Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Is Your Doc Using the Term S.O.B Around You

If so, you might want to pay attention. It might save your life.

If you are referred to as a rock, that is not a compliment.

Every field has its' own lingo, and the medical field is not immune. Thanks to shows like "House" and "E.R." it seems most of us know what a CBC is and "stat" means you need to act quickly.

But the folks at the Chicago Tribune have a few more terms for us to learn.

a "rock" describes someone whose condition never seems to get better or worse, creating a hassle for doctors who often see their job as moving patients smoothly through the system.

Quick diagnosis, quick fix, out the door.

Please don't tie up their time by asking questions.

A 1978 novel (The House of God) introduced the term GOMER, "short for "Get Out of My Emergency Room"—an epithet usually reserved for elderly patients with difficult, chronic illnesses."

Gotta confess, that one set me back on my heels.

"Oh, we never use that word anymore," said Dr. Alexis Dunne, a third-year internal medicine resident at Northwestern University School of Medicine. "That's old school."

Good to know.

I guess . . .

Here is another term. Turfing.

"(Turfing) refers to discharging the person or transferring him to another department. Residents often refer to newly admitted patients as "hits," sometimes lamenting, "I got 10 hits last night." A shift with no admissions is a "no-hitter."

No hitter.

When you check out (permanently) does that go as a "K" on the board?

And S.O.B.?

Shortness of breath.

So when a GOMER waltzes in to the E.R. and is labeled S.O.B. you might figure they are going to be turfed in S.O.

(That is short order).
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