Nurse slang—are you in the loop?

When you’re stretched for time, it’s easier to condense those looonnnggg, drawn out descriptions of who, what, when, where and why into nice, tightly-packed terms your colleagues can easily understand.

In this week’s episode of “The Katie Duke Show” on ScrubsBeat, Katie shares some of her favorite nurse-y phrases with us. Of course, they aren’t exactly textbook material, but they sure can help co-workers cut above the noise to communicate information fast, and perhaps even share a moment of subtle, comedic relief.

Check out the video below to discover some of the more common slang terms, then share your own with us in the comments section!


Katie Duke


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12 Responses to Nurse slang—are you in the loop?

  1. Robyn Stein

    GOMER) Get out of my emergency room

  2. gwinnyb

    serum porcelain level (for crackpots) GOMER =get out of my emergency room

  3. Sandra Duplechin

    In Labor and Delivery

    TOT-Tired of Toting-women who are just tired of being pregnant and swear they MUST be in labor, even when they’re not.

    FLK-Funny Looking Kid-when you do an assessment and decide it’s not a syndrome.

    PROM-Premature Rupture of Membranes-(so different from ortho where it means Passive Range of Motion)

    AROM-Artificial Rupture of Membranes-(Also different from ortho where it means Active Range of Motion)

    Enjoyed your slang which we also share in L&D.

  4. Karo

    PPBBB- Put pine box by bed.
    “treat ‘n street”- get the non emergent patients out of the er (ie; sore throat, earache, simple lacerations)
    LOL- Little old lady

  5. Cathyd117

    Worked with doctor from the Deep South. One of his favorite diagnosis was DFO. Slang for the patient that had a syncopal episode, or “done fell out.”

  6. ADriana Ron-Mendez

    One of my favorite nurse terms is closely reated to the Frequent Flyer ~~~~> 3:1 , Basically is a patient who is there for 3 hot meals and 1 bed, a 3:1. No real reason/need for hospialization other than they are out of funds for the month. LOL

  7. ADriana Ron-Mendez

    Oh, oh, oh and let’s not forget the HOSPITAL HOPPER !!! Same thing as a FREQUENT FLYER ! LOL

  8. Sheila Ames

    A doctor I worked with came up with FTD: Fixing To Die

  9. peabody51

    Slug-someone who will not get out of bed unless forced and moves like a…slug when up.

    Dead soldier-empty IV bag

    Crispy Critter-burn patient

    • Stephanie Snyder

      Circling the drain— Your patient is not looking so hot, not especially stable, and you have that “feeling” that they are about to code.

      Trainwreck- This patient is a mess. Super sick, trauma, multisystem organ failure, end stage COPD patient that continues to smoke, complicated surgery…..all of these are considered at “Trainwreck”.

      Hangry- This is when it is approaching 1500 and you still have not had an opportunity to eat and you just need a minute. H-angry is a combination of hungry and angry…..NEVER A GOOD THING.

      “Calling the JB” or “Hailing the Jesus Bus”- Your patient is nearing death and is ready. Sometimes it also refers to that weird day when multiple patients die in your unit- ie- The Jesus Bus is making rounds.

  10. Nurse...nurse...HEY NURSE

    I call the morbidly obese old ladies with NOOOO muscle tone. Pudding on a stick! You can’t move that!

  11. sb4

    We have the term “light Rider” For a resident that constantly uses call light for assistance and when you get there, they don’t remember doing it!
    We also have the term “fingerpainting” when resident has hands in poop, playing with it and it is smeared on their face.