メディカル英会話 – Medical English – Blood Test
Getting a Blood Test from a Medical Laboratory Technician
Blood test related conversations and situations.
MLT = Medical Laboratory Technician
cannula = a thin tube inserted into a vein or body cavity to administer medication, drain off fluid, or insert a surgical instrument.
1. Conversation At A Blood Lab
At the blood test lab:
I came to this lab to have my blood drawn.
You are in the right place. Roll up your left sleeve and have a seat.
What am I being tested for?
Your doctor wants to know what your white blood cell count is.
What does my white blood cell count tell him?
Usually if your white count is off, the doctor suspects an infection.
How much will it hurt?
It is only a pin prick. I have to put this tourniquet on your arm to make the vein easier to find.
Is that my blood going into that tube?
That blood that just filled the tube is all that I needed. Thanks for coming in!
2. Conversation About A Blood Test
Your doctor has requested a blood test:
My doctor says that I need a blood test.
I can help you with that. Just have a seat and roll up your left sleeve.
What are you taking my blood for?
Your doctor has requested a check of your white blood count.
What information does that give him?
If your white blood cell count is off, it could signal an infection somewhere in your body.
Is a blood test painful?
I am putting a tourniquet on your arm to plump up the vein. It will only feel like a little pin prick.
My God, that hurts!
That was it! Thank you for coming in today.
Ouch! There we go.
The doctor sent me over here to have my blood drawn.
Certainly, please have a seat and roll up your left sleeve.
What is this test for?
Well, today your doctor wants us to check your white blood cell count.
What does that tell him?
Well, if it is elevated, you might have an infection.
Will the blood test hurt?
It is only a little pin stick. I am going to put a tourniquet on your arm to puff your veins up.
There we go! I got the blood that I needed.
4. More Examples/Vocab
PPE (personal protective equipment)
It’s not sticking.
It looks like I’ve been in a war zone.
Dots are out the back.
I’ll dedot you after.
We don’t want you to bleed.
What a morning.
How tall do you think you are?
He had a bag of blood yesterday.
It’s running for 202 minutes.
Citrate is the anticoagulant.
We can give you calcium.
Some people are just more sensitive to it.
Just gonna stick this in your ear.
He wanted to go home.
I’ll make a note of that.
I’ll see you later. All the best.
We’re nearly there.
When we finish, I’ll do another blood test.
5. Common Blood Test Abbreviations
- ALT – Alanine Transaminase (enzyme found in the liver and kidneys; part of a liver function test)
- ANA – Antinuclear Antibody (test to confirm or rule out suspected autoimmune disorders)
- AST – Alanine Aminotransferase (enzyme; use to screen and monitor liver disorders)
- BAC – Blood Alcohol Concentration/Content (percentage of alcohol in blood; tests for intoxication level)
- BMP – Basic Metabolic Panel (measures balance of fluids and sugars along with kidney function )
- BNP – Beta Natriuretic Peptide (testing for congestive heart failure)
- BUN – Blood Urea Nitrogen (tests function of liver and kidneys)
- CA – Calcium (measures blood calcium levels)
- CBC – Complete Blood Count (test red and white blood cells for overall health and to detect abnormalities)
- CK – Creatine Phosphokinase (test for muscle damage)
- CR – Creatinine (part of kidney function test; measures waste in blood)
- ESR – Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (tests for inflammation)
- Hct – Hematocrit (part of the standard CBC test; abnormals measurements can indicate disease)
- Hgb – Hemoglobin (measures your hemoglobin levels, used for anemia diagnosis)
- HDL/LDL – High Density Lipoproteins/High Density Lipoproteins (testing for “good” and “bad” cholesterol)
- INR – International Normalized Ratio (measures rate of blood clotting; tests for blood disorders or to adjust blood thinning medications)
- K – Potassium (a test for potassium levels; high or low levels can lead to serious problems)
- Mg – Magnesium (testing for magnesium levels; certain levels needed body to function properly)
- Na – Sodium (testing for sodium levels in the blood; necessary for proper nerve and body functions)
- PSA – Prostate Specific Antigen (prostate cancer test)
- PT – Prothrombin Time (test blood clotting along with INR or international normalized ratio; to access bleeding problems)
- RBC – Red Blood Cell Count (part of the CBC test)
- TPO – Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies (test for antibodies to thyroid, which suggests thyroid disease)
- Trig – Triglycerides (a part of cholesterol test)
- TSH – Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (measures the amount of thyroid stimulating hormone in blood)
- WBC – White Blood Cell Count (part of the CBC test)
6. At the reception area of a hospital/clinic
Receptionist: May I help you?
Patient: Yes, please. I don’t know what I should do first.
Receptionist: Do you have your health insurance card?
Patient: Yes. Here you are.
Receptionist: Is it your first time here?
Patient: Yes. It’s my first time here.
Receptionist: Do you have an appointment?
Patient: Yes. I have an appointment to see Dr. Inoue at 11am.
Receptionist: Okay. Please fill out this medical form.
Receptionist: Please wait in front of the Examination Room 3.
Patient: Thank you.
7. The OPQRST System
OPQRST is a useful mnemonic (memory device) used by EMTs (Emergency Medical Technicians), paramedics, as well as nurses, medical assistants and other allied health professionals, for learning about your patient’s pain complaint. It is a conversation starter between you, the investigator, and the patient, your research subject.
Here are some suggestions on how to approach using OPQRST as a patient assessment tool:
Onset: “Did your pain start suddenly or gradually get worse and worse?” This is also a chance to ask, “What were you doing when the pain started?”
“What was going on when the pain started?”
“Did it start suddenly?”
“What were you doing when the pain started?”
Provokes or Palliates: Instead of asking, “What provokes your pain?” use real, casual words. Try, “What makes your pain better or worse?”
1. “Does anything make the pain worse?”
2. “Does anything make the pain better?”
3. “Does the pain change with movement or rest?”
Quality: Asking, “Is your pain sharp or dull?” limits your patient to two choices, when their pain might not be either. Instead ask, “What words would you use to describe your pain?” or “What does your pain feel like?”
“What does your pain feel like?”
“Can you tell me how the pain feels?”
“Can you describe your pain for me?”
“Has the pain changed since it began?”
Radiates: This is another chance to use real, conversational words during the assessment. Asking, “Does your pain radiate?” sounds silly and pompous to the patient. Instead use this question, “Point to where it hurts the most. Where does your pain go from there?”
“Where is the pain now and does it travel anywhere else?”
“Can you feel the pain anywhere else?”
“Does the pain go up your arm or jaw at all?”
Severity: Remember, pain is subjective and relative to each individual patient you treat. Have an open mind for any response from 0 to 10.
1. “How bad is the pain on a scale of zero to ten, with ten being the worst pain in your life?”
2. “How would you rate the pain on a scale from 0 – 10, with ten being the worst pain in your entire life?”
3. “How bad is the pain right now on a scale of 0 – 10?”
Time: This is a reference to when the pain started or how long ago it started.
“When did you start feeling this way?”
“When did the pain start?”
“How long have you been in pain?”
“Does the pain come and go or is it constant?”
8. Conversation About A Fever & Sore Throat
Patient: Good evening doctor.
Doctor: Good evening. You look pale and your voice a little strange.
Patient: Yes doctor. I’m running a temperature and have a sore throat.
Doctor: Lemme check that out.
(He touches the patient’s forehead to feel the temperature.)
Doctor: You’ve got a moderate fever. When did this all start?
Patient: Maybe yesterday in the morning.
(The doctor then whips out a thermometer.)
Patient: This thermometer is very different from the one you used the last time. (Unlike the earlier one which was placed under the arm, this one measures using a heat sensor.)
Doctor: Yes, this is a new one. It’s a lot easier to use as it doesn’t require cleaning after every use.
Patient: That’s awesome.
Doctor: Yes, indeed.
(He looks at the reading on the thermometer.)
Doctor: Not too high – 99.8 (F) (37.7 C).
(He then proceeds with measuring blood pressure.)
Doctor: Your blood pressure is fine.
(He then checks the throat.)
Doctor: It looks bit scruffy. Not good.
Patient: Yes, it’s been quite bad.
Doctor: Do you sweat or shiver?
Patient: I’m not sweating, but I feel somewhat cold when I sit under a fan.
Doctor: Okay. Looks like you have a few symptoms of malaria. I would suggest you get a blood test. Nothing to worry about though. In most cases, the test come out to be negative. It’s just precautionary, as there have been a few malaria cases in the last month or so.
(He then proceeds to write the prescription.)
Doctor: I’m prescribing three medicines and a syrup. The number of dots in front of each one tells you how many times a day you should take them. For example, the two dots here mean take the medicine twice a day, once in the morning after breakfast and once at night after dinner.
Doctor: Do you have any questions about this?
Patient: No. I think I’ll be okay. Thank you very much. See you.
Doctor: See you.
9. Conversation About A Headache
Patient: Doctor, I’ve had a headache since yesterday evening.
Doctor: Have you taken any medicine so far?
Patient: Saridon, but the headache hasn’t gone away yet.
Doctor: You’ve got a running nose. Looks like your headache is a result of sinus infection, and not a regular one that results from anxiety and fatigue. Lemme check.
(The doctor checks the patient thoroughly.)
Doctor: The infection in your sinus here is the reason for your headache. I’ll prescribe an antibiotic to clear up the infection and also give you a painkiller to relieve the pain if you like.
Patient: Yes, please.
10. Conversation About A Stomach Ache
Patient: I’ve got a stomach ache and had a bit of diarrhea since last night. I also vomited few times last night.
Doctor: What did you eat yesterday?
Patient: I ate some snacks from the roadside eatery. It’s probably because of that.
Doctor: You might have eaten some contaminated food. Looks like you’re a bit dehydrated. Are you drinking liquids?
Patient: Not really.
Doctor: You need to keep hydrated. You should start drinking some water. If you like Glucon-D powder or Electral might be help a bit as well. Or just regular fruit juice. Avoid drinking caffeine, dairy products, or having any solid foods at least until tonight. And get plenty of rest.
Patient: Do I need a prescription for anything?
Doctor: Yes. I’m just writing that now. Mainly to control the diarrhea. Just a moment please.
Patient: Okay. Thank you.