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evaluation or appraisal of a condition

vital signs

four key indications that the body systems are functioning

average temperature

98.6 degrees Fahrenheit


in the mouth


in the ear


under the arm


in the rectum


abnormally low body temperature


extremely high fever


rhythmic pressure against the walls of an artery caused by the contraction of the heart

respiratory rate

number of complete respirations per minute

blood pressure

force of the blood against the walls of the arteries


measures blood pressure


upper BP number


lower BP number


fifth vital sign in some hospitals


listening for sounds within the body, usually performed through a stethoscope


to listen


abnormal rattle or crackle-like respiratory sound heard during inspiration, or breathing in


abnormal sound heard while listening to the chest during inspiration, expiration, or both


abnormal high-pitched harsh sound heard during inhalation, result of a partial blockage of the pharynx, larynx, and trachea


abnormal sound heard during auscultation of an artery

heart murmur

abnormal heart sound that is most commonly a sign of abnormal function of the heart valves

abdominal sounds

normal noises made by the intestines


examination technique in which examiner's hands are used to feel the texture, size, consistency, and location of certain body parts


diagnostic procedure designed to determine the density of a body part by the sound produced by tapping the surface with the fingers


instrument used to examine the interior of the eye




instrument used to enlarge the opening of any canal or cavity to facilitate the inspection of its interior


instrument used to visually examine the external ear canal and tympanic membrane


instrument used to listen to sounds within the body


any position in which the patient is lying down

prone position

patient is lying on the belly with the face down

horizontal recumbent position

patient is lying on the back with the face up

dorsal recumbent position

patient is lying on the fack with the knees bent

sims' position

patient is lying on the left side with the right knee and thigh drawn up with the left arm placed along the back

knee-chest position

patient is lying face down with the hips bent so that the knees and chest rest on the table

lithotomy position

patient is lying on the back with the feet and legs raised and supported in stirrups


results are needed immediately


tests that are frequently performed as a group on automated multichannel laboratory testing equipment


individual trained and skilled in phlebotomy


puncture of a vein for the purpose of drawing blood



capillary puncture

technique used when only a small amount of blood is needed as a specimen for a blood test

complete blood cell count

series of tests performed as a group to evaluate several blood conditions

erythrocyte sedimentation rate

test based on the speed at which the red blood cells separate from the plasma and settle to the bottom of the container


percentage, by volume, of a blood sample occupied by red blood cells



platelet count

measures the number of platelets in a specified amount of blood and is a screening test to evaluate platelet function

red blood cell count

determination of the number of erythrocytes in the blood

total hemoglobin test

usually part of a complete blood count



white blood cell count

determination of the number of leukocytes in the blood

white blood cell differential test

determines what percentage of the total count is composed of each of the five types of leukocytes

basic metabolic panel

group of 8 specific blood tests that provide important information about the curent status of the patient's kidneys, electrolyte balance, blood sugar, and calcium levels

blood urea nitrogen test

measures the amount of nitrogen in the blood due to the waste product urea

crossmatch tests

performed to determine the compatibility of donor and recipient blood before a transfusion

c-reactive protein test

performed to identify high levels of inflammation within the body

lipid panel

measures the amounts of total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein, low-density lipoprotein, and triglycerides in a blood sample

prothrombin time

test used to diagnose conditions associated with abnormalities sof clotting time and to monitor anticoagulant therapy

serum bilirubin test

measures the ability of the liver ability to take up, process, and secrete bilirubin into the bile

thyroid-stimulating hormone assay

measures circulating blood levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone that can indicate abnormal thyroid activity


examination of the physical and chemical properties of urine to determine the presence of abnormal elements


fibrous or protein materials, such as pus and fats, that are thrown off into the urine in kidney disease

pH of urine



excessive acid in the body fluids

specific gravity

urine reflects the amount of wastes, minerals, and solids that are present


sweet, fruity odor, found in small quantities in normal urine and in larger amounts in the urine of a diabetic


presence of the protein albumin in the urine and is a sign of impaired kidney function


presence of bacteria in the urine


presence of calcium in the urine


increased concentration of creatine in the urine

drug-screening urine test

rapid method of identifying in the body of one or more drugs of abuse such as cocaine, heroin, and marijuana


presence of glucose in the urine, is most commonly caused by diabetes


presence of blood in the urine


presence of ketones in the urine


presence of an abnormal amount of protein in the urine


presence of pus in the urine

urine culture and sensitivity tests

laboratory tests that are used to identify the cause of a urinary tract infection and to determine which antibiotic would be the most effective treatment


visual examination of the interior of a body cavity

endoscopic surgery

describes a surgical procedure performed through very small incisions with the use of an endoscope and specialized instruments


small flexible tube with a light and a lens at the end


visual examination of the interior of the abdomen with the use of a laparoscope that is passed through a small incision in the abdominal wall


surgical puncture to remove fluid for diagnostic purposes or to remove excess fluid


surgical puncture of the abdominal cavity to remove fluid


surgical puncture of the joint space to remove synovial fluid for analysis to determine the cause of pain or swelling in a joint


puncture of a chamber of the heart for diagnosis or therapy


puncture of the pericardial sac for the purpose of removing fluid


surgical puncture of the tympanic membrane with a needle to remove fluid or pus from an infected middle ear



contrast medium

administered by swallowing, via an enema, or intravenously to make specific body structures visible


means that the substance does not allow x-rays to pass through and appears white or light gray on the resulting film


substances does allow x-rays to pass through and appears black or dark gray on the resulting film


uses x-rays passing through the patient to expose a film or create a digital image that shows the body in profile

CT scan

uses x-rays with computer assistance to produce multiple cross-sectional views of the body


uses a combination of radio waves and a strong magnetic field to produce images

intravenous contrast medium

injected into a vein to make the flow of blood through blood vessels and organs visible


radiopaque contrast medium used primarily to visualize the gastrointestinal tract


x-rays, an image of hard-tissue internal structures is created by the exposure of sensitized film to x-radiation




physician who specializes in diagnosing and treating diseases and disorders with x-rays and other forms of radiant energy

radiographic positioning

describes the body placement and the part of the body closest to the x-ray film

radiographic projection

describes the path that the x-ray beam follows through the body from entrance to exit

anteroposterior projection

has the patient positioned with the back parallel to the film

posteroanterior projection

has the patient positioned facing the film and parallel to it

lateral projection

has the patient positioned at right angles to the film

oblique projection

has the patient positioned so the body is slanted sideways to the film

extraoral radiography

film is placed and exposed outside of the mouth

panoramic radiograph

shows all of the structures in both dental arches in a single film

intraoral radiography

means that the film is placed within the mouth and exposed by a camera positioned next to the exterior of the cheek

periapical radiographs

show the entire tooth and some surround tissue

bite-wing radiographs

show the crowns of teeth in both arches on one side of the mouth

magnetic resonance angiography

combines MRI with the use of a contrast medium to locate problems within blood vessels throughout the body


visualization of body parts in motion by projecting x-ray images on a luminous fluorescent screen




recording of images as they appear in motion on a fluorescent screen


imaging of deep body structures by recording the echoes of pulses of sound waves that are above the range of human hearing


image created by ultrasonography


ultrasonic diagnostic procedure used to evaluate the structures and motion of the heart



doppler echocardiogram

performed in the same way as an echocardiogram; measures the speed and direction of the blood flow within the heart

fetal ultrasound

noninvasive procedure used to image and evaluate fetal development during pregnancy

transesophageal echocardiography

ultrasonic imaging technique used to evaluate heart structures

nuclear medicine

radioactive substances are administered for either diagnostic or treatment purposes


radioactive substances

nuclear scan

diagnostic procedure that uses nuclear medicine technology to gather information about the structure and function of organs or body systems not seen on x-rays

bone scan

nuclear scanning test that identifies new areas of bone growth or breakdown

thyroid scan

radiopharmaceutical containing radioactive iodine is administered

single photon emission computed tomography

type of nuclear imaging test that produces 3D computer-reconstructed images showing perfusion through organs and tissues


flow of bood through an organ

positron emission tomography

combines tomography with radionuclide tracers to produce enhanced images of selected body organs or areas


study of the nature, uses, and effects of drugs for medical purposes


licensed specialist who formulates and dispenses prescribed medications


medication that can legally be dispensed only by a pharmacist with an order from a licensed professional such as a physician or dentist


medication that can be purchased without a prescription

generic drug

usually named for its chemical structure and is not protected by a brand name or trademark

brand-name drug

sold under the name given by the manufacturer


compulsive, uncontrollable dependence on a drug, alcohol, or other substance

adverse drug reaction

undesirable reaction that accompanies the principal response for which the drug was taken


patient's consistency and accuracy in following the regimen prescribed by a physician or other health care professional


factor in the patient's condition that makes the use of a medication or specific treatment dangerous or ill advised

drug interaction

result of drugs reacting with each other, often in ways that are unexpected or potentially harmful

idiosyncratic reaction

unexpected reaction to a drug that is peculiar to the individual


substance that eases the pain or severity of the symptoms of a disease, but does not cure it

paradoxical reaction

result of medical treatment that yields the exact opposite of normally expected results


inactive substance that is administered only for its suggestive effects


drug interaction that occurs when the effect of one drug is increased by another drug


medication administered to prevent or reduce fever

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