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Online Exclusive: The Facts of Fiction

Categories: Writer’s Digest Magazine September 2014 Online Exclusives.

In “The Facts of Fiction” compilation article in the September 2014 Writer’s Digest, physician, novelist and award-winning short story writer Jacob M. Appel schools writers on getting their facts straight when writing fictional doctors and patients. Here, in this special online exclusive sidebar we didn’t have space to print, he shares a quick cheat sheet to hospital wings and wards.

Time in the Hospital

Stat – Immediately

BID – Twice a day

TID – Three times a day

QHS – At bedtime

Places in the Hospital

PACU – Post-anesthesia care unit. Patients initially recover from surgery here, not in the operating room (OR) itself.

PICU – Pediatric intensive care unit

MICU – Medical intensive care unit

RICU – Respiratory intensive care unit

NICU – Neonatal intensive care unit, not to be confused with the Neuro ICU, the neurologic intensive care unit

ER or ED – Patients visit emergency rooms; these days, physicians prefer to think of themselves as working for emergency departments



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