Date of Performance/Collection: April 29, 2013
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s): Japanese
I collected these slang terms from a friend who heard it from his older sibling who works at a hospital. These terms are very indicative of the type of humor that medical practitioners have. According to my friend, they receive inordinate amounts of stress. So as to depersonalize the experience or detach themselves from getting too involved, they have to make light of it in almost an offensive way. They came up because we were just talking about unfortunate accidents that happen to people. As I was describing someone getting burned, he called the person a term that is used in hospitals. In asking where that came from, he proceeded to give quite a few terms and their meanings. My friend finds that they are very offensive and doesn’t enjoy that, and even using it for humor makes him feel slightly less human. However, he does believe that in order to maintain their sanity and ensure that they can stay healthy for themselves without being emotionally overwhelmed by anything, doctors do what they have to.
AGA (Acute Gravity Attack) – This term is used when a person falls over.
Beached Whale – This is used to describe an obese patient unable to do much for him/herself except lie there with flailing arms and legs.
Crispy Critter – This describes a patient with severe burns
LMC (Low Marble Count) – This describes a patient with low IQ.
ALS (Absolute Loss of Sanity) – This is used for an insane patient.
Appy – This is a term for a patient who is suspected to have appendicitis
BUNDY – This is an acronym that stands for “But Unfortunately Not Dead Yet.”
Dermaholiday – This is a nickname that is used for the dermatology department, which is supposedly not as busy as the other departments.
Drooler – This is a term for a catatonic patient.
Gorked – This is used to describe a person who is unresponsive and nonverbal either because the patient is sedated or because of a medical condition.
Certainly there are many more terms that are used in the hospital as part of their hospital language. I personally do not find their terms very funny. However, that is part of their job. As they get used to working there and dealing with cases, it probably becomes a part of their culture. It is something that they learn and become accustomed to in order to deal with the pressures of the environment. It also unifies the people in the field together because they speak the same language. People who aren’t inside of that field are not going to understand the terms being spoken because they aren’t acquainted with the culture of the hospital.