Can someone please provide a breakdown?

  1. Hello,

    I am starting a BSN program in Jan 07. I am leaving the corporate world after 13 years. I have never worked in the medical field before and was wondering if someone can please provide a breakdown of the unit abbreviations and what they mean? For example, this is what I know so far:

    ICU-Intensive Care Unit
    L&D-Labor and Deliver
    ER-Emergency Room
    Med/Surg-Medical Surgical
    OR-Operating Room
    NICU-Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
    CCU-Cardiac Coronary Unit
    Oncology-Cancer Unit

    These are pretty much what I've learned from years of watching Discovery Health channel.

    Still confused on Telemetry and Step down, and some others.

    You get the point!
  2. Visit shoegalRN profile page

    About shoegalRN

    Joined: Dec '06; Posts: 1,379; Likes: 2,139


  3. by   Tweety
    Of course there's ER - Emergency Room.

    Telemetry is cardiac monitoring. This could be done in any number of units. Sometimes there is a unit called "Telemetry" or "Medical Telemetry". This is a unit where patients needs cardiac monitoring, such as a patient with pneumonia that the doc wants on telemetery.

    There's PCU - which is "Progressive Cardiac Unit" which is where cardiac patients, with telemetry are placed.

    "Step Down" can be a unit like PCU, could be other units, basically it's the next "step down" from critical care, but they are not quite ready for a regular med-surg floor. Perhaps they can't be weaned from a ventilator but are no longer in critical condition, or they need an insulin drip and require too much monitoring for a floor to do. The RN to patient ratios are usually 4:1 or lower.

    PACU - Post-Anesthesia Care Unit - or "recovery room" where patients go right after the OR. It's considered a critical care unit.

    Some of the ICUs could be broken down to SICU - surgical ICU, MICU - medical ICU, and NICU - neuro intensive care (which can be confused with Neonatal Intensive Care).

    PPU - post procedure unit, which could be were angioplasties are monotored, to be confused with Post-partum unit where new moms stay.
  4. by   DizzyLizard
    There's also PICU - pediatric intensive care unit
    LTAC for long term acute care units. Depending on what area you live in the LTAC may be a seperate facility or part of the hospital.
    SNF which is a skilled nursing facility (nursing home basically)
    OB for obstestrics
    WP for woman's pavillion (women only floor)
    GI LAB is gastrointestinal lab where abdominal related procedures are done
    If you don't know something, ask! There's always someone that will know
    Last edit by DizzyLizard on Dec 12, '06
  5. by   chenoaspirit
    TCU - Transitional Care Unit
    OP - OutPatient care
  6. by   S.T.A.C.E.Y
    ACU - Ambulatory Care Unit
  7. by   Future_Nurse_Natalie
    Don't forget that some emergency rooms are also called emergency departments so they are sometimes referred to as the ED.
  8. by   acuariaRN
    Important thing to remember is that each hospital has their own set of units and their own names and abbreviations for each. As soon as you sign on to a hospital you'll catch on quickly... if in doubt, ask the staff at that hospital
    (example, I work on RHC-M or Regional Heart Center-Medical... we used to call it CVCU or Cardiovascular Care Unit... other hospitals have units that are similar to mine and they call them PCU or progressive care unit.. I've also seen CRU for Cardiac Recovery Unit... among others...)
    Sounds a lot more confusing than it really is :P