Jump to content

Need some help translating!

Posted

Specializes in Midwifery, women's health. Has 4 years experience.

I'm a student nurse in med/surg clinicals and I went to the hospital today to research my patient for tomorrow and I cannot for the life of me understand some of these abbreviations!

"Patient is 72yo WM with h/o CAD s/p CABG and PCI, HTHN, CKD stage 3 and recurrent plural effusions who presented to the hospital following respiratory failure requiring intubation."

I've for the 72 year-old white male with history of (chronic artery disease?) .... I have no idea about CABG and PCI, was thinking HTHN was hypertension, although I've never seen it that way, and I assume CKD is chronic kidney disease?

Also, does anyone have tips on learning abbreviations? The hospital has a list of dangerous abbreviations we're not supposed to use, but nothing telling was what we should use! Is it something that just comes with time, or is there some super secret list somewhere they tell us about farther down the line? Sometimes it seems like people are just making them up as they go along.

Honestly, I would ask your instructor or another nurse on the floor and write them down. There are a ton of abbreviations and the only way to really remember them is from seeing them over and over, I just started in September and half of the things i see I still don't recognize either!!

NotReady4PrimeTime, RN

Specializes in NICU, PICU, PCVICU and peds oncology. Has 25 years experience.

CAD= coronary artery disease

CABG= coronary artery bypass graft

PCI= percutaneous coronary intervention

HTHN= most likely hypertension although that's not a typical abbreviation

CKD= chronic kidney disease

The hospital should have a list of permissible abbreviations. Ask the clinical nurse educator on the floor and see if you can get a copy.

areawoman

Specializes in Midwifery, women's health. Has 4 years experience.

Ya, asking another nurse is a good idea. Unfortunately, my instructor is the kind that wants us to discover things for ourselves and won't answer questions unless we've looked three different places first! I get that I will probably learn better than way, but it sure takes a lot of time that I don't have.

Boog'sCRRN246, RN

Specializes in Utilization Management. Has 9 years experience.

CAD = coronary artery disease

CABG = coronary artery bypass graft

PCI = percutaneous coronary intervention

HTHN = I'm guessing hypertension also, could be a typo in the dictation

CKD = chronic kidney disease

I learned all my abbreviations over time. Now it's like second nature to write in abbreviations lol...notes to my boyfriend, family, all include some kind of abbreviating!

areawoman

Specializes in Midwifery, women's health. Has 4 years experience.

CAD= coronary artery disease

CABG= coronary artery bypass graft

PCI= percutaneous coronary intervention

HTHN= most likely hypertension although that's not a typical abbreviation

CKD= chronic kidney disease

The hospital should have a list of permissible abbreviations. Ask the clinical nurse educator on the floor and see if you can get a copy.

Thank you! Not knowing CAD was a major brain fart on my part, but I never would have gotten the other two.

Hi Areawoman,

Many, many years ago when I went to nursing school, we had to take a medical terminology course before we ever made it to our clinicals. Even after taking that course, there were tons of terms I didn't know. It takes time to learn the terminology, and it is specific to the specialty you are working in. I still see acronyms and terms that I have no clue what they mean! Don't worry about it though, you will eventually rattle all that terminology off like it's nothing and then friends and family will say, "Hey can you translate that for me?"! I have been a nurse for 25 years and I still learn new terms daily. Nursing is a field that is constantly evolving and so you are forever learning new things.

I have been out of tele for a long time, but I know CAD is coronary artery disease, s/p= status post, CABG is coronary artery bypass graft, PCI is percutaneous coronary intervention. I know HTN is hypertension, but I am unsure of HTHN??? I am sure all the experts on here can help you out with that one and all of the rest of your questions.

You are correct about the CKD, it is chronic kidney disease. A pleural effusion is an accumulation of fluid between the layers of tissue that line the lungs and chest cavity, most of the time this is caused by CHF, which is congestive heart failure. A lot of times these patients require a thoracentesis which is when the Dr. inserts a needle into the pleural space and drains the fluid. So basically, you have a patient with a bad heart and kidneys that was not breathing on his own, so they had to put a tube down his trachea and hook him to a machine that basically breathes for him! :confused:LOL!

Come on all you allnurses.com experts and help me out! My explanation sounds pretty pitiful! LOL!

Sorry I can't be more help, but I have been working in mental health for a long time now!

Good Luck in school!

Happy Studying!!!!!!!

Mytoon38

misschiatia

Specializes in geriatrics/long term care. Has 15 years experience.

Hi Areawoman,

Many, many years ago when I went to nursing school, we had to take a medical terminology course before we ever made it to our clinicals. Even after taking that course, there were tons of terms I didn't know. It takes time to learn the terminology, and it is specific to the specialty you are working in. I still see acronyms and terms that I have no clue what they mean! Don't worry about it though, you will eventually rattle all that terminology off like it's nothing and then friends and family will say, "Hey can you translate that for me?"! I have been a nurse for 25 years and I still learn new terms daily. Nursing is a field that is constantly evolving and so you are forever learning new things.

I have been out of tele for a long time, but I know CAD is coronary artery disease, s/p= status post, CABG is coronary artery bypass graft, PCI is percutaneous coronary intervention. I know HTN is hypertension, but I am unsure of HTHN??? I am sure all the experts on here can help you out with that one and all of the rest of your questions.

You are correct about the CKD, it is chronic kidney disease. A pleural effusion is an accumulation of fluid between the layers of tissue that line the lungs and chest cavity, most of the time this is caused by CHF, which is congestive heart failure. A lot of times these patients require a thoracentesis which is when the Dr. inserts a needle into the pleural space and drains the fluid. So basically, you have a patient with a bad heart and kidneys that was not breathing on his own, so they had to put a tube down his trachea and hook him to a machine that basically breathes for him! :confused:LOL!

Come on all you allnurses.com experts and help me out! My explanation sounds pretty pitiful! LOL!

Sorry I can't be more help, but I have been working in mental health for a long time now!

Good Luck in school!

Happy Studying!!!!!!!

Mytoon38

Hey, Mytoon, just want to let you know that your explanation was very informative to a 15+ year alumni to nursing, not pitiful at all. I work long term care, so i get that same feeling, like, you dont know anything because you're not off in the ICU somewhere

Does your institution have a Nursing Policy/Procedure/Standards manual either in print or on-line? At our hospital we had to develop a list of accepted abbreviations for each department, such as OB/GYN, Cardiac, Surgery etc which were then compiled into a master and very large list. Also non nursing department did the same such as Nutrition and Foods, Physical Therapy Social Service etc.

Although there were some duplicate abbreviations that crossed departments you would be able to understand the context in which they were used.

So if you were in Labor and Delivery and saw ROM used by a DR nurse you could be sure it was "rupture of membranes" as opposed to "range of motion" used by PT. As part of a Performance Improvement measure we had to review charts and if we found "illegal" abbreviations the chart got flagged!

katkonk, BSN, RN

Specializes in Occupational health, Corrections, PACU. Has 25 years experience.

Yes, I agree....there are many abbreviations that mean one thing in one dept., and something totally different in another. I always tell students, that IF they can, work several months as a unit clerk on a floor before nursing school, or while taking pre-req's. Everyone seems to think being a CNA is the best route of experience, but I can tell you that I had almost no problem at all with the medical terms, acronyms, and abbreviations once in nursing school after having worked just one summer semester as a ward clerk (old term for unit clerk). You also get to know the computer program they use, how the unit work flows, how to get things done, how long the lead time from order time to having something actually done is (i.e. blood draws, cleaning rooms, etc.) AND while you are learning all the lingo...you are getting paid for it!

Virgo_RN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Cardiac Telemetry, ED.

Ya, asking another nurse is a good idea. Unfortunately, my instructor is the kind that wants us to discover things for ourselves and won't answer questions unless we've looked three different places first! I get that I will probably learn better than way, but it sure takes a lot of time that I don't have.

I just literally spent about 30 seconds total googling each of those abbreviations, and got the answers.

I just spent another few seconds googling "medical abbreviations" and got tons of searchable sites.

katkonk, BSN, RN

Specializes in Occupational health, Corrections, PACU. Has 25 years experience.

Good point, Virgo!