What are some important abbreviations I should be familiar with? What are some important abbreviations I should be familiar with? | allnurses

What are some important abbreviations I should be familiar with?

  1. 0 What are some important abbreviations I should be familiar with as an LVN/LPN?
  2. 22 Comments

  3. Visit  amoLucia profile page
    2
    No one abbreviation is more or less important than another. So you'll need to know them all. Just be aware that there are 2 kinds of abbreviations - those by accredited, accepted and recognized sources that publish consistently used abbreviations by healthcare practitioners. These can usually be found in textbooks or from medical records depts.

    Then there are the made-up ones. That differ from facility to facility, practitioner to practiotioner!! These are the SCAREY ones. Some are discipine-specific, like in therapy or ortho. But some are just off-the-wall, made up by whomever is writing at the time.

    You can see the abundance of abbreviations here on AN that freq need clarication.

    Be careful and be absolutely sure of what you're reading/writing. Confirm with another as nec.
    BrandonLPN and poppycat like this.
  4. Visit  BrandonLPN profile page
    1
    When I was a new grad, I would use a ton of abbreviations and shorthand in my nurses notes cause it made me feel all "nursey". As time passed I realized that was pretty silly. The goal is clarity above all else. And nothing is more clear than just writing the word out. Instead of that 'p' with the little line over it, just write 'after'. Instead of 'os', just write 'left eye'. I don't even like the 'more than' or 'less than' symbols. If I were in charge everyone would have to just write the whole word out every time. And no cursive!
    amoLucia likes this.
  5. Visit  CelticGoddess profile page
    0
    Quote from NursingBro
    What are some important abbreviations I should be familiar with as an LVN/LPN?
    The facility I work at has a list of approved abbreviations. These are official and legal (can stand up in court). Find out if the facility you work for has such a list, and if it is official. If not, try to avoid abbreviations unless you are 100% sure it is official. It's just safer that way. There is also a list of abbreviations we are not to use. It's helpful.
  6. Visit  amoLucia profile page
    1
    Quote from CelticGoddess
    The facility I work at has a list of approved abbreviations. These are official and legal (can stand up in court). Find out if the facility you work for has such a list, and if it is official. If not, try to avoid abbreviations unless you are 100% sure it is official. It's just safer that way. There is also a list of abbreviations we are not to use. It's helpful.
    I also worked at one place that had an approved list - it did cut down on the craziy abbreviations.

    It can really be problemsome when unknown ones are used in error. I once tried tostart a care plan based on an abbreviated diagnosis - I should have known better!!! There were no related meds, nor could I find any hospital chart info. The admitting nurse made up the abbrev.

    But on a telemetry unit, I read "pt experiencing ST". Take a guess - sinus tach or sore throat?? Hint - it WAS NOT an arrythmia!
    BrandonLPN likes this.
  7. Visit  1pinknurse profile page
    0
    I have worked in Dr's offices, SNF & now hospital and I will tell you, the only abbreviations that should be used are ex
  8. Visit  1pinknurse profile page
    1
    I have worked at several different medical facilities (Dr's offices, insurance company, SNF & hospital) & the only abbreviations which I feel should be used are medical abbreviations. I got this in a terminology course during my LVN program. All of the documentation policies varied in each facility I worked at & the only similarity were the medical terms. At my hospital we write mostly everything out. At least I do as I am one of the nurses whom have the most documentation, as this is how I was taught by my preceptor. Let me tell you, no one has ever complained or said they could not read what I wrote. Not only is my documentation clear, I print everything as I feel it is most professional.
    amoLucia likes this.
  9. Visit  1pinknurse profile page
    0
    Quote from 1pinknurse
    I have worked in Dr's offices, SNF & now hospital and I will tell you, the only abbreviations that should be used are ex
    Please disregard as I wasn't done. LOL
  10. Visit  psu_213 profile page
    1
    My first semester of RN school we had a quiz on the most common abbreviations. Things such as lpm, TENS, c ("with"), s ("without"), and some others I don't remember .

    As others have said, each facility defines approved abbreviations and it is important to stick with those abbreviations and use them correctly. For instance, at one place I worked Rt. (with the capital R, lowercase t, and the period) was "right." RT (capital R and T, no punctuation) was "respiratory therapy." Now I believe it's fairly unlikely that those would be confused if you were reading charting where the wrong abbreviation is used...but, hey, you never know. It would mean big trouble for you if a pt. was harmed based on your use of a non-approved abbreviation. Point is, stick to the abbreviations approved by your facility.
    amoLucia likes this.
  11. Visit  tainted1972 profile page
    0
    I have seen older doctors use abreviations and symbols that I have never seen .. it is helpful if you know them so you will be able to read orders.
  12. Visit  NursingBro profile page
    0
    The reason I ask is my RN friend says there is a bully RN nurse that loves to use abbreviations for everything including illnesses.

    The "bully RN" told her the client had ALS and 2 other abbreviations that she never heard of and the RN told her she shouldn't be working as an RN if she doesn't know the abbreviations. My friend wants me to start learning them so it doesnt happen to me whenever I start working as a LVN.

    ALS was Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis the two other ones I can remember but I didnt know them either.

    So Does anyone have a list of illness type abbrevations or any list of abbrevations that should be used universally in any state?
  13. Visit  NursingBro profile page
    0
    Quote from amoLucia
    I also worked at one place that had an approved list - it did cut down on the craziy abbreviations.

    It can really be problemsome when unknown ones are used in error. I once tried tostart a care plan based on an abbreviated diagnosis - I should have known better!!! There were no related meds, nor could I find any hospital chart info. The admitting nurse made up the abbrev.

    But on a telemetry unit, I read "pt experiencing ST". Take a guess - sinus tach or sore throat?? Hint - it WAS NOT an arrythmia!

    pt experiencing ST. I am getting more worried now

    spinal tetanus? I just made this up but I have no idea what the ST stands for. What is it?
  14. Visit  amoLucia profile page
    0
    That entry of ST referred to SORE THROAT, like HA = headache. When I would question the writers, they usually become very defensive, like WHY hadn't I ever seen ST or HA???

    I always would counter back to 'show me the textbook it's written in' and I would keep repeating it until I make my point. Eventually it would, but there's no convincing the writiers of some of the risks of misinformation.

    I keep thinking back to that dx that I careplanned. That dx was even being communicated during report! When I finally saw the admissions nurse, she clarified it when I questioned her. But like 'oh, no big deal...'

    I think about abbreviations that I use here on AN. I try to keep them to a minimum, and I realize that there are some that are probably unique to me. I really don't use textspeak because I'm computerily challenged (computerily pathetic per my sister!). But I am careful with official documents, and that's what counts and/or goes to court.

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