Common Medication Terms for Nurses


As the population ages, chronic diseases become more prevalent and doctors will usually prescribe medications to improve the quality of life for the patient. Medications have now become an essential component of modern healthcare, and nursing practice.
While the nurse rarely prescribes medications, they spend a considerable amount of time administering them to their patients.

I’ve compiled this list of common medications terms nurses may encounter during their practice. Remember, it is always important to understand the abbreviations of your clinical setting, and always consult a physician or pharmacist if you have any doubts.

It is important to abide by the six rights of medication administration;

Right Medication
Right Dose
Right Route
Right Patient
Right Time
Right to refuse.

Medication Abbreviations

Administration Times

PRNAdministered as required
QiD4 times daily
BiDTwice Daily
TiDThree Times Daily
QHEvery Hour
QDEvery Day
Q1hEvery 1 Hour
Q2hEvery 2 Hours
Q3hEvery 3 Hours
Q4hEvery 4 Hours
Q6hEvery 6 Hours
Q8hEvery 8 Hours
STATAdminister immediately.


POPer Oral - Administered orally.
PRPer Rectum - Administered as a suppository.
PVPer Vagina - Administered vaginally
SLSublingual - Administered under the tongue.
TOTopical - Applied to affected area by cream
IVIntravenous - Injected into the venous blood.
IMIntramuscular - Injected into the muscle
SCSubcutaneous - Injected under the skin.
NEBNebuliser - Drug is aerosolised to be inhaled.

Other Medication Abbreviations

SRSustained release
IVPIntravenous Push
IVPBIntravenous Piggyback
VOVerbal Order
TOTelephone order

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