never heard of AA&Ox3 either--- I'm in upstate NY, maybe it is regional.....it seems kinda weird really---you are assessing the level of orientation--weather the pt is awake or not is irrelavant and really doesn't it asume the pt. is awake as it is impossible to ask the pt anything to do the assessment if the pt. is sleeping!!
AAo x 3 means, "Awake, Alert, Oriented to Person, Place and Time"... Yes you can't be alert without being awake but you can be awake and not alert. Therefore your teacher is correct, you should write AAOx3. Don't take the short cuts! Your patient depends on you!
I don't think its a short cut. If someone is awake and not alert then you would know because you obviously wouldn't be oriented to person, place, or time so its redundent. I've never heard that being used in any courses and never heard it used in clinical. I guess if I ever do hear it I will at least now know what they're talking about.
If I am abbreviating it, which I sometimes do, I write A&O x3 or A/O x 3. I have never seen it written AAO x 3. I think that both ways are acceptable, and I think that medical professionals would know what you meant no matter which of the two methods you used. For the purpose of clinical, you should go by what your instructor says just to keep yourself out of trouble. However, when you are making personal notes for yourself, or charting in the real world, use whichever one you like the best.