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Top 40 Slang Terms Nurses Use

Top 40 Slang Terms Nurses Use

Scrubs Magazine

October 13, 2010

32. Pothole Sign

Definition: A clinical sign of acute appendicitis, referring to the severe pain evoked by every bump (or pothole) in the road felt on the drive to the hospital.

Usage: Yeah, he was positive for the pothole sign—said the ride in was brutal.

33. Negative Wallet Biopsy

Definition: When a patient is transferred to a cheaper, less intensive hospital after discovering he has no health insurance.

Usage: Yeah, the negative wallet biopsy meant he was going to King-Harbor. Welcome to healthcare in America.

34. Black Vomit

Definition: Vomit from old black blood due to ulcers or yellow fever.

Usage: I saw the black vomit and I knew she was in trouble.

Synonyms: xekik

35. Silent Killer

Definition: A slang term for a condition that can progress to very advanced stages before manifesting itself clinically.

Usage: They say that obesity is the silent killer, but I’d say that it’s really all the heroin that he’s been doing for the past 10 years.

36. Fluid Overload

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Definition: Hypervolemia. It’s the medical condition where there is too much fluid in the blood. This fluid, primarily salt and water, builds up in various locations in the body and leads to an increase in weight, swelling in the legs and arms (peripheral edema), and/or fluid in the abdomen (ascites). Eventually, the fluid enters the air spaces in the lungs, reduces the amount of oxygen that can enter the blood and causes shortness of breath (dyspnea). Fluid can also collect in the lungs when lying down at night, possibly making nighttime breathing and sleeping difficult (paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea).

Usage: I’m a little worried that we may run the risk of fluid overload if we perform the surgery.

Synonyms: hypervolemia

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