www.whyville.net Jan 20, 2013 Weekly Issue

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Surgery Swag?

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My medical class is devoting the next two weeks on the career surgical technician. This would basically involve the naming and function of all surgical tools, proper sterilization methods, as well as other main highlights.

What I wanted to discuss today were some interesting words that were mentioned during the tool naming. These aforementioned words are: ratchet and swagger.

UrbanDictionary defines ratchet as, "it describes a person, usually a woman, or activity, who is out of hand, out of control, generally whack in some way." This definition is similar to what a ratchet does when it comes to surgery.

You will most likely find ratchets on surgical scissors. The purpose behind them is to make the opening for the scissors to become tighter. So basically, ratchets take the scissor up a level, fitting the loose term of ratchet.

UrbanDictionary defines swagger as, "A person's style- they way they walk, talk, dress." In a surgical context, it is when an instrument has a certain direction. My teacher used the term to describe a needle who's end was curved.

I found it pretty entertaining to learn how the meanings behind the words in general into surgical context, remained almost the same. And it was definitely amusing to hear my teacher say the word "ratchet" repeatedly through the lecture when we informed her of our meaning.

This also makes me wonder, where was the term used first? Was it manipulated from surgery to a more general term? Or was it adopted for surgery after people used the term?

Hopefully I get to hear more familiar terms popping up in my class as time goes on.


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