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Entry, Foot in Mouth
Kate Schraeder, Mississippi State University
For those of us who have spent time in the field of veterinary medicine, this type of language is second nature. How convenient it is to be able to describe patients with symptoms ranging from lethargy to decreased appetite to being in a foul mood as “ADR”- “ain’t doin’ right”.
Now, try to remember back to when you first started working at a vet clinic.
As a 16 year old kid with no medical background besides the religious watching of Grey’s Anatomy, I was pretty sure the general gist of acronyms in medicine was to shorten all vitally important medical directions so the new technician has to take 15 minutes first trying to decipher your hand writing and then Googling what, exactly, “give 1 pill PO BID x 3d, then SID x 3 d, then EOD x3 doses” means.
Eventually, however, I got the hang of it. I even forgot how frustrating I once found the use of these acronyms.
Fast forward a few years: I had grown pretty confident in my work. I knew the ropes, and they had even trusted me to train the new guy! As is customary, within the first month of his employment as a kennel tech, Dan decided to adopt one of the abandoned puppies that routinely found a way to our clinic. Dan was excited about taking her home, but also a little nervous. He had never had a pet before and, being an 18 year old college boy, didn’t know for sure how to take care of another living creature. But it was love at first sight when he saw Edna, a little Mississippi yard dog (you know the ones I’m talking about: brown, medium-sized bulldog/hound mix). Besides having a belly full of worms and a minor skin rash, she was in good health, and her big droopy puppy dog eyes and lop-sided ears had everyone fawning over her. I assured him that everything would be fine; I had written everything down for him. De-wormer and an antihistamine: he could handle that, right?