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Exam Terminology

Examination positions and abbreviations

QuestionAnswer
assessment evaluation of a condition
Vital signs temperature, pulse, respirations and blood pressure
auscultation listening through a stethoscope for sounds within the body
rale abnormal rattle or crackle-like sound heart during inspiration
rhonchus/wheezing occurs during inspiration and expiration - musical sound resulting from partially obstructed airway due to inflammation
palpation examiner's hands are used to feel texture, size and location of body parts
percussion used to determine density of a body area by the sound of the tapping
recumbent position in which the patient is lying down either on back or front
prone recumbent patient is lying on belly - face down
supine lying on back - face up
dosal recumbent supine position with knees bent
sims position lying on left side with right knee and thigh drawn up the left arm placed along back
endoscopy visual examation of the interior body cavity - usually involves a small incision
centesis surgical puncture to remove fluid for diagnostic purposes
abdominocentesis surgical puncture into abdominal cavity
cardiocentesis puncture of chamber of the heart for diagnosis or therapy
pericardiocentesis drawing fluid from pericardial sac
thoracentesis puncture of the chest wall to obtain fluid for diagnostic purposes
X-Ray Uses radiation passing through the patient. Hard tissue is light and soft tissue are gray. air is black
CT computed tomography
MRI Magnetic Resonance Imaging
@ at
a.c. before meals
ad lib as desired
bid twice a day
NPO nothing by mouth
p.c. after meals
prn as needed
p.o. by mouth
q.h. every hour
q.d. every day
q.i.d. four times a day
t.i.d. three times a day
IM intramuscular
SC subcutaneous
IV intravenous
ID intradermal
Created by: hicksp