If Nurses Rewrote The Dictionary: 10 Definitions That Need An Update!

This article was republished with permission from SCRUBS Magazine.

Okay, so for the most part, Webster and the Merriam family have got us covered, dictionary-wise.

But here’s a thought: What if nurses rewrote the dictionary? Yes, nurses (in all their spare time, of course).

While a complete overhaul of the English language probably isn’t necessary, there are a few words, just here and there, that could use a nurse’s tweak.

For example:

Patience (n) – not to be confused with the noun patients, for whom this will sometimes not exist. Patience is a carefully constructed skill that allows one to smile when one’s instinct is to exhibit rage, and can be very much dependent upon numerous outside factors (see “caffeine” below).

Sleep (v) – a very rare phenomenon wherein the eyes are closed for a total of 15 to 20 minutes. Often occurs during moments of routine bodily rest (examples include showering, standing in line at the market, talking to spouses, etc).

Closed (adj.) – as in not operating 24/7. Not a real concept. Who invented this?

Break (n) – this one can go, too.

Speed-walking (v) – a method of transporting oneself from point A to point B at all times, never to be reduced to a moderate walking pace. Uses can range anywhere from basic floor management to “Did he just code?” situations.

Caffeine (n) – life fuel. Comparable to water, with the added effect of sanity.

School (n) – a phase of one’s life that extends far longer than ever thought to be possible. Synonymous with the following words: panic, loans and insomnia.

Pocket (n) – likely the single most important development in medical history.

Chart (n) – 1. individual records, used for reference purposes; 2. a cruel and unusual form of punishment. Highly unpopular.

Nurses (n) – the men and women who have developed the skills necessary to care for the bulk of humanity. Often low in the following areas: rest, vacation time and faith in said humanity’s ability to make sound decisions. Not low in: general know-how of all things worth knowing, daily resilience and compassion.

Care to revise any of these definitions? Share in the comments section below.


This article was republished with permission from SCRUBS Magazine.
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