A comma is a “soft stop”. It’s not a final as a period. It’s used to connect new ideas to old ones, and to tell the reader when to pause a moment in their thinking (or in their speaking, if they’re reading out loud). In long sentences, it’s also used to separate clauses, so the reader understands which modifiers apply to which words, etc.
Michelle’s parents are very, very proud of her.
I only slept for five hours last night, but I’m not tired today.
Despite the snow, the buses are running on time.
For dinner, there’s meatloaf, red potatoes, and green salad.
Always spell out whole numbers zero through nine and use numerals for 10 and above.
Eg. This nine-year-old boy comes for a followup visit.
Use numerals to express size and measurements.
Use numerals for every sort of measurement. Centimeters, millimeters, liters, etc.
Use numerals in all expressions pertaining to drugs – this includes strength, dosage and
directions. Eg. Tamoxifen 20 mg daily, or Xeloda 1000 mg on days 2-5.
Spell out fractions and hyphenate them when standing alone. Eg: She drank one-half liter
Use numerals to express mixed fractions. 1½ months.
Use commas only if there are 5 or more digits when expressing numbers. E.g. Platelets
250,000 and WBC 4000.
Use numerals when expressing vital statistics including height, weight, blood pressure,
pulse and respiration.
Substitute a hyphen for the word “to”. John was supposed to take 1-2 tablets of Naprosyn
every 4-6 hours p.r.n. but he misunderstood and took five of them at a time.
Leave a space between numerals and measurements unless they form a compound
modifier. Eg. It is 10 cm below the popliteal fossa. A 4-cm melanocytic nevi was
removed. A 5 x 4-mm lesion from the breast was resected.
By default, always use 0 in front of the decimal point if the number is not a whole
number. 0.75 mg
Use decimal fractions with metric measurements. 1.5 cm
Use mixed fractions with English system measurements. 1 1/2 inch
Use numerals for: Ages, units of measure, vital statistics, lab values and in other
instances where it is important to communicate clearly the number referenced. She has
three cats, all of which died last summer. Around 8 keratotic plaques were removed.
Do not start a sentence using a number. Spell out the number or recast the sentence. Eg.
When it dictated as “3 milligrams of Diazepam was administered stat,” transcribe it as
“Diazepam 3 mg was administered stat.” However, there is one exception to this when
beginning the sentence with a date. Eg. 2005 has been a bad year for this patient.
I cannot sugar coat the importance of commas! Below are some simple rules to get you started on the fast track to conquering the dreaded comma!
1. Use commas to separate independent clauses when they are joined by any of these seven coordinating conjunctions: and, but, for, or, nor, so, yet.
2. Use commas after introductory a) clauses, b) phrases, or c) words that come before the main clause.
3. Use a pair of commas in the middle of a sentence to set off clauses, phrases, and words that are not essential to the meaning of the sentence. Use one comma before to indicate the beginning of the pause and one at the end to indicate the end of the pause.
When talking about strength some of us may think of the Steelers, but the strength I am talking about has nothing to do with football!
Strength: Drug potency (considered part of drug’s name)
Dose: Size (quantity or amount)/frequency/number of administrations
EXAMPLE: Amoxicillin 250 mg/5 mL, 1 teaspoon t.i.d. x 10 days.
Distal or proximal, proximal or distal? Distal means further away and proximal means closer in. For example the elbow is proximal to the wrist and the fingers are distal to the wrist.
I receive many questions about the proper use of hyphens. Use hyphens when two words serve as an adjective to a noun and come BEFORE the noun and a comma cannot be used to separate them. If a comma can be used, a hyphen should not be. Patient has a 1-cm laceration. BUT: The laceration is 1 cm in length.
Do we use fontanel or fontanelle? Stedman’s only shows fontanelle, Dorland’s shows fontanel which refers you to fontanelle, and I see both variations all over the web. Is one preferable to the other?
Either way is acceptable though fontanelle seems to be the preferred spelling.
Sometimes it feels like a completely new world learning how to maneuver around your computer. To store the information you work with, you need to save it somewhere on your computer. Once saved, you can recover it in order to read it, print it, correct it, copy it, etc. When saving for the first time you must always supply two things to the machine.
Where? In which place in your PC are you saving? Choose what drive of the computer to save to then which folder.
What? What name are you saving under? The name could be practically anything you want but you cannot use the following symbols: (these are used for system purposes) / \ < > * . ? |:;
When “etcetera” is dictated is it spelled out or do we type “etc”. It is always pronounced in full, but we typically abbreviate the word when we write it. What is the rule for transcription?
Etcetera should be abbreviated when used in a series of words or phrases such as patient denied having nausea, vomiting, fevers, sweats, chills, etc.