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Picture of Kalleh
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I came across this in my work. These are considered problem words to use with patients. I was a bit surprised.

Problem word: Ailment
Consider using: Sickness, illness, problem with your health

Problem word: Benign
Consider using: Will not cause harm; is not cancer

Probem word: Condition
Consider using: How you feel; health problem

Problem word: Dysfunction
Consider using: Problem

Problem word: Inhibitor
Consider using: Drug that stops something that is bad for you

Problem using: Intermittent
Consider using: Off and on

Problem using: Lesion
Consider using: Wound; sore; infected patch of skin

Problem using: Oral
Consider using: By mouth

Problem using: Procedure
Consider using: Something done to treat your problem; operation

Problem using: Vertigo
Consider using: Dizziness

I do remember a physician saying to me once when I had sprained my ankle, "You may need an operation." I remembered thinking, "Operation??? How old are you? It's surgery!"

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Kalleh,
 
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That list seems fairly sensible to me. Whilst most of us on this board will have no problems understanding any of the words, some do verge on medical jargon that some patients may not understand.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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"Condition" bothers me. WHAT condition??? I cannot accept that word as a synonym for "ailment." F'rinstance: "He has a heart condition." We ALL have some sort of heart condition, be it good, average, or poor, so why use it to connote pathology? Confused


It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. -J. Krishnamurti
 
Posts: 6017 | Location: Muncie, IndianaReply With QuoteReport This Post
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The OED wrote:
II.9.e. A state of health, esp. one which is poor or abnormal; a malady or sickness.
 
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OED? Bah, humbug! http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=condition


It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. -J. Krishnamurti
 
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Originally posted by Geoff:
OED? Bah, humbug! http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=condition


I wouldn't say that the Online Etymology Dictionary was a good place to look up all the various senses of a word
 
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Nevertheless, does it not sound odd to say, "She has a heart state of being?" That's stating the obvious.


It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. -J. Krishnamurti
 
Posts: 6017 | Location: Muncie, IndianaReply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by Geoff:
Nevertheless, does it not sound odd to say, "She has a heart state of being?" That's stating the obvious.


Yes, but who says that? We say "she has a heart condition" and this is one of the generally accepted uses of the word.
 
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Picture of Kalleh
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Related to this subject, Z and I were talking about medical words that are used, and he mentioned "lousy," "measly," and "rickety." Any more that you can come up with?
 
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Paranoid, schizophrenic, anal (anal-retentive).
 
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"lousy," "measly," and "rickety."

The interesting thing about these words is that they are adjectival forms of the words: louse, measles, and rickets. The primary meaning of these adjectives has changed from describing the medical condition to something else.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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Having suffered a series of retinal detachments in 1999, I am now traumatized by the word "detachment" and would consider using "your retina has come loose" instead! OK, just kidding. I agree with Arnie that some of the words in your official problem list might be hard for some patients to understand, but I think the medical professional should take his/her cues from the individual patient's vocabulary and go with that, instead of dumbing down the language for everybody.

Wordmatic
 
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Paranoid, schizophrenic, anal (anal-retentive).

I was thinking of everyday words (like "I feel lousy) that have originated from medical words (ie, lice). I guess anal would meet that criterion, but would schizophrenic or paranoid? Maybe, but when they are used informally, their meanings are quite similar to the paranoid or schizophrenic diagnosis. On the other hand, rickety, measly, and lousy are quite different.

WM, you are so right. In medicine and nursing now we are trying to push patient-centered care, which is precisely to what you said.
 
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Sanguine, melancholic, choleric, and phlegmatic all come from the four humours of the ancient world, used mainly in their medicine.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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Right, arnie. When someone says something about one's sense of humour I always ask that person which one he's referring to. I usually get a blank stare, but it's fun!

Usually choleric Geoff

PS: Does "cholera" not come from the same source?


It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. -J. Krishnamurti
 
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Does "cholera" not come from the same source?

Yes, both are from Greek kholē 'bile'; same root, IIRC, as Greek khloos 'greenish-yellow'.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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