This article is going to talk about what does tid mean in nursing.

Because let’s face it, medical abbreviations and nursing abbreviations can be difficult at times to deal with.

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What Does TID Mean?

T.I.D means 3 times a day. It’s Latin for “ter in die,” which literally means 3 times a day. Keep in mind you’ll probably see “T.I.D” written as “t.i.d.” and you can also see it written “tid.”

Actually, now I’m thinking about it, the likelihood you’ll see it written with the period between each letter is probably slim to none. From my experience, you’re probably going to see it written as such “tid.”

TID is one of the many Latin terms frequently used in medical and nursing to abbreviate terms.

It’s one of the standardized abbreviations pretty much every nurse and doctor use. The term itself is recognized by The Joint Commission (i.e., not on there do not use list).

Examples of Other Nursing Abbreviations Similar to T.I.D.

Along the same line, here are other examples of medical terms you might see.

q. daily (q.d. or qd or QD) this means once daily or once a day. The term q.d. Means “quaque die” and literally means once a day.

BID (b.i.d. or bid) this means twice a day or two times daily. It’s Latin for “bis in die” and literally means twice a day.

QID (q.i.d. or qid) this means 4 times daily or 4 times a day. It’s Latin for “quater in die,” which means four times a day.

NPO this means nothing by mouth. It’s latin for “ni per os.”

Why Abbreviate with TID

Abbreviations are very common in healthcare. They serve several purposes.

The first reason is many terms in healthcare are repeated over and over again.

In the case of tid (3 times a day), if you’re a doctor and writing prescriptions or orders to be carried out, you’re going to be writing “3 times a day” a lot.

Being able to abbreviate allows you to write long phrases into shorter phrases. This leads me to my second reason.

By having accepted abbreviations that everyone uses, you allow people to shorten repetitive phrases using terminology everyone will understand.

Pretty much every trained medical professional will understand that “TID” means “3 times a day.”

Not having a standard abbreviation could lead some to start writing their own abbreviations, which increases the likelihood of mistakes happening.

How You’ll See TID Prescriptions Written

The primary way most nurses will see tid written is with prescription orders. So, for example, you could see some of these orders.

  1. Motrin 800mg PO TID
  2. Clindamycin 300mg PO TID
  3. Vistaril 25mg PO TID

Without getting to bogged down in the abbreviations, I’m going to show you how abbreviations do make this a lot easier.

So any medical professional that looks at the above examples will know that this what each one means…

  1. Give Motrin 800mg dose by mouth 3 times daily.
  2. Give Clindamycin 300mg dose by mouth 3 times daily.
  3. Give Vistaril 25mg dose by mouth 3 times daily.

As you can see, the abbreviation shortens the phrase a lot.

It’s not just writing prescriptions that you’re going to see TID used. Another way you’re going to see this used is with non-medication doctor’s orders.

So let’s say you have a patient that needs regular dressing changes. You could see this order.

Change John’s abdominal dressing t.i.d.

If a nurse sees this order, they should know John’s abdominal dressing should be changed 3 times a day.

What you might be thinking is…

“If it’s 3 times a day, when am I actually supposed to give the medication?”

The answer is it depends.

If it’s a take-home prescription like the Motrin 800mg PO TID above, then it probably means breakfasts, lunch, and dinner.

Or you might interpret it as morning, afternoon, and night (bedtime). The primary goal is to not exceed the recommended dose in 24 hours.

For inpatient use, many hospitals will have different policies on this for some TID (or 3 times a day) could be the same as every 8 hours (24 hours divided by 3).


Hopefully, you found this article informative in helping you navigate the world of nursing abbreviations.

Related Articles to Meaning of TID in Nursing

Frequently Asked Questions

Does TID mean every 8 hours?

TID does not always mean every 8 hours. It could also mean breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Before taking any medications or following any orders, make sure you clarify that information.

What does TID mean in nursing?

For nurses it refers to orders that need to be done 3 times a day.

What does TID mean in a prescription?

TID means 3 times a day and usually refers to breakfast lunch and dinner. Double check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure you take the medication correctly.

What does TID mean in medical abbreviations?

Typically seen on a prescription TID is an abbreviation used to reference 3 times a day.

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