what is "NOS" on a diagnosis?

  1. 0
    I see it all the time:
    dx: pneumonia NOS
    Pancreatic CA NOS
    What is NOS?

    Get the hottest topics every week!

    Subscribe to our free Nursing Insights newsletter.

  2. 12 Comments...

  3. 0
    Not Otherwise Specified.
  4. 0
    Not Otherwise Specified.
  5. 0
    what exactly does that mean? I mean, this patient has pancreatic cancer, pneumonia, and HTN. all of them have NOS after them. HTN NOS, Pneumonia NOS, Pancreatic CA NOS.
  6. 1
    The diagnosis is not pinpointed any further than the global diagnostic term.
    sirI likes this.
  7. 0
    In psych it's a DSM-IV reference for an illness not otherwise specified under the manual
  8. 1
    It just means that the doctor has not specified what type of cancer cells, what caused the pneumonia (bacterial, viral, fungal, location, etc), what caused the HTN. When people put in codes from the ICD-9 code book (for insurance purposes), they either have to know specifics such as rt lower lobe pneumonia caused by a specific bug, or else they just put the general code number for "He has pneu, but I have no idea what kind or where it is...just pay for it b/c he is really sick" number.

    Don't feel bad. I kept seeing NSTEMI as a dx until it drove me nuts. I even asked several docs who didn't know. Finally found a doc from a large hosp in the city who could tell me. Non st elevated myocardial infarction.
    Straydandelion likes this.
  9. 0
    It's a way to dx a pt without necessarily knowing the specific etiology of the problem. For instance, at my facility, we see psychosis NOS a lot. This means that a patient may be experiencing, for instance, auditory or visual hallucinations, but the doc hasn't determined why as of yet. The psychosis may be drug-induced or may be related to another dx such as bipolar d/o, but if you see NOS you know that a patient is having a problem whose underlying cause hasn't been entirely figured out yet. Hope that helps.
  10. 0
    Thanks guys. Now I understand. It was driving me nuts because I kept seeing it and had no clue what it meant. Thanks for all your responses. Now I can have peace of mind. lol
  11. 0
    It also means that the disorder doesn't quite fit the diagnostic criteria for something specific. For instance, in psych, a person may have some symptoms of depression and some of schizophrenia, but not quite fit either one totally, according to the "rules." So, the diagnoser might diagnose "depressive disorder NOS," because there is no diagnostic name that fits the symptoms exactly.

Nursing Jobs in every specialty and state. Visit today and Create Job Alerts, Manage Your Resume, and Apply for Jobs.

A Big Thank You To Our Sponsors