Recent HX "sinusitis" Dx by PMD => on Abx. AOx4, calm, cooperative, NAD. Resp. even & unlabored. Lungs CTAB w/ good A/E.

    By the way, who is shouting "SOB" across their ED?
  6. 0
    Quote from nursejennie76
    Ok this may be a stupid question, but I started in a ER recently and we are not allowed to use the term SOB (shortness of breath), we have to use SOA (shortness of air) I have been in the health care feild for a number of years, and this was a first for me. Is this the norm now, did people find SOB offensive or something??

    Never heard of this. We use SOB or dyspnea.
  7. 0
    I'll have to check what our ER is using.

    "Respiratory Distress" doesn't apply to all people who are short of breath, in my opinion. Respiratory distress sounds a bit extreme, unless you clarify with "mildly, moderate, etc."

    I still use the old nursing school terms like dyspnea and tachypnea, along with SOB.


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