Here at Advantage Career Institute, we offer students courses and curriculum to prepare our students for successful careers in the medical and dental communities. Because medical courses and professions are rife with abbreviations that occur frequently in the industry, we thought we would supplement our courses for students aspiring to be medical assistants, phlebotomists, dental assistants with radiology, medical office specialists with electronic health records and medical billing and coding, and more with a series of blog posts focused on medical abbreviations and what they may mean for students.
EKG: EKG is an abbreviation that is all too familiar for many of our EKG Technician students as well as our students who are studying to become a Medical Assistant with Phlebotomy, EKG, and Patient Care Tech. EKG stands for Electrocardiogram; but if the acronym speaks to cardiograms, why is it commonly referred to with a K? The “K” in EKG stems from the Greek word for heart, kardia, which leads to the common acronym for Electrocardiogram. This procedure is an interpretation of electrical activity through the heart, and the data is obtained by placing electrodes on different areas of the body surface to record the heart’s activity. It’s a noninvasive procedure, meaning that it is not surgical in nature, and among the most vital procedures for detecting cardiac abnormalities or even a heart attack.
TPR & BP: TPR and BP are medical abbreviations that also extend to those studying to be Medical or Dental Assistants, and may be equally important for those studying to become a Medical Office Specialist with Electronic Health Records & Medical Billing and Coding, as it is likely to be an acronym on nearly every document for a patient. TPR stands for stands for Temperature, Pulse, and Respiration, and is among the most common items on a medical form for any patient. Even for those in good health coming in for a physical, these measurements can yield a fantastic snapshot of a patient’s overall health. BP, of course, stands for blood pressure, and will also generally be reported alongside the TPR for a patient. Together, these may be further abbreviated as the VS for a client, or the Vital Signs.
NWB: While this may be an abbreviation relegated to those working with physical therapists or doctors of rehabilitating patients, this can be an important acronym to become familiar with. NWB refers to “Non-Weight Bearing”, and for any Medical Assistants working with those recovering from injury or on crutches, this may be a crucial abbreviation to note considerations for the limb that is recovering from injury.
OR: For those who are working in the medical field, this also may be a common medical acronym that does not refer to a grammatical conjunction, but instead refers to the theatre for invasive procedures: OR stands for Operating Room, and may be included on those in need of intensive medical care and invasive procedures.
BS: BS has a few different meanings in the medical profession, but not one of these is the same “BS” that we would see in colloquial dialog! BS is typically when more analysis is needed in vital signs, and can reference either Blood Sugar or Breath Sounds for respiratory patients. For Medical Assistants, make sure you understand the patient’s previous health history so you know the type of BS you will need to indicate. For those who have a history of diabetes or dietary concerns in their medical record, BS may commonly refer to blood sugar, though this is often abbreviated to BG, for Blood Glucose, to prevent confusion. However, for those who are dealing with patients who have respiratory disorders, COPD, or other lung issues, BS may refer to Breath Sounds.
Stay tuned! We will be rolling out more medical abbreviations each week to go over some of the common terms our students have to learn as they develop their career in the medical and dental fields. For more information, contact us today.