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Using lay terms in explanation.




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Explanations should be given in words the patient will understand, avoiding medical jargon. Using lay terms– words familiar to people without medical knowledge – can help patients understand explanations.

 

 
 


An explanation of angina

 

Having examined you, I'm confident that you're suffering from angina.

The heart is a pump. The more you do physically, the harder it has to work. But as we get older, the blood vessels which supply oxygen to the heart begin to harden and get furred up, so they become narrower. They can't supply all the oxygen the heart needs. The result is the pain you feel as angina.

Because you're experiencing pain at rest as well as on exertion, I'm going to have you admitted to the coronary care unit right away so that your treatment can start at once. You'll be given drugs to ease the pain and I expect you'll have an angiogram. They may advise surgery or angioplasty – that's a way of opening up the blood vessels to the heart so they can provide more oxygen.

You should try to give up smoking. You won't be able to smoke at all in hospital so it's a good time to stop.

 

I expect the treatment will improve your pain at least and may get rid if it completely. We can never be absolutely certain about the future but you should remain optimistic. Do you have any questions?

Exercises:

1. Match the stages of a consultation (1 – 4) with the sentences used (a – f). Look at A and C to help you.

1. management

2. diagnosis

3. general advice

4. prognosis

 

aI'm going to have you admitted to the coronary care unit.

bI expect the treatment will improve your pain at least and may get rid of it completely.

cHaving examined you, I'm confident that you're suffering from angina.

dYou should try to give up smoking.

eWe can never be absolutely certain about the future but you should remain optimistic.

fYou'll be given drugs to ease the pain and I expect you'll have an angiogram.

 

2. Replace the underlined words and phrases with appropriate lay terms.

a)medicine to reduce swelling

b)pain killer

c)stroke

d)breathlessness

e)tablets to improve your mood

 



§ Mr Harris, I'm afraid your wife's suffered (1) an acute cerebrovascular event.

§ Do you suffer from (2) dyspnoea when you exert yourself?

§ I'm going to give you (3) an analgesic and (4) an anti-inflammatory for your sprained ankle.

§ I'm putting you on (5) anti-depressants for a short time to help you get back to normal life.

 

3. Complete the explanation of diabetes. Look at A to help you.

You've(1)……………Type 2 diabetes. This is (2)………….. very overweight. Your body isn't producing enough insulin. (3) …………..you feel so thirsty. It's also the reason you have this rash and you have a problem with your eyes.

The nurse will (4) …………..your diet and I'll (5) …………..a dietician. I'm (6) ……………tablets to control your high blood sugar. You don't need insulin right now but it is possible you might need it in the future.

You (7) …………….lose weight.You should also see your optician every six months for eye checks.

Diabetes is a serious condition and can affect your heart, blood pressure, circulation, kidneys and vision but we can limit these problems by controlling your blood sugar.

No case of diabetes can be described as mild. I'll (8) …………..to attend the diabetic clinic every two months so we can check your progress.



(9) ………….reduce this to six monthly visits once your condition is under control. Is there (10)……………?

 


Lesson 2


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