Skip to Main Content


Certain medical abbreviations may lead to misinterpretation and medication errors. The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) created a list of error-prone abbreviations, symbols, and dose designations that should never be used in reference to a patient’s medical information and when communicating with other health care providers.

Learning Objectives
  1. List examples of medical abbreviations that can lead to errors.

  2. Use medical abbreviations that do not result in misinterpretation and ensure patient safety.

Foundational Knowledge Required

Knowledge of the drug distribution process, communication skills

Suggested Resources

Assignment Instructions

This 11-question Medical Abbreviations Practice Activity is designed for students to recognize common medical abbreviations that can lead to medical errors. Using the suggested resources, students should identify the correct nomenclature to use to avoid misinterpretation of the written communication. Students should provide the correct nomenclature for each medical abbreviation. Using the correct abbreviation will reduce the number of medical errors. Students can verify their answers with the Medical Abbreviations Practice Activity Key.

Pop-up div Successfully Displayed

This div only appears when the trigger link is hovered over. Otherwise it is hidden from view.