I talk a lot about medicalese and the problems it creates for patients–but I figured I’d go through some lingo we use that’s not necessarily medical in nature, but definitely used by doctors and nurses. (But maybe these are mostly California/West Coast, I’m not sure.)
- To buy: To take an action (order a test, do a procedure) based on a patient’s signs or symptoms. Takes the patient as a direct object. Example: She told me she had black stools, so I felt bad, but I figured that at least bought her a rectal exam.
Given his complaint of chest pain and risk factors for heart disease, that alone bought him an aspirin.
- To ding: To be chastised or disciplined for not knowing something or not doing something correctly. Example: The hospital got dinged for not having patient privacy guidelines in place.
My attending dinged me for chewing gum in front of a patient.
- To rectalize: To do a rectal exam on a patient. Example: Hey, did you rectalize that patient in 7B?
So, I tried to rectalize him, but there was so much fat, I couldn’t find the anus!
- Orthopod, noun. An orthopedic surgeon. Example: What’s the difference between an orthopod and a carpenter?
The carpenter knows the name of more than one antibiotic.
- To spin, to scan. To do a CT scan on a patient. Example: He’s got a lot of chest wall tenderness–if we’re going to spin the abdomen and pelvis, we might as well scan the chest.
- Cards, noun. Cardiology. Example: Cards won’t take the patient–they don’t think it’s heart related.
- Pedi (pee-dee), noun. Pediatrician. Example: The patient’s pedi is Dr. Torrez at Menlo Clinic.
- Appy, noun. Appendix or appendicitis. Example: White count, fever, nausea, rebound tenderness at McBurney’s point–classic appy!
More as I think of them. Feel free to comment with your own.