A nurse manager is teaching a new graduate nurse about recognizing unapproved abbreviations to avoid potential errors. The nurse recognizes which of the following as an incorrect drug order using an unacceptable abbreviation:

Heparin sodium, 5000 u by subcutaneous injection BID for 2 weeks.


•This order is incorrectly written: Heparin sodium, 5000 u by subcutaneous injection BID for 2 weeks.

•The use of "u" for a unit is on the Joint Commission's official list of "Do Not Use" abbreviations. "U" could be mistaken for 4, O, or cc. The requirement is to write "units".

•Other unapproved abbreviations include IU, QD and QOD or any version of it, trailing zeros or lack of leading zeros, MS (can mean magnesium sulfate or morphine sulfate), MSO4 and MgSO4 (which are easily confused for one another).

•The others options were all correctly written orders using acceptable abbreviations.

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