Top 31 Slang For Patients – Meaning & Usage

Navigating the world of healthcare can be overwhelming, especially when you’re faced with a barrage of medical jargon and terminology. But fear not, we’ve got your back! Our team has put together a list of the top slang terms for patients that will not only help you understand the healthcare system better but also have you feeling like a pro in no time. So sit back, relax, and get ready to decode the language of the medical world with us!

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1. Zebra

In medical slang, a “zebra” refers to a rare medical condition or diagnosis. This term is often used by healthcare professionals to indicate that a patient’s symptoms or diagnosis is unusual or unexpected.

  • For example, a doctor might say, “We have a zebra case in the ER today. The patient has a rare genetic disorder.”
  • In a medical conference, a presenter might discuss, “The challenges of diagnosing zebras in a sea of horses.”
  • A nurse might document in a patient’s chart, “Patient presents with zebra-like symptoms, further investigation needed.”

2. Frequent flyer

In healthcare slang, a “frequent flyer” refers to a patient who frequently visits the hospital or healthcare facility. This term is often used to describe patients who have chronic or recurring health issues that require frequent medical attention.

  • For instance, a nurse might say, “We have another frequent flyer in Room 203. They’re here at least once a week.”
  • During a staff meeting, a doctor might discuss strategies for managing frequent flyers, saying, “We need to develop a care plan that reduces hospital visits for our frequent flyer population.”
  • A healthcare administrator might analyze data on frequent flyers, noting, “We’ve seen a significant increase in the number of frequent flyers in the past year.”

3. Code blue

In medical slang, “code blue” is an emergency code used to indicate a patient requiring immediate resuscitation or medical intervention. This term is often used in hospitals to alert healthcare staff of a life-threatening situation.

  • For example, a nurse might yell, “Code blue! Room 305!” to alert nearby staff to the emergency.
  • During a simulation training, a healthcare provider might practice responding to a code blue scenario, saying, “We need to initiate CPR and call for a crash cart.”
  • A doctor might discuss the importance of rapid response to code blue situations, stating, “Every second counts in a code blue. Early intervention can save lives.”

4. Gomer

In healthcare slang, a “Gomer” refers to an elderly patient with multiple medical issues, often with complex and challenging healthcare needs. This term is sometimes used by healthcare professionals to describe patients who require extensive care and resources.

  • For instance, a nurse might say, “Room 402 is a Gomer. They have diabetes, heart disease, and kidney problems.”
  • During a case presentation, a doctor might discuss the challenges of managing Gomer patients, saying, “Gomers often require a multidisciplinary approach to address their complex medical issues.”
  • A healthcare provider might document in a patient’s chart, “Patient is a Gomer with a history of recurrent hospitalizations.”

5. Rock

In healthcare slang, a “rock” refers to a patient who is unresponsive or difficult to treat. This term is often used to describe patients who do not show improvement despite medical interventions or who are resistant to following treatment plans.

  • For example, a nurse might say, “We have a rock in Room 501. They’re not responding to any of the medications.”
  • During a team meeting, a healthcare provider might discuss strategies for managing rock patients, saying, “We need to explore alternative treatment options for our rock population.”
  • A doctor might document in a patient’s chart, “Patient is a rock, showing minimal response to current treatment regimen.”

6. Blue light special

This term refers to a patient who requires immediate medical attention, often due to a life-threatening condition. It is derived from the use of blue lights on emergency vehicles to signal urgency.

  • For example, a nurse might say, “We have a blue light special coming in, prepare the trauma team.”
  • In a hospital setting, a doctor might request, “Call a code blue for this patient, it’s a blue light special.”
  • A paramedic might radio in, “We’re en route with a blue light special, ETA 5 minutes.”

7. Frequent flier

This term is used to describe a patient who frequently visits the hospital or healthcare facility. It implies that the patient has a chronic condition or requires frequent medical attention.

  • For instance, a nurse might say, “Mr. Smith is a frequent flier, he’s been admitted four times this month.”
  • In a discussion about healthcare costs, someone might mention, “Frequent fliers contribute to the strain on the system.”
  • A doctor might note, “We need to develop a care plan for our frequent fliers to better manage their conditions.”

8. Gorked

This slang term is used to describe a patient who is heavily sedated or in a dazed and unresponsive state. It can be used to refer to a patient under the influence of medication or in a medically-induced coma.

  • For example, a nurse might say, “The patient is gorked after the surgery, they won’t wake up for a while.”
  • In a discussion about pain management, a doctor might mention, “We need to be careful not to gork the patient with excessive pain medication.”
  • A family member might ask, “Will my loved one be gorked during the procedure?”

9. DNR

This acronym stands for “Do Not Resuscitate” and is used to indicate that a patient does not wish to receive cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or other life-saving measures in the event of cardiac or respiratory arrest.

  • For instance, a nurse might document in a patient’s chart, “Patient has a DNR order in place.”
  • In a discussion about end-of-life care, a doctor might explain, “A DNR order respects the patient’s wishes to not prolong their suffering.”
  • A family member might discuss with the healthcare team, “We need to consider whether a DNR order is appropriate for our loved one.”

10. Boarder

This term refers to a patient who is admitted and staying in the hospital for an extended period of time. It can also be used to describe a patient who is waiting for placement in a long-term care facility.

  • For example, a nurse might say, “We have a boarder in room 302, waiting for a transfer to a nursing home.”
  • In a discussion about hospital capacity, a doctor might mention, “We have several boarders in the emergency department who need inpatient beds.”
  • A social worker might discuss with a patient’s family, “We’re working on finding a suitable boarder placement for your loved one.”

11. Code black

In a hospital setting, “code black” refers to an emergency situation, usually involving a bomb threat or a violent individual. The term is used to alert staff to take appropriate action and ensure the safety of patients and personnel.

  • For example, “Code black, all staff report to the designated safe areas immediately!”
  • In a hospital TV drama, a character might say, “We have a code black in the ER, prepare for incoming casualties!”
  • During a training session, a hospital administrator might explain, “Code black is a rare occurrence, but it’s crucial to be prepared and follow established protocols.”

12. Rockstar

In medical slang, a “rockstar” refers to a patient who is exceptionally cooperative, understanding, and easy to care for. It’s often used to describe patients who are compliant with treatment plans and have a positive attitude.

  • For instance, a nurse might say, “Mrs. Smith is a rockstar patient, always following her medication schedule and asking insightful questions.”
  • During a shift change, a doctor might mention, “We have a rockstar in Room 302, let’s make sure we provide the best care possible.”
  • In a medical conference, a speaker might discuss the importance of patient engagement and say, “We need more rockstar patients who actively participate in their own healthcare.”

13. Drug seeker

“Drug seeker” is a term used to describe a patient who comes to the hospital or clinic primarily with the intention of obtaining prescription medications, often for non-medical reasons. It’s important for healthcare professionals to identify and appropriately address drug-seeking behaviors while still providing necessary care.

  • For example, a pharmacist might say, “We need to be cautious with patients who exhibit drug-seeking behavior and ensure they receive appropriate treatment.”
  • During a staff meeting, a nurse might share a case and say, “We had a drug seeker in the ER last night, but we managed to address their pain while avoiding unnecessary medication.”
  • In a training session on opioid prescribing, a doctor might discuss strategies for identifying and managing drug-seeking patients.
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14. Walkie-talkie

In healthcare settings, “walkie-talkie” refers to a portable communication device, typically a two-way radio, used by healthcare professionals to communicate with each other. It allows for quick and efficient communication, especially in emergency situations or when immediate coordination is required.

  • For instance, a nurse might say, “I’ll grab a walkie-talkie so we can stay in touch during the code blue.”
  • During a hospital tour, a guide might point out, “Each member of our staff carries a walkie-talkie for seamless communication.”
  • In a discussion about improving workflow, a hospital administrator might suggest, “We should consider investing in more walkie-talkies to enhance communication and response times.”

15. Admitted

In medical slang, “admitted” refers to a patient who has been officially admitted to the hospital for treatment and care. It signifies that the patient has been assigned a bed and is under the supervision of the hospital staff.

  • For example, a nurse might say, “Mr. Johnson was admitted to the cardiology unit for further evaluation.”
  • During a patient handover, a doctor might mention, “We have a new admission in Room 405, please review the chart and initiate necessary interventions.”
  • In a medical report, a physician might document, “The patient was admitted with severe abdominal pain and is currently undergoing diagnostic tests.”

16. Discharged

When a patient is discharged, it means they have been released from the hospital and are no longer receiving medical treatment.

  • For example, a doctor might say, “The patient is stable and can be discharged tomorrow.”
  • A nurse might inform a patient, “You will be discharged this afternoon, so make sure you have someone to pick you up.”
  • A family member might ask, “When can we expect the patient to be discharged?”

17. Bed blocker

A bed blocker is a term used to describe a patient who remains in the hospital for an extended period of time, even though they no longer require acute care. This can cause a shortage of available beds for other patients.

  • For instance, a nurse might say, “We have several bed blockers on this floor who need to be transferred to a long-term care facility.”
  • A doctor might discuss the issue with a colleague, saying, “We need to find a solution for the bed blockers to free up beds for new admissions.”
  • A hospital administrator might address the problem by implementing strategies to reduce bed blocking.
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18. No-show

A no-show is a term used to describe a patient who fails to attend a scheduled appointment without cancelling or rescheduling in advance.

  • For example, a receptionist might say, “We had three no-shows this morning.”
  • A doctor might express frustration, saying, “No-shows disrupt the schedule and waste valuable appointment slots.”
  • A healthcare provider might implement reminder systems to reduce the number of no-shows.

19. Seeker

A seeker is a term used to describe a patient who seeks prescription medication for non-medical purposes, often with the intention of abusing or selling the drugs.

  • For instance, a pharmacist might identify a seeker by recognizing multiple prescriptions for the same medication from different doctors.
  • A healthcare provider might suspect a patient is a seeker if they exhibit drug-seeking behavior, such as requesting specific medications or frequently visiting different clinics.
  • A law enforcement officer might arrest a seeker for illegal possession or distribution of prescription drugs.

20. Hopper

A hopper is a term used to describe a patient who frequently changes healthcare providers, often seeking out multiple opinions or treatments for the same condition.

  • For example, a nurse might say, “We have a difficult time managing this patient’s care because they’re a frequent hopper.”
  • A doctor might discuss the challenges of treating a hopper, saying, “It’s important to establish a trusting relationship with these patients to ensure continuity of care.”
  • A healthcare administrator might implement strategies to track and manage hoppers, such as a centralized medical record system.

21. Zombified

When a patient is heavily sedated or under the influence of strong medication, they may appear zombified, with slow movements and a lack of responsiveness.

  • For example, “After the surgery, she was so zombified from the painkillers.”
  • A nurse might say, “We need to be careful with the dosage, or the patient will end up completely zombified.”
  • A family member might express concern, “I don’t like seeing my loved one zombified like this.”

22. Gorked out

When a patient is gorked out, they are heavily sedated or unconscious due to medication or anesthesia.

  • For instance, “After the accident, he was gorked out in the ICU for days.”
  • A doctor might say, “We’ll need to keep her gorked out during the procedure.”
  • A nurse might report, “The patient is still gorked out from the anesthesia, but they should wake up soon.”

23. Heartwarmer

A heartwarmer is a patient who has a positive attitude, is grateful for the care they receive, and brings joy to the healthcare team.

  • For example, “Mrs. Johnson is such a heartwarmer. She always has a smile on her face despite her condition.”
  • A nurse might say, “It’s patients like him that make this job rewarding. He’s a true heartwarmer.”
  • A doctor might mention, “We could all use a heartwarmer on a tough day. They remind us why we chose this profession.”

24. Admit

When a patient is admitted to the hospital, it means they have been officially registered and brought in for treatment and care.

  • For instance, “The ER doctor decided to admit the patient due to the severity of their symptoms.”
  • A nurse might say, “We have a new admit in room 302. Please prepare the bed.”
  • A family member might ask, “When will they admit my father? He’s been waiting for hours.”

25. Discharge

When a patient is discharged from the hospital, it means they have completed their treatment and are deemed well enough to leave and continue their recovery at home.

  • For example, “The doctor decided to discharge the patient after monitoring their condition for 24 hours.”
  • A nurse might say, “The discharge paperwork is ready. We just need the doctor’s signature.”
  • A family member might ask, “What should we expect after discharge? Are there any special instructions?”

26. Non-compliant

This term is used to describe patients who do not adhere to their prescribed medication or treatment regimen. It implies that the patient is not cooperating with their healthcare provider’s recommendations.

  • For example, a doctor might say, “The patient is non-compliant with their medication schedule.”
  • A nurse might note, “The patient’s non-compliance is hindering their recovery.”
  • In a medical chart, a healthcare provider might write, “Patient advised on the importance of compliance with treatment plan.”

27. Difficult

This term is used to describe patients who present challenges in their healthcare management. It suggests that the patient’s condition or behavior makes it difficult for healthcare providers to provide appropriate care.

  • For instance, a nurse might say, “The patient is being difficult and refusing to cooperate.”
  • A doctor might discuss a difficult patient case, saying, “The patient’s complex medical history makes their treatment plan challenging.”
  • In a medical report, a healthcare provider might write, “Patient’s difficult behavior is affecting the quality of care.”

28. Chronic

This term is used to describe medical conditions that are ongoing or long-lasting. It implies that the condition requires continuous management or treatment.

  • For example, a doctor might say, “The patient has been diagnosed with a chronic illness.”
  • A nurse might explain, “Chronic conditions often require lifestyle changes and regular monitoring.”
  • In a medical record, a healthcare provider might write, “Patient presents with chronic pain symptoms.”

29. Acute

This term is used to describe medical conditions that are severe or have a sudden onset. It suggests that the condition requires immediate attention or treatment.

  • For instance, a doctor might say, “The patient is experiencing acute pain in their abdomen.”
  • A nurse might report, “The patient’s acute symptoms require further investigation.”
  • In a medical chart, a healthcare provider might write, “Patient admitted with acute respiratory distress.”

30. Stable

This term is used to describe a patient whose medical condition is not worsening or improving significantly. It suggests that the patient is in a relatively stable state.

  • For example, a doctor might say, “The patient’s vital signs are stable.”
  • A nurse might note, “The patient’s condition remains stable with no significant changes.”
  • In a medical report, a healthcare provider might write, “Patient’s stable condition allows for continued outpatient care.”

31. Critical

This term is used to describe a patient who is in a severe or life-threatening condition and requires immediate medical attention.

  • For example, a doctor might say, “The patient is in critical condition and needs to be taken to the intensive care unit.”
  • A nurse might note, “We need to monitor the critical patient closely for any changes in their vital signs.”
  • A family member might ask, “Is there anything we can do to help the patient in critical condition?”