For as long as I can remember, medical slang and acronyms have been a part of the pop culture of medicine. The slang often makes humorous reference to characteristics related to patients or patient care. But sometimes, the commentary is crude, sarcastic, derogatory, angry, distasteful or downright hurtful. An addition, medical acronyms and patient mispronunciations have even been known to make it into a patient chart or two. The language of medicine is filled with hundreds, perhaps thousands, of abbreviated reference to medical diseases and funny examples of phonetic misadventures. For example CAD means coronary artery disease while COPD means chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your point of view), doctors and nurses have created their own underground acronym language to describe their experiences around them. Some folks call medical slang an art form. Other folks may consider it unethical.
Whatever your position may be, The Happy Hospitalist is determined to be the goto reference guide for doctors and nurses looking to expand their communication potential during social gatherings. I also have an amazing collection of fake medical diagnoses, funny patient quotes and medical mispronunciations and misspelled words to expand your knowledge base. I have asked my thousands of Facebook readers for their input and I have scoured the internet to provide a central data base of Healthcare Gone Wild. Some of the content detailed below is very funny, tasteful and true. Some of it will be sure to upset those with a gently kitty soul. If you believe you do not have the stomach to experience the darker side of medicine, please do not continue reading. You have been warned.
Regardless of your decision, I doubt any compassionate doctor or nurse would ever say any of this stuff in front of their patients or write any of it in their patients' charts. Or they might. Who knows. The next time you see a doctor write "admit to OBS", instead of admit to observation, he could really be meaning admit to obvious bull sh*t. Instead of an admitting diagnosis of COPD for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, your doctor may really mean chronic old person's disease. Remember kids, TIATAAPFE (there is a time and a place for everything). Discussion of medical slang, descriptive acronyms and phonetic irritations should be left for the doctor's lounge, nurse's lounge, social gatherings and your email box. I will start the discussion with one of my favorite clean examples of medical slang.
I heard this term in the ICU once. Did you know you can dramatically increase your hospitalist vocabulary by keeping your ears open on a daily basis. According to a nurse, she speaks trachonese. Trachonese: The art of understanding the language of trach patients. Similar to vent speak, but without the ventilator.
So I asked my patient's ICU nurse if my vented and trached patient speaks. "Yes, but you have to be able to speak vent to understand him", she says. Vent speak? Is this something nurses learn in nursing school? Is this something the MARTI interpreter system is capable of providing? Is vent speak a variation of trachonese. Many important questions to ponder!
RANDOM MEDICAL SLANG
- 3H enema - high, hot and a Hell of a lot.
- 30 year old well child exam - self explanatory.
- 4 Fs - female fat fertile and 40 (indicates risk of gall bladder disease)
- 5-2-25 - the Haldol-Ativan:Benadryl combo. Also known as the B52 Bomber.
- 7-11 Patient - dirty, someone who spends more time barefoot in 7-11 than being productive.
- Adult Humane Society - dropping grandma off at the ER before a three day weekend trip to the lake.
- A Leaky Sieve - a physician who consistently asks other doctors to consult or to admit far too often.
- Alphabet Soup - MRSA, VRE, HIV, etc...
- Attorney induced symptomology - symptoms that present when a lawsuit is involved.
- A Brick Wall - see "A Wall", only 10x better.
- A Hit - an admission.
- A Wall - physicians who consistently don't ask other physicians to admit or to consult.
- Baby Catcher - an obstetrician.
- Baby Doctors - describing doctors in training.
- Bagged and Tagged - after death, ready for the mortuary.
- Bait Shop - another name for the neonatal ICU.
- Banana - a person with jaundice.
- Banana Bag - saline with assorted vitamins given to alcoholics.
- Bean - the kidneys.
- Benny - a patient on welfare.
- Bingo - a patient with a very long list of medical conditions and needs.
- Black Cloud - doctors who always seem to get the hardest patients and busiest days.
- Blamestorming - the process of figuring out who to blame when something goes wrong.
- Blood Suckers - phlebotomists
- Blow Hole - provided by a Facebook reader with no explanation.
- Blue Pipes - veins.
- Bone Break, Need Fix - describing an orthopedic surgeon.
- Bone Cracker - describing an orthodepic surgeon.
- Bounce Back - patients who return to the hospital or ER in a short period of time after discharge.
- Boyfriends - cute old men that are a pleasant to care for.
- Bug Juice - antibiotics.
- Butts and Guts - referring to gastroenterologists.
- CABG - zipper
- CABG Patch - floor where heart bypass patients reside.
- Campers - kids with diseases that have camps.
- Captain Kangaroo - head of the pediatric department.
- Carrot Stick - provided by a Facebook reader without explanation. I wonder if this means they are really thin.
- Celestial Discharge - death as a cause of discharge from the hospital or a pronounced code in the ER.
- Champagne Tap - a perfect lumbar puncture.
- Chart Dehiscence - when a chart drops and everything falls out.
- City Taxi - ambulance abusers with a free ride to the hospital.
- Co*k Docs - describing urologists.
- Code Brown - poop blowout.
- Code Pink - patients who are thought to be homosexual.
- Code Princess - a doctor acting up and in need of administrative attitude adjustment.
- Code Yellow - incontinent of urine.
- Code Blue Hair - cardiac arrest on a really old person.
- Coffin Dodger - old person that unexpectedly survived.
- Consultosis - hospitalists who consult for everything, like ID for UTI.
- Crash and Burn - patients on the floor who are doing poorly that need to go to the ICU.
- Crispy Critter - a patient with severe burns.
- Cut First, Diagnose Second - slang to describe surgeons.
- Da Motrin -- what to say when a patient asks for that pain medicine that starts with a D.
- Daycare Workers - referring to CNAs
- Departure Lounge - geriatric floor.
- Dermaholiday - everyone knows dermatologists don't work holidays.
- Digging for Worms - trying to find a vein.
- Doctart - female nurses nurses or patients who have a thing for doctors.
- Doughnut - CT scanner.
- Donorcycle - a motorcycle.
- Dragercise - moving patients from bed to chair who can't or don't assist.
- Drama Alert - a BS trauma alert.
- Dr Hopiate - a doctor who prescribes a lot of opiates in the ER.
- Dr Nopiate - a doctor who won't prescribe opiates in the ER.
- Dryalysis - in reference to drying patients out on dialysis.
- Dump Job - pawning off a patient onto another service, usually by unnecessary transfer to another hospital or medical team.
- Dyscopia - the inability to cope.
- Dyphonia - when referring to fake attempts at dystonia.
- Eternal Care Unit - people in the morgue.
- Father of Fetus - patient's baby daddy in the ER.
- Fatty Patty - in for a gastric stapling.
- Fatty Snorkel - morbidly obese patient with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
- Flea - an internist.
- Flu In My Knees - referring to a flair up of arthritis.
- Four Acidosis - provided by a Facebook reader without explanation.
- Frequent Flyer - people who frequently come to the ER or hospital.
- Freud Squad - a psychiatrist.
- Fronterior - instead of the correct anterior.
- Garden - the neurosurgical ICU; describes the vegetables on the vents.
- Gas Passer - an anesthesiologist.
- Getting Hammered - getting a bunch of patient encounters all at the same time.
- Going Down The Tubes - getting sick really fast.
- Google MD - believing one is as smart as the doctor because they searched Google for all the answers.
- Gorillacillin - a really powerful antibiotic.
- Greyhound Therapy - to purchase a bus ticket for an uninsured patient get them out of your hospital area.
- Hearing Hoof Beats - to think of common diagnoses (horses), not zebras (see below).
- Hemodynia - referring to pain wherever blood flows.
- Holy Trinity - intubate/ventilate/sedate.
- Horrendoplasty - a long and difficult operation on a morbidly obese patient.
- Hospitel - patients who treat their hospital like a hotel.
- Intubate/sSdate/Family out-of-state - in reference to patients in the ICU on a ventilator with no family around.
- Jesus Bus - about to die and hailing down the Jesus Bus.
- Jocks - describing orthopedic surgeons
- Knuckle Draggers - describing orthopedic surgeons (like gorillas).
- Level II Drama - instead of level II trauma.
- Litter Box - what the neonatal ICU is called because it sounds like a bunch of kittens screaming in there.
- Low Paid Nurse - describing an LPN (vs RN for real nurse).
- Lasofloxalbuterol - ordered when you can't decide between CHF vs COPD vs PNA
- Man In The Boat Pain - in reference to clitoral pain.
- Milk of Amnesia - propofol.
- Monkey Box - in reference to the female genitalia region.
- My Muffin Hurts - in reference to pain in the female bladder or genital region.
- Need Two On The Way To Three Midnightitis - when you try anything to get that third midnight and a disposition to the NH under Medicare benefits.
- Night Timers - in reference to a patient with Alzheimer's.
- Noctor - a nurse acting like a doctor.
- No Hopeamine - dopamine (when things don't look good, try dopamine).
- Nurseoblasts - student nurses.
- Nurslings - student nurses.
- Other Torture (OT) - occupational therapists.
- Pain and Torture (PT) - describing physical therapists.
- Paragod - an EMT who thinks they know everything.
- Patholidy - everyone knows pathologists don't work holidays.
- Pecker Checkers - describing urologists.
- Pediatrician = Geriatrician = Veterinarian - it's all the same field of practice.
- Pocketbook - in reference to a female's vaginal area.
- Pecker Checker - a urologist.
- Pectinosis - when non medical friends have any complaint.
- Peek and Shriek - to open a surgical abdomen, see something horrible and close immediately.
- Physical Terrorists - describing physical therapists.
- Plastic bow tie - describing a tracheostomy.
- Platelet Clot - describing a large team of doctors rounding on the wards.
- Plumbers - referring to interventional cardiologists.
- Poop Scoopers - describing gastroenterologists.
- Puppies - referring to interns and residents.
- Real Nurse - describing a nurse (vs LPN for low paid nurse).
- Refreshments and Narcotics - describing RN's.
- Re-Versed - Romazicon.
- Rheumaholiday - everyone knows rheumatologists don't work holidays.
- Road trip - taking the patient from the ICU for a test.
- Roto Rooters - describing gastroenterologists.
- Scoping for Dollars - describing a gastroenterologist.
- Shotgun approach - ordering every test known to man on a patient when the diagnosis is unknown.
- Slasher - a surgeon.
- Slow Code - doing CPR with less than optimal effort for any number of reasons but usually because the healthcare workers object to the medical assault in front of them.
- Snot Docs - describing pulmonologists.
- Social Admit - admit to the hospital to arrange for a nursing home placement.
- Social Admit Marathon - when the admission and arrangement for placement happens twice a month for 3 years.
- Squash - the brain.
- Steak and Trach - to get a g-tube and trach.
- Stream Team - describing a urologist.
- Strong as a Bull, Half as Bright - slang to describe an orthopedic surgeon.
- Sun Risers - in reference to a patient with Alzheimer's.
- Three Midnight Mountain - the barrier need to overcome a Medicare paid SNF transfer.
- Three Midnight Road Rally - trying everything to get a patient 3 midnights in the hospital and a one way ticket to SNF benefits.
- To Turf - to transfer the patient to another service as an act of success, usually associated with dumping a patient.
- Two Midnight Mountain - the barrier needed to overcome inpatient hospital stay starting October 1st, 2013.
- Trachonese - nurses who understand trach patients.
- Train Wreck - a patient who has every drip known to man going and every piece of equipment on too.
- Trauma Handshake - rectal exam in a trauma.
- Treat and Street - get them out of the ER.
- Troll - someone who gets frequently admitted and causes problems for staff.
- Two Dudes - the answer in the ER when a patient is asked who assaulted them.
- Unclear Medicine - nuclear medicine.
- Vaginacologist - in reference to a gynecologist.
- Vampires - phlebotomists.
- Velcro - family that never leaves a patient's room.
- Vent Speak - nurses who understand vent patients in the ICU.
- Virgin Abdomen - no prior surgeries in the belly.
- Vitamin A - for Ativan.
- Vitamin H - for Haldol.
- Vitamin IQ Deficiency - self explanatory.
- Vitamin L - for Lasix.
- Vitamin V - for Versed.
- Vitamin X - for Xanax.
- Walkie Talkie - they walk and they talk.
- Wallet Biopsy - refers to what community hospitals do to patients before shipping them to tertiary care, ie cath, colonoscopy, several MRIs.
- Weenie Waggling - a psych patient admitted following an indecent exposure bust.
- Whambulance - an ambulance used to carry people who show up whining about little stuff.
- White Cloud - doctors who always seem to have the easiest patients and the least busy days.
- Zebra - a rare diagnosis.
FAKE MEDICAL ACRONYMS
- ADQ - acute drama queenitis; can apply to males or females.
- ADRP - adverse drug reaction printout (handed by the patient to the doctor).
- AEOTO - acute episode of Twitting out.
- AFU - all fu**ed up; congenital vs acquired.
- AGMI - ain't gonna make it.
- AHF - acute hissy fit.
- ALS - absolute loss of sanity (crazy patient).
- AMFYOYO - alright MTFer, you're on your own.
- AOB - alcohol on board.
- APD - acute Prozac deficiency.
- APM - aye-aye-aye-aye's per minute.
- ART - assuming room temperature (patient is dead).
- ASL - assess stupidity level.
- ATFO - asked to f**k off.
- ATTE - actively trying to expire.
- ATS - acute Thespian syndrome (patient is faking illness).
- BFB - big fu**in' baby; not talking about kids either.
- BATS fracture - broken all to sh*t.
- BBCS - bumps bruises cuts scrapes.
- BBLN - busy bee lousy nurse.
- BBS - bath before seeing.
- BCP - bogus chest pain.
- BFH - brat from Hell.
- BFMC - baby's fine mama's crazy.
- BMW - bitch moan and whine.
- BOHICA - bend over, here it comes again.
- BOLFDGB - big old lady fall down go boom.
- BONITA - big ol' needle in the ass.
- BTSOOM - beats the sh*t out of me.
- BUNDY - but unfortunately not dead yet.
- BVA - breathing valuable air.
- BWCO - baby won't come out (needs C-section).
- CAH - crazy as Hell.
- CCFCCP - coo coo for CoaCoa Puffs.
- CFA - cry for attention.
- CFT - chronic food toxicity.
- CKS - cute kid syndrome.
- CLL - chronic low life.
- COPD - chronic old persons disease.
- COSMONAUT - cat owner smells made of nuts and used tampons.
- CNS-QNS - central nervous system, quantity not sufficient.
- CRAP - chronic recurrent abdominal pain.
- CRAFT - can't remember a fu**ing thing.
- CRBD - chronic relapsing benzodiazepine deficiency.
- CRS - can't remember sh*t.
- CRT - can't really treat.
- CTD - circling the drain.
- CTF - Cletus the fetus (born before 23 weeks).
- DAAD - dead as a doornail.
- D & D - divorced and desperate (a cougar that visits the doctor a lot).
- DDP - differential diagnosis printout (handed by the patient to the doctor)
- DFO - done fell out.
- DFOIC - done feel out in church.
- DIB - dead in bed.
- DID - Dilaudid insufficiency disorder.
- DIC - death is coming.
- DNN - doctor needs a nap.
- DNR - dead 'n ready.
- DOV - dead on vent.
- DPC's - dead people cookies, provided for families of unsuccessful codes.
- DRT - dead right there.
- DSB - drug seeking behavior.
- DUB - damn ugly baby.
- EDGATWTTTF - elevator doesn't go all the way to the top floor.
- EEER - erroneously educated ER doctor.
- ELFs - evil little fu**ers (kids).
- EMS - earn money sleeping.
- EMT-P - expensive Medicare taxi provider.
- FABIANS - felt awful but I'm alright now syndrome.
- FACBP - Fellow of American College of Bystander Physicians.
- FDGB - fall down go boom.
- FDSTW - found dead stayed that way.
- FERN - f**ing ER nurse.
- FFDIG - found face down in gutter.
- FLBs - funny looking beats; a type of heart rhythm.
- FLK - funny looking kid.
- FLP - funny looking parents for a pediatric patient.
- FLK and FLP together - when you realize the baby is just fine!
- FOOBA - found on ortho, barely alive.
- FOOSH - fall on out stretched hand.
- FORD - found on road dead.
- FOS - full of sh*t.
- FTD - fixin' to die.
- FTF - failed to fly (failed suicide).
- FUBAR - fu**ed up beyond all recognition.
- FUPA - fat upper pu##y (or pubic) area.
- FURB - funny unusual rectal blockage.
- GDA - gonna die anyway.
- GDFD - got drunk, fell down.
- GF - ghetto fabulous.
- GFPO - good for parts only.
GGF - granny's got a fever.
- GLM - good looking mom (for a pediatric patient).
- GOK - God only knows.
- GOMER - get out of my emergency room (a classic).
- GOMERgram - ordering all tests in the ER because the patient can't say what the problem is.
- GPH - goddamns per hour.
- GTO - GOMER tip over.
- HAIRY PSALMS - haven't any idea regarding your patient send a lot more serum.
- HALS - hit and left standing.
- HBT - high bi**h titer.
- HDAH - heart doctor absent heart.
- HFV - here for vacation.
- HI - human icicle.
- HIBGIA - had it before got it again.
- HONDA - hypertensive obese noncompliant diabetic as*hole.
- HOP - house of pain (nursing home)
- HOPEFUL - hard-up old person expecting full useful life.
- HT - he's toast.
- HT - health tourist.
- ICP - immaculate conception of pregnancy (for those who can't be pregnant, no way no how).
- IJLIHS - I just like it here syndrome.
- ISOBO - inappropriate secretion of offensive body odor.
- ITTR - inverse tooth to tattoo ratio (more tattoos than teeth in the mouth).
- IWIN - I want it now.
- JPFROG - just plain frickin' run out of gas.
- LGFD - looks good from doorway.
- LLS - looks like s**t.
- LMC - low marble count.
- LOBNH - lights on but nobody home.
- LOL - little old lady.
- LOLFDGB - little old lady, fall down go boom.
- LOLINAD - little old lady in no acute distress.
- LOLITS - little old lady in tennis shoes.
- MD - makes decisions.
- MERB - maximum emergency room benefit.
- MFC - measure for coffin.
- MIDI - myocardial infarction during intercourse.
- M & M - morbidity and mortality conferences.
- MTBFU - my toof be fu**ed up.
- MTFer - drunk patient who needs to metabolize to freedom.
- NARS - not a rocket scientist.
- NCS - no coping skills.
- NETMA - nobody ever tells me anything.
- NEWTA - nobody else wants to admit.
- NKDA - not known didn't ask.
- NLOP - no longer our problem.
- NLPR - no long playing records.
- NQR - not quite right.
- NPS - new parent syndrome.
- OADS - over achieving daredevil syndrome.
- OBS - obvious bull sh*t.
- OLPO - one line per opening.
- OMGWTFBBQ - bad car accident victim.
- OPD - obvious personality disorder.
- P4P - penicillin for penile discharge (not to be confused with pay for performance).
- PBS - pretty bad shape.
- PBTB - pine box to bedside (death is imminent).
- PFH - parents from Hell.
- PFO - pissed, fell over.
- PID - pus in dere (rhymes with there).
- PID - poor intercourse decisions.
- PID - physician in distress.
- PITA - pain in the ass.
- PLH - pray long and hard.
- PMJ - premorbid jerk.
- PMS - poor miserable soul.
- POF PRN - pillow over face, prn.
- PON - product of (the) night (in reference to a fetus).
- POPTA - passed out prior to arrival.
- PRDD - persistent recurrent Dilaudid deficiency.
- PPPP - piss poor parental protoplasm.
- PTPED - post traumatic pelvic exam disorder
- PT - pillow therapy.
- PU - paws up (dead).
- PWT - poor white trash.
- QID - queen in distress.
- RN - refuses nonsense.
- RTT with a BBB - Rat-a-tat-tat with a baseball bat; describing injury requiring an ER visit.
- SALT - same as last time.
- SBI - something bad inside.
- SDB - stupid dumb bit**.
- SDS - stupid doctor syndrome.
- SMS - stupid mother syndrome.
- SPAK - status post ass kicking.
- SWI - something wrong inside.
- TATT - talks all the time.
- T&BB - Tylenol and bye bye.
- TBP - total body pain.
- TEETH - tried everything else, try homeopathy.
- TFF - too f'ing fat.
- TFTB - too fat to breath.
- TMB - too many birthdays.
- TMFB - too many f**ing birthdays (for the really old folks who just won't die, no matter what).
- TOBP - tired of being pregnant.
- TPK - trach, peg kindred.
- TSD - Texas sized dose.
- TSTL - too stupid to live.
- TUBE - totally unnecessary breast exam.
- TT - trailer trash.
- TTOAST - take them out and shoot them.
- TWA - third world assassins (refers to poor medical care by foreign medical graduates).
TWSAM - trash will survive and multiply.
- UBF - unborn fart or flatus lateralis on x-ray.
- UBI - unexplained beer injury.
- UFO - unidentified frozen object (homeless winter death).
- UHTEP - using a hospital to escape police arrest.
- VAC - vultures are circling.
- VD - veak and dizzy (old people in the ER at 2 am).
- VIP - very intoxicated person.
- VODKA - violent obese diabetic krazy alcoholic (or a**hole).
- VOMIT - victim of modern imaging technology.
- VSGP - very shallow gene pool.
- WADAO - weak and dizzy all over.
- WAFTAM - wast of f**king time and money.
- WAPOSS - whiny ass piece of s*it syndrome
- WDWNF - well developed well nourished female.
- WNL - we never looked.
- WOMBAT - waste of money brains and time.
- WR - wheelchair rollover.
- WWI - walking while intoxicated.
These original Happy Hospitalist ecards provide insight into these hundreds of medical slang terms and acronyms. Make sure to check out the hundreds of others provided at the ecard link above.
"All ICU nurses at my hospital are bilingual. They speak English AND Trachonese."
"Become an RN today and you too can be an expert in... Refreshments and Narcotics."
"At MY teaching hospital, all my ICU patients get a tube. And by a tube, I mean a Totally Unnecessary Breast Exam."
"You have pain that only responds to that one drug that starts with a D? Da Motrin it is. You know. For da pain."
"Here at UpToDate, we are vigorously competing with Google to make your doctor look smarter than they really are."
"Nursing: We serve vodkas with a smile!. Violent, Obese, Diabetic, Krazy Alcoholic."
"Lasofloxalbuterol. When you just can't decide between CHF vs COPD vs PNA."
This post is for entertainment purposes only and likely contains humor only understood by those in a healthcare profession. Read at your own risk.