Is it Correct to Use Medical Abbreviations in OET Writing Sub Test

Use of medical abbreviations is very common. Ever since the development of the mainstream of medicine, medical professionals have been using the abbreviations. Years back, the use of abbreviations was limited to writing prescriptions for the patients. But, today, abbreviations are used in all forms of healthcare communications and everywhere possible that include medical and surgical departments, patient case studies, the emergency room, and at discharge.  during surgery, letters, day-to-day report writing etc.

OET, the standardized test for the medical professionals, stresses more on current medical communications. The writing sub-test has been effective in perfectly analyzing the written skills of the medical professionals.  

Apart from the use of correct vocabulary, grammar, presentation, it is important that you should know what types of abbreviations you can use in your writing sub-test. 

Use common abbreviations - that is recommended. 

Medical English is very complicated. There can be various abbreviations that are similar but may convey different meanings. 

Consider the following abbreviations:

A&E stands for Accident and Emergency. And it is commonly known to almost all medical professionals. So, if you would like to use it in your writing task in the OET writing sub-test, you can use it. 

Other common abbreviations that you can use may include the following:

  • b.i.d., will mean twice a day or twice daily
  • AF will mean atrial fibrillation
  • c/c will mean chief complaint 
  • A.c. stands for before meals
  • B.d.s will always be understood as 2 times a day
  • BP stands for blood pressure
  • ASQ will mean ages and stages questionnaire
  • A.m stand for morning
  • in vitro means In the laboratory
  • in vivo means In the body
  • Wt will mean Weight
  • BMI will mean body mass index
  • BO means bowels open
  • mg: Milligrams.
  • M/H will mean Medical history
  • Ml stands for Milliliters
  • BNO will mean bowels not open
  • APTT will mean activated partial thromboplastin time
  • AMHP stands for approved mental health professional

Do not use uncommon or confusing abbreviations 
Uncommon abbreviations are those abbreviations that are not used in a limited way. Those abbreviations are not known to everyone.  

For example: 

# may mean fracture in medical English but it is always suggested that you should refrain yourself from making use of it. Instead of using that symbol, it is always better to write the word fracture as this might confuse the readers. 

Similarly, the use of the abbreviation such as ACV (which stands for assist control ventilation). But, generally, in plain English, the word Active is also shortened as ACV. Therefore, it is always better to avoid such confusing words or short forms of the words. 

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