Wednesday, August 11, 2010
In a medical setting, many, many terms and acronyms are bandied about as if everyone should understand. There's the easier to figure out ones: afebrile, emesis. There's the tougher ones: PCP, SI. There's the ones you know if you're a doctor: neutropenic, BUN. I could go on and on. As I've adjusted to my job, I've also adjusted to the medical terminology. There were days I felt as lost as the parents! The residents always graciously broke it down into lay terms when a parent would ask or if they happened to notice the glazed over eyes. I know for the sake of rounds, it's easier to use initials and the more "doctorly" jargon. With this new crop of residents (which is a whole other issue- parents adjusting to new doctors every month!), there's been a recurring joke about the jargon. They like to tell some parents that by the time their child's cancer treatment is through, they'll have an unofficial oncology degree. I guess it's true but I'm sure every parent thinks, "that's not the kind of degree I wanted."