Glossary

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1

Abrasion

A scraping or rubbing away of the surface skin by friction

2

Actinic keratosis

A slow, localized thickening of the outer layers of the skin as a result of chronic, excessive exposure to the sun

3

Addiction

A dependence on a drug beyond voluntary control

4

Adduct

To draw toward a center, or median, line

5

Adhere

To stay fixed or firm

6

Adolescent

The period of life beginning at puberty and ending with physical maturity

7

Advance directives

Directions given by a person while in a healthy state concerning wishes at time of death

8

Adverse effects

The development of undesired side effects or toxicity caused by the administration of drugs

9

Affinity

The chemical force that impels particular atoms or molecules to unite

10

Aggravating or alleviating factor

That which makes a problem better or worse

11

Agranulocytosis

An acute disease condition that presents with an extremely low number of polymorphonuclear leukocytes

12

Alimentary canal

The organs of digestion; the digestive tract

13

Alternative therapies

Natural plant extracts, herbs, vitamins, minerals, and therapeutic techniques such as massage and acupuncture

14

Alzheimer disease

An illness characterized by dementia, confusion, memory failure, disorientation, restlessness, speech disturbances, and an inability to carry out purposeful movements; onset usually occurs in persons aged 55 or older

15

Ambulatory

Walking, or able to walk

16

Analyze

To break down into parts for study; to dissect

17

Anaphylaxis

The result of an exaggerated hypersensitivity reaction; an allergic reaction

18

Angina

A severe constricting pain or sensation in the chest that may radiate to shoulder or arm; related to coronary artery disease

19

Antibiotics

Soluble substances derived from a mold or bacterium that kill or inhibit growth of other microorganisms

20

Anticipatory grieving

Mourning death or loss before the event occurs

21

Antimicrobial drugs

Drugs that tend to destroy microbes or prevent their multiplication

22

Anxiety

A troubled state of mind; distress or nervousness

23

Aqueous

Watery

24

Arthroplasty

Plastic repair of a joint

25

Arthropod vector

In the family Arthropoda, which includes spiders, mites, ticks, mosquitoes, etc.; can transmit infection to man or animals

26

Aseptic technique

Use of methods that totally exclude microorganisms as one works

27

Asphyxiation

Severe hypoxia leading to hypoxemia, hypercapnia, loss of consciousness, and death

28

Assessment

Evaluation of a patient using skills in history taking to achieve a particular goal

29

Associated manifestations

What else occurs during an episode

30

Atrophy

Decrease in the size of the organ, tissue, or muscle

31

Attenuated vaccine

A weakened or dilute solution of microbes

32

Attitudes

A manner of feeling or thinking; opinions

33

Auditory

Must be heard

34

Automatic external defibrillator

An electrical or battery-operated device applied to the chest of a victim who is suffering a particular heart dysrhythmia to counter-shock the person; available to the general public who has been trained to its use

35

Bacteria

Colorless, minute, one-celled organisms with a typical nucleus

36

Baroreceptor

A sensory nerve terminal that is stimulated by changes in pressure

37

Basic needs

Needs one cannot live without; i.e. air, food, shelter, etc.

38

Being scrubbed

Indicates that the person is dressed in sterile gown and gloves and is engaged in a sterile procedure

39

Beliefs

Certainty or confidence in the trustworthiness of another

40

Bias

An inclination or temperament based on personal judgment; prejudice

41

Biases

Prejudices

42

Bioethics

Moral issues dealing with human life and death

43

Blood dyscrasias

Pathologic conditions of the cellular elements of the blood

44

Blood

brain barrier - Anatomic structure that prevents certain substances from accessing the brain

45

Body image

How one imagines himself or herself to appear physically

46

Bolus

A concentrated mass of pharmaceutical preparation, such as an opaque contrast medium, given intravenously or swallowed

47

Bradycardia

An abnormal circulatory condition in which the heart beats in a regular pattern but at a rate of less than 60 beats per minute

48

Broad

spectrum antibiotics - Antibiotics effective against a wide variety of microorganisms

49

Broad

spectrum antimicrobial drug - A drug effective against a wide variety of different microorganisms

50

Bronchospasm

Contraction of smooth muscles in the walls of the bronchi and bronchioles causing narrowing of the lumen

51

Buccal

In the mouth adjacent to the cheek

52

Cannula

A tube used to allow fluids, gases, or other substances into or out of the body

53

Cardiogram

The tracing that depicts the heart's electrical activity

54

Carrier

A person or animal that harbors a particular infectious agent and does not have clinical disease but is able to transmit the disease to others

55

Cervical

Of or pertaining to the neck

56

Child abuse

The psychological, emotional, and/or sexual abuse of a child

57

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

Disease of the lungs in which inspiratory and expiratory lung capacity is diminished

58

Chronology

The arrangement of events in time

59

Cilia

Mobile extensions of a cell surface

60

Claustrophobic

Suffering from claustrophobia, which is the fear of being in a confined place

61

Clinical portion

Instruction in the patient care area; i.e., learning in the institution with direct patient care

62

Cognitive

Mental activities related to thinking, reasoning, and memory that result in learning

63

Colostomy

An artificial opening (stoma) created in the large intestine and brought to the surface of the abdomen for the purpose of evacuating the bowels

64

Common law

Decisions and opinions of courts that are based on local customs and habits of an area within a particular country or state

65

Continuing education

Professional education received following completion of a training to maintain skills

66

Continuum

Uninterrupted; continuing on an enduring line

67

Contraindication

Any symptom or circumstance that renders use of a drug inadvisable

68

Contusion

An injury that does not break the skin; caused by a blow to the body; characterized by swelling, discoloration, and pain

69

Creativity

The power to invent something new or original

70

Critical thinking

Assessing one's thinking in order to make it clearer, more accurate, or more defensible

71

Culture

A set of beliefs and values common to a particular group of people

72

Cutaneous

Relating to the skin

73

Cyanosis

A condition in which the blood does not supply enough oxygen to the body, causing a bluish tone to the lips and fingertips

74

Cystography

Radiographic imaging of the urinary bladder

75

Cystoscope

An instrument used for examining the urinary bladder and ureters that is equipped with a light, a viewing obturator, and a lumen for passing catheters

76

Cytomegalovirus infections

A group of viruses in the Herpesviridae family

77

Debility

Lack or loss of strength; weakness

78

Decubitus ulcer

A pressure sore or ulcer

79

Defaming

To attack or injure a person's reputation

80

Dehydration

Deprivation of water

81

Dementia

Organic mental syndrome characterized by general loss of intellectual abilities and involving impairment of memory, judgment, and abstract thinking

82

Dependence

Reliance on a drug that may be physiologic or psychological in nature

83

Depolarization

Process by which cardiac muscle cells change from a more negatively charged to a more positively charged intracellular state

84

Depression

A morbid sadness, dejection, or melancholy

85

Diagnostic imaging

Modern term for radiography, encompassing all specialties devoted to producing a picture of a body part

86

Diaphoresis

Profuse sweating, heavy perspiration

87

Diastolic

The blood pressure reading that occurs during the relaxation of the ventricles

88

Didactic

The instructional phase of learning; i.e., classroom instruction

89

Disinfectant

A chemical capable of destroying microorganisms or inhibiting their growth; same as antiseptic

90

Disinfection

Destruction of microorganisms and their spores by means of chemicals or physical agents

91

Dissonance

A lack of harmony or agreement

92

Diverticulitis

Inflammation of a sac or pouch protruding from the walls of the intestines, especially the colon

93

Do

not-resuscitate (DNR) - An order on the patient's chart and signed by the patient's physician that orders the staff not to perform CPR or call the emergency team if the patient expires

94

Dorsiflex

To move the toes and forefoot upward

95

Drug

drug interaction - One drug interacting or interfering with the action of another drug

96

Dyspnea

Labored or difficult breathing resulting from insufficient airflow to the lungs

97

Dyspneic

Having shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

98

Dysrhythmia

A disorder of the formation or conduction of the electrical impulses in the heart that alters the heart rate or rhythm or both

99

Ecchymosis

An oozing of blood from a vessel into tissues, forming a discolored area on the skin

100

Ectopic pregnancy

An abnormal pregnancy in which the embryo implants outside the uterine cavity

101

Encephalopathy

A disorder of the brain

102

Enhance

Increase

103

Enteral

Within the gastrointestinal tract

104

Enterotoxigenic

Referring to an organism that produces toxins specific for cells in the intestinal tract

105

Ethical

Conforming to the standards of conduct of a given profession or group

106

Ethnicity

A common history and origin

107

Euthanasia

Act of deliberately bringing about the death of a person suffering from an incurable disease or condition

108

Evaluate

To make a judgment as to the value of something; to size up

109

Explain

To render understandable

110

Explore

To investigate or discover

111

Extended

spectrum antibiotics - Antibiotics effective against more microbes than broad-spectrum antibiotics

112

Extravasation

Fluid passing out of a blood vessel into surrounding tissues

113

Fecal

oral route - Disease passed from one person who has poor hand-washing hygiene to another through food touched by that person following stool elimination

114

Feedback

A response that indicates that the message delivered was correctly or incorrectly perceived

115

Fenestrated drape

A drape with one or more openings

116

First trimester of pregnancy

The first 3 months of pregnancy

117

Flatus

Gas expelled from the digestive tract through the anus

118

Fowler position

Position in which the head of the patient's bed is raised 18 to 20 inches above the level of the heart with the knees also elevated

119

“Full code”

For persons who wish to have full cardiopulmonary resuscitation if they stop breathing; this is also called "code blue"

120

Fungi

Cells that require an oxygenated environment to live; may be either yeasts or molds

121

Gait

Manner of moving or walking

122

Gastrostomy

Creation of an opening in the stomach to provide food and liquid administration

123

Genetic predisposition

Inherited potential, via genetic transmission, for a particular illness or characteristic

124

Geriatrics

The branch of medicine that deals with all aspects of aging, including pathological and social problems

125

Global

Complete; worldwide

126

Grieving process

An emotional state that a person goes through to maintain sound mental health when experiencing a loss

127

Habit

Customary performance or practice

128

Hallucination

A sensory impression (sight, sound, touch, smell, or taste) that has no basis in external stimulation

129

Hand hygiene

Handwashing with soap and water or the use of alcohol-based products that do not require water

130

Health

A condition of feeling physically and mentally sound or whole

131

Helminths

Parasitic worms that may live in the human intestinal tract for long periods of time if not treated

132

Hemiparesis

Paralysis affecting one side of the body

133

Hemodynamic

Factor affecting the force and flow of circulating blood

134

Hemostat

A clamp-like instrument used to control flow of fluids or blood

135

Hemothorax

Collection of blood in the pleural cavity

136

Holistic

The view that an organic or integrated whole has a reality independent of and greater than the sum of its parts

137

Hypnotic

A drug that causes sleep

138

Hypoglycemic

Pertaining to an abnormally small concentration of glucose in the circulating blood

139

Hypokalemia

An abnormally low concentration of potassium ions in the bloodstream

140

Hypotension

An abnormal condition in which the blood pressure is not adequate for normal perfusion and oxygenation of the tissues

141

Hypothermia

Significant loss of body heat below 98.6%F

142

Hypothyroidism

Reduced amount of thyroid hormone leading to a disease process

143

Hypovolemia

Abnormally decreased volume of circulating fluid (plasma) in the body

144

Identity

The personal characteristics by which one is able to be recognized or recognizes oneself

145

Ileostomy

An artificial opening (stoma) erected in the small intestine (ileum) and brought to the surface for the purpose of evacuating feces

146

Immobilization

The act or process of fixing or rendering immobile

147

Immobilization device

A piece of equipment that assures restriction of patient movement

148

Immobilizer

Velcro straps that are used on a patient's limbs or waist to prevent the patient from injuring himself or herself or others

149

Immune

Free from acquiring a particular infectious disease

150

Immune suppressed

Persons whose immunity is prohibited for physiologic reasons

151

Incontinence

The inability to refrain from yielding to the normal impulse to defecate or urinate

152

Indication

The basis for initiation of treatment or use of a particular drug

153

Infant

Newborn baby or a child under the age of 1 year

154

Infectious disease

A disease capable of being passed from one person to another

155

Infer

To arrive at a conclusion based on evidence gathered

156

Informed consent form

Approval of a medical procedure after being informed of all possible unfavorable consequences

157

Inquiry

To put to question; to examine

158

In

service - Training given to employees in connection with their work or profession to update or maintain knowledge

159

Interpret

To explain or to make understandable

160

Intra

arterial - Within the artery

161

Intra

articular - Into the cavity of the joint

162

Intracardiac

Into the chambers of the heart

163

Intralesional

Applied directly into a lesion or wound

164

Introspection

Looking into one's own mind to analyze thoughts

165

Ischemia

Deficiency of blood in a part due to functional constriction or actual obstruction of a blood vessel

166

Isolette

A type of bed used in the newborn intensive care unit to keep babies warm and protected from the environment

167

Kinesthetic

Perceived through movement; through action of muscles

168

Korotkoff sounds

Extraneous sounds heard during the taking of a blood pressure; may be a tapping, knocking, or swishing sound

169

Kyphosis

An abnormal condition of the vertebral column in which there is increased convexity in the curvature of the thoracic spine

170

Lavage

The process of washing out an organ, usually the stomach, bladder, or bowel

171

Lentigines

Round, flat, brown, highly pigmented spots on the skin caused by increased deposition of melanin; often occurs on the exposed skin of the elderly

172

Liability

Something that a person is obligated to do or an obligation required to be fulfilled by law; usually an obligation of financial nature

173

Linear

Easy to comprehend because it is basic or logical

174

Lipoid

Pertaining to fat

175

Lithotomy position

A posture in which knees are flexed and thighs are abducted and rotated externally

176

Localization

To determine the exact area of origin

177

Lower

level thinking - Using only habit and recall as one thinks

178

Lucidity

Clearness of mind

179

Macromolecular

A molecule in a finely divided state dispersed in liquid or solid media

180

Macule

A small, flat blemish or discoloration that is flush with the skin surface

181

Maladaptive grieving

Poor adjustment; in grief, need for counseling

182

Malpractice

Professional negligence that is the cause of injury or harm to a patient

183

Mentor

A teacher, coach, or advisor of conduct

184

Myocardial infarction

Death of heart tissue resulting from lack of oxygenated blood flow

185

Myocardial ischemia

Insufficient oxygenation of the tissues of the heart muscle

186

Narcotic

Any synthetic or naturally occurring drug that induces a state of stuporous analgesia

187

Nasoenteric tube

A tube that is inserted through the nose and allowed to pass into the duodenum and small intestines by means of peristalsis

188

Nasogastric tube

A thin tube that is inserted through the nose and into the stomach for the purpose of instilling substances or for the removal of substances

189

Neonate

Newborn infant up to 1 month of age

190

Neurologic

Related to the nervous system

191

NICU

Neonatal intensive care unit

192

“No code”

The same as a DNR order; a written medical order must follow this request in order for the patient to be allowed to expire without emergency assistance

193

Nontherapeutic relationship

An association with another person that is unpleasant or unsatisfactory

194

Nonverbal

Unspoken

195

Normal sinus rhythm

A pacing impulse that begins in the sinus node and travels normally down the electrical conduction pathways

196

Nucleoid

A part of a nucleus (a nuclear inclusion body)

197

Objective

Concrete evidence; based on facts that exist; e.g., the patient's chart

198

Objectives or outcome criteria

Goals; what is planned to achieve

199

Onset

Time of beginning

200

Oral

By mouth

201

Oscilloscope

The screen on which ECG patterns appear

202

Ostomy

General term for an operation in which an artificial opening is formed

203

Paralanguage

Tone of voice, gestures, and facial expressions that accompany speech

204

Parasite

An organism that lives in or on another and draws its nourishment from the organism on which it lives

205

Parenteral or parenterally

Refers to administration of a drug by penetrating the skin

206

Paresthesia

An abnormal sensation such as burning, itching, tickling, or tingling

207

Pathogenicity

The ability to cause disease

208

Penoscrotal junction

The area of the male penis that meets the scrotum

209

Percutaneous injection

Passage through the skin by needle puncture, including introduction of wires and catheters

210

Perineal

Pertaining to the area between the anus and the scrotum in the male and the vulva and the anus in the female

211

Periorbital

Relating to the periosteum of the orbit, usually of the eye

212

Peritonitis

Inflammation of the serous membrane lining the abdominal cavity and surrounding the abdominal organs

213

Phagocytic cells

Cells that ingest foreign material and microbes in the body tissues

214

Physiologic needs

Needs that allow our bodies to function; food, air, water

215

Pigg

O-Stat - Commercial mechanical immobilizer device

216

Pneumothorax

Accumulation of air or gas in the pleural cavity resulting in collapse of the lung on the affected side

217

Polypharmacy

Administration of excessive medications or of many drugs together

218

Practitioner

Any individual practicing in a specific area or discipline

219

Preceptor

A teacher; directs action or conduct of another individual

220

Presbyopia

Loss of ability to focus on near objects

221

Preschooler

A child who is not old enough to attend kindergarten

222

Prion

An infectious particle of nonnucleic acid composition; must mutate to become infectious

223

Problem solving

Using critical thinking to assess complex situations and formulate a solution to the problem

224

Profession

A calling that requires specialized knowledge and intensive academic preparation

225

Prosthesis

An artificial substitute for a missing part

226

Protozoa

One-celled organisms; often parasitic and are able to move by pseudopod formation, by action of flagella, or by cilia

227

Psychomotor

Relating to physical movement

228

Psychosis

A state in which a person's mental capacity to recognize reality, communicate, and relate to others is impaired

229

Radiographer

A radiologic technologist who uses critical thinking, problem solving, and judgment to perform diagnostic imaging

230

Radioisotope

Radioactive atoms having the same number of protons

231

Rapport

A sense of harmony or agreement

232

Recall

To remember or to bring back to mind

233

Rectal

Inserted into the rectum

234

Reflect

To think carefully and consider at length

235

Reflux

Backward flow; usually unnatural as when urine travels back up the ureter

236

Regressive behavior

To return to a former state of being; usually worse behavior, possibly infantile or childlike

237

Regulatory compliance

Control of a situation or group of laws that supervise a profession

238

Repolarization

Cardiac muscle cells return to a more negatively charged intracellular condition (their resting state)

239

Restenosis

Recurrence of stenosis after corrective surgery on the heart valve; narrowing of a structure

240

Retention urinary catheters

Tubes that are placed in the urinary bladder and fixed in place for a period of time

241

Retrograde

Moving in the direction that is opposite of what is normal

242

Retrograde procedure

Instillation of contrast in opposite direction of physiologic flow of fluids in the body

243

Saline solution

A solution consisting of a percentage of sodium chloride and distilled water that has the same osmolarity as that of body fluids

244

School age

Age at which the child is considered old enough to attend school

245

Self

actualizing needs - Needs that enrich our existence; i.e., music, literature, creative work

246

Self

concept - That which one believes about himself or herself

247

Self

esteem - A sense of one's own worth

248

Side effects

Mild, common reactions to drugs

249

Significant others

Those with whom one is in intimate contact

250

Somatic

Pertaining to or characteristic of the body (soma)

251

Sonographer

Ultrasonographer

252

Sphincter

A circular bond of muscle constricting an orifice, which contracts to close the opening

253

Sphygmomanometer

A blood pressure cuff

254

Statutory law

Established law that is enacted by a legislative body and punishable by the court system

255

Sterile

Free of all living microorganisms

256

Sterilization

Destruction of microbes by steam under pressure or other means, either chemical or physical

257

Stoma

An opening in the body created by bringing a loop of bowel to the skin surface

258

Stress

Pressure or weight placed upon a person that creates strain

259

Subjective

Based on judgment by an individual; personal opinion

260

Sublingual

Under the tongue

261

Syncope

Fainting

262

Systolic

The blood pressure reading taken during the contraction of the ventricles while the blood is in the arteries

263

Tachycardia

An abnormal condition in which the myocardium contracts at a rate greater than 100 beats per minute

264

Terminal illness

A disease with no known cure that results in death

265

Therapeutic

Healing; palliative; curative

266

Therapeutic communication

Speaking and listening in a manner that makes the receiver of the talk feel improved or restored

267

Thrombocytopenia

An abnormally small number of platelets in the circulating blood

268

Thrombosis

Clotting within a blood vessel

269

Thrombus

A collection of platelets, fibrin, and clotting factors that attaches to the interior wall of a vein and may result in occlusion of a vessel

270

Thyrotoxicosis

A disease state related to excess amounts of thyroid hormone

271

Tinnitus

Sound in the ears, which can be ringing, whistling, hissing, roaring, or booming, in the absence of acoustic stimuli

272

Tissue necrosis

Localized death of tissue due to injury or lack of oxygen

273

Toddler

Young child learning to walk

274

Topical

Designed for or involving local application and action (the skin)

275

Toxic level

A drug given in a strength that is physiologically harmful

276

Toxic reaction

A life-threatening effect of a drug that may occur immediately or over a long period of the particular drug's administration

277

Toxicity

State of being poisonous

278

Transducer

A hand-held device, used in sonography, that sends and receives sound wave signals

279

Trauma

Tissue damage related to an injury or mental trauma related to shocking developments

280

Tympanic

Bell-like; resonance pertaining to the tympanum

281

Ulceration

An area of tissue necrosis that penetrates below the epidermis; excavation of the surface of any body organ

282

Unethical

Not conforming to the standards of conduct of a particular profession or group

283

Ureteral catheter

A firm catheter inserted into the ureter attached to a cystoscope

284

Urinary incontinence

Inability to control urinary functions

285

Urticaria

An eruption of itchy wheels, hives

286

Vaginal

Drug administration into the vagina

287

Validate

To confirm; to justify or establish as true

288

Values

Measures of the worth or worthiness of qualities

289

Vascular access devices

Catheters or needles that are able to enter the blood vessels

290

Vasodilatation

A widening of the lumen of blood vessels

291

Vasovagal response

Related to action of the vagus nerve upon blood vessels resulting in rapid pulse, cold sweats, bradycardia, hypotension, and syncope

292

Virulent

Extremely toxic

293

Viruses

Minute microbes that cannot be visualized under an ordinary microscope; the smallest microorganism known to produce disease

294

Visual

Able to be seen with one's eyes

295

Void

The action of emptying urine from the bladder

296

Volatile

Easily vaporized or evaporated; unstable or explosive in nature