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The following terms and definitions are used in the text and class discussion.

Abbreviation –A shortened version of a word

ABC’s – airway, breathing, circulation

Abandonment –Leaving someone unattended and no planning for patient’s/resident’s care

Abduction – movement away from midline or center

Abrasion – a scrape on the skin or mucous membrane

Abuse – physical, emotional or mental injury inflicted on another individual

Acceptance – agreeing and coming to terms 

Activities of daily living (ADL’s) – basic personal self care activities usually performed by the individual (hygiene, bathing, toileting, etc).

Active-assistive range of motion- minimal assistance for a resident actively exercising and moving joint to the maximum tolerable capability

Active range of motion – exercising and moving joint to its maximum by the resident

Acute – Severe

ÀDA – American Diabetes Association

Adaptive –a modification in a device to adjust for a resident’s change in function or ability

Abduction – movement toward midline or center

ADL Document Sheet – (activities of daily living) – a form to record the activities completed during a normal day in a person’s life; filled out by  CNA

Admission-the process of enacting a facility

Advance Directive- a signed document indicating the person’s wishes regarding care during dying

Afebrile-absence of fever or elevated temperature

Agitation-restlessness and disturb behaviors resulting from anxiety

Aiding & Abetting – not reporting dishonest acts that are observed

Airway :a natural passageway for moving air in and out of the body

Airbed-a special bed that uses air flotation to protect or support a resident who is at risk for developing a pressure sore (e.g. Clinitron, KinAir, etc.)

Align-to position the body in a straight line with spine straight

Allergy – an abnormal reaction to a substance that normally does not cause such a response

Alveoli – tiny air sacs that make up most of the lungs

Alzheimer’s -a chronic disease of the brain which leads to confusion, loss of memory and other behavioral changes

Alternating pressure mattress -a special mattress that rotates areas of inflation to limit constant pressure on a bony area of the body to prevent skin breakdown

Ambulate/ambulation -to walk.

Amino Acids – basic component of proteins

Amputation-removal of a limb

Anatomic position – standing erect

Anatomy – structure study of the body

Anemia – deficient quantity of red blood cells

Aneroid manometer-dial type blood pressure equipment.

Anorexia – lack or loss of appetite for food

Anti-embolic stockings -elastic stocking is worn to prevent blood clots (example T.E.D. hose)

Anger-feelings of great displeasure or hostility

Angina-a condition causing severe pain in the chest

Anterior-the front part of something

Aphasia-loss of or impaired ability to communicate through speech, writing, or signs; frequently follows a stroke

Apical pulse – heart rate taken by placing a stethoscope over the area of the heart

Apnea- the temporary absence of breathing

Arrhythmia-an irregular heartbeat

Arteries-blood vessels that carry blood away from the heart to all parts of the body

Arthritis – joint inflammation

Artificial hydration/nutrition – adding fluids and nutrients to the body

Asepsis-free from infection

Aspirate/aspiration – to draw fluid a foreign substance into lungs during inspiration

Assault – attempt or threat to do violence to another

Assessment-to observe and interpret findings

Assisted living – some care provided to an individual living alone

Atherosclerosis-fatty substance in the arteries

Athlete’s foot-fungal infection of the foot, especially between the toes

Atrophy-wasting of muscle tissue

Axilla-under the arm, the “armpit”

Bacteria-a form of simple microorganism commonly called a “germ”

Bandage-clean or sterile piece of material used to cover non-intact skin

Bargaining – when an individual seeks to make a deal that will delay death

Barriers-items which prevent transmission of microorganisms from the worker to the resident or from the resident to the worker

The base of support-a stance with feet separated about 12 inches apart to provide a firm steady position while using body mechanics

Battery – an unlawful attack upon or touching of another person

Bed cradle -a device placed at the end of the bed which keeps the sheets

Bell-bell-shaped part of the stethoscope, which is placed on the resident’s body

Benign prostatic – enlargement of the prostate gland

Bile – a substance produced by the liver preparing fats for digestion

Binder-elastic material used to keep something in place

Biohazardous symbol -contaminated item containers are identified with this symbol; the background is red or orange and the symbol is black

Bioterrorism – use of a biological agents, such as pathogenic organisms, for terrorist purposes

Bland diet -a special, soothing diet that avoids irritating foods

Blood-fluid that circulates through the heart and blood vessels to carry nourishment and oxygen to tissues and take away body wastes and carbon dioxide

Body Language – the postures, gestures, and facial expressions used intentionally or unintentionally in communication

Body mechanics – the way of using your body to lift or move people or objects so that you do not injure yourself

Bony prominence – area of the body where the bone is near the surface of the skin and can easily develop skin breakdown

+Bounding – strong, hard pulse

Bowel movement – defecation of feces

Brachial pulse -heart rate felt on the inner aspect at the end of the elbow

Bradycardia -a slow heartbeat usually with a pulse rate below 60 beats per minute

Bradypnea – Slow breathing; respirations are fewer than 10 per minute

Breathing-the act of moving air in and out of the lungs

Bronchi – tubal structures connecting the trachea to the lungs

Bursitis – sacs of fluid around joints become inflamed

Cachexia – a state of malnutrition

Capillaries-the smallest blood vessel which is smaller than a hair in size

Carbohydrate-energy foods used by the body to produce heat and energy for work (4 calories per gram)

Carbon dioxide – a gas that is a waste product

Cardiac arrest- when the heart stops beating

Cardiovascular system-the body system which includes the heart, the blood vessels, and the blood

Carotid pulse-the pulse felt at a person’s throat at the carotid artery

Cataract – a clouding of the lens of the eye

Catastrophic reaction – unpredictable violent behavior of a person with dementia

Catheter – a tube used to put in or take out fluids

Cells – the basic unit of living substances

Cellulose/fiber-roughage which helps with elimination

Celsius-metric scale for measuring temperature

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-an agency of the federal government that researches and makes recommendations to prevent disease and control the spread of infection

Centimeter – a metric measure of length which equals one-hundredth of a meter

Cerebral Palsy-a chronic condition resulting from lack of oxygen during birth that affects motor control and speech

Chain of infection– the process of events involved in the transmission and development of infectious diseases

Cheyne-Stokes – an irregular pattern of breathing with periods of apnea

CHF – Congestive heart failure

Choice-freedom to make personal selections such as activities, attire, etc.

Chronic – long duration

Circulation – refers to the movement of blood around the body

Citation – a civil sanction with monetary fines against long-term care facilities in violation of the laws and regulations of California relating to patient care

Clean catch -an aseptic method of urine collection

Clear liquid diet – made up primarily of water and carbohydrates for energy

Clothes protector – a towel or bib used to protect the resident’s clothing from becoming soiled

Code situation – a life-threatening situation requiring special action, for example, a code blue

Coercion-forcing a person to do something against his/her will

Colon – large intestine

Colostomy-a surgical opening made into the large intestine to allow passage of stool

Communication-the exchange of ideas and messages by means of speech, gestures, or writing

Communicable-capable of being transferred from one person to another

Condom catheter – latex sheath that fits over the penis for urinary drainage

Confidentiality-maintaining resident’s personal and medical information privately sharing information only when necessary with the health care team for the resident’s benefit

Conflict – problems or differences between two or more people

Confusion- disorientation to person, place, or time (usually temporary)

Congestive heart failure – inadequate output for physiological needs

Connective tissue – tissue that holds other tissue supporting body organs

Constipation – inability or severe difficulty passing stool that is dry and hard

Contamination-unclean; soiled with pathogens

Contractures-permanent shortening of a muscle causing very limited movement of a joint

COPD-chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

CSM-circulation, sensation, and movement

Cubic centimeter (cc)-a metric measurement of fluid volume

C.V.A. – cerebral vascular accident is also known as a stroke or “brain attack”

Cyanosis-bluish discoloration of skin, lips, and nails due to lack of oxygen

Cystitis – Inflammation of the urinary bladder

Dangle-to sit at the edge of the bed with legs hanging over the side

Debilitating – to impair the strength of a body

Debride – to cleanse contaminated tissue

Decubiti/decubitus ulcer – a bedsore

Defamation of character – something harmful to the good name or reputation of another person

Defecate/defecation – the act of having a bowel movement

Defense mechanisms – a protective reaction used involuntarily to avoid humiliation, shame, or anxiety

Dehydration -decrease in the amount of fluid in tissues

Delusions– false or misinformed beliefs (NOT a hallucination which involves the senses)

Dementia-a permanent decline in memory and other thought processes

Denial-refusal to accept or believe something

Depression – morbid sadness or melancholy

Dermis – the skin

Developmentally disabled – a condition in which the brain does not develop normally resulting in decreased functioning and intellectual processes; also known as “mentally challenged”

Diabetes mellitus – a disorder of carbohydrate metabolism

Dialysis – means of cleansing waste or toxic materials from the body Diaphoresis profuse sweating

Diaphragm – 1) the muscle which separates the lungs from the abdominal cavity; 2) the round, flat part of the stethoscope which is placed on the patient’s body

Diarrhea – abnormal excessive frequency of loose or liquid stools

Diastolic blood pressure- the blood pressure when the heart muscle is relaxed. Normal readings are 60 to 85 Hg. When taking a person’s blood pressure, the diastolic blood pressure is recorded as the bottom number

Digestion- the process of converting food so it can be used by the body as nourishment

Disability- a physical condition or handicap which prevents a resident from participating in certain activities

Disaster plan- a set of guidelines and safety procedures prepared by a facility that says what you should do in case of an unexpected sudden event

Discharge-  1) body fluid; 2) the process of leaving a facility

Disease – definite characteristics of an illness

Disinfection- a process that kills pathogens

Disorientation- loss of an ability to recognize time, place, or people

Disposable- made to be used once and then thrown away

Distal – farthest away from a central point

Diuresis- increased excretion of urine; may be caused on purpose by certain medications

Diverticulitis – inflammation in the lining and wall of the colon

DNR -Do Not Resuscitate; an order written by a physician

Dorsal Recumbent – a position of the body in which the resident is flat on their back with knees slightly flexed and separated, with feet flat on the bed

Douche – irrigation of the vaginal canal

Drawsheet – a piece of linen used to position the resident and/or keep the bottom sheet clean

Durable Power of Attorney – a document giving a person the responsibility to make health care decisions

Dyslexia -difficulty in reading causing the individual to transposing letters

Dysphagia – difficulty swallowing food and liquids

Dyspnea- difficult, labored breathing

Dysuria – painful voiding

  1. coli- bacteria commonly found in the intestinal tract where it is normally non-pathogenic. Outside of the intestinal tract, it can cause urinary tract infections or infections in pressure sores.

Edema- swelling of body tissues with water

Egg-crate mattress – a special foam mattress that looks like an egg-crate; used to decrease pressure over bony prominences

Elastic bandage – a type of material that is worn tight on the skin to restrict movement

Electric bed – a bed that uses motors to change bed position

Elimination- excretion of body wastes occurring through the skin, kidneys or intestines

Embolism– obstruction of a blood vessel by a blood clot or foreign substance

Emergency – an unexpected serious occurrence that requires immediate attention

Emergency codes – a facility specified word, or phrase or abbreviation that indicates a particular serious occurrence (i.e. code red = fire)

Emesis- vomitus

Empathy – understanding how someone else feels

Enema – injection of water into the rectum to eliminate feces

Enteral feeding- a special type of liquid formula feeding that is given through a tube placed into the intestines

Epidermis-  the outer layer of skin

Epilepsy- a condition that periodically leads to convulsions  and distributed consciousness

Epithelial tissue – a structure formed from epithelial cells

Escape routes- a predetermined path that is to be followed in order to exit a facility safely in case of emergency

Essential nutrients – those vitamins, minerals, and foods that are required daily in certain amounts to maintain good nutrition and health

Ethics- principles of right or good behavior or standards

Evacuation- 1) to have a bowel movement; 2) to move people to a safe place during an emergency or disaster

Eversion – a turn or rolling backward or inside out

Exchange list-  a grouping of interchangeable foods to assist people on special diets

Excoriation-  irritation or abrasion of the skin due to chemicals, burns, or a tear/break in the skin

Excretions – the process of eliminating substances by body organs

Expectorate- to cough, bringing sputum out of the lungs and ejected from the mouth, often incorrectly referred to as “spit”

Expiration- 1) exhalation; 2) a point in time when an item (for example food, medication, etc); 3) death of a resident

Exposure incident- a specific eye, mouth, other mucous membranes, non-intact skin, intravenous contact with blood or other potentially infectious material

Extension – movement by which two ends of any jointed part are drawn away from each other

False imprisonment- detaining a resident without a reason and against their will

Family- a group of people related by blood or marriage

Fan-folded- a method of folding a sheet

Fat – a nutrient that stores energy and has a high caloric value (9 calories per gram)

Fahrenheit – scale for measuring temperature

Febrile – feverish; having a fever

Fecal/feces- stool

Fecal impaction – stool retention in the rectum

Financial abuse – improper use of another person’s money 

Fire plan-  a set of guidelines and safety procedures prepared by each facility that says what should be done in case of a fire, i.e. Remove residents from danger, close doors to residents’ rooms, etc.

Flatulence – excessive gas in the stomach and intestine

Flatus- gas in the stomach expelled by any opening

Fleece pad – a soft, fluffy cushion used to decrease irritation of the skin due to pressure or contact

Flexion – decreasing the angle between two bones

Flora – the normal population of usually non-harmful microorganisms found in a particular area of the body (e.g.

Flotation pad- a gel or air filled cushion to prevent excess pressure on the skin and breakdown

Fluid – 1) a non solid liquid, 1) liquid intake

Foley catheter – catheter placed in the urinary bladder to remove urine

Foot board- a flat upright surface placed behind the resident’s feet to maintain them in upright position to prevent foot drop

Force fluids-  encourage residents to drink water or other fluids.

Fowler’s position- head of bed is rolled up so that resident is in a semi-sitting position.

Fracture – break in the continuity of bone

Friction – rubbing of the skin against something

Full Liquid Diet – a diet, which includes all liquids as well as creamed soups, ice cream, Jell-O, pudding. Usually ordered as part of a progressive diet.

Fungus- a class of microorganisms to which mold and yeast belong.

Gait belt – a belt placed around the resident’s waist to assist with ambulation or transferring position..

Gallon – household unit of measurement of fluid volume – equal to 128 ounces.

Gastrectomy – surgical removal of part or all the stomach

Gastrostomy tube (GT) – a surgically placed tube that goes through the skin into the stomach – used for liquid feeding

Gavage- feeding given through a tube placed into the stomach

Genitalia – reproductive organs

Glaucoma – a disease of the eye, characterized by a hardening of the eyeball

Glucose – simple sugar

Glycosuria – sugar in the urine

Goiter – an enlargement of the thyroid gland

Gonorrhea – sexually transmitted disease that cases an acute inflammation

Gout – uric acid deposits in the joints

Graduate – container marked for milliliters, used to measure liquids

Gram – a metric measurement of weight

Greenwich time – also called the standard clock, uses a.m. and p.m.

Grievances- a complaint or protest registered by a resident about his/her care or accommodations

Hallucination – a false sensory perception of something heard, seen, smelt, tasted or touched but does not exist in reality

Health – state of physical and mental well being

Health and safety code– laws and statutes pertaining to health and safety; this code is the authority for regulations written into CCR, Title 22.

Heel/elbow protector- a soft protective cushioning device for the heel or elbow to prevent skin breakdown

Heimlich maneuver – an emergency procedure using abdominal thrusts to remove an obstruction blocking the airway

Hematoma – localized mass of blood confined to one area

Hematuria – blood in the urine

Hemiplegia – paralysis of only one-half of the body

Hemorrhage – an abnormal, excessive loss of blood either internally or externally

Hemorrhoid – varicose veins in the rectum

Hepatitis A, B, or C – organism that causes a form of infectious liver disease

Hernia – projection of a stomach organ through the wall that normally contains it

Herpes simplex 2 – an acute infectious viral disease

Herpes Zoster- acute infectious viral disease

HIPAA – Health Information Portability Accountability Act

Hives – itchy skin eruptions which are raised and round and appear white in the center and red around the edges

Hormones – secretion of endocrine gland

Hospice – facility to care for the terninally ill

Host-  animal or plant that harbors another organism

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)-  virus that causes Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)

Hyperalimentation- total parenteral nutrition (TPN)

Hypertension – blood pressure which is higher than normal, usually anything above 140/90

Hypertrophy – increase in size of an organ not involving tumor formation

Hyperventilation – respirations which are more rapid and deeper than normal

Hypoglycemia – abnormally low level of sugar in the blood

Hypotension – blood pressure which is lower than the normal, usually 80/50 below

Hypoventilation – respirations that are slower and more shallow than normal

Hysterectomy – surgical removal of the uterus

IDDM – insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus

Ileostomy- a surgically created opening into the ileum (the intestine)

Impaction- over collection of feces in the bowel which cannot be excreted

Inches – the basic measure of length, 12 inches equal 1 foot

Incident report- a report of an unusual, unplanned occurrence

Incontinence – inability to retain urine or stool due to loss of sphincter control

Indwelling catheter – foley catheter that remains in the bladder to drain urine

Infections – invasion and multiplication of any organism and the damage caused by this in the body

Infectious agent – microorganisms capable of causing disease

Inferior – below another part

Infiltration- abnormal collection of fluid in the tissue resulting from a dislodged intravenous (IV) device

Influenza- highly contagious infection of the respiratory tract spread by airborne droplet infection

Informed consent – permission given by one who fully understands all the facts relating to what is going to happen

Inspiration – breathing in, inhalation

Insulin – active hormone secreted in the pancreas

Insulin shock – a low blood sugar below normal resulting from too much insulin

Intake – fluid the body receives

Intake and Output (I&O)- measuring and recording the total amount of liquids taken in, and the total amount of liquid output includes urine, vomitus, drainage, liquid stool, blood and perspiration.

Integumentary system- the skin

Intravenous infusion (IV) – fluids or nourishment given through a sterile tube into a vein

Inversion – something inverted; reversed

Involuntary seclusion – separation of patient from other patients against his or her will

Ischemia – localized tissue anemia

Isolation– place where the resident with an infectious disease is separated from others

Job description – duties and responsibilities assigned to a specific position; sometimes called “scope of practice”

Joint – the moveable connection between two bones

Kardex– a card file that summarizes information about the resident

Kidney – the bean-shaped organ that excretes waste matter as urine

Kilogram – 1000 grams or 2.2 pounds – a measurement of weight

Larynx- part of airway and organ of voice

Lateral – away from the midline

Lateral position- side-lying position

Legal standard – guides to lawful behavior

Lesions- abnormal changes in tissue formation

Libel – any written defamatory statement

Lice – a common parasite of the skin

Lift sheet-  (aka: draw sheet, turn sheet, pull sheet) a sheet folded under resident, extending from above the shoulder to below the hips and used to help move or turn the resident

Liter- a metric unit of fluid volume measurement equal to 1000 ml

Long-term care facility- facilities that provide basic day-to-day care and around-the-clock nursing service for the sick, disabled, or elderly who cannot care for themselves, such as skilled nursing facility, intermediate care facility (ICF), ICF/H, ICF/D

Low fat diet –limited fat intake – foods are baked, roasted or broiled.

Low sodium diet- a diet that is moderately, mildly, or severely restricted in sodium content.

Lungs – saccular organs that constitute the basic respiratory organ of air-breathing

Mammogram – X-ray examination of the breasts

Mandated reporter – a person designated by law to report suspected or witnessed abuse

Manual bed- a bed which uses a hand crank to change bed position

Mastectomy – excision of the breast

Mechanical lift– device used to move residents who are unable to bear weight or are very heavy; a.k.a. Hoyer lift

Mechanical soft diet – a diet, which includes liquids and semisolid foods and requires very little chewing.

Medical chart – a written resident record containing all information about the resident.

Medical terminology-a group of words or terms used in healthcare

Medicare- federal program that assists persons over 65 years of age with hospital and medical costs

Medi-Cal- a state funded program that pays for medical costs for those whose income falls below a certain level

Membranes – tissue sheets that line the body cavities

Message- information transmitted by speech or writing from one person or group to another

Morgue –  a place where the dead are kept until identified

Metabolism- the body’s process for utilizing nutrients for heat and energy production

Metric system- a system of weights and measurements having all units based on some power of ten

Microorganisms- organisms that can be only seen with a microscope

Military time-  also called international time, uses a 24-hour clock

Milliliter (ml)- a measurement of volume of fluid

Minerals- inorganic chemical compound found in nature; many minerals are important in building body tissues and regulating

Mitered corner – one type of corner used in making a bedding

MDSD – Materials Safety Data Sheet

Mottling – to mark with spots

MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus – a serious skin organism resistant to most antibiotics, particularly Methicillin

Mucosa- mucous membranes

Mucous- secretion of the mucous membranes; thick, sticky fluid

Multiple sclerosis – hardened brain tissue resulting in paralysis and jerking muscle tremor

Muscle- a special type of tissue that is able to contract and move

Muscle tissue – tissue with the ability to shorten and lengthen

Myocardial infarction – heart failure

Nasal cannula – tubing inserted into nostrils to administer oxygen

Nasogastric tube – a tube that goes through the nose into the stomach

Nausea- a sensation often leading to the urge to vomit

Nebulizer – an atomizer

Necrosis – tissue death

Neglect – failing to provide services to patients to prevent harm or anguish

Negligence – An unintentional wrong in which a person fails to act in a reasonable and careful manner and causes harm to a person or to the person’s property

Nephritis – inflammation of the kidney

Nerve – bands of tissue that connect parts of the nervous system with other organs

Nerve tissue – tissue capable of conducting nerve impulses

NIDDM – non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus

Nits- eggs of a louse or other type of parasitic insect.

No Code – no CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation)

Non-intact- broken, cut, cracked or chapped

Non-verbal – messages sent using little use of spoken language

Nosocomial – infections that occur in residents while they are in the care facility

Non-prescription – medication that can be purchased over the counter without requiring a physician’s order or approval

Nursing facility – a skilled nursing facility, an intermediate care facility, and an intermediate care facility developmentally- disabled or an intermediate care facility/developmentally disabled nursing.. This definite is specific to CCR, Title 22, chapter 2.5, which pertains to the nurse assistant training programs.

Nutrient – nourishing substance or food

Nutrition- the process by which the body uses food for growth and repair and to maintain health.

02 –b oxygen

Observation – using the senses to collect information about a resident

Objective data – information that is seen, heard, felt, or smelled by another person; signs

OBRA – the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (1987)

Obstruction – the checking of vital functions; death

Occult blood – small amounts of blood detected by microscope

Occupied bed- a bed which has a resident in it 

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)-  government agency that makes and enforces regulations to protect workers

Ointment- a type of medication which is thick and is applied to the skin

Ombudsman- patient advocate

Oral hygiene – care of the mouth cavity which includes brushing the teeth, flossing and cleansing

Organ – a part of the body that carries out a specific function

Orthopnea- a condition in which breathing is only possible when sitting upright

Orthopneic – ability to breath in an upright position

Osteoarthritis – degenerative changes in bone and cartilage of joints

Otosclerosis – growth of spongy bone in inner ear increasing deafness

Osteopororosis – softening of the bones which can lead to fractures

Ostomy- a surgical opening from an internal organ (intestines, bladder, stomach), the opening is referred to as a stoma

Ounce- household measurement of fluid volume; contains 30 cc’s

Output – the amount of fluid the body loses

Oxygen mask – device to administer oxygen through nose and mouth

Oxygen precautions- procedures used when a resident is on oxygen to provide a safe environment

Pacemaker – body part that maintains rhythmic activity

Pallor – paleness or lack of color

Paralysis- temporary or permanent loss of function and feeling in a body part Paranoia

chronic, fixed belief of persecution and delusion

Paraplegia- paralysis of the lower part of the body involving both legs

Parenteral nutrition – nutrition given by means outside of the intestinal tract (usually through the blood stream)

Parkinson’ disease – neurological disorder with stiffness of muscles and tremors

Passive range of motion – providing full exercise of the joints without effort by the resident

Pathogens- disease producing microorganisms

Patient abuse- physical and/or mental harm inflicted upon a resident

Patient care plan – a recorded plan for giving care based on the resident’s special problems or conditions

Pediculosis – body lice

PEG – percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy tube

Pelvic inflammatory disease – inflammation of the pelvic organs

Penis – male organ of copulation and urinary elimination

Perineum/perineal – the region between the vulva and anus in a female or between the scrotum and anus in a male

Peripheral – relating to part of the body

Peristalsis – Involuntary muscle contractions in the digestive system that move food through the body

Peritoneum – membrane that lines the wall of the abdominal and pelvic cavities

Personal protective equipment (PPE) – equipment such as waterproof gowns, masks, gloves, goggles and other equipment needed  to protect an employee from infectious materials

Personal space – the area or zone which marks the “comfort zone” of an individual

Phantom pain – pain experienced where a limb or other part has been removed

Pharynx – muscular membranous tube between mouth and throat

Phlebitis – inflammation of a blood vessel due to irritation

Physical abuse – mistreatment by hitting or other physical contact

Physiology – science of living organisms

PID – pelvic inflammatory disease

Pint- a household unit of measurement of fluid volume – equal to 16 ounces

Pituitary gland – gland at the base of the skull that produces hormones

Pneumonia – inflammation of the lungs

Posterior- the back side of something

Postmortem care – care given to the body after death

Postural supports- a device used to help the resident remain in proper alignment

Pound- a measurement of household weight equaling 16 ounces

Prefix – a word element placed at the beginning of a word that changes it’s meaning

Pressure sores – decubiti

Privacy – protecting residents from exposure of their bodies; maintaining an environment for confidential communication, visitations, and medical records

Prognosis – a judgment in advance concerning the probable course of a disease and the chances of recovery 

Projection- an unconscious mental mechanism similar to rationalization in which a person attributes to another his own inappropriate

Pronation – Turning downward

Prostate gland – gland of the male reproductive system

Prosthesis- an artificial substitute for a missing body part

Proteins- basic material of every body cell; an essential nutrient

Prone position – lying flat on the abdomen

Professionalism- a code of conduct that meets and/or exceeds performance standards for the job

Proximal – closest to the point of attachment

Pruritus – localized itching

Psychological abuse – mistreatment by threatening, belittling or causing emotional harm

+Pulse deficit- the difference between the number of beats counted, at the same time, at the heart (apical) and the wrist (radial)

Pureed diet – a diet that meets nutritional needs with foods, which have been placed through a blender.

Pyrexia – a condition in which the temperature is abnormally high

Quadriplegia- paralysis of all four limbs (both legs and both arms)

Quart- a household unit of measurement of fluid volume – equal to 32 ounces

Radial pulse – the pulse felt at a person’s wrist at the radial artery

Range of motion – exercises designed to move each joint to its full range

Rationalization – an unconscious mechanisın in which socially acceptable reasons to explain behavior and feelings are developed

Reality orientation- the process of reorienting a confused resident to the “here and now”

Receiver – the one who receives and interprets the message from the sender

Rectocele – protrusion of part of the rectum into the vagina

Reminiscence- remembering and talking about past events

Renal calculi – kidney stones

Report – an account of the resident care and observations

Reservoir- a source that contains infectious organisms

Residents – persons cared for in a long-term facility

Resident Council- meetings held by residents of the skilled nursing facility for the purpose of resolving issues with staff and communicating with each other

Respiratory arrest – when breathing stops

Respiratory distress – difficult, labored or painful breathing

Respiratory system – the system containing the nose, airways and lungs

Restorative care – care given to return resident to a level of functioning that is closer to normal or previous level

Restraints- a device that restricts a resident’s limbs free movement used to protect resident or others

Retention – inability to excrete urine that has been produced

Reverse Trendelenberg- a position in which the resident is lying on their back with feet higher than the head

Rigor mortis – rigidity of skeletal muscles

Root word- a word element that contains the basic meaning of the word

Rotation – act of turning about the axis of the center of a body

Scabies- communicable disease caused by a mite and transmitted by close contact with an infected source

Scaly-  dry, thin, flaky skin

Scope of practice-  skills which the health care worker (e.g. CNA, RN, LVN, etc.) is legally permitted to perform by state regulations

Seizure – severe involuntary shaking and jerking of the body

Semi-Fowler’s position- a sitting position which the head raised at a 45 degree angle

Sender – the one who conveys a message

Sensory- concerning the five senses

Sexual abuse – use of physical means to force sexual acts

Sexually transmitted disease (STD) – a disease that is passed from one to another through sexual contact

Shallow breathing- very light breathing which does not provide enough oxygen

Shearing – when skin sticks to a surface and muscles slide in the direction the body is moving

Shroud – something that covers

Side rails- bars which can be raised at the side of bed and are used for positioning and safety

Sim’s position- halfway between side-lying and prone; usually left side lying for enema’s or other rectal treatments

Skeleton- the bony framework of the body containing 206 bones

Skilled nursing care- care provided in long-term care facility

Skin – the external covering of the body

Skin tears – shallow injuries where the epidermis is ripped or torn

Slander – false oral statements that injure the reputation of another

Social Services – a department which provides many of the non-medical needs of the resident

Soft diet – includes low residue, mildly flavored, unseasoned or slightly seasoned liquids or semi-solid foods that are easily digested

Soft protective device – a device used to protect the resident from harm

Specimen- a sample of body fluid that is sent to the laboratory for testing

Sphygmomanometer- an instrument used to measure a patient’s blood pressure

Sputum – matter brought up from the lungs, phlegm

Standard precautions- practices used to prevent the spread of infection

Stasis pneumonia- pneumonia that results from extended inactivity combined with inability to clear airways adequately

STAT – immediately

Sterilization- a process that destroys all microorganisms

Stertorous – characterized by a deep snoring sound; accompanies certain diseases like apoplexy

Stethoscope – an instrument used to listen to sounds in the patient’s body, such as the heartbeat or breathing sounds

Stool – another name for feces

Streptococcus– bacteria which is capable of destroying tissue and blood cells

Stroke – any sudden attack of a disease or illness, especially apoplexy or paralysis

Stoma – an ostomy

Stool- feces

Subacute care – comprehensive care for persons with acute illness

Subjective data – That which is reported by a person and is not observed by others using the senses

Sundowning- state in which a resident becomes disoriented during sleeping/night time hours

Suffix- a word element placed at the end of a word that changes it’s meaning

Superior – toward the head

Supine position- lying flat on the back

Supination – turning upward

Suppository – a solid lubricant placed into the rectum for bowel evacuation

Sympathy – affinity between persons or of one person for another.

Syphilis – infectious venereal disease with lesions that involve any organ or tissue

System – a group of organs

Systolic blood pressure- the sound made when the heart muscle is contracting; when taking the patient’s blood pressure, the systolic blood pressure is recorded as the top number. Normal systolic is 100 to 140 mm Hg

Tachycardia- a fast heartbeat with a pulse rate above 100 beats per minute in adults

Tachypnea – Rapid breathing; respirations are usually more than 24 per minute

TCDB – tum, cough and deep breathe; an intervention to prevent the development of pneumonia or atelectasis

TED hose – anti-embolic hose/elastic stocking

Tendon – white fibrous connective tissue that unites muscle with another part

Terminal – No reasonable expectation of recovery

Testes – male gonads, reproductive glands

Theft – taking anything that does not belong to you

Therapeutic diets- a planned intake of food and fluid to treat a specific disease condition

Thickened liquids – fluids with an added substance to allow the fluid diet to be retained

+ Thready- a fine, scarcely felt pulse

Thrombophlebitis- inflammation of a vein prior to the development of a blood clot

Thrombus – clot of blood formed within a blood vessel

Thyroid gland – gland at base of the neck that produces thyrocalcitonin and thyroxine

Thyroxine – hormone of the thyroid gland that contains iodine

Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN)-  meeting an individual’s entire nutritional needs by providing high-density nutrients directly into the bloodstream opening made into anterior trachea

Traction – the state of being pulled or drawn

Transfer-  the process of moving a resident from one area to another

Transmission- based precautions isolation procedures that prevent the spread of infection by interrupting the way in which the disease is spread

Trapeze – horizontal bar suspended overhead down the length of the bed

Tremor – involuntary trembling

Trendelenberg – a position in which the resident’s feet are lower than the head

Trochanter rolls- a rolled bath blanket placed under the resident from above the hips to below the hips at the start of the upper thigh to prevent the hip from rotating outward

Tuberculosis – a communicable lung infection easily spread by sneezing and coughing

Tympanic temperature- the core temperature measured by placing the special thermometer probe in the ear canal

Ulcer – open sore caused by inadequate blood supply

Unconscious – a state in which an individual lacks sensory awareness and is unaware of surroundings or environment

Unoccupied bed- a bed which is empty

Ureter – narrow tube that conducts urine from the kidney to the bladder

Urethra – mucus-lined tube conveying urine from the bladder to the exterior of the body

Urgency – need to urinate

Urinal – a device to collect urine from a male

Urinalysis – laboratory analysis of urine

Urinary bladder – receptacle for urine before it is voided

Urinary drainage bag – a bag that collects the urine from a resident

Urinary incontinence- involuntary loss of urine

Urination- the act of passing urine

Urine- waste fluid passed by the kidneys to the bladder for storage until excreted out of the body through the urethra

Urinary system- the kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra

Uterus – organ of gestation, womb

Vagina – female organ of copulation that receives the penis during intercourse

Validation therapy – techniques to help one feel self-confident

Varicose veins – abnormally and irregularly swollen or dilated veins

Veins – blood vessels that return blood to the heart

Venereal – infection relating to sexual indulgence

Verbal communication – oral/spoken transmission of messages

Vertebrae – bones surrounding the spinal cord

Vessel – tube or canal in which body fluid is contained

Violation-  to break a regulation or law either intentionally or unintentionally

Virus- the smallest disease-causing microbe; depends on the invaded host for reproduction

Vitamins- general term for various unrelated organic substances found in many foods in minute amounts that are necessary for normal metabolic function of the body

Voice pitch- a subjective quality of sound which depends on frequency and intensity

Voice tone- the character and duration of sound

Void – to release urine from the bladder

VRE (vancomycin-resistant enterococcus)- intestinal microorganism resistant to most antibiotics, in particular, Vancomycin

Vulvovaginitis – inflammation of the vulva and vagina

Waterbed- a water-filled mattress used to prevent development of pressure sores

Workplace violence – any violence in the workplace