Lost in Translation

  1. I am at a boarding high school with lots of international students... sometimes you either scratch your head or just laugh.
    Boy today said he had a couple episodes of diarrhea and was concerned that he might have "a stomach cold"
    Another boy had a concussion. Said his mom had given him medication to take if he was sick so he was taking it. He didn't think it was helping and didn't know the name of it. Asked him to bring it to the health center. Was penicillin.. Yup, nope.
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  2. Visit purplewaves45 profile page

    About purplewaves45

    Joined: Jan '18; Posts: 13; Likes: 35
    from ME , US
    Specialty: 1 year(s) of experience

    15 Comments

  3. by   ruby_jane
    Quote from purplewaves45
    . Boy today said he had a couple episodes of diarrhea and was concerned that he might have "a stomach cold"
    Another boy had a concussion. Said his mom had given him medication to take if he was sick so he was taking it. He didn't think it was helping and didn't know the name of it. Asked him to bring it to the health center. Was penicillin.. Yup, nope.
    I love this. "Stomach cold" is totally accurate. Runny noses...runny bowels...

    I have found that a lot of my friends/patients who have access to what are prescription drugs here in Mexico often have a stash of antibiotic. It takes a lot of education. I'm reminded of the guy in "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" who thought Windex would fix everything.
  4. by   Oldmahubbard
    Years ago, a young Vietnamese man told me, through an interpreter , that he had a "disease".

    Multiple questions via the interpreter yielded little further information. They were both very insistent that he had a disease, because they had looked it up.

    Finally I said " please write down the disease".

    "Dizzy" they wrote.
  5. by   OldDude
    Quote from Oldmahubbard
    Years ago, a young Vietnamese man told me, through an interpreter , that he had a "disease".

    Multiple questions via the interpreter yielded little further information. They were both very insistent that he had a disease, because they had looked it up.

    Finally I said " please write down the disease".

    "Dizzy" they wrote.
    from my days in the ER..."chicken breath" - she can't breathe.
  6. by   Amethya
    I work with a school majority of them Hispanic, and some Black and very little White and Asian students. So I can understand Spanish and English perfectly, so it's no issue, but the Asian students? I don't know Vietnamese, so if they come about their child, I have to get either the child to translate or find a teacher who knows it, which thankfully we do. It's also hard to understand them with their accent, but I try. I think I'm going to learn Vietnamese as a third language, maybe that will help me more.
  7. by   LikeTheDeadSea
    "My nose is throwing up."

    Guess what they were describing
  8. by   NutmeggeRN
    Quote from ruby_jane
    I love this. "Stomach cold" is totally accurate. Runny noses...runny bowels...

    I have found that a lot of my friends/patients who have access to what are prescription drugs here in Mexico often have a stash of antibiotic. It takes a lot of education. I'm reminded of the guy in "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" who thought Windex would fix everything.
    Windex will help get a very tight ring off with out cutting the ring!! I will use it on an adult but not a child unless I speak to a parent.
  9. by   WineRN
    windex-uses-png

    <3 my big fat greek wedding
  10. by   WineRN
    I had a student go home for a fever and I used the phrase "He's was funny" as in he's not feeling like himself which is why he was sent my way.
    The mom (ESOL) emailed the teacher after picking him saying "the nurse said he was acting funny. was he being like a clown in class?"
  11. by   NurseSpeedy
    Well, I think when it comes to pediatrics I'm a little slow with catching on to the verbiage. My child is seven. Ever since she was four there would be the occasion that she would start complaining of a 'dry throat', so I would give her water. She wouldn't complain of anything else and was running around happy and playing so I would think nothing of it. A couple days later she'd have a nose flowing like a river and coughing like crazy....fast forward three years and she complains of a 'dry throat' and it finally hits me. I say, "Honey, is it 'dry' or 'sore' like your getting sick" She replies, "Well, I usually don't feel very good the next day and I can only breathe out of one side of my nose. Hey, am I getting sick?"....so it took me some time but 'dry throat' was kid lingo for 'Hey, idiot! I'm coming down with the creepy crud. Pass the Cepacol!"
  12. by   Leader25
    I had a friend who had access to meds from places where they were stationed for diplomatic employment.
    She had a cold and told me she was not feeling well in spite of taking medication for it.I asked to show me what she was taking as I read the label My eyes popped out when i saw the word for tuberculosis medication .
  13. by   NurseSpeedy
    Quote from Leader25
    I had a friend who had access to meds from places where they were stationed for diplomatic employment.
    She had a cold and told me she was not feeling well in spite of taking medication for it.I asked to show me what she was taking as I read the label My eyes popped out when i saw the word for tuberculosis medication .
    Well that was sure one heck of a doozy "cold" now wasn't it?

    My last TB patient was also a psych patient. I went in to give him his TB meds (and a little haldol)...he didn't refer to them as ‘cold' meds though...noooo, according to him they were his ‘monkey nuts!!!'. Yes, he was ‘a witch'and he ‘ate monkey nuts'. He also offered to share. Um, no thanks? I'll never forget that guy. He also decided his name was God or Jesus Christ depending on the day....
  14. by   nmr79
    Quote from NurseSpeedy
    Well that was sure one heck of a doozy "cold" now wasn't it?

    My last TB patient was also a psych patient. I went in to give him his TB meds (and a little haldol)...he didn't refer to them as ‘cold' meds though...noooo, according to him they were his ‘monkey nuts!!!'. Yes, he was ‘a witch'and he ‘ate monkey nuts'. He also offered to share. Um, no thanks? I'll never forget that guy. He also decided his name was God or Jesus Christ depending on the day....
    I really miss working adult psych sometimes. My personal favorite was a manic man who referred to Lithium as "Pink Peruvian Cyanide." Never a dull moment.

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