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Terminology Jan 2011

Nursing Terminology

Apical Pulse 4th to 5th intercostal space at left midclavicular line
Afebrile without fever
Antipyretics drugs that reduce fever
Basal metabolic rate heat produced by body at absolute rest
Bradycardia Slow heart rate, below 60 bpm in adults
Cardiac output volume of blood pumped by the heart in 1 minute
Conduction transfer of heat from one object to another with direct contact
Convection transfer of heat away by air movement
Diaphoresis visible perspiration primarily occurring on the upper thorax and forehead
Diffusion The tendency of molecules of a substance to move from areas of high concentration to low concentration - how O2 and CO2 move in body
Evaporation change from liquid to vapor or loss of volume due to conversion of liquid to vapor
Febrile fever
Hematocrit expressed as the percentage of total blood volume of erthrocytes; helps assess normal blood volume levels in patients quickly
Hypertension high blood pressure - higher than 140/90 mm Hg
Hypotension low blood pressure - systolic pressure lower than 90 mm Hg
Hypoxemia low oxygen concentration - low O2 saturation in blood <90% SpO2
Orthopnea labored breathing that occurs when lying flat, but improves when sitting up or standing
Orthostatic hypotension low blood pressure upon moving from supine, to sitting to standing position - positive findings if patient becomes dizzy or decrese of 20 mm Hg
Postual hypotension orthostatic hypotension
Radial pulse pulse felt over the radial artery
Radiation emission from a common center in all directions - heat
Sphygmomanometer device attached to blood pressure cuff used for measuring aterial pressure
Tachycardia abnormally rapid heart rate; >100 bpm in adults
Aerobic taking place in the presence of O2; an organism that requires O2 for life
Anaerobic taking place in the absence of O2; an organism not requiring O2 for life
Asepsis condition free from germs, infection and life forms
Bacteriostasis the arrest of bacterial growth
Colonization growth of micoororganims (bacteria) in a particular body site
Edema body tissues containing an excessive amount of tissue fluid in the interstitial spaces - swelling
Exudate fluid released from body having a high concentration of protein, cells or debris
Granulation tissue newly formed vascular and connective tissue produced in the early stages of wound healing
Iatrogenic infection infection caused or arising due to a medical or surgical intervention
Inflammatory response vascular and cellular responses (edema, erythemia) formation of inflammatory exudates tissure repair
Leukocytosis an increase in the number of leukocytes circulating in the blood; usually >10,000/mm3
Medical asepsis clean technique; using gloves, hand hygiene, standard precautions to prevent transfer of organisms from one client to the next
Necrotic death of a portion of tissue
Nosocomial infection hospital acquired infection
Phagocytosis 3-stage process in which a types of WBC's engulf and destroy microorganisms, foreign antigens and cell debris
Pathogen a microorganism capable of producing disease
Purulent suppurative; forming or containing pus (cloudy)
Sanguineous bloody
Serous having the nature of serum; thin or watery
Standard precautions always wear gloves to protect against all body fluids (except sweat)
Surgical asepsis sterile technique; eliminate all microorganisms, including pathogens and spores from an area or object
Systemic involving entire system
Virulence relative power and degree of pathogenicity possessed by organisms
Alopecia absence or loss of hair especially of the head
Epidermis the outermost layer of the skin
Gingivitis inflammation of the gums characterized by redness, swelling, and the tendency to bleed
Neuropathy syndrome in which muscle weakness, paresthesias, impaired reflexes, and autonomic symptoms in the hands and feet are common
Foot board when used properly it helps to prevent footdrop; letting the soles of the feet just touch the board
Center of gravity at the center of inanimate objects and at the midline (55% - 57%) standing height of a person
Friction rubbing or two objects together; should be avoided in nursing lifts/transfers
Hemiparesis hemi-paralysis
Hemiplegia loss of movement or mobility in half of the body
Isometric contraction increase in muscle tension or muscle work but no shortening (ex. tightening a muscle group and relaxing it)
Isotonic contraction Necessary for active movement, causes muscle shortening
Proprioception the awareness of posture, movement, and changes in equilibrium and the knowledge of position, weight, and resistance of objects in relation to the body
Status epilepticus continuous seizure activity w/o a pause; can include two back-to-back seizures w/o a lucid moment or any seizure lasting more than 5 to 10 mins
Atelectasis secretions block bronchiole or bronchus and the distal lung tissue collapses as the existing air is absorbed, producing hypoventilation - caused by lack of movement or exercise
Disuse osteoporosis bone tissue becomes less dense or atrophied due to immobilization
Embolus occlusion of vessels (solid, liquid, or gaseous) usually results in infarcts
Hypostatic pneumonia pneumonia occurring in elderly or bed-ridden patients who remain constantly in the same position - decreased ventilation results in alveolar collapse (atelectasis) and a pulmonary invironment that supports bacterial growth
Thrombus a blood clot that adheres to the wall of a blood vessel or organ
Joint contracture an abnormal and possibly permanent condition characterized by fixation of the joint
Pressure ulcer impairment of the skin resulting from prolonged ischemia
Muscle atrophy wasting
Debridement the removal of dead or damagaded tissue or foreign material, especially from the wound
Dehiscence a bursting open
Evisceration spilling out of abdominal contents due to wound dehiscence
Hemostasis an arrest of bleeding or circulation
Induration area of hardened tissue
Primary intention wound that is closed; edges are approximated and infection risk is low
Secondary intention wound involving tissue loss ex. pressure ulcer, burn or severe laceration
Serosanguineous of the nature of serum and blood
Tertiary intention wound left open for several days and then approximated; delayed until risk for infection is less
Slough dead matter or necrosed tissue seperated from living tissue or an ulceration
ac before meals
pc after meals
hs hour of sleep
prn as needed or necessary
ad lib as desired
BR bedrest
LMWH heparin
> greater than
less than
PO by mouth
Created by: bryantl3