Monday, August 01, 2016

Minor corrections.

It is "welt," not "whelp." A welt is something you get on your skin. A whelp is a newborn puppy. If you tell me your patient gets covered with whelps when they take penicillin, I will be momentarily charmed by that mental image. I might miss what you say next.

It's "stent," not "stint." I don't want you to stint somebody's heart, as that means that you've given that organ less than it deserves. You can stent it, however, in order to improve blood flow and muscular function.

It is pronounced "lairINKS," not "lairNICKS." Likewise, it's NUClear medicine, not NUCUlar medicine. I can forgive G.W. Bush everything except this perversion of pronunciation.

I know that "menstrual" is a difficult word. Men-stroo-al. It requires that you do the difficult "str" move with your mouth. It's not "mensurral" or "mensril" or "mensrahl," however. Men. Strew. Uhl.

(Also, while we're on the subject of things that sound like other things, I am Ms. Miz. Rhymes with "his." That should make it easier.) (If you really have a hard time with "Ms.," might I suggest "The Great And Terrible Jo, Ruler of the Five Kingdoms, Holder of the Shadow Proclamation, Destroyer of Worlds, Boss of All of You" as an alternative?)(You'd have to prostrate--not prostate--yourself.)

(Do I really need to mention that it's not a prostrate gland? I don't know of a single gland that lies down on its face.)

It's really, really important to know the difference between micrograms and milligrams. If you tell me you gave somebody twenty-five milligrams of a drug that's normally dosed in micrograms, I will assume one of two things: either that you're a large animal veterinarian or that you're a dope.

Likewise, the difference between liters and milliliters is kind of important. Please don't chart that you gave five hundred liters of normal saline to a patient intraoperatively, unless you really, truly did have them floating in a small swimming pool.

If I'm giving you report and I tell you that the patient's t-max is thirty-seven-point-two, don't ask me to convert that to Fahrenheit. You have a converter in your charting program, or on your phone, or via Google. (It's 99F.) You're an ICU nurse. Use your converters.

I should probably make it clear here that I don't mean to rag on civilians. If you're not a medical person, I don't expect you how to pronounce words, or spell them, or even use the correct term. Remember that patient I had who reported a fibroid tuna in her uterus?

I will not laugh, smile, or even rub my upper lip if you're a patient or other civilian and you use the wrong word or say it wrong or don't even know what that widget at the bottom of your whatever is called. You're not supposed to. This is specialized terminology, used by people in a specialized field. It saves time and increases accuracy for us, but it's confusing and discouraging for you.

However, if you're a nurse giving me report, or calling me report, or a doctor, or somebody who's paid to know how to express themselves clearly about a given situation in nursing or medicine, I will quirk one eyebrow up slowly if you use the term "whelp" or "stint." And I'll stare at you.

While I imagine your patient covered with puppies.

17 comments:

bobbie said...

LMHO! And then there was the floor nurse charting about a coding patient, noting that RT was using the "Bambu" bag on them...
I was the receiving ICU nurse, and I about split a gut when reading that...
And from then on, it became part of our ICU jargon.

Anonymous said...

I'm a student and my nurse preceptor is always saying "exasperated" instead of "exacerbated". It drives me crazy but I don't feel like it's my place as a student to correct her.

whoFilets said...

yes! yes to all of this. my husband was in missiles in the air force and even he tends to say "nookooler". I pointed it out so many times I think I'm getting him to change. I mean he works with nukes, how did no one correct him?
we had a nice Russian American patient in a few weeks ago (he told me he defected about 20 years ago when he was in his thirties and applied for asylum). the doc told him we had to keep an eye on his temps, so he'd always ask me what they were when I took it (I'm a CNA). I realized he was trying to convert it to Celsius in his head so I showed him we have a little converter at the bottom of the vitals machine screen. he loved it! the nurse caught me saying "it's __ degrees- so that's __ centigrade" and she said " claudia I knew you were good, but I didn't know you were that good!" i had to show her the converter on her own machine!

Anonymous said...

My favorite. A CNA telling me about a patient who was in after a criminal assault. She was "dramatized." Perfect word for the situation.

Susan said...

I've gotten report from nurses who say "the pt has a history of BIBA, HTN, DM...." BIBA. BIBA. Ah, my favorite.

Mandy said...

I have never been able to say prostate. I always say prostrate. Sorry. every one corrects me, and I may say it once correctly and the next time...bam...I gotta add that extra r in there.

RehabRN said...

Yes, I'll admit I'm a mispronounce-er. Ischial to me is sh not sk, maybe because of my ethnic grandparents (the non-Italian ones anyway).

I do, however, say divisive as div 'I siv, not div is iv (like these wanna be Brit newscasters on television) and prosTATE, not prostRATE, unless someone's face down on the floor.

Sundae is sun'duh because that's how everyone else mispronounces it around here in RehabLand. You should see how we murder French names all over town!

We're a regional oddity, so at least it makes traveling interesting.

Anonymous said...

BIBA?

Old FoolRN said...

I worked with a CRNA that used to say "It's time to exacerbate the patient when the endo trach tube was removed. I did not think this was getting to me until I caught myself saying that the patient was in the midst of a Crohns extubation. OOPS

Caitlin Stone said...

Ok, but aren't "stent" and "stint" pronounced the same? Or are you talking about written words?

Jo said...

"BIBA" is Brought In By Ambulance. (I had to look it up too; it's not something I've ever used.)

cowango said...

Stent rhymes with tent (as in what you sleep in while camping.) Stint rhymes with tint (as in what you do to you your hair when coloring it).
My favorite here in KY is some of my co-workers saying phenergRAN when it is phenergAN, no R in there. An then one of the night charge nurses the other day telling me the patient was on "Merriem." I believe that's a dictionary. Sigh.

Kyle Rockhold said...

I love it when I hear in report that the patient's sTats were in the 80s

Anonymous said...

It is Centimeter not Sonometer...makes me cringe

Anonymous said...

Funniest....stuff....ever!

Loved it, thanks for making me (the world's oldest nursing student) laugh, I needed it.

Lisa S.

Guera Enfermera said...

Are you perchance in St Louis?
I ask because we're the French name butchering capital of the Midwest. Just ask anyone from "Creev Core" lol

Guera Enfermera said...

At least your docs don't put people on "Neuro virus" isolation... :/