Have you ever read paperwork from a hospital or post-acute provider and needed Google to figure out what it says? You're not alone. Many medical professionals use these terms without understanding that the person who really needs to hear what you're saying, may not have a clear understanding of what's being said.
As a nurse, I have learned to speak in a way that anyone can understand what's being said and when I see confusion, I start asking questions to be sure that what I am saying is not only being heard, but also understood. This is a list of commonly used acronyms in the medical field. Bookmark this page if you often have to read medical jargon and you're unsure what it all means. (Feel free to email us if you need some help decoding your paperwork as well)
Acute care- A high level of care provided to a patient for a medical condition or illness that a patient is likely to recover from. Once a patient recovers from the illness or injury, they will not need assistance of an acute care facility. In cases of people 65 and older, acute care is considered a Medicare benefit.
CNA- Certified Nursing Assistant
DON- Director of Nursing
ED- Executive Director/Administrator
GNA- Geriatric Nursing Assistant
LPN or LVN- Licensed Practical Nurse or Licensed Vocational Nurse
LTC- Long Term Care
MCD- Medicaid (State funded insurance for which someone has to meet financial criteria in order to qualify. This insurance typically pays for long term care in a nursing facility within the state in which it was obtained)
MCR- Medicare (Federal insurance you've earned throughout the years you've worked and paid into the system, Medicare does not cover long term at nursing facilities)
OT- Occupational Therapy
PT- Physical Therapy
Qualifying Stay- The number of days Medicare requires a patient to stay at the hospital before the Medicare benefit can be used in the skilled nursing facility.
Respite Care- A relief in caring for a family member who usually needs total care by others or to live in a residential facility outside of the home; this care is short-term.
RN- Registered Nurse
SNF- Skilled Nursing Facility, also known as nursing home, "old-folks" home, transitional care center.
ST- Speech Therapy
STC- Short Term Care
From the Medicare.Gov website, additional terms also available to download by clicking the file below.