Tuesday, March 27, 2012


I'm illiterate, sometimes.

In my line of work, I see bad handwriting all the time. But for some reason, I could not read this physician's note for the life of me (well, the first half). This is not even that sloppy. I've seen much worse. I have come across handwriting that looked more like hieroglyphics than actual letters. Then there are those that were written by someone who refused to lift up their pen so it looked like an EKG reading (or recordings from a seismograph). As for this note, I would categorize this as neatly illegible.

But why write so messy? Are you in that much of a rush? Are you doped up on caffeine? Why cause potential medical errors due to such poor handwriting? Granted, this particular note won't harm or kill anyone (it just mentions something about rehab) but the other critical orders, especially the ambiguous ones, can harm and/or kill someone if it's misinterpreted. Just because you have some extra letters behind your name, you think that gives you the right to write like shit. So the advice I have for those people out there... slow down motherfucker.

4 Reactions to this post

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  1. Edwin and Lilly said... March 28, 2012 at 7:01 PM

    hahaha... I LOVE that you took a picture of this. We should start a blog dedicated to just bad MD handwriting. Between you and me...we can have a nice sized collection. :) --lilly

  2. JT said... March 29, 2012 at 5:04 PM

    Back when I was working in the hospital, I was responsible for making the pharmacy newsletters and would put illegible MD orders in one of the featured sections. Some were so bad I even offered a prize for the correct answer. I might do that here... hmmmm.

  3. Mel said... April 2, 2012 at 12:46 PM

    haha Jimmy, that's awful! Yeah, somehow I got used to the bad writing too, but I haven't had to see it lately. Now it's less bad handwriting I see, and more bad spelling (middle school, what can you do).

    I got: Reviewing rehab data: something same as last something, tho' actually not going as far annnnnnd, I'm too lazy to even try the rest. Sigh.

    One time our entire office staff was trying to figure out if our doctor had written a "5", "3" or "7" ... it apparently was a "1"

  4. JT said... April 2, 2012 at 9:49 PM

    Wow. How can someone mess up writing a "1"?

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