When a health care worker becomes a patient, is it lame or appropriate for them to use medical terminology when talking to their care providers?
I am (as usual) on the fence with this one.
A part of me finds it borderline irritating sometimes when people present to triage and say things like, "I've had some discomfort beneath my xiphisternum for the past three days, not sure if it is from the NSAIDS that I've been taking or if it is a hiatal hernia, or what.." Or "my nephew has just fallen skiing, I am pretty sure he's torn or partially torn his ACL, his drawer test is positive and he's not weight bearing".
Naturally the thoughts running through my head will include; "are you telling me this as a secret hint that you are a HCW and therefore should be seen more quickly than the sicker people in the waiting room?", "are you using medical language because of it's precision and beauty, or as an attempt to make my assessment easier?", or "are you having a difficult time accepting that you are a patient and are trying to desperately hold on to your normal power position in this setting?"
And then I realise that I am probably over-thinking the whole thing. Yet the feeling of vague annoyance lingers.
Of course, when I went to the sports med clinic with my shin splints a few years ago I wrote, "bilateral anterior tibial pain" under the chief complaint box. Why didn't I write "shin splints"? Well partly because I didn't know for sure if that is what it was, "leg pain" seemed too vague and I could perfectly describe the area of discomfort using those words. I am pretty sure the MD who saw me thought it was douche-y (the only explanation for his terrible assessment and treatment).
Since then I try to just let go, accept that I am the patient and write things like "knee pain" in the chief complaint box when I go to see the orthopod. Even through it is "midline, subpatellar discomfort on palpation and with weight bearing exercise".