When I started nursing school, I remember having to puzzle over the myriad abbreviations used both in lecture and in clinical. As a nurse who still uses PAPER CHARTING, I also highly value the use of abbreviations provided they are standardized and approved (this will vary by organization, so always double check if you aren’t sure.) For example, I wouldn’t use “thx” to denote “therapy” in my charting, but would certainly use it on my report sheet. On the other hand, using a “c” with a line over it is a perfectly acceptable way to write “with”… a word you use more than you think!

Some of these abbreviations are things you’ll see in doctor’s notes, your lecturer’s notes or even on doctor’s orders (especially the weird old-school style of writing out 1 and 2 with the little dots). Hopefully this list of commonly used medical abbreviations will help you understand what’s what right off the bat!

Write notes like a rockstar!

Write notes like a rockstar!

And here it is as a PDF if you want to download it, print it, snuggle it and love it: Abbreviations List.

Be safe out there!


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