Do you ever correct people about medical stuff?

  1. 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 thought her mother just had a kidney infection but then "We found out it was E. Coli! " I didn't have the heart to tell her we all have E. coli in our guts and most kidney infections are E. coli.

    I have a patient who also goes to my church. He tells everyone he has bladder cancer. He really has prostate cancer with mets to the bladder. This happens a lot with "bone" and "liver" cancer as well. I hear people say "so and so" had breast cancer and now they have "bone" cancer. Well, they most likely have bone mets, not bone cancer.

    Normally, unless the person is seeking information from me or I'm in the clinical setting, I just keep my mouth shut. I figure I don't want to be an obnoxious know-it-all and, since I don't know the whole situation, I don't have all the facts.

    What about you?
    Last edit by mappers on Jan 27, '13 : Reason: typos
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    About mappers

    Joined: Aug '09; Posts: 447; Likes: 550
    Specialty: Med/Surg/Tele/Onc


  3. by   DoeRN
    I don't correct people. And I also never ever give out medical advice. Friends and family more so friends because I have a lot of family in the medical field. I always refer them back to their PCP. And I seldom tell people I'm a nurse.

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  4. by   hiddencatRN
    I usually keep my mouth shut, unless it's someone I care about, and then the education is usually done to help them not just so "they get it right."
  5. by   Nascar nurse
    Have been trying to tell my Mother for years that going out without a coat on is only going to give me hypothermia, not pneumonia. I've also tried to tell her that not every head cold requires an antibiotic and that OTC cold meds only provide symptom relief..they don't "cure" a cold (so no Mom, I don't need to take it a few extra days just to make sure the cold is gone!).

    I love her to death...but some issues are just banging my head into a brick wall. I figure if I can't get my own Mother to understand it's probably best to just keep my mouth shut with the rest of the world.
  6. by   Meriwhen
    Generally no corrections offered unless I'm specifically asked by someone for info, or it's a life-or-death matter (for example, someone talking about how a friend recommended giving their sick child some aspirin).
  7. by   nurseywifeymommy1
    I don't correct people.
  8. by   kmarie724
    Quote from Meriwhen
    Generally no corrections offered unless I'm specifically asked by someone for info, or it's a life-or-death matter (for example, someone talking about how a friend recommended giving their sick child some aspirin).
  9. by   mclennan
    I only ever correct the term "stomach flu."
  10. by   blondy2061h
    I feel like I am constantly explaining antibiotics. You likely don't need an antibiotic for your self-diagnosed sinus infection, and you really shouldn't be taking the left over bactrim for it from when your wife had a UTI. And your wife shouldn't have left over Bactrim. I certainly wouldn't correct someone when they were telling someone what type of cancer they have. It's their disease, let them own it.
  11. by   Spidey's mom
    Ummmm . . . . I do. Mostly with family but I did comment on an article in local paper when they quoted someone about getting a flu shot who said a few days after the shot "my head got all stuffed up and I was coughing and then I ended up with the stomach flu afterall". A cold and norovirus are not the flu.

    I also comment to my family but usually only once. Some old habits die hard for people and you can't fight them. Had one grandmother tell me I would give my baby pneumonia by changing his diaper while sitting on the rug. So I stopped doing it around her.

    Have a diabetic relative who is going to a quack who insists you do not have to change your diet or exercise at all to "cure" diabetes. That's truly frustrating. But I can't change their mind, so I stopped. What was truly enjoyable for me was a recent Dr. appt for something unrelated to diabetes that I took this person to and that physician told this person after learning of the diabetes and the doc who was treating it said "He's a quack!!".
    Last edit by Spidey's mom on Jan 27, '13
  12. by   LibraSunCNM
    I get (mentally) homicidal when I hear people talking about how they "need" antibiotics for their "sinus infection," or "flu" with descriptions of regular cold symptoms. The overuse of antibiotics (and the providers who prescribe them willy nilly) drive me nuts and it's hard not for me to correct people about it.
  13. by   LadyFree28
    I basically go the rout of Spidey's Mom and Lily. No qualms about correction...will go into overdrive for the situation with the child and aspirin (Peds nurse here.)

    For people who do not want to be "enlightened", I just tell them, ok...keep us in business!
  14. by   Nrsasrus
    Quote from mclennan
    I only ever correct the term "stomach flu."
    This one really bugs me for some reason!