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John Seivert: Medical jargon — funny phrases and black humor

John Seivert

Last month I had a blast writing about the many medical miscues that we say in our conversations with others. My favorite is the woman that had the Jurassic spine strain. Since I had several people positively comment on the piece, I thought I’d keep rolling into more medical jargon that the non-medical readers will enjoy. I do not wish to upset anyone by sharing these terms, but if you read this column with a great breakfast beverage and you are in a good place in your mind and body, I think you will laugh – a lot.

1. Alphabet soup. This term is all medical jargon used in front of a patient to describe their problem. If your healthcare provider catches themselves, they might say, “Oh, sorry, I know I just said a bunch of alphabet soup to you, but I will break it down into laymen’s terms now.”

2. Butts and Guts Doctor or a Poop Scooper. This isn’t your description of a specific Pilates class. This is a term to describe your gastroenterologist. These specialists work with patients with ailments affecting their stomach, intestines, colon, rectum, gallbladder, and esophagus.

3. Code Brown. This term is used when a patient has pooped all over their bed, usually in the hospital. The duties fall on the nursing staff to clean it up, which is never pleasant.

4. Flu in the knee. This term is commonly used when a patient has osteoarthritis in the knee and all movements cause pain.

5. Gas Passer. This is the term used to describe an Anesthesiologist. They use gas to put patients under so the other medical doctor can perform the surgical procedure.

6. Crispy Critter. This term is used to describe a patient with severe burns all over their body.

7. Baby Catcher is an Obstetrician.

8. Bloodsucker is a phlebotomist.

9. Code Princess. This insulting term refers to a healthcare professional acting like a stubborn stuck-up princess about specific topics. I am sure this is no longer used as it is a terrible insult. Remember, Black humor, folks.

10. Google MD. This is a term an MD would refer to their patient who googled their symptoms and came up with their diagnosis from their search.

11. Level 2 Drama. A level 2 trauma center is a trauma center that can provide indefinite care for injured patients and can provide comprehensive care coverage in 24 hours. So, when a healthcare provider refers to a co-worker as a Level 2 Drama, they state that they are non-stop drama.

12. Noctor. Here is another term that is used in an unfriendly manner. A Noctor is a nurse who behaves like a doctor.

13. Nursling. These new nursing students are getting their feet wet in the fast-paced life of hospital care.

14. Dr. Nopiate. The opioid epidemic has been brutal for so many patients. Many have become addicted to these medications. Due to these horrible side effects of opioids, many doctors have decided to no longer prescribe medications to their patients, even in the most dire circumstances. Dr. Nopiates are doctors who will not prescribe prescription drugs to patients under any circumstances, even in the emergency room.

15. CBT. If you are a counselor or psychologist, you probably think it is the acronym for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Wrong, that is an actual acronym, but in our satirical world, this would mean Chronic Biscuit Toxicity (CBT) and is used to refer to an obese patient.

16. Yellow Submarine describes a patient’s color when exhibiting a yellow (Jaundice) tint to their skin from liver disease.

17. Snot Docs are the pulmonologists.

18. Doughnut. This word describes the CT scanner that a patient will go through to image their particular body part.

19. Boyfriend. Nurses commonly use this term of endearment to describe the sweet older gentlemen on the hospital ward that is always pleasant.

20. Code Yellow would be used to describe an incident where a patient has urinated in their bed.

I hope you had a laugh reading these silly terms. Laughter is great medicine. I just scratched the surface of the thousands of slang medical terms. I really could go on and on. Enjoy.

John Seivert is a doctor of physical therapy and he has been practicing for 34 years. He opened Body Logic Physical Therapy in Grass Valley in 2001. He has been educating physical therapists since 1986. Contact him at bodylogic2011@ yahoo.com



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