Talking my language


Ah, the joys of (mis)communication! Consider, for example, these real-life chart notes written about hospital patients  in the U.K. :

  • She has no rigors or shaking chills, but her husband states she was very hot in bed last night.
  • Patient has chest pain if she lies on her left side for over a year.
  • The patient is tearful and crying constantly. She also appears to be depressed.
  • The patient has been depressed since she began seeing me in 1993.
  • Discharge status: Alive but without my permission.
  • Healthy appearing decrepit 69 year old female, mentally alert but forgetful.
  • The patient refused autopsy
  • Patient’s medical history has been remarkably insignificant with only a 40lb weight gain in the past 3 days.
  • Patient had waffles for breakfast and anorexia for lunch.
  • She is numb from her toes down.
  • While in ER, she was examined, X-rated and sent home.
  • The skin was moist and dry.
  • Occasional, constant infrequent headaches.
  • Patient was alert and unresponsive.
  • She stated that she had been constipated for most of her life, until she got a divorce.
  • I saw your patient today, who is still under our car for physical therapy.
  • Skin: somewhat pale but present.
  • Patient has two teenage children, but no other abnormalities.

Q: Have you come across funny chart notes like these?

7 thoughts on “Talking my language

  1. Loved this one, Carolyn. Sadly, in my opinion, Grade 6 grammar has gone by the wayside. One wonders if anyone knows what a noun or a verb is these days, never mind a misplaced modifier!!! To say nothing of “me & her/him… ..” that has almost become mainstream it seems.

    Thought of all the ‘baggers’ while watching Downton Abbey last night. I hope Kit survived the scene of the bride-to-be being left at the altar!!!



    1. My nurse friends would probably remind us that they are sometimes so rushed when charting that grammar does go by the wayside – out of necessity! Imagine what a generation raised on no-rules texting and Tweeting will come up with next . . .

      Thanks again for helping out with our bag-stuffing-bee last week, Nora! And watching Downton Abbey can be very traumatic these days, right? 😉


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