Nursing: Medical Vs Lay Language Barrier

“He is going to draw your blood.”

“I don’t understand.”

2 minutes later… After my PCA already drew the patient’s blood, I thought about a different way to word it.

“He took your blood.”


When someone doesn’t understand something, it doesn’t mean he is confused. And it doesn’t mean you repeat the same thing over and over. Or try to pass it off as something that she won’t understand. It means that you have to use different wording to get your message across. And the wording should be in a way an average person would know.

Sometimes it’s difficult to switch from “speaking medical” to “speaking with patients”. But I feel that a fine balance between the two is essential to being a great nurse.

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