CNA Abbreviations List: What Do They Mean in 2023?


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    Hello readers!

    Welcome to another enlightening article that will help you learn and understand the various CNA abbreviations and acronyms. 

    By the end of this article, you will be able to identify and relevantly use all the abbreviations without any difficulty. 

    Specifically, our focus will be on:

    • The importance of CNA abbreviations
    • Top CNA abbreviations in the nursing industry
    • Nursing abbreviations every CNA should know

    Let us get you familiar with the not-so-common terminologies to help you efficiently communicate with other medical personnel.

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      CNA Abbreviations ListIntroduction


      CNA stands for Certified Nursing Assistant, and this profession is an integral part of any hospital setting or healthcare facility.

      CNAs are also referred to as nursing assistants, patient care assistants, or nurse’s aides.

      As a healthcare professional, you would often encounter unique terms like BP, CPR, EEG, and more.

      While some of them may know the meaning or full form, other CNA abbreviations might strike as new.

      We will cover all the relevant abbreviations and acronyms in this CNA Abbreviations List.

      CNA is considered an entry-level position; however, it helps you kickstart your career as a licensed practical nurse or as a worker in healthcare management.

      As most of the responsibilities of a CNA are directly related to the hospital and medical procedures, they need to get familiar with all the abbreviations their seniors would use during these procedures.

      CNA Abbreviations and Acronyms

      CNA Abbreviations and Acronyms

      However, before we move on to the terminologies, you must understand the difference between “abbreviations” and “acronyms.”

      • An abbreviation is a short form used instead of a whole word or phrase. For example, ht. or hgt. Used instead of height.
      • An acronym is a short form made from the initial letters of each word in a compound term. For example, BP for blood pressure.

      Here are the necessary medical terminologies to help you with effective and efficient communication in a healthcare facility.

      CNA Abbreviations and AcronymsMeaning or Full Forms
      a.aOf each, equal parts
      a.cBefore meals
      ABRAbsolute Bed Rest
      A.DAdmitting Diagnosis
      ADLActivities of Daily Living
      A&DAdmission and Discharge
      ad libAs desired
      A.M or AM (a.m. or am)Morning
      Ad. specAdmission Urine Specification
      AIDSAcquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
      AKAAbove-the-Knee Amputation
      ambAmbulatory; ambulate
      AUBoth ears
      Ad libAs much as required
      A/Galbumin/globulin ratio
      AALAnterior axillary line 
      ABGArterial blood gasses
      ACLSAdvanced cardiac life support
      ACTHAdrenocorticotropic hormone
      ADHAntidiuretic hormone
      ADSFAnterior decomposition spinal fusion
      AFBAcid-fast bacilli
      AGAAppropriate for gestational age
      AIAortic insufficiency
      ALDAlcoholic liver disease
      ALPAlkaline phosphatase
      ALLAcute lymphocytic leukemia
      ALTAlanine aminotransferase; alanine transferase
      APRAbdominoperineal  resection
      ARFAcute renal failure
      ASAAcute surgical abdomen
      ATNAcute tubular necrosis
      B&B (b&b)Bowel and bladder training
      BATBlunt abdominal trauma
      B.I.D ( or bid)Two times a day
      BIHBilateral Inguinal Hernia
      B/KBelow knee
      BKABelow-knee amputation 
      B.M (or b.m)Bowel movement (feces) – (at times this acronym can also be used for breast milk)
      BP (or B.P)Blood pressure
      B.R (BR or b.r)Bed rest
      B.R.P (b.r.p or BRP)Bathroom privileges 
      B.SBachelor of science
      B.S.C (BSC or b.s.c)Bedside commode
      CaCancer/ carcinoma/ calcium
      CAACrystalline amino acids
      CABGCoronary artery bypass graft
      CADCoronary artery disease
      CAPDContinuous ambulatory pulmonary dialysis
      CATComputerized axial tomography 
      C.B.C or CBCComplete blood count
      C.B.R or cbrComplete bed rest
      CBDCommon bile duct
      CBDE (C.B.D.E)Common bile duct exploration
      CBGCapillary blood gas
      C.B.S or CBSCapillary blood sugar
      C.c or ccCubic centimeter
      C.C.U or CCUCardiac care or coronary care unit
      CCUClean catch urine
      CCPDContinuous cystic peritoneal dialysis
      CCVCritical closing volume
      c/ o (or C/ O)Complaint of 
      CO2Carbon dioxide gas
      CFCystic fibrosis
      C.H.O or CHOCarbohydrate
      CI or C.ICardiac index
      CKDChronic kidney disease
      C.SCentral supply
      C.S.DCentral service department
      C.S.RCentral or control supply room
      CVACerebrovascular accident (stroke)
      CPRCardiopulmonary resuscitation
      CMLChronic myelogenous leukemia
      C.N or CNCranial nerves
      C.N.S or CNSCentral nervous system
      CLPCleft lip and palate
      COCardiac output
      COPD Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
      CPChest pain
      CPCleft palate
      CPPCerebral perfusion pressure
      CRFChronic renal failure (kidney failure)
      CSFCerebrospinal fluid
      CTComputerized tomography 
      CVPCentral venous pressure
      D3Distal third
      D5W5% dextrose in water
      D.A.T or DATDiet as tolerated
      d/c or dcDiscontinue 
      D.I.C or DICDisseminated intravascular coagulopathy 
      D.I.H or DIHDirect inguinal hernia
      D.K.A or DKADiabetic ketoacidosis
      D.R, d.r or Del.M.Delivery room
      Dish or Disch or D/CDischarge
      DLDirect laryngyscopy
      DMDiabetic Mellitus 
      DNADeoxyribonucleic asic
      D&C or D.%CDilatation and curettage
      DNRDo not resuscitate
      D.O.A or DOADead on arrival
      DOEDyspnea on exertion
      Dr or Dr.Doctor 
      DPTDiphtheria- pertussis- tetanus
      DVTDeep venous thrombosis
      DX or dxDiagnosis 
      EAAEssential amino acids
      EBLEstimated blood loss
      ECCEExtracapsular cataract extraction
      EKG or ECGElectrocardiogram
      ECFExtracellular fluid
      EDHEpidural hematoma
      E.D or ED or EREmergency department or emergency room
      E.E.G. or EEGElectroencephalogram 
      EMVEyes, motor, verbal response- The Glasgow coma scale
      E.E.N.T. or EENTEyes, ears, nose, throat
      E.S.R. or ESRErythrocyte sedimentation rate
      ESRDEnd-stage renal disease
      E. or EEnema 
      ET or ETTEndotracheal tube
      EUAExamination under anesthesia
      °FFahrenheit degree
      F or Fe (F. or FE.)Female 
      F.B.E Foreign body extraction
      F.B.S (FBS)Fasting blood sugar
      FDAFood and drug administration
      FEVForced expiratory volume
      FF (or F.F.)Forced feed or forced fluids 
      FFPFresh frozen plasma
      FIAFistula in ano
      FNAFamily nurse practitioner
      FTSGFull-thickness skin graft
      Fx urineFractional urine
      GCSGlascow coma scale
      G.E.R.D or GERDGastroesophageal reflux disease
      G.I. or GIGastrointestinal 
      GSWGunshot wound
      gtOne drop
      gttTwo or more drops
      G.T.T or GTTGlucose tolerance test
      G.U or GUGeneral endotracheal anesthesia
      G.Y.N. or GynGynecology 
      Hb Hemoglobin 
      HBPHigh blood pressure
      HDLHigh-density lipoprotein
      HCGHuman gonadotropin hormone
      HEENTHead. eyes, ears, nose, throat 
      HOBHead of bed
      HsHour of sleep or bedtime 
      IBGIliac bone graft 
      I&DIncisions and drainage
      I&OIntake and output 
      I.C.UIntensive care unit 
      ICSIntercostal space
      IIHIndirect inguinal hernia
      IRR or Irr.Irregular 
      IOCIntraoperative Cholangiogram 
      IV or I/V or I.V.Intravenous 
      L or lLitre 
      lbPound (weight)
      Lab. Laboratory 
      L.V.N. or LVNLicensed vocational nurse
      M.D. (MD)Medical doctor
      Mn or m/nMidnight 
      NA (N.A. or N/A)A nursing assistant or nursing aide 
      N.G.T. or N/G tubeNaso-gastric tube
      noctNocturnal or at night
      NPNursing procedure 
      N.P.O. or NPONothing by mouth or nil per oral
      NSY or nsyNursery 
      O.B. (OB)Obstetrics 
      Obt. Obtained 
      O.J. (OJ)Orange juice
      O.O.B. (OOB)Out of bed
      O.P.D. (OPD)Outpatient department 
      O.R. (OR) Operating room
      O.T. (OT)Occupational therapy 
      O.T.Oral temperature 
      Ortho Orthopedics 
      OZ or oz.Ounce 
      P.A.R. (PAR) Postanesthesia room
      Pc After meals
      Peds (Ped)Pediatrics 
      P.M. (PM)Afternoon 
      P.M.C (PMC)Postmortem care 
      P.N. (PN)Pneumonia 
      poOrally or by mouth 
      Post-opPostoperative – after surgery
      Pre-opBefore surgery
      Post-op spec.Postoperative urine specimen
      PP Postpartum (after delivery)
      Post After 
      Pre Before 
      Prep Prepare (to prepare the patient before surgery like shaving hair off their skin)
      Pt. (pt)Patient 
      P.T. (PT)Physical therapy 
      qEveryday – daily 
      qam (Q.A.M.)Every morning
      qod (Q.O.D.)Every other day
      qhs (Q.H.S.)Every night/ at bedtime/ at the hour of sleep
      qdHourly – every hour
      q2hTwo hourly- every two hours
      q3hThree hourly- every three hours
      q4hFour hourly- every four hours
      qid (QID)Four times a day
      qsSufficient quantity (as much as needed) 
      R ®Rectal 
      RM (rm)Room 
      RN (R.N.)Registered nurse 
      Rom (R.O.M)Range of motion
      R Rm. (RM)Recovery room
      RxTreatment or prescription 
      S&ASugar and acetone
      S&A test Sugar and acetone test
      S&K testSugar and ketone test
      S.O.B. (SOB)Shortness of breath 
      SOSWhen required; if necessary
      Spec. Specimen 
      s or?Without 
      ss or?One-half 
      Stat Immediately; at once
      STDSexually transmitted disease 
      tid (T.I.C.)Thrice a day
      tlc (TLC)Tender loving care
      TPR (T.P.R)Temperature, pulse, respiration
      TWE (T.W.E.)Tap water enema
      U/A (u/a)Urinalysis 
      UTIUrinary tract infection 
      VS (V.S)Vital signs 
      WBC (W.B.C)White blood count 
      WC (W.C)Ward clerk



      Do not get confused by looking at these terminologies or CNA abbreviations. It can be difficult to absorb so much information at once. 

      The key is to gradually learn these terms and practice with abbreviation quizzes and exams available online.

       If you want to pursue a career in nursing, it is essential that you consider improving your knowledge regarding the CNA abbreviations and acronyms because you would be using them daily in your healthcare practice.



      What are some commonly used nursing abbreviations?

      To practice as a nurse it is essential to learn the medical terminologies. Some of the most common nursing abbreviations are:
      – Adm. (admission)
      – Dx (diagnosis)
      – Rx (treatment)
      – OR (operation room)
      – I&C (incision and drainage)

      What is a neg medical abbreviation?

      As per the medical standards, NEG means negative or not affirmative. This abbreviation is used widely in medical laboratories and their test reports. 

      What is PRN medical abbreviation?

      PRN, in the medical profession, stands for ‘pro re nata,’ It means that the medicine and its administration to the patient are not scheduled- it should be administered as required.

      What does AC stand for in CNA?

      For a practicing CNA or certified nursing assistant, A.C or ac stands for medication “before meals”.

      What is the ADL nursing abbreviation?

      ADL stands for activities of daily living. This CNA terminology is widely used by medical and healthcare personnel.

      Nurse Beth

      Nurse Beth, Registered nurse (RN). Has more than 10 years of experience helping people get started in their nursing careers. She is an expert and helping people pass their CNA, NCLEX RN, NCLEX PN, HESI A2, and TEAS exams.

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