Have you ever wondered why we park our cars on driveways and why we drive our cars on parkways? I wondered about this, perhaps more than I should have, and discovered an answer that actually kind of works.
It’s because of our language.
English is possibly the most no holds barred free for all language, with borrowed words and less rules than all the others. This lends to a number of language conundrums, including those that we create for ourselves such as the whole Driveway and Parkway thing.
It starts with the word “way”, which technically indicates a path or in the case of a motor vehicle, a road. Driveways previously were actually much longer than they appear in most residences today. In order to reach the residence, you would actually drive a bit on it before coming to a stop. Therefore, to reach the house you would use the “Driveway”. Parkways started as long scenic roads that actually went through parks. So these paths became known as “Parkways”.
Parking actually originates from the military. Since the 1800’s they would refer to an enclosed area where wagons and eventually modern motor vehicles were kept as a “park”. The term “parking” began to be used when referencing bringing the mode of transportation to that area, and then popularity of the term really took hold after World War II when military personnel used the term in their resumption of civilian life.
So What Does This Have To Do With Patient Care?
Like the fact that there is no definition for the term Patient Care.
Instead it lists 110 types of care. Number 98 on the list is the possible closest to the term. It reads “Total Patient Care: a method of organizing care of patients such that one practitioner carries out all care requirements.” Unfortunately, we don’t come close to that because we deliver the patient to a hospital that provides additional care.
So why do we use the term Patient Care if it is NOT a medically recognized type of care? Is defining that term something left to us and someone forgot to submit the paperwork on the definition? Or is the term something we took, adopted, and misuse for our own purposes of describing systematic assessments and treatments?
Where do you think the term comes from? More importantly, how do you define it?