What are those words nurses use that only know what they mean? They are on this list. These medical slang terms are both funny and incredibly relatable. How many of them do you know?
Medical Slang Nurses Use
These medical slang terms are used by nurses all the time. Some of them are used by nurses about other nurses, some are used as comedic relief about difficult patients.
Is there some slang not on the list? Share them in the comments.
Definition: Makes Decisions
Example: Used by doctors in a snarky way. “See the MD after my name? That means Makes Decisions.”
Example: Doctor, I have the bubble guts and can’t poop right.”
Definition: Too Many Birthdays
Example: The coroner said they are going to rule the cause of death as TMB.
Leak in the Basement
Example: Nurse, I have a leak in my basement, I can’t stop peeing on accident.
Definition: A patient that is frequently at the hospital.
Example: Karen is, here again, she’s one of those frequent flyers, I bet we see her again soon too.
Definition: a team of urologists
Example: You need to call the stream team for this.
Jack in the Box
Definition: a patient that can’t stand or walk but insists on trying.
Example: I’ll need help with the patient in room 2, they are a Jack in the Box.
Definition: Burns from tanning
Example: Suzy has a case of the crispies.
Definition: when a patient stubbornly refuses essential treatment
Example: Jack’s O2 stats are low, but he won’t take his breathing treatment. He’s fighting Darwin at this point.
The Whine Line
Definition: A medical slang term used by prison nurses to describe when it’s raining out and the inmates will all suddenly catch a cold at the same time to get out of going to work.
Example: Weather is cold and rainy today, we are going to have a whine line.
Definition: Someone that fakes illnesses and keeps coming back.
Example: Lisa, your favorite professional patient, back with more unknown symptoms.
Definition: Shining a light into a patient’s mouth to see if their eyes light up (showing there isn’t a brain)
Example: This patient did something completely brainless, I bet they’d fail the lantern test.
Definition: Uninsured twenty-somethings
Examples: Jane is 22 and came in without insurance. She’s one of the young invincibles.
Another One Bites the Dust
Definition: A 1980s song by Queen that has the perfect intervals to space out CPR compressions.
Example: Hum “Another One Bites the Dust” in your head as you do CPR.
Definition: Older male patients that are a joy to take care of.
Example: Old Mr. Jones is so kind and funny, he’s the boyfriend on the floor.
Definition: medical slang to describe convulsion or seizures.
Example: We were just talking and then she started having fits.
Definition: When a patient’s chart is dropped and everything falls out.
Example: Oh no! This is the 3rd chart dehiscence of the night.
Definition: An uncontrollable tremor in the leg.
Example: Jack came in with jimmy leg and it won’t stop.
Definition: A health-care facility that only offers a minimal amount of care
Example: He just came from the band-aid hospital in the next town. He needs help.
Definition: A nurse that acts like a doctor.
Example: What’s with the noctor on the floor? She thinks she knows it all.
Definition: when kids get together and take random pills they stole from their parent’s prescriptions.
Example: Mike here is a local high-schooler and we don’t know what he took cause he just came from a Pharm Party.
Definition: a clinical sign of acute appendicitis, where every single pothole feels like a sharp pain
Example: He was positive for the pothole sign, said the ride in was really painful.
Negative Wallet Biopsy
Definition: When a patient is transferred to a cheaper hospital after it comes out that he doesn’t have health insurance.
Example: Yes, the negative wallet biopsy meant he’s getting sent to St. Luke’s across town.
Definition: vomit from old black blood due to ulcers
Example: I saw the black vomit and knew it was a bad sign.
Definition: Something that progresses to deadly stages without any symptoms.
Example: Obesity is a silent killer.
The Patient is High Risk
Definition: A Patient with HIV, AIDs, or Hepatitis
Example: this patient is high risk so be careful.
Definition: New Parent Syndrome
Example: Baby came in with a stuffy nose. Diagnosed as a common cold. NPS.
Medical Slang Nurses Use
Both nurses and doctors all use slang. It’s just easier when you are going about your rounds. What are some slang terms you have heard and used?
More Medical Terms You’ve Probably Heard or Used
Have you heard or used these?
- 6 Rights of Medication Administration Mnemonic
- ETOH Medical Abbreviation – ETOH Meaning and Application in Nursing
- Code Blue in the Hospital: What to Do as a Nurse
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