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Using Medical Terms Vs, Bedside Manner

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since 02-21-2007
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Leesburg, FL, USA

0 posted 02-26-2007 06:05 PM       View Profile for rachaelfuchsberger   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rachaelfuchsberger

Every year thousands upon thousands of women miscarry pregnancies. It's tragic but true, and at the tender age of 15, I was one of those women. For those of you who don't know, the technical medical term for a miscarriage is "spontaneous abortion." Put yourself in the shoes of a young woman in the midst of having a miscarriage. You're losing your baby, you're tired, you're hysterical, you're an emotional wreck, and someone comes along, a nurse, a doctor, an intern, and says to you "I'm sorry, but you're experiencing a spontaneous abortion." What would YOUR reaction be? I know what mine was. "I DID NOT KILL MY BABY!" The doctor explained that no, I didn't intentionally kill my baby, but my body was saying that I wasn't ready for a pregnancy, and I was having a miscarriage, but the medical term is "spontaneous abortion." The nurses, interns and other doctors kept using that same term. It made me more and more angry and more and more upset, and put me in more emotional and physical pain than what I was experiencing in the first place.

What do you think? Would it make it easier for you to handle something like a miscarriage if the technical terms (like spontaneous abortion) were used? Would it be easier if the doctors, nurses and interns considered your emotional state and used simple, layman's words? Is the use of technical terms dispite the patient's emotional state still good bedside manner?


Member Rara Avis
since 08-02-99
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Purgatorial Incarceration

1 posted 02-26-2007 07:50 PM       View Profile for Christopher   Email Christopher   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Christopher

Emotions are volatile. There is a lot to be said for the disassociative clinical manner; it can steady and calm, divorce and lull. It may not always be appropriate (I'd say your case in point is a bad choice of descriptive terms, however correct they might be), but seeing as how people and their responses are so incredibly varied, providing the providers a sort of bedrock language to work from may help to meet everyone on even terms instead of making the inevitable mistakes of misreading someone's mood.

Just a thought.
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since 03-03-2007
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2 posted 03-03-2007 04:14 PM       View Profile for Sphinxen   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Sphinxen

Having a set term to use does make sense but after your initial reaction they should have had the decency to exchange terms.
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since 09-21-1999
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Sycamore, IL, USA

3 posted 03-04-2007 04:56 PM       View Profile for sandgrain   Email sandgrain   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for sandgrain

After having 3 children, I had problems with a subsequent pregnancy.  Entering the hospital, I felt certain they'd remedy the problem. At that time, abortion wasn't legal, so any thought of it was far from my mind.  I can appreciate your feelings, as my doctor said it looks like an abortion, and they could do a D&C so I could go home the next day.  Otherwise I might lie there for weeks before aborting.  I was horrified!  I refused to go for a D&C if there was any chance the baby was still alive.  He smiled that pathetic look at me, while saying there's no way to be sure, but I am having problems and only 5 months along.  Other personel came to try to convince me that it was okay to have my uterus scraped and even scheduled me for the next morning.  I cried, feeling so betrayed.  I'd come to be helped and now had to defend myself from allowing this to take place.  My doctor even said, "You have 3 children.  This isn't a difficult procedure."

I miscarried naturally the next day, but later felt the pressure to have a D&C may have helped bring it on.  I was given nothing to stop the bleeding I'd been experiencing or in any way save the pregnancy.

It was extrememly upsetting to me.

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