Nurse's Codes?
January 5, 2004 3:58 AM   Subscribe

You know the chart they hang on the end of hospital beds? Apparently there's a myth that nurses put 2 letter codes on these that describe the characteristics of the patient that annoy/irritate/disgust them most. Has anyone heard of these?
posted by kev23f to Health & Fitness (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
All I've heard of is a similar story, about notations in medical records noting "FLK." Apparently this stands for "funny looking kid."
posted by jpburns at 4:44 AM on January 5, 2004

Chart information used to be placed at the end of the beds,
but now it's usually kept in a manilla folder outside the patient's door.

The initials bit may be a joke/urban legend, since nurses' stations
outside the patients' quarters would be rife with gossipy info.
Whatever notes they'd care to pass along would be kept at the desk.
posted by Smart Dalek at 5:16 AM on January 5, 2004

Two BBC stories: This one is mostly serious. This one has the nastier (ie funnier) stuff.
Another story reports British Doctors been told off for their poor note taking, with the following example:

6.30am: Sleeping peacefully
8.40am: Dead
posted by biffa at 5:29 AM on January 5, 2004

It's not a two-letter acronym but I've heard GORK and seen it in a medical dictionary to describe a patient who is brain dead and non-responsive, and GOMER for get out of my emergency room. My brother, in his med residency days, told me there was a term, "the ???? sign" to describe when, on an X-ray, the patient's penis pointed directly at the problem area.

Here's a glossary of some colorful medical acronyms and euphemisms.
posted by planetkyoto at 6:08 AM on January 5, 2004

I don't imagine it's hospital policy but I wouldn't be surprised if certain groups of nurses and doctors do it within their departments.

Back when I did desktop service we had a "PIA Number" in our service report database to warn other techs of the user's personality.
posted by bondcliff at 6:16 AM on January 5, 2004

I think it happened, but was much more common in the paternalistic days of medicine. Now that doctors are being taught about "autonomy" and "patient-centered care," as well as the fact that a lot of patients look at their own charts, and know more about their condition than doctors do thanks to the Net, it's much less common, especially with younger docs.
posted by gramcracker at 9:33 AM on January 5, 2004

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