Do you ever correct people about medical stuff? - page 6

by mappers 15,589 Views | 110 Comments

I'm not talking about patient education, I'm just talking about general conversation. I hear people get things wrong medically all the time, but I rarely correct people. For example, a relative said the other day that she... Read More


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    I try not to, either I get a whole bunch of bad information I have to try to explain (thanks to WebMD) or hours of questioning about what I know vs. what was said vs. what Aunt Jennie said. Unless the person is actually a patient, I've learned they really don't want advice, so I mostly just smile and nod.
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    Quote from LalaJJB
    Stomach flu is the only thing that drives me nuts....especially when one of my RN friends say it.
    What terminology do you want them to use? I seriously don't get it. When my family says 'stomach flu' I know there is puking and or diarrhea involved.
    OCNRN63, hiddencatRN, workingharder, and 1 other like this.
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    Quote from Creamsoda
    to be fair, I used to pronounce it that way, I could have sworn that was how we leaned it in Canada, im now in the US and say it "de- breed", but unless I was just sorely wrong, I think thats how its pronounced in some areas.
    I have a British friend that says 'de bride.'
    janetteknits likes this.
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    Quote from tokmom
    What terminology do you want them to use? I seriously don't get it. When my family says 'stomach flu' I know there is puking and or diarrhea involved.
    Some people bothered because 'flu is short for influenza which is primarily a respiratory illness. My mama called respiratory illnesses 'colds' and digestive woes (V/D) 'flu'. Some folks might think 'stomach flu' is more polite than 'vomitting/diarrhea'.
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    I had a relative of my boyfriend ask me what the shelf life of left-over antibiotics was

    When I tried to explain to them that a) you shouldn't have left-over antibiotics, and b) that's almost an impossible question because they are affected by so many things (heat, light, humidity), they said 'Well shouldn't you at least know the common ones? You're a nurse."

    Same guy, later in the conversation, holding his abdomen.. "I'm also having some pain here. What do you think it is?". Hm, well let me just turn on my x-ray vision. Then, "It feels like the pain I had before when I had gallstones, and it's in the same place." Umm.. probably gallstones then.

    I give up.
    Hygiene Queen likes this.
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    It drives me up the walls when people say, "Yeah my doctor prescribed an antibiotic for her cough." I think about the signs and symptoms, and then ask for the name, and no, of course it's not an antibiotic. It's some anti-expectorant.

    Why is every medication almost always an antibiotic or hypertensive medication? I bite my tongue in public...unless it's my family or friends. Regardless of who says it, it still irks me. It bothers me even more when my non-medical relatives cut up their pills and share them with other relatives because they have similar symptoms (!). If this was an NCLEX question, yes, my father and I intervene and say, "YOU CAN'T GIVE HER YOUR THYROID MEDICATION BECAUSE SHE HASN'T EVEN HAD THE TEST TO SEE IF SHE'S ACTUALLY GOT IT AND YOU COULD THROW HER INTO HYPERTHYROIDISM THEN PUT HER AT RISK FOR THYROID STORM."
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    Recently my cousin sent me a pic of her friend's toe. She told me the toe was not broken. I was baffled, looking at the pic wondering how in the heck the toe was not broken. A little later in the conversation, she mentioned the word "fractured" and kept talking. I backed her up. "Wait, you said it IS fractured?" She said "yeah the doctor said it's just fractured, not broken." I explained to her that fracture means broken. She asked me why a doctor would say that. The conversation got more confusing after that. I ended it with, if you don't believe me, Google it. She comes to me a lot with questions but ends up saying "hmmmm, well my doctor said this..." I've had to explain to her that even physicians debate and disagree. She's the only one I will get in these conversations with though. I'm not going to argue with others
    KelRN215 likes this.
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    Quote from Esme12
    For the most part I would mind my own business. You should not be giving out medical advice. I do correct immediate family if necessary....but most of the time I mind my own business.

    Even when asked you will find that most people will defend their own MD/PCP to the very end. I will state medical information and add "In my experience" and advise that they can always seek a second opinion if they aren't comfortable.
    I totally agree. I avoid providing advice. I don't mind providing education, like the other poster stated, when people seek it out, but I see it as not in anyone's best interest to advise someone on their personal health if I'm not their provider.
    OCNRN63, nursel56, and Spidey's mom like this.
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    Quote from sapphire18
    Except for the time I found out a coworker was taking 5-5.5g of Tylenol a day (non-nurse). :/
    Did you advise them to drink charcoal and mucomyst?
    Last edit by mariebailey on Jan 29, '13
    OCNRN63 and beckyboo1 like this.
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    Quote from LalaJJB
    Stomach flu is the only thing that drives me nuts....especially when one of my RN friends say it.
    It drives me crazy too, but their are so many potential culprits (norovirus, salmonella, STEC, etc.), what else can they say? Gastroenteritis?
    tokmom likes this.


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