Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Hospital Haiku
Recently we were asked to make our charting at the hospital less wordy and more succinct. Some people feel they must describe every patient intervention in excessive detail. These entries are so long that important facts are lost in the prose.
I believe that teachers can do disservice by assigning essays of 1000, 2000, 5000 words. The quality is undermined by quantity and the student spends more time counting and adding unnecessary words than learning to write simply and clearly.
A columnist in our local paper wrote a series of Haiku poems on the eve of his 30th birthday. It was great fun to read his thoughts and word pictures in 5/7/5 syllables.
I decided to take Haiku notes of our weekly rounds today.

Diagnosis,treatment and outcome

Abdominal pain.
Laxative to be given
Relief is obtained

Progress Note

Walked the length of hall
Oxygen at two litres
Sats stayed at ninety

Prescription for back ache

Complaint is back pain
Lie prone for thirty minutes
Then stay off your butt.

Discharge Summary

Use it or lose it
There is no passive fix here
Therapy is done.

Send me some of your creative ideas.


  1. Wonderful, I must try that with my day.
    Also I agree most affirmitavely. Writing should be quality not quantity.

  2. Anonymous3:41 pm GMT-4

    Quality not quantity, I agree! Especially remembering that 8 page essay I had to write in English glass on a 6 line poem...

    Haiku for my day:
    The stove set on fire
    My cat then saved my life
    Now I blog on it

    Haikus were never my poetic strong point though. Maybe I need one I how to treat plastic burns.

  3. Jaspenelle...I thought you were making up the story until I read your blog. Great haiku for someone in shock!

  4. How about this?


    We're crossing the street
    Some moron almost hits us
    And what happens next?...

    "Oblivion: Part 2"
    Mom screams at the dude
    "YOU IDIOT!!!" quite loudly
    I'm shocked. Really shocked.


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