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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Learn REAL ENGLISH: Going to the hospital ?

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Welcome to engVid.

I'm Adam.

In today's video, I'm going to talk to you about going to a hospital or a clinic in an

English-speaking country.

Now, hopefully, you will never need to know any of the words in this video because nothing

will happen to you; but life is life, things do happen, sometimes accidents happen, sometimes

things occur unexpectedly, so you may need to go to a hospital or a clinic.

A hospital - big building, lots of doctors, lots of equipment.

It has an emergency room or an emergency department.

A clinic is more like a small doctor's office, and you can walk into...

Go into a walk-in clinic, meaning you don't need an appointment.

If you have something urgent and you need to speak to a doctor, then you can go here

to take care of whatever it is.

Now, this is all assuming that you are ambulatory.

Now, all of you know "ambulance"; an ambulance carries you to the hospital.

If you are ambulatory, it means you don't need an ambulance; you can go on your own

two feet.

You are mobile, you can stand, you can take yourself to the doctor.


Now, I'm going to talk about this in two ways.

First, I'm going to talk about the administrative aspect of going to the hospital, and then

I'll talk about the medical aspect.

Now, I'm assuming that if the situation is an emergency, someone will go with you.

Now, it may be a friend of yours who's also not a native speaker, it may be a roommate,

it may be a classmate from your English school.

So, everybody should know this stuff; you may need to help somebody, somebody may need

to help you.

Again, hopefully not, but be prepared.

So, you're going to go into the hospital or the walk-in clinic and you're going to check


Just like you check in at a hotel, you check in at a hospital.

You will go and deal with the admitting staff.

"Admitting" means they take you in; they admit you, they do all the paperwork, they get you

set up or your friend set up to be taken care of.

You will fill out a lot of forms; name, information, maybe medical history if that's what they

need to know.

If there's a situation that you've had in the past, they need to know this.

You will fill out all this information, and they will start to process you.

Excuse me.

They will process you, and you're ready to go or your friend will be ready to go.

If you need an x-ray, they will schedule an x-ray to check if you have any broken bones

anywhere in you.

If you need something like an MRI or a CAT scan, where they do a full body diagnosis

and look inside, that's not going to happen at the emergency room because there's always

a line up for that.

That's not emergency services; if you need it, they will schedule it for a week later-if

you're lucky-a month later, etc.

Now, it's very important, if you're going to travel overseas, that you have insurance.

This is something that you pay for that, if anything happens, all your medical expenses

are given back to you.

But check your policy.

Your policy is the insurance that you signed for; that you paid for.

It has all the different rules, it has all the different conditions - make sure you understand

these very clearly because it happens often that somebody comes to Canada, or to the US,

or to another country, they need to go to the hospital and then they get a bill.

The hospital says: "Okay, here.

You owe us $5,000."

Medical expenses can be very, very high, so you may have to pay upfront, meaning you have

to pay at the hospital at the time for anything that they do to you.

If you have to go to surgery, you may have to pay $50,000 or whatever the situation.

So, be prepared to be able to pay upfront.

Now, if you think: "Well, that's what insurance is for.

Insurance will pay for all this stuff."

Some policies, yes, will pay the hospital directly; some will not.

Some will reimburse you.

You will be reimbursed when you go home and fill out all the paperwork in your home country.

So make sure you understand what's going on.

If you get to the hospital and you don't have a credit card with you, you might be in some

serious trouble; they might not let you leave the hospital until somebody comes and pays

for you.


So, this is all the administrative stuff.

Now let's look at what actually happens, medically speaking; doctors, nurses, etc.

Okay, now let's look at the actual action that's going to happen when you come to the


So, first of all, you will be looked after by the attending nurse, or doctor, or resident.

A resident is still a student; he or she is still working towards a specialization or

just towards their final certificate.

So, it'll be the attending nurse, or the on-call nurse or the doctor.


That's the one taking care of that shift-okay?-at the hospital.

Now, if you came in an ambulance, then the paramedic will have already started the whole

process in the ambulance; but if you're walking into the clinic or the hospital, you will

be looked at by the attending doctor or nurse.

So, the first thing they will do is perform triage.

So, we use this verb.

"Triage" is the process of separating all the injured, or wounded, or sick people in

order of priority.


Whoever needs to go in first will go in first; whoever can wait will wait.

So, this process basically looks very quickly: "Are you bleeding?"

Then they have to go stop the bleeding.

If you're not bleeding, and your heart is pumping okay, and your brain...

And you can still function and speak, then you can wait; it's not that bad, and you may

have to wait a few hours, but you will eventually get in.

Those who need care fastest go in first.

So, this begins with a diagnosis.

The nurse or doctor will look at you, they will try to understand the situation; if you're

having pain, if something's broken, if you're bleeding, if you're hurt in whatever way - they

will figure out what the problem is and what the treatment should be.

And, from there, you start your process of being treated.


Diagnosis leads to treatment.

Now, most of the time what they will do first is take your blood pressure to make sure that

it's not too high; that you're not going to have a heart attack any second.


If your blood pressure is sustainable; if you can sit and wait for a while, then you'll

sit and wait.

If your blood pressure is too high, they may need to take you in right away and bring it

down, or do something else.

They may hook you up to an IV.

So, an IV is, like, a needle.

It goes into your arm, so that's why it's called "intravenous".

It goes into your vein, and it feeds you most likely saline solution - water with a little

bit of salt just to make sure you're okay.

It's, like...

Keeps you alive, like food, but I'm not going to get into the details.

So, they'll hook you up to an IV.

Sometimes they may have to hook you up to a catheter.

If you have trouble and you're, like, peeing, for example, and you don't want to do it all

over the floor, they'll hook you up with a tube, you'll go into a bag, and you'll wait

until it's your turn to see the doctor.

If you're bleeding, then the first thing they're going to do is stop the bleeding.

If you lose too much blood, you can pass out and worse things can happen.

So, first thing: Stop the bleeding.

Disinfect the wound.

So, if you're cut somewhere and you're bleeding from it, they have to clean it with alcohol

or whatever other disinfectant - make sure it's clean.

And if it's really gushing...

"Gushing" means bleeding very fast and a lot.

If you're gushing blood, they have to stop it and then they may have to staple the cut

or stitch the cut.

Staple, like a stapler, like pieces that: "Chicka-chicka-chicka-chick".

And they take the skin and they close it, and they staple it.

Or stitch with, like, a needle and thread, and they close it, stop the bleeding, and

then take care of it after.

And then put on dressing.

"Dressing", like gauze, like the white stuff that goes around and makes sure everything's

okay; doesn't bleed anymore.

If it's a very serious emergency, they may have to rush you into the operating theater

where they will perform surgery.

If they need to open you up to get inside to fix something, then they'll take you to

this place.

It's called the operating theater; sometimes it's called the surgery, the surgery room,


If they ask you to just go and sit, because you may be sitting for a long time but you

are in pain, they'll give you a painkiller.

Now, they may give you a pill or they just may just give you an injection; a needle - morphine

or something like that.

Or they'll just give you a sedative.

A sedative helps kill the pain, but it also helps calm you down so you can relax, and

just sit on the chair, and when it's your turn you will be called in, a doctor will

look at you, assess the situation, and take care of you.

If you're going to an emergency room, bring a lot of patience with you.

It doesn't matter how much pain you're in; somebody else might be in more pain, and they...

He or she will go in first.

Be prepared for that.

If you're really bad, you'll go in quick; if you're not that bad, you will wait sometimes

for many hours.


So this is the initial process.

Now, whether it's a hospital or clinic, it doesn't matter.

If you're bleeding, you're probably not going to the clinic; you're probably going to the


They have more equipment, more staff.

If you have a lot of pain inside somewhere, but you can still walk, you can still think

clearly, you can just go to the clinic...

To the walk-in clinic, and ask to see the doctor there.


Now, I'm going to give you a few expressions that are useful for you to know in case this

ever does come up.

Okay, so now I have a few expressions, here, that are useful for you to know; to keep in


Again, hopefully you don't need to use them.

But before you go travelling, make sure you're very aware of your own medical history.

Certain things should not be a surprise.

So, here, for example, I wrote: "I'm having an asthma attack."

If you have asthma and you're going travelling, make sure you know all the vocabulary associated

with asthma, because it's a realistic possibility for you to have an asthma attack.

Most of the things, here, are based on the idea that you're going into a hospital emergency

room unexpectedly; something surprising happened, and you need to be prepared.

If you have a medical history, make sure you know the vocabulary associated with that history.


So, very simple...


These are all very basic expressions just to get you...Get you going with a doctor,


"I have a sharp pain here.

I have a sharp pain here.

I have a blunt pain here".

"Blunt", it's not really painful, so that's why I didn't put it.

You have a pain or you have a sharp pain.

"Sharp pain" means like a knife or a needle went into you somewhere, and just point.

Or if it's inside...

If you think it's somewhere inside: "I have a pain in my stomach."


Basically, as soon as it's a pain, it's not visible, then the treatment will, of course,

be very different; they have to find out what's causing that pain.


If you're feeling a different...

A weak way...

"I feel dizzy".

"Dizzy" means, like, you feel like you're spinning-right?-and you might pass out anytime.

"I feel weak", like no energy, something's not right.

Again, this is probably something sudden and it's a little bit scary for you, and that's

why you went to the hospital.

"I feel nauseous".

I know it doesn't look like it, but it looks like...

It sounds like that: "noshus".

It means you feel like you're going to throw up.

Or you could just say: "I feel like throwing up"; vomit.


Something inside is not good, and you...

Like that.

You know?

Hopefully not, though.

"I'm having an allergic reaction."

Now, some people don't even realize that they're allergic to something.

So, for example, you go to a seafood restaurant and you try something new that you've never

had before, but you're allergic to this.

Especially something like shellfish, scallops, oysters, things like that.

And you try one and suddenly your face blows up; it gets all swollen.

So, you've never had this before, you get very scared, you go to the hospital, and you

say: "Something's happening.

I'm having an allergic reaction."

They will probably give you a shot, like, anti-allergen, and it will hopefully help

you out, there.

"I see stars."

So, sometimes if something happens and you see, like, little white spots - if you just

say: "I see stars", they will understand what's going on; you're seeing the white spots in

your eyes.

Something's going on inside; maybe you're missing some certain nutrient, or maybe you're

just dehydrated.


That happens when you're dehydrated, so drink lots of water.

If it doesn't go away, get to the hospital.

"I have a cramp."

Now, a cramp is a little bit hard, but sometimes you feel like something is squeezing, like,

especially your stomach, it's squeezing really tight and it's really painful - that's called

a cramp.

You can also get it in your leg if you're sitting the wrong way; your muscles, they

squeeze together.

It becomes very painful.

Now, if you have a cramp inside somewhere and it's not going away, you should probably

get to the hospital; it could be something else.

If you have chest pains...

You have pain inside your chest-your heart, your lungs, whatever-definitely get to the



It could be something very serious.

"I think I broke something."

Now, doctors don't like when the patients tell them what the problem is, but at the

same time, if you think you broke something, then you're probably in a lot of pain and

that's probably what it is.

Either you think you broke a bone...

"I think I broke my leg, my arm", whatever.

"Sprained" means it's, like, almost broken, but not broken.

It basically means, like, you got a bruise inside and it's very painful, but...

And then the doctor will just set...

They will set your bones, put it in a cast.

So, like a thing to hold everything in a straight line and it doesn't move, and then that's

how they fix it.

"I'm bleeding from..."

If it's not very obvious where you're bleeding; you're bleeding somewhere else - you go in,

you tell the doctor: "I'm bleeding from this or that place", they take you inside, stop

the bleeding.

So, again, all of these are very basic expressions.

If you have reason to worry about something, be prepared.

If you say: "I'm having an asthma attack", you've probably had one before, otherwise

you don't know it's an asthma attack.

If you're having a seizure...

Like, some people have epilepsy, and like, their whole body starts shaking uncontrollably

- that's called a seizure.

Again, this shouldn't be a surprise for you, especially if you're going travelling.

Make sure you have the vocabulary you need to be able to get the treatment that you need.

So, I hope this was helpful.

I hope that you never, ever have to use any of these expressions or words in your whole

life, but better safe than sorry.


Better to be prepared than see an unexpected surprise that you're not prepared for.

If you have any questions on this, please go to; you can ask me in the


You can also take the quiz and test your knowledge of this vocabulary.

I hope you like this lesson.

Please subscribe to my YouTube channel, and come visit me again soon; I'll have some more

helpful lessons for you.


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