Medical terminology is sometimes shrouded in veils of mystery. Because, you know, we have our own language. And when studying in nursing school or medical school it can be useful to use mnemonics.
These are the letters that spell out a meaningful phrase. At least meaningful to the medical type people.
When I was at Creighton at 19, the boys would giggle at the mnemonic for naming the cranial nerves.
- Spinal accessory
Not very giggle worthy, but if you took the first letter from each to make a new word to make a sentence. Oh, Oh, Oh, To Touch And Feel …
This would end in something naughty, or not. You get the idea.
Medical Mnemonics, helping teenagers study for anatomy tests since the dawn of anatomy tests.
There are others in the medical field.
There is the 8 letter mnemonic for the bones of the wrist.
Not all of medical mnemonics are anatomical.
Sometimes they are used in different contexts.
ABC- for the steps of CPR, which is another one.
APGAR, used in maternity wards.
SOAP and SOAPIE, which is how I learned to write a nursing diagnosis.
SBAR which is used to get information out in a systematic manner.
These are very useful, and intentional communication aids.
That most medical type people will understand.
This was a texting language before texting was a glimmer in Friedhelm Hillebrand and Bernard Ghillebaert’s eyes. These men are inventors of texting in 1984. You can thank them later.
Or Samuel Shem who wrote about tongue in cheek mnemonics for House of God. That is the O-sign if you want to know. There’s a post about that sometime in Dispatches’ past.
All the way back to the 1920s and Otto Neurath and the Isotype Pictograph language.
I bet this was the modern beginning of emojis.
If there is a way to shorthand information, nursing and medicine have found it and utilized it. Because it is a way to disseminate needed information in a rapid manner. To be understood by people who need to know.
And it isn’t just medical mnemonics, the military have been doing this for years.
Did you know that the original Jeep stood for general purposes? Or Gee Pee.
If we didn’t have a way to explain complex, emergent situations, we, and the patients, would be FUBARed.