Latin Blather

Statim- immediately, but always abbreviated to stat is a favorite term in the medical world. It gets flung about on hospital floors and in the OR so frequently that it might be one of the most commonly used Latin abbreviations. In a drama, it might be growled by an ogreish MD frustrated with a patient’s progress- they want the test results stat!

But just as likely, it’s the off-duty operating room crew ordering a round. Then, sitting there thirsty, they automatically round out the order to the server with ” and make that stat.”

Stat is one of the standard set of Latin terms that form a part of medical language. Other features of language may drift, but these terms remain the same – which is the idea. They form a durable lingua franca for all practitioners and technicians. There is little chance of confusing Bis in die (b.i.d – twice a day) with anything else. A reasonably comprehensive list of these terms and their meanings Is required to carry out day-to-day duties in a medical setting.  In addition, when I moved into the operating room, I was under an obligation to master an enormous number of anatomical items and additional bits of jargon needed just to be understood.

And yes, sometimes we did, just for fun, while out with “civilians,” play it up just a bit, stringing terms together into a blather of pure bullshit. 

We found it entertaining, but it was meant to be incomprehensible, intimidating, and impenetrable. You know, just for laughs.

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