Medical shorthand

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Medical shorthand (shorthand: a way of talking and writing quickly) is a shorthand used by medical professionals (people who work to help sick people) to hurry explanation of diseases (sickness), patients, or medicines (drugs).

This shorthand can include shortening (making less lengthy) of longer disease names, by cutting the word down to its base (the Latin or Greek part that makes it). Medical professionals also create (make) words that mean something. An example of this is "stat", used to indicate (show) that something needs to be hurried (done faster). It is from the Latin "base word" statim, meaning quick. A very commonly (often) used shorthand is shortening things on order forms for patients. An example is, pre-op meaning pre-operation (patient who is being prepared for surgery). These can be very complicated and extensive (meaning there is a lot of them).

Despite the fact that this shorthand might make it difficult for new Interns (new doctors) or recently trained Nurses to get used to this unofficial language, it has been shown to improve (make better) the speed of treatment in hospitals.

Medical authorities in the United Kingdom and elsewhere have questioned the use of medical shorthand; believing that it can lead to mistakes being made due to less clear communication and have advised doctors to avoid its use.[1]

In use[change | change source]

This section (part) shows common used detailed Shorthands. These, as stated above, may be used on patient forms.

  • Gomer - A patient (sick or injured person) who is elderly (old-aged) or very mentally disabled (ill in the brain to the point that cannot be conscious) who takes up room for patients who need care urgently (quickly). Originated (first appeared) in book "The House of God" by Samuel Shem.
  • E.R - emergency room (the room that sudden accident and sickness patients go to).
  • C/O - Means "complaining of", showing unverified symptoms a patient tells of.
  • SOB - Means "shortness of breath"
  • HF and CHF - Means "heart failure" and "congestive heart failure"
  • PRN - Means "as needed" - for example, a medication can be ordered to be given PRN
  • NPO - Means "nothing by mouth" - for example, a patient will be made NPO several hours prior to surgery (Nil Per Oral)
  • t.i.d - three times daily
  • q.i.d - four times daily

References[change | change source]