Introduction: You’re a new nurse. You’ve just gotten your first patient assignment. You walk into the room and introduce yourself. The patient gives you a list of their medications. One of them is “PO.” You have no idea what that means. What does PO mean in nursing?
What Does “PO” Mean in Nursing?
PO is an abbreviation for “per os.” Per os is a Latin phrase that means “by mouth.” When a physician or other medical professional prescribes medication per os, they tell you that the patient should take it orally.
Oral medications are the most common type of medication, and many can be purchased over the counter at your local pharmacy. Medications that are taken per os include pills, tablets, capsules, liquids, and powders.
Why POs is the Most Common thing in Medication?
There are many reasons why a physician may prescribe a medication per os instead of another route. Oral medications are less invasive than other routes, such as intramuscular injections or intravenous infusions. They also tend to be more convenient for the patient and the nurse administering them.
However, there are some disadvantages to taking medications per os. Not all patients can take their medications this way due to illnesses or other conditions. For example, patients with dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) may have trouble taking pills or liquids orally. In these cases, another route may need to be used.
Examples of PO Orders:
- Take 500 mg of ibuprofen PO
- Take one 325mg aspirin PO
- Take 1750mg amoxicillin PO
- Take one 500mg metformin PO
The next time you hear your co-worker say, “give her the pill PO,” you’ll know exactly what they mean! PO stands for “per os,” Latin for “by mouth.” Oral medications. I hope this post gives you a better understanding of this topic. If you have any additional queries, kindly write to us in the comment section.
Mrs. Marie Brown has been a registered nurse for over 25 years. She began her nursing career at a Level I Trauma Center in downtown Chicago, Illinois. There she worked in the Emergency Department and on the Surgical Intensive Care Unit. After several years, she moved to the Midwest and continued her nursing career in a critical care setting. For the last 10 years of her nursing career, Mrs. Brown worked as a flight nurse with an air ambulance service. During this time, she cared for patients throughout the United States.