Clinical communication

Terminology / abbreviations

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AbbreviationAudioDescription

 < 

 

less than  

 > 

 

greater than 

 @ 

 

at 

 % 

 

per cent 

 

 abdo 

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abdomen/abdominal 

 ac 

 

before meals 

 ADLs 

 

activities of daily living 

 A&E 

 

accident and emergency  

 AIDS 

 

acquired immune deficiency syndrome 

 AKA 

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above knee amputation 

 am 

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after midnight / before midday  

 angio 

 

angiogram 

 AV 

 

atrioventricular 

 

 Ba 

 

barium 

 BA 

 

bowel action 

 Ba Meal 

 

barium meal 

 BCC 

 

basal cell carcinoma 

 bd/BD 

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twice a day 

 BGL 

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blood glucose level 

 BGLs 

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blood glucose levels 

 BK 

 

below knee 

 BKA 

 

below knee amputation 

 BNO 

 

bowels not opened 

 BO 

 

bowels opened 

 B/P 

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blood pressure  

 BSL 

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blood sugar levels 

 BWO 

 

bowels well opened 

 

 C 

 

Celsius 

 Ca 

 

cancer/calcium 

 CaBG 

 

coronary artery bypass graft 

 CAD 

 

coronary artery disease 

 Card 

 

cardiac 

 CCF 

 

congestive cardiac failure 

 CCU 

 

coronary care unit 

 cm 

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centimetre 

 CNC 

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clinical nurse consultant 

 CNS 

 

central nervous system 

 consult 

 

consultation 

 COPD 

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chronic obstructive pulmonary disease 

 CPR 

 

cardio-pulmonary resuscitation 

 CSF 

 

cerebro-spinal fluid 

 CT 

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computed tomography 

 CT scan 

 

computerised axial tomography scan 

 CVA 

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cerebro-vascular accident 

 CWMS 

 

colour‚ warmth‚ movement‚ sensation 

 CXR 

 

chest X-ray 

 

 D/C 

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discharge/discontinue 

 DM 

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diabetes mellitus 

 DOA 

 

dead on arrival 

 DOB 

 

date of birth 

 DPC 

 

delayed primary closure  

 dpm 

 

drops per minute 

 Dr 

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doctor / medical officer 

 DRG 

 

diagnostic related groups 

 DTs 

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delirium tremens 

 DVT 

 

deep vein thrombosis 

 Dx (diag) 

 

diagnosis 

 

 ECG 

 

electro cardiograph 

 ED 

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emergency department 

 EEG 

 

electroencephalogram 

 Emerg 

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emergency department 

 ENT 

 

ear, nose and throat 

 ESWL 

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extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy 

 EtOH 

 

ethanol (withdrawal symptoms) 

 EUA 

 

examination under anaesthetic 

 

 FBC 

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fluid balance chart 

 FWB 

 

full weight bearing 

 FWD 

 

full ward diet 

 

 g 

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gram 

 GA 

 

general anaesthetic 

 GI 

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gastrointestinal 

 GIT 

 

gastrointestinal tract 

 gm 

 

gram 

 GP 

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general practioner 

 GTN 

 

glyceryl trinitrate 

 GTT 

 

glucose tolerance test 

 

 Hb 

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haemoglobin 

 HDU 

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high dependency unit 

 HIV 

 

human immunodeficiency virus 

 HNPU 

 

has not passed urine 

 HNV 

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has not voided 

 

 ICU 

 

intensive care unit 

 ID band 

 

patient identification band / bracelet 

 IDC 

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indwelling catheter 

 IDDM 

 

insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus 

 IM 

 

intramuscular 

 IMI 

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intramuscular injection 

 INR 

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International Normalized Ratio 

 ISQ 

 

in status quo/remains the same 

 IU 

 

International unit 

 IV 

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intravenous 

 IVABs 

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intravenous antibiotics 

 IVI 

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intravenous injection 

 IV Morph  

 

intravenous morphine 

 IVP 

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intravenous pyelogram  

 IVT 

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intravenous therapy 

 

 JVP 

 

jugular venous pressure 

 

 KCl 

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potassium chloride 

 Kg 

 

kilograms 

 KVO 

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keep vein open  

 

 L 

 

litre 

 L) 

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left 

 LA 

 

local anaesthetic 

 LAD 

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left anterior descending (coronary artery)  

 lat 

 

lateral 

 LFT 

 

liver function tests 

 LL 

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lower lobe 

 LLQ 

 

left lower quadrant 

 l/min 

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litres per minute 

 L / min 

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litres per minute 

 LMO 

 

local medical officer 

 LMP 

 

last menstrual period 

 LOC 

 

loss of consciousness 

 LP 

 

lumbar puncture 

 L&S BP 

 

lying & standing blood pressure 

 LUQ 

 

left upper quadrant 

 

 mane 

 

morning 

 mcg 

 

micrograms 

 MC&S 

 

microscopy, culture and sensitivity (tests) 

 Meds 

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medications 

 mg 

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milligram 

 mgs 

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milligrams 

 mL 

 

millilitre, millilitres  

 mls 

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millilitres 

 mls/hr 

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millilitres per hour  

 mm Hg 

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millimetres of mercury  

 mmol 

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millimole, millimoles 

 MO 

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medical officer (doctor) 

 MRI 

 

magnetic resonance imaging 

 MS 

 

multiple sclerosis 

 MSSU 

 

midstream specimen of urine 

 MVA 

 

motor vehicle accident 

 

 N/A 

 

not applicable 

 NAD 

 

no abnormalities detected 

 NCP 

 

nursing care plan 

 nebs 

 

nebuliser/nebules 

 Neuro 

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neurological 

 NFO 

 

no further orders 

 NFR 

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not for resuscitation (do not resuscitate patient) 

 NG/NGT 

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nasogastric tube 

 nocte 

 

at night 

 #NOF 

 

fractured neck of femur 

 NOK 

 

next of kin 

 N/Saline 

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normal saline 

 

 O2,O2 

 

oxygen 

 O2,O2 sats 

 

oxygen saturation 

 O/A 

 

on admission 

 obs 

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observations / vital signs 

 OE 

 

on examination 

 O,‘O’ 

 

oral 

 op 

 

operation  

 OPD 

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outpatient’s department 

 OT 

 

occupational therapy 

 

 P 

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pulse 

 PA 

 

per axilla 

 PAC 

 

pressure area care 

 pc 

 

after meals 

 PCA 

 

patient controlled analgesia 

 PE 

 

pulmonary embolism 

 PEFR 

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peak expiratory flow rate 

 per 

 

by 

 PET 

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positron emission tomography 

 physio 

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physiotherapist 

 PID 

 

pelvic inflammatory disease 

 pm 

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after midday / before midnight 

 PM 

 

postmortem 

 PMHx 

 

past medical history 

 PMT 

 

premenstrual tension 

 POP 

 

plaster of paris 

 post-op 

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post-operative 

 PR 

 

per rectum 

 pre-op 

 

pre-operative 

 PRN 

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pro re nata (derived from Latin) - as needed / when required  

 pt 

 

patient 

 PT 

 

physiotherapy 

 PV 

 

per vagina 

 PVD 

 

peripheral vascular disease 

 PWB 

 

partial weight bearing 

 

 QA 

 

quality assurance 

 QID 

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quarter in die (derived from Latin) - four times per day 

 

 R 

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right 

 R) 

 

right 

 RBC 

 

red blood cells 

 rehab 

 

rehabilitation 

 RIB 

 

rest in bed 

 R)LL 

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right lower lobe 

 RLQ 

 

right lower quadrant 

 RMO 

 

resident medical officer 

 ROM 

 

range of movement 

 R/Resp rate/Resps 

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respirations  

 RTW 

 

return to ward 

 RUQ 

 

right upper quadrant 

 Rx 

 

treatment/orders/prescription 

 

 SaO2 

 

O2, oxygen saturation 

 Sats 

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oxygen saturation 

 SBP 

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systolic blood pressure 

 SC 

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subcutaneous 

 SCC 

 

squamous cell carcinoma 

 SG 

 

specific gravity 

 SL,sublin 

 

sublingual, under the tongue 

 SOB 

 

shortness of breath 

 SOOB 

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sit out of bed 

 S/s 

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signs and symptoms 

 stat 

 

immediately (once only) 

 STD 

 

sexually transmitted disease 

 sub-cut 

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subcutaneous 

 

 T&A 

 

tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy 

 tab 

 

tablet 

 TB 

 

tuberculosis 

 TDS 

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three times per day 

 tds/tid 

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three times a day 

 THR 

 

total hip replacement 

 TIA 

 

transient ischaemic attack 

 TKR 

 

total knee replacement 

 TPR 

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temperature‚ pulse‚ respirations 

 transport 

 

the hospital’s transport section 

 TSH 

 

thyroid-stimulating hormone 

 T,temp 

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temperature 

 TURP 

 

trans urethral resection of the prostate 

 

 U/A 

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urinalysis 

 UDB 

 

urinary drainage bag 

 U&E 

 

urea and electrolytes 

 ULQ 

 

upper left quadrant 

 ung 

 

ointment 

 UR 

 

unit record‚ patient record (UR number) 

 URQ 

 

upper right quadrant 

 URTI 

 

upper respiratory tract infection 

 UTI 

 

urinary tract infection 

 UV 

 

ultra violet 

 

 VD 

 

venereal disease 

 Vit K 

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vitamin K 

 

 WBC 

 

white blood cells 

 W/d 

 

withdrawal 

 

 yr 

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year 

 yrs 

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years 

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