Glossary of Medical Terms

Sometimes physicians and caregivers talk and write with references being made to a number of medical terms or abbreviations that are not well known nor widely used by the non-medical person. Therefore, in order to provide some assistance to both the residents and their families, the following is a glossary of Approved Medical Abbreviations, as collated by Advanced Healthcare Studies, LLC:


A                     Before

Aa                   Of each

abd                 Abdomen

Ac                    Before meals

A.D.                 Right ear

ad lib               As desired

ADAT               Advance diet as tolerated

ADL                 Activity of daily living

AIDS               Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome

AL                   Assisted Living

Am                  Morning

AMA                Against Medical advice

Amb.               Ambulate, amulation

A & O              Alert and oriented

AP                   Apical pulse

Approx            Approximately

Appt.               Appointment

As tol.             As tolerated

A.S.                 Left ear

ASA                 Acetylsalicylic acid   (aspirin)

ASAP               As soon as possible

AV                   Atrioventricular

Avg                 Average

AX                   Axilliary


Barb                Barbituates

BC                   Blood culture

BE                   Barium enema

BG                   Blood glucose

BID                  Two times daily

Bilat                 Bilateral

Bili                    Bilirubin

BK                    Below the knee

BKA                  Below the knee amputation

Bkst                 Breakfast

bm                   Bowel movement

bp                    Bowel program

BR                    Bed rest

B.R.                  Bathroom

BRP                  Bathroom privileges

BS                    Bowel sounds


c                      With

C                     Centigrade

Ca+                 calcium

CABG               Coronary artery bypass graft

CAD                 Coronary artery disease

Cardio.            Cardiology

Cath.               CAtheter, catherize

CBC                 Complete blood count

CbG                 Chemstrip blood glucose

cc                     Cubic centimeter

CCL                  Community Care Licensing (State of Californa)

CCMS               Clean catch mid-stream (urinalysis)

CDB                  Cough and deep breath

CHF                  Congestive heart failure

chol.                 Cholesterol

Chole               Cholecystectomy

circ.                  Circulation

Chole               Cholecystectomy

Circ.                 Circulation

Cl.                    Clear

Cldy                 Cloudy

CNA                 Ceritifed Nursing Assistant

CNS                 Central nervous system

c/o                   Complains of

CO2                 Carbon Dioxide

Cog.                Cognitive

Comm.             Communication

Compl.             Complication

Cont.               Continue, continuous

COPD               Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

CPAP                Continuous posiutive airway pressure