Professional Development for Healthcare Professions Blog

Wednesday Transcription Tip- Units of Measure

Posted by Chad Sines on Wed, Aug 31, 2011 @ 07:00 AM

Med-Line Advanced TrainingUnits of measure is another area where many MTs struggle. Use these tips to put the issue to rest once and for all.

Metric:
Abbreviate metric units of measure that accompany numeric values and/or are part of numbers using a slash.  Use the same abbreviation for singular and plural forms.  Do not use periods with abbreviated units of measure.  Use the abbreviation only when the quantity precedes the unit of measure.

Example:
She was put on 2L of oxygen.
A 2.5 cm incision was made.
The wound measured 7 cm.
Estimated blood loss was 250 mL.

Nonmetric:
Spell out common nonmetric units of measure to express eight, depth, distance, height, length and width (except in tables).  Do not abbreviate most nonmetric of units of measure. Do not abbreviate nonmetric units in numbers with a slash except when the expression combines a metric unit with a nonmetric unit.

Example:
The baby weighed 8 pounds 9 ounces (also note no comma between the measures).
She gave the child 2 tablespoons of Motrin.
She weighs in 3 days per week.
Her IV was set to run at 10 mcg/min while she was in the ER.