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Surgeon for an instructor

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by Beldar_the_Cenobite Beldar_the_Cenobite (Platinum*) Platinum*

Beldar_the_Cenobite works as a Certified Nursing Assistant.

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You are reading page 4 of Surgeon for an instructor. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

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I don't think a patient, or a large majority of patients I'll see, will have any knowledge of medical terms I've never seen before.

No, but it's helpful to be able to talk to colleagues without sounding like a doofus ...

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psu_213 has 6 years experience.

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I don't think a patient, or a large majority of patients I'll see, will have any knowledge of medical terms I've never seen before.

Well, it's interesting that you say that. I hear physicians, usually residents, use medical terminology to patient all the time. If I see this happen, particularly if the pt/family looks confused over what was just said, I will try to explain it to them in layman's terms. That would be difficult for me to do if I don't have at least a basic understanding myself of what those terms mean.

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OP, ask him. It's his job to answer your questions.

Anyway, one great thing about all scientific terminology, including medical, is that it's just Greek and Latin (90% of medical terminology is greek), and is ridiculously descriptive. And you can apply this literally from starting your prereqs, all the way through graduating medical school if you want to be an MD.

So to use the example from the first post in study tips: remembering the term thrombocytopenia. It's just three greek words combined. Let's break it down, and use a couple more examples to show how repetitive knowing these basic greek concepts gets.

Thrombos = blood clot. So EVERY time you see "throm," "thromb," "thrombo," etc., it's ALWAYS a blood clot, 100% of the time

Cyto = cell. So every time you see "cyto" it means it's something to do with the cells. So far, we have a clot of blood cells.

Penia = lack. Every time you see "penia" it means that there is a lack of something.

So what is thrombocytopenia? A lack (penia) of clotting blood (thrombo) cells (cyto). The word is literally its definition. The only thing you have to actually apply to it is that the clotting blood cells are platelets. So your final answer is a low platelet count.

Or neutroPENIA? A LACK of neutrophils.

It even works on more complicated sounding ones. Like ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Let's break that one down:

A = no

myo = muscle

troph = nourishment

ic = related to

lateral = sides

scler = hardening

osis = disease / disorder

So what's ALS? A disorder that the body on both sides hardens because of a lack of nourishment to the muscles.

Or one more example to reuse a few of these greek words, myocardial infarction: myo we know is muscle, cardia = heart, al=of, infarct=cram or clog. So it's a clog of the heart muscle. A heart attack. Commonly caused by cornoary= surrounding, atherosclerosis or Athero = pasty, and you already know scler = hardening, and osis is a disorder, or a disorder where the arteries harden because of something pasty (plaque), or more specifically when the coronary artery becomes clogged because of hardening because of plaque buildup.

You have at least 2 years at a minimum: Learn your basic greek and latin. Every term that you have to learn, learn what the parts of it mean, because you will see them over and over in other terms. Eventually, you'll be able to just look at a word and know exactly what it is, or at the very least, what it affects. A lot of times, as you're seeing, just understanding the word tells you what the symptom and the common cause of it is. Terminology is the easy part. The real challenge is what you do about all of these, how you treat it and how you take care of it.

Pathophysiology follows the same concept. You're going to have a lot of very common suffixes, prefixes, and words that look more complicated than they really are, that are literally just greek descriptions of exactly what's going on, combined with the greek descriptions of exactly where it's happening, and also combined with exactly why it's happening. Learning to break down the terminology in pathophysiology is going to follow you through your entire medical career, and be a HUGE help through school and through every other class that involves terminology, which is all of them.

Edited by tonyl1234

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Tenebrae has 6 years experience and works as a Registered Nurse in Gerontology.

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I wish nursing school would have included MORE non-nurse instructors, personally.

I would have loved having a surgeon teaching us patho. Hopefully we would have gotten more than the three hour lecture on each body system that we got

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Tenebrae has 6 years experience and works as a Registered Nurse in Gerontology.

144 Likes; 10,325 Visitors; 1,378 Posts

I don't think a patient, or a large majority of patients I'll see, will have any knowledge of medical terms I've never seen before.

When my mum was sick, her daughters included an emergency medicine consultant, Registered Nurse and radiographer. Never assume

Anyhow, learning the terminology is just as much about so you can understand what you read, see and hear when you are a nurse

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You should be thankful you have a knowledgable person teaching pathophys. About 1/5 professors are terrible in my experience. I personally would love to have a surgeon teach one of my classes; I might actually learn something from the professor for once. I had an A&P professor that held a doctorate in human biology and he was the best professor I've ever had. Another one that was a DNP and pharmacologist and was excellent as well. Enjoy it now friend, because most of them suck and simply read the power point out loud, and go on and on about how great they are.

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psu_213 has 6 years experience.

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You should be thankful you have a knowledgable person teaching pathophys. About 1/5 professors are terrible in my experience.

I'm not going to put a percentage on it, but I agree, there are some not so knowledgeable instructors out there. Where I got my ADN, pathophys was usually taught by an adjunct who was a nurse. For whatever reason, she could not teach it the term that I had it. Someone had the study guide that she, the instructor, had put out the previous year. I forget the exact concept now, but her study guide says "the book says [disease A] causes XYZ, but the book isn't clear about that, so I'm not sure." (It's one of those things you remember and makes you shake your head.) I certainly don't expect any instructor to know everything, but to put out, in public, your study guide that just lets that hang there and tells everyone you are too lazy to look it up? In other words, be very happy with what you have, OP.

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bgxyrnf has 10 years experience.

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I'm curious... at what career stage is this surgeon? Is he retired?

If he's not retired then I seriously wonder why he's accepting the mediocre pay associated with teaching that class rather than (a) practicing his profession, or (b) teaching at the physician level... either med school, residency, or continuing education for physicians.

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PiperLambie has 1 years experience and works as a Emergency Department RN.

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So I had to take Patho online (I was on a satellite campus that had not yet hired an on-site instructor), and the instructor had her doctorate in clinical pathobiology- she also asked the tough questions. For gross anatomy, I had a retired veterinarian, who also was the head of our cadaver program for the school. While he was pretty easy going, that didn't stop him from asking the tough questions, since a kidney is a kidney with mammals. Consider this: a veterinarian is an GP, surgeon, intensivist, orthopedic, and palliative expert all in one. He was absolutely the highlight of my accelerated nursing program.

As for your surgeon being tough or mean, just be glad you are a nursing student taking patho- there are plenty of stories of med students and residents getting kicked out of whatever situation they are involved in for not being able to answer questions. My wife tells the story of when she was in med school and the OB, during a c-section, asked her to vocalize the pathway of blood in the maternal-fetal circulation. When she froze the OB asked the resident, who froze, was given some not nice words, and kicked out of the room to go crack a book and come back with the appropriate theory so that they knew the reason behind what to do/where to clamp/how to react if their patient started to hemorrhage in a similar situation.

My point is that physicians (especially surgeons) hold themselves and their peers to impossibly high standards, starting as med students, as they work to improve safety, outcome, and quality rates. Nursing is heading that direction, but the one thing about nursing school (whether accelerated or traditional) is that it's like trying to drink from a fire hose- you get a lot more to the face than you actually get to drink, so stay as thirsty as you can.

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Beldar_the_Cenobite works as a Certified Nursing Assistant.

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I'm curious... at what career stage is this surgeon? Is he retired?

If he's not retired then I seriously wonder why he's accepting the mediocre pay associated with teaching that class rather than (a) practicing his profession, or (b) teaching at the physician level... either med school, residency, or continuing education for physicians.

He practices on the side a well. I believe this weekend he said he's travelling somewhere and won't have any internet access till he gets back next weekend. So, he'll be gone for a whole week.

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Beldar_the_Cenobite works as a Certified Nursing Assistant.

11,398 Visitors; 411 Posts

So I had to take Patho online (I was on a satellite campus that had not yet hired an on-site instructor), and the instructor had her doctorate in clinical pathobiology- she also asked the tough questions. For gross anatomy, I had a retired veterinarian, who also was the head of our cadaver program for the school. While he was pretty easy going, that didn't stop him from asking the tough questions, since a kidney is a kidney with mammals. Consider this: a veterinarian is an GP, surgeon, intensivist, orthopedic, and palliative expert all in one. He was absolutely the highlight of my accelerated nursing program.

As for your surgeon being tough or mean, just be glad you are a nursing student taking patho- there are plenty of stories of med students and residents getting kicked out of whatever situation they are involved in for not being able to answer questions. My wife tells the story of when she was in med school and the OB, during a c-section, asked her to vocalize the pathway of blood in the maternal-fetal circulation. When she froze the OB asked the resident, who froze, was given some not nice words, and kicked out of the room to go crack a book and come back with the appropriate theory so that they knew the reason behind what to do/where to clamp/how to react if their patient started to hemorrhage in a similar situation.

My point is that physicians (especially surgeons) hold themselves and their peers to impossibly high standards, starting as med students, as they work to improve safety, outcome, and quality rates. Nursing is heading that direction, but the one thing about nursing school (whether accelerated or traditional) is that it's like trying to drink from a fire hose- you get a lot more to the face than you actually get to drink, so stay as thirsty as you can.

Yeah, I couldn't imagine what it was like for him in med school. I could not imagine the types of questions that he was asked. It sounds like your wife had to verbalize what she had to do. I would like to ask him how he asks hard questions. Sometimes I wonder if they're made up medical terms. Like pseudo-medical terminology. This recent exam we took yesterday was written by both of them but it was very palatable compared to the last exam. A lot of students in my class I've spoken to about said that the test yesterday was a lot better than the first one as far as language usage. I webcamming with a nurse on facebook through a nursing group and she said "surgeons or doctors like to ask questions using med terms that have the same meaning" and I shook my head yes in agreement with big bulging eyes and she recommended a medical dictionary, which should be coming in the mail sometime today. I hope it will contain words that will have "synonym: blah blah blah" at the end of the definition like I think I've seen in some dictionaries that are non-medical related. An antonym list at the end would be nice too.

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PiperLambie has 1 years experience and works as a Emergency Department RN.

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Most nursing programs, following pre-reqs, will require you to take some terminology, where you will learn that there is no pseudo to his terminology. I think it was in the didactic part of my skills course that we had a separate terminology exam each week for the first month (in a class that was only seven weeks long) in which we had to write down the meanings of roots and combine terms, etc.

I totally understand your point about not using medical jargon, or what I like to call 'nursey words', when talking to patients, but depending where you work (I'm in the ED), it's almost necessary just to read and understand the radiology/imaging reports that we follow up on- radiologists ONLY write reports in medical jargon. Not to mention, when you have to give report, and hopefully you review the patient's record to include physician progress notes, you'll have to be able to decipher that cholecystectomy is the same thing as gall bladder removal, or that hyperkalemia is the same thing as high blood serum potassium, in order to be properly informed.

You seem to be taking it in stride, but never be afraid to ask questions- most physicians I have met that are around education at all do it because they enjoy teaching students, no matter how gruff they might seem on the exterior.

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