Hospitals discourage use of abbreviation "Q"

  1. In the hopsital where I work, we are no longer allowed to abbreviate Q2Hr, Q4 etc... They are also enforcing this with the docs. They have to write out every 2 hr, etc.. I guess there have been errors associated with this, but I can't get where the confusion would lie.
    They've also stated that morphine sulfate should be written out as such, in order to avoid confusion with MSo4. I can understand that one, but the elimination of the Q is still confusing to me.
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  2. 21 Comments

  3. by   cannoli
    A whole list where I work, qd, qod, unit, etc. etc. Something to do with JCAHO recommendations I think.
  4. by   dianah
    No more cc, it's ml now. Also, write out your heparin in "units," not "u," to name a few more.
  5. by   P_RN
    http://www.ismp.org/msaarticles/specialissuetable.html
    The Institute for Safe Medication Practices has quite a list of DO NOT USE.

    The Joint COmmission has a list of forbidden abbreviations.

    "Q" in itself isn't there but most of the combinations of "Q" eg: QID etc are. For example a handwritten QID could be taken as QD or even OD (right eye)
  6. by   CarolineRn
    Quote from P_RN
    http://www.ismp.org/msaarticles/specialissuetable.html
    The Institute for Safe Medication Practices has quite a list of DO NOT USE.

    The Joint COmmission has a list of forbidden abbreviations.

    "Q" in itself isn't there but most of the combinations of "Q" eg: QID etc are. For example a handwritten QID could be taken as QD or even OD (right eye)
    Thanks PRN! And to all the others, yes the "U" elimination happened back in nursing school, so I am used to that, as well as the ml instead of cc.

    But the Q must be relatively new, as we were still using it as recently as December. Now the floor I work as had a huge sign at the nursing desk to remind us--- it's got a huge Q in a circle with a red line across it, like the old no smoking signs used to look! No problem for me, as a new nurse, but the seasoned nurses and the docs must be constantly having to correct it. I imagine the "with" abbreviation won't be with us much longer either.
  7. by   sharann
    The problem is NOT with the use of letters such as "Q" and other abbreviations. The real problem is with the prescriber slowing down enough to write legibly. If the order for "blank med q 4 hrs" is readalbe, then theres no problem. So because doctors (many not all) refuse to write properly and nurses continue to fear picking up the phone to question each unreadable order, the rest of us have to jump through silly time-wasting hoops.
  8. by   P_RN
    the real problem is with the prescriber slowing down enough to write legibly.

    amen!!!


    and the nurse gets the blame most times. we enable the prescribers when we don't question every order.. i have heard so many times......" here let me read it, i'm good at translating dr. t's handwriting." handwriting by the way that looks like a drunk spider od-ing on ink.
  9. by   jayna
    Quote from p_rn
    amen!!!


    and the nurse gets the blame most times. we enable the prescribers when we don't question every order.. i have heard so many times......" here let me read it, i'm good at translating dr. t's handwriting." handwriting by the way that looks like a drunk spider od-ing on ink.

    very very true.
  10. by   CarolineRn
    Quote from p_rn
    amen!!!


    and the nurse gets the blame most times. we enable the prescribers when we don't question every order.. i have heard so many times......" here let me read it, i'm good at translating dr. t's handwriting." handwriting by the way that looks like a drunk spider od-ing on ink.

    lol! so true! i feel (as a new rn on the unit) very uncomfortable with reading the doc's illegible chickenscratch. but all the nurses who've been there for awhile, and the unit secretary, can read it with no problem. everyone's like, "i know it looks bad, but you soon get to know them (the docs) and it's easy to understand. i'm doubtful. and i'm already in my late thirties, so i have no fear of questioning an illegible order. if a doc screams at me, it all runs off like h20 off a ducks back. i worked in the or previously, and a surgeon having a fit was not something that scared me, so i will have no problem questioning illegible chickenscratch. why don't doc's chart with computers, the same way we nurses have to do?
  11. by   adrienurse
    how about enforcing legible handwriting?
  12. by   sharann
    Quote from adrienurse
    how about enforcing legible handwriting?
    Too easy and makes too much sense!
  13. by   nursemaa
    I've seen nurses waste incredible amounts of time trying to decipher doc's handwriting! They run from one to another asking "what do you think this says?". I've told my staff not to waste their time- call the offender and tell him/her "The order you wrote isn't legible; what is it you wanted?". Yet the nurses still do it. Maybe if docs get enough calls they'll write so we can read it...We need to stop wasting precious nursing time..tell them if they want their requests to be met, they have to write legibly.

    It's not just the docs though...as a manger who has to do alot of chart reviews for PI, investigating incident reports etc, I can tell you that some nurses have completely illegible writing too. I've had to ask the writer for interpretation and even he/she can't even decipher what they wrote! :uhoh21:
  14. by   nursedawn67
    Kind of makes you want to send the doctor something and make it illegible and then not answer your phone or pages when he wants it clarified. I swear doctors take a class such as BadHandwriting 101! We spent an hour one night trying to dechiper an order, just one word we couldn't make out, so we finally called him he said it was "please". Very nice of him, but what a waste of time.

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