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Physicians Advised to Avoid Slang

[Physicians have been advised in the "Ethics and Behaviour" supplement of the British Medical Journal to abandon their use of medical slang. The article notes that ambiguous slang terms can lead to serious misunderstandings (i.e. GOK can either refer to “God Only Knows” or “Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux”) and litigation issues. As a public service, joe-ks.com provides a glossary of popular terms that should now be avoided...]


Ash cash... Money paid for signing death certificates or cremation forms.

Assmosis... Promotion by "kissing ass."

ATS... Acute Thespian Syndrome.

Bash cash... Money paid for completing accident forms in Emergency departments.

Betty... Someone with diabetes.

BOHICA... Bend Over, Here It Comes Again.

BWS... Beached Whale Syndrome.

CHAOS... Chief Has Arrived On Scene.

CLL... Chronic Low-Life.

CNS-QNS... Central Nervous System - Quantity Not Sufficient.

Coffin dodger... Elderly patient.

CPR... Come Put 'em to Rest.

CTD... Circling The Drain (or Close To Death).

DBI... Dirt Bag Index, a complex calculation involving the number of tattoos multiplied by the number of missing
teeth to give an estimate of the time since the patient last bathed.

Departure lounge... Geriatric ward.

Digging for worms... Varicose vein surgery.

Double-blind trial... Two orthopods looking at an ECG.

Expensive Scare... Intensive care.

Fascinoma... A case with interesting pathology.

FIBD... Found In Bed Dead.

FLK... Funny-Looking Kid.

Flower sign... Flowers at patient's bedside - a supportive family.

FORD... Found On Road Dead.

Freud squad... Psychiatrists.

FTF... Failure To Fly - failed suicide attempt.

Gassers... Anaesthetists.

GLM... Good-Looking Mum.

GOK... God Only Knows.

GOMA... Get Out of My Ambulance.

GOMER... Get Out of My E.R.

GPO... Good for Parts Only.

Guessing tube... Stethoscope.

Handbag-positive... A confused, elderly female patient, usually lying on a hospital bed clutching her handbag.

HIF... Hysterical Italian Family (can be interchangeable with any ethnic group).

House red... Blood.

IBM... Incredible Barfing Man.

IDM... It Doesn't Matter.

Jesus bus... Going to die soon (i.e. "He's on the Jesus bus").

JLD... Just Like Dad - found under FLK once the father appears.

LOBNH... Lights On But Nobody Home.

MAGGOT... Medically Able, Go Get Other Transportation (i.e. not the ambulance);

Metabolic Clinic... The lunch room or cafeteria.

NAD... Not Actually Done.

Parentectomy... Recommended treatment for many paediatric disorders.

PD... Pretty Drunk.

Pest control... E.R. staffers referred patient to a psychiatrist.

PFO... Pissed Fell Over - drunken patient injured in fall.

PIM... Patient Is Mangled.

PITA... Pain In The Ass.

PRATFO... Patient Reassured And Told To F___ Off.

Pumpkin-positive... A person of limited intelligence (i.e. a penlight shone into his or her mouth would encounter a brain so small that the whole head would light up).

Removal men... Mortuary attendants or those who take elderly patients to long-term care.

Rule of Five... If patient has more than five orifices with tubing in them, the condition is considered critical.

TATT... Talks All The Time.

TEETH... Tried Everything Else, Try Homeopathy.

Treat 'n' street... E.R. term for quick patient turnaround.

TUBE... Totally Unnecessary Breast Examination.

UBI... Unexplained Beer Injury.