electrical or electronic devices

Discussion in 'English Only' started by katydaly, Jun 2, 2006.

  1. katydaly New Member

    English and USA
    I am writing copy for a handbook for critical care patients and their family members. I am trying to say that all electronic devices must be reviewed before they can be used in a patient's room. I mean to include the obvious electronics: cellphones, laptops, radios; but what about electric razors? Are they considered electronic equipment (or devices)?

    Should I say:

    1–all electrical or electronic devices
    2–all electronic equipment
    3–all electrical devices

    or some other variation that will cover everything?

  2. french4beth

    french4beth Senior Member

    Hi katydaly, and welcome to the forums!

    To be safe (in all aspects of the word), I would suggest 1-all electrical and electronic devices to make it perfectly clear to everyone that anything that runs on electricity (or via wireless) must be checked.

    In thefreedictionary.com, there are two distinct definitions:
  3. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Welcome katydaly:)

    Your question is perched delicately on the outer edge of relevance to this forum.

    I'd go with french4beth's advice.

    I'm not sure that reviewed is the correct word. I think I would prefer to say that electrical and electronic equipment should not be used without prior approval.

    On a totally non-linguistic note. There is no evidence that either cellphones or laptops, never mind electric razors, can have any adverse influence on hospital equipment.
    The original notices were precautionary.
  4. maxiogee Banned

    I'd recommend "Electric" as too many people (myself included) don't know what is electronic and what is electrical.

    I'd also recommend that it be "approved" by a staff member, rather than "reviewed".
  5. katydaly New Member

    English and USA
    As for relevance to this forum, I did not even realize I was on a site that was mostly about translation, until I read your post and looked around. I was focused on the definition of electric versus electronic, and checked on several sites where I found definitions that made sense, but did not solve my problem. This was the first place I noticed that had a forum where I could post my question.

    I am also on the outer edge of relevance to my job, as I am a graphic artist (not a writer) trying to edit copy that was written by a committee of nurses, doctors, and administrators. As it is a patient handbook, I explained to them that even a lowly artist should be able to understand it! Maybe you need a forum for translation of doctor-speak to English.

    Here is what I am going with based on your responses: Personal electric or electronic devices must not be used in any patient room without prior approval by the biomedical engineers.

    Thank you.
  6. CAMullen Senior Member

    US, English
    You know, I've resisted the itching in my fingers because the definitions of these words have been declared marginally relevant to this forum, but an entry as recently made as today has driven me over the edge. :)

    I can't stand to see signs that have obviously been paid for and manufactured with mistakes on them. I do know the difference between electrical and electronic, and it has nothing to do with computers.

    But that isn't my point. An electronic device is electric, and so is an electrical device. They both derive their power from electricity.

    In my (arrogant :) ) opinion, the sign should speak about "Electrical and electronic" things. Those who don't know won't care one way or the other, but we old Navy technicians will have one less jarring incongruity in our daily lives. :)
  7. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    ... and English to doctor-speak.
    I do that, as part of my other work-life:D

    If there are biomedical engineers available, and everyone knows that's what they are called, you are OK with that version.

    Speaking as an ex-patient, most of the professional staff in the hospital I was in earlier this year carried personal cell phones - and used them routinely. We're talking about a context where there are already several wireless data networks and paging systems in operation as well as all the whizzy coloured flashing light monitors.

    But you'll be sticking with the hospital policy:)
  8. Ken Simon New Member

    Hi Katydaly,
    You have put a question that certainly needs to be clarified. I would simply recommend you to go along with option 1 & use the term all electrical or electronic devices for all those products that runs on electricity & they should be checked before using them in a patient’s room.

  9. nathalie8 New Member


    I had the same situation when I was working in my previous job as a corrector. I've been told by a linguist that we have to use all electrical or electronic devices.

  10. Linkway

    Linkway Senior Member

    British English
    A patient's or visitor's hearing aid, or pacemaker, is an electronic device, but surely should not covered by such a notice.

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