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.

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 (bi.id 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


Conclusion on CNA abbreviations

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 CNA abbreviations and acronyms because you will be using them daily in your healthcare practice.


FAQs on CNA abbreviations

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.

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