Sports Medicine Curriculum Essentials Document V102



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Health Sciences Academic Vocabulary


Vocabulary Word

Definition

A

 

abdominal

pertaining to the cavity or area in the front of the body and containing the stomach, the small intestine, part of the large intestine, the liver, the gallbladder, the pancreas, and the spleen

abduction

movement away from the midline

abrasion

injury caused by rubbing or scraping the skin

absorption

act or process of sucking up or in; taking in of nutrients

abuse

any care that results in physical harm or pain, or mental anguish

accelerator

a chemical substance that increases the rate of a chemical reaction; a catalyst 

acceptance

the process of receiving or taking; approval; belief 

accreditation 

process where an educational program is recognized and/or approved for meeting and maintaining standards that qualify its graduates for professional practice

acculturation

process of learning the beliefs and behaviors of a dominant culture and assuming some of the characteristics

acidosis 

a pathological condition resulting from a disturbance in the acid-base balance in the blood and body tissues

activities of daily living (ADL) 

daily activities necessary to meet basic human needs, for example, feeding, dressing, and elimination

acupuncture 

puncturing the skin at specific points with thin needles to relieve pain and/or treat disease 

acute 

lasting a short period of time but relatively severe (for example, an acute illness) 

addiction 

state of being controlled by a habit, as can happen with alcohol and drugs 

adduction 

movement toward the midline 

adenitis 

inflammation of a gland or lymph node 

adipose

fatty tissue; fat 

adolescence

period of development from 12 to 18 years of age; teenage years 

adrenal 

one of two endocrine glands located on above each kidney 

advance directive 

a legal document designed to indicate a person's wishes regarding care in case of a terminal illness or during the dying process 

aerobic 

requiring oxygen to live and grow 

afebrile 

without a fever

affection 

a warm or tender feeling toward another; fondness 

agar plate 

special laboratory dish containing agar, a gelatinous colloidal extract of a red alga, which is used to provide nourishment for growth of organisms 

agent 

someone who has the power or authority to act as the representative of another 

agglutination 

clumping together, as in the clumping together of red blood cells 

air compressor 

machine that provides air under pressure; used in dental areas to provide air pressure to operate hand pieces and air syringe 

albino 

absence of all color pigments 

alginate 

irreversible, hydrocolloid, dental impression material 

alignment 

positioning and supporting the body so that all body parts are in correct anatomical position 

alimentary canal 

the digestive tract from the esophagus to the rectum 

alopecia 

baldness 

alternative therapy 

method of treatment used in place of biomedical therapies 

alveolar process 

bone tissue of the maxilla and mandible that contains alveoli (sockets) for the roots of the teeth 

alveoli 

microscopic air sacs in the lungs

Alzheimer's disease 

progressive, irreversible disease involving memory loss, disorientation, deterioration of intellectual function, and speech and gait disturbances

amalgam 

alloy (mixture) of various metals and mercury; restorative or filling material used primarily on posterior teeth 

ambulate 

to walk 

amino acid 

the basic component of proteins 

amputation 

the cutting off or separation of a body part from the body 

anaerobic 

not requiring oxygen to live and grow; able to thrive in the absence of oxygen 

analgesia 

the state of inability to feel pain yet still being conscious 

anaphylactic shock

an extreme, sometimes fatal, allergic reaction or sensitivity to a specific antigen, such as a medication, insect sting, or specific food 

anatomy 

the study of the structure of an organism 

anemia 

disease caused by lack of blood or an insufficient number of red blood cells 

anesthesia 

the state of inability to feel sensation, especially the sensation of pain 

anorexia 

loss of appetite 

anorexia nervosa 

psychological disorder involving loss of appetite and excessive weight loss not caused by a physical disease 

anoxia 

without oxygen; synonymous with suffocation 

antecubital 

the space located on the inner part of the arm and near the elbow 

anterior 

before or in front of 

anterior teeth 

teeth located toward the front of the mouth; includes incisor and cuspids 

antibody 

substance, usually a protein, formed by the body to produce an immunity to an antigen or pathogen 

antibody screen 

test that checks for antibodies in the blood prior to a transfusion 

anticoagulant 

substance that prevents clotting of the blood 

antigen 

substance that causes the body to produce antibodies; may be introduced into the body or formed within the body 

antioxidants 

enzymes or organic molecules; help protect the body from harmful chemicals called free radicals 

antisepsis 

aseptic control that inhibits, retards growth of, or kills pathogenic organisms; not effective against spores and viruses 

anuria 

without urine; producing no urine 

aorta 

largest artery in the body; carries blood away from the heart 

aortic valve 

flap or cusp located between the left ventricle of the heart and the aorta 

apathy 

indifference; lack of emotion 

apex 

the pointed extremity of a cone like structure; the rounded, lower end of the heart, below the ventricles; the bottom tip of a tooth 

aphasia 

language impairment; loss of ability to comprehend or speak normally 

apical foramen 

the opening in the apex of a tooth; allows nerves and blood vessels to enter tooth 

apical pulse 

pulse taken with a stethoscope and near the apex of the heart 

apnea 

absence of respirations; temporary cessation of respirations 

apoplexy 

a stroke; see cerebrovascular accident

appendicular skeleton 

the bones that form the limbs or extremities of the body 

aquathermia pad

temperature-controlled unit that circulates warm liquid through a pad to provide dry heat 

aqueous humor 

watery liquid that circulates in the anterior chamber of the eye 

aromatherapy 

use of natural scents and smells to promote health and well-being 

arrhythmia 

irregular or abnormal rhythm, usually referring to the heart rhythm 

arterial 

pertaining to an artery 

arteriole 

smallest branch of an artery; vessel that connects arteries to capillaries 

arteriosclerosis 

hardening and/or narrowing of the walls of arteries 

artery 

blood vessel that carries blood away from the heart 

arthritis 

inflammation of a joint 

asepsis 

being free from infection 

aspirate 

to remove by suction 

aspirating syringe 

special dental anesthetic syringe designed to hold carpules or cartridges of medication 

aspiration 

process of inhaling food, fluid, or a foreign substance into the respiratory tract 

assault 

physical or verbal attack on another person; treatment or care given to a person without obtaining proper consent 

assistant 

level of occupational proficiency where an individual can work in an occupation after a period of education or on-the-job training

associate degree 

degree awarded by a vocational-technical school or community college after successful completion of a two-year course of study or its equivalent 

astigmatism 

defect or blurring of vision caused by irregularity of the cornea of the eye 

atherosclerosis 

form of arteriosclerosis characterized by accumulation of fats or mineral deposits on the inner walls of the arteries 

atrium 

also called an auricle; an upper chamber of the heart 

atrophy 

wasting away of tissue; decrease in size 

audiologist 

individual specializing in diagnosis and treatment of hearing disorders 

audiometer 

instrument used to test hearing and determine hearing defects 

auditory acuity 

ability to perceive and comprehend sound waves; hearing 

aural temperature 

measurement of body temperature at the tympanic membrane in the ear 

auricle 

also called the pinna; external part of the ear 

auscultation 

process of listening for sounds in the body 

autoclave 

piece of equipment used to sterilize articles by way of steam under pressure and/or dry heat 

automated external defibrillator (AED) 

machine used to assess the heart rhythm and provide an electronic shock to restore normal heart rhythm 

autonomic nervous system

that division of the nervous system concerned with reflex, or involuntary, activities of the body 

autopsy 

examination of the body after death to determine the cause of death 

avulsion 

a wound that occurs when tissue is separated from the body 

axial skeleton 

the bones of the skull, rib cage, and spinal column; the bones that form the trunk of the body 

axilla 

armpit; that area of the body under the arm 

Ayer blade 

wooden or plastic blade used to scrape cells from the cervix of the uterus; used for Pap tests 




 

B

 

bachelor's degree

degree awarded by a college or university after a person has completed a four-year course of study or its equivalent 

bacteria 

one-celled microorganisms, some of which are beneficial and some of which cause disease 

bandage 

material used to hold dressings in place, secure splints, and support and protect body parts 

bandage scissors 

special scissors with a blunt lower end used to remove dressings and bandages 

Bartholin's glands 

two small mucous glands near the vaginal opening 

basal metabolism 

the amount of energy needed to maintain life when the subject is at complete rest 

base 

protective (dental) material place over the pulpal area of a tooth to reduce irritation and thermal shock 

base of support 

standing with fee 8-10 inches apart to provide better balance 

battery 

unlawfully touching another person without that person's consent 

bed cradle 

a device placed on a bed to keep the top bed linens from contacting the legs and feet 

benign 

not malignant or cancerous 

bias 

a preference that inhibits impartial judgment 

bicuspids 

also called premolars; the teeth that pulverize or grind food and are located between cuspids and molars 

bifurcated 

having two roots (as in teeth) 

bile 

liver secretion that is concentrated and stored in the gallbladder; aids in the emulsification of fats during digestion 

binders 

devices applied to hold dressings in place, provide support, apply pressure, or limit motion 

bioethics 

branch of medicine concerned with moral issues resulting from technologic advances and medical research 

biohazardous 

contaminated with blood or body fluid and having the potential to transmit disease 

biopsy 

excision of a small piece of tissue for microscopic examination 

bite-wing

also called a cavity-detecting X-ray; a dental radiograph that shows only the crowns of the teeth

bladder 

membranous sac or storage area for a secretion (gallbladder); also, the vesicle that acts as the reservoir for urine 

bland diet 

diet containing only mild-flavored foods with soft textures 

blood 

fluid that circulates through the vessels in the body to carry substances to all body parts 

blood pressure 

measurement of the force exerted by the heart against the arterial walls when the heart contracts (beats) and relaxes 

blood smear 

a drop of blood spread thinly on a slide for microscopic examination 

bloodborne 

an infectious disease or pathogenic organism that is transmitted through blood 

body mechanics 

the way in which the body moves and maintains balance; proper body mechanics involves the most efficient use of all body parts 

bolus 

food that has been chewed and mixed with saliva 

bowel 

the intestines 

Bowman's capsule 

part of the renal corpuscle in the kidney; picks up substances filtered from the blood by the glomerulus 

brachial 

pertaining to the brachial artery in the arm, which is used to measure blood pressure 

bradycardia 

slow heart rate, usually below 60 beats per minute 

brain 

soft mass of nerve tissue inside the cranium 

bronchi

two main branches of the trachea; air tubes to and from the lungs 

bronchioles 

small branches of the bronchi; carry air in the lungs 

buccal surface 

outside surface of the posterior teeth; surface facing the cheek; facial surface of bicuspids and molars 

buffer period 

period of time kept open on an appointment schedule to allow for emergencies, telephone calls, and other unplanned situations 

bulimarexia 

psychological condition in which a person eats excessively and then uses laxatives or vomits to get rid of the food 

bulimia 

psychological condition in which a person alternately eats excessively and then fasts or refuses to eat 

burn 

injury to body tissue caused by heat, caustics, radiation, and/or electricity 

burs 

small, rotating instruments of various types; used in dental handpieces to prepare cavities for filling with restorative materials 

 

 

C 

 

calcaneus 

large tarsal bone that forms the heel 

calculus 

also called tartar; hard, calcium-like deposit that forms on the teeth; a stone that forms in various parts of the body from a variety of different substances 

calorie 

unit of measurement of the fuel value of food 

cancer 

a group of diseases caused by abnormal cell division and/or growth 

cane 

a rod used as an aid in walking 

capillary 

tiny blood vessel that connect arterioles and venules and allows for exchange of nutrients and gases between the blood and the body cells 

carbohydrate-controlled diet 

diet in which the number and types of carbohydrates are restricted or limited 

carbohydrates 

group of chemical substances including sugars, cellulose, and starches; nutrients that provide the greatest amount of energy in the average diet 

carcinogen 

any cancer-causing substance 

carcinoma 

malignant (cancerous) tumor of connective tissue 

cardiac 

pertaining to the heart 

cardiac arrest 

sudden and unexpected stoppage of heart action 

cardiopulmonary 

pertaining to the heart and lungs 

cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) 

procedure of providing oxygen and chest compressions to a victim whose heart has stopped beating 

cardiovascular 

pertaining to the heart and blood vessels 

caries 

tooth decay, an infectious disease that destroys tooth tissue 

carious lesion 

an occurrence of tooth decay 

carpal 

bone of the wrist 

carpule 

a glass cartridge that contains a premeasured amount of anesthetic solution; used for dental anesthesia 

catalyst 

a chemical substance that increases the rate of a chemical reaction; an accelerator 

cataract 

condition of the eye where the lens becomes cloudy or opaque, leading to blindness 

catheter 

a rubber, metal, or other type of tube that is passed into a body cavity and used for injecting or removing fluids 

caudal 

pertaining to any tail or tail-like structure 

cavitation 

the cleaning process employed in an ultrasonic unit; bubbles explode to drive cleaning solution onto article being cleaned 

cavity 

a hollow space, such as a body cavity (which contains oxygen) or a hole in a tooth 

cell 

mass of protoplasm; the basic unit of structure of all animals and plants 

cell membrane 

outer, protective, semipermeable covering of a cell 

cellulose 

fibrous form of carbohydrate 

cement 

dental material used to seal inlays, crowns, bridges, and orthodontic appliances in place 

cementum 

hard, bonelike tissue that covers the outside of the root of a tooth 

central nervous system 

the division of the nervous system consisting of the brain and spinal cord 

centrifuge 

a machine that uses centrifugal (driving away from the center) force to separate heavier materials from lighter ones 

centrosome 

that area of cell cytoplasm that contains two centrioles; important in reproduction of the cell 

cerebellum 

the section of the brain that is dorsal to the pons and medulla oblongata; maintains balance and equilibrium 

cerebrospinal fluid 

watery, clear fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord 

cerebrovascular accident 

also called a stroke or apoplexy; an interrupted supply of blood to the brain, caused by formation of a clot, blockage of an artery, or rupture of a blood vessel 

cerebrum 

largest section of brain; involved in sensory interpretation and voluntary muscle activity 

certification 

the issuing of a statement or certificate by a professional organization to a person who has met the requirements of education and/or experience and who meets the standards set by the organization 

cervical 

pertaining to the neck portion of the spinal column or to the lower part of the uterus 

cervix 

anatomical part of a tooth where the crown joins with the root; entrance to or lower part of the uterus 

chain of infection 

factors that lead to the transmission or spread of disease 

character 

the quality of respirations (for example, deep, shallow, or labored) 

charge slip 

a record on which charges or costs for services are listed 

chemical 

the method of aseptic control in which substances or solutions are used to disinfect articles; does not always kill spores and viruses 

chemical abuse 

use of chemical substances without regard for accepted practice; dependence on alcohol or drugs 

chemotherapy 

treatment of a disease by way of chemical agents 

Cheyne-Stokes respirations 

periods of difficult breathing (dyspnea) followed by periods of no respirations (apnea) 

chiropractic 

system of treatment based on manipulation of the spinal column and other body structures 

cholelithiasis 

condition of stones in the gallbladder 

cholesterol 

fatlike substance synthesized in the liver and found in body cells and animal fats 

choroid 

middle or vascular layer of the eye, between the sclera and retina 

chromatin network 

that structure in the nucleus of a cell that contains chromosomes with genes, which carry inherited characteristics 

chronic 

lasting a long period of time; reoccurring 

cilia 

Hair like projections 

circumduction 

moving in a circle at a joint, or moving one end of a body part in a circle while the other end remains stationary 

clavicle 

collarbone 

clean 

free from organisms causing disease 

clear-liquid diet 

diet containing only water-based liquids; nutritionally inadequate 

client 

person receiving service or care; a patient in health care 

clinic 

institution that provides care for outpatients; a group of specialists working in cooperation 

closed bed 

bed that is made following the discharge of a patient 

coccyx 

the tailbone; lowest bones of the vertebral column 

cochlea 

snail-shaped section of the inner ear; contains the organ of Corti for hearing 

colon 

the large intestine 

colostomy 

an artificial opening into the colon; allows for the evacuation of feces 

communicable disease 

disease that is transmitted from one individual to another 

compensation 

something given or received as an equivalent for a loss, service, or debt; defense mechanism involving substitution of one goal for another goal to achieve success 

competent 

able, capable 

complementary therapy 

method of treatment used in conjunction with biomedical therapies 

complete bed bath 

a bath in which all parts of a patient's body are bathed while the patient is confined to bed 

composite

the dental restorative or filling material used most frequently on anterior teeth

compress 

a folded wet or dry cloth applied firmly to a body part 

computer-assisted instruction (CAI) 

teaching method in which a computer and computer programs are used to control the learning process and deliver the instructional material to the learner 

computerized tomography (CT) 

a scanning and detection system that uses a minicomputer and display screen to visualize an internal portion of the human body; formerly known as CAT (computerized axial tomography)

concave 

curved inward; depressed 

confidential 

not to be shared or told; to be held in confidence, or kept to oneself 

congenital 

present at birth (as in a congenital defect) 

conjunctiva 

mucous membrane that lines the eyelids and covers the anterior part of the sclera of the eye 

connective tissue 

body of tissue that connects, supports, or binds body organs 

constipation 

difficulty in emptying the bowel; infrequent bowel movements 

constrict 

to contract or narrow; to make smaller 

consultation 

process of seeking information or advice from another person 

contagious 

easily spread; communicable 

contamination 

containing infection or infectious organisms or germs 

contra angle 

attachment used on dental hand pieces to cut and polish 

contract 

to shorten, decrease in size, or draw together; an agreement between two or more persons 

contracture 

tightening or shortening of a muscle 

contusion 

an injury that results in a hemorrhage (bleeding) beneath intact skin; a bruise 

conventional-speed hand piece 

low-speed hand piece in dental units; used to remove caries and for fine-finishing work 

convex 

curved outward; projected 

convulsion 

also called a seizure; a violent, involuntary contraction of muscles 

cornea 

the transparent section of the sclera; allows light rays to enter the eye 

cortex 

the outer layer of an organ or structure 

cost containment 

procedures used to control costs or expenses 

Cowper's glands 

the pair of small mucous glands near the male urethra 

cranial 

pertaining to the skull or cranium 

cranium 

part of the skull; the eight bones of the head that enclose the brain 

cross index/reference 

a paper or card used in filing systems to prevent misplacement or loss of records 

cross-match 

a blood test that checks the compatibility of the donor's blood and the recipient's blood before a transfusion 

crown 

the anatomical portion of a tooth that is exposed in the oral cavity, above the gingiva, or gums 

crust 

a scab; outer covering or coat 

crutches 

artificial supports that assist a patient in walking 

cryotherapy 

use of cold applications for treatment 

culture 

values, beliefs, ideas, customs, and characteristics passed from one generation to the next 

culture specimen 

a sample of microorganisms or tissue cells taken from an area of the body for examination 

cuspid 

also called a canine or eyetooth; the type of tooth located at angle of lips and used to tear food 

custom tray 

dental impression tray specially made to fit a particular patient's mouth 

cyanosis 

bluish color of the skin, nail beds, and/or lips due to an insufficient amount of oxygen in the blood 

cystitis 

inflammation of the urinary bladder 

cystoscope 

instrument for examining the inside of the urinary bladder 

cytoplasm 

the fluid inside a cell; contains water, proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, minerals, and salts 

 

 

D 

 

dangling 

positioning the patient in a sitting position with his or her feet and legs over the side of the bed prior to ambulation

day sheet 

a daily record listing all financial transactions and/or patients seen 

deciduous teeth 

also called primary teeth; the first set of 20 teeth 

decubitus ulcer 

see pressure (decubitus) ulcer 

deduction 

something subtracted or taken out (for example, monies taken out of a paycheck for various purposes) 

defamation 

slander or libel; a false statement that causes ridicule or damage to a reputation 

defecation 

evacuation of fecal material from the bowel; a bowel movement 

defense mechanism 

physical or psychological reaction of an organism used in self-defense or to protect self-image 

defibrillate 

use of an electronic shock to restore normal heart rhythm 

dehydration 

insufficient amounts of fluid in the tissues 

delirium 

acute, reversible mental confusion caused by illness, medical problems, and/or medications 

delusion 

a false belief 

dementia 

loss of mental ability characterized by decrease in intellectual ability, loss of memory, impaired judgment, an disorientation 

denial 

declaring untrue; refusing to believe 

dental chair 

special chair designed to position a patient comfortably while providing easy access to the patient's oral cavity 

dental hygienist 

a licensed individual who works with a dentist to provide care and treatment for the teeth and gums 

dental light 

light used in dental units to illuminate the oral cavity 

dentin 

tissue that makes up the main bulk of a tooth 

dentist 

a doctor who specializes in diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases of the teeth and gums 

dentition 

the number, type, and arrangement of teeth in the mouth 

denture 

an entire set of teeth; usually refers to artificial teeth designed to replace natural teeth 

depression 

psychological condition of sadness, melancholy, gloom, or despair 

dermis 

the skin 

development 

changes in the intellectual, mental, emotional, social, and functional skills that occur over time 

diabetes mellitus 

metabolic disease caused by an insufficient secretion or utilization of insulin and leading to an increased amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood and urine 

diabetic coma 

an unconscious condition caused by an increased level of glucose (sugar) and ketones in the bloodstream of a person with diabetes mellitus 

diagnosis 

determination of the nature of a person's disease 

dialysis 

removal of urine substances from the blood by way of passing solutes through a membrane 

diaphoresis 

profuse or excessive perspiration, or sweating

diaphysis 

the shaft, or middle section, of a long bone 

diarrhea 

frequent bowel movements with watery stool 

diastole 

period of relaxation of the heart 

diastolic pressure 

measurement of blood pressure taken when the heart is at rest; measurement of the constant pressure in arteries 

diathermy 

treatment with heat 

diencephalon 

the section of the brain between the cerebrum and midbrain; contains the thalamus and hypothalamus 

dietitian 

an individual who specializes in the science of diet and nutrition 

differential count 

blood test that determines the percentage of each kind of leukocyte (white blood cell) 

digestion 

physical and chemical breakdown of food by the body in preparation for absorption 

digital 

pertaining to fingers or toes; examination with the fingers 

dilate 

enlarge or expand; to make bigger 

direct smear 

a culture specimen placed on a slide for microscopic examination 

disability 

a physical or mental handicap that interferes with normal function; incapacitated, incapable 

discretion 

ability to use good judgment and self-restraint in speech or behavior 

disease 

any condition that interferes with the normal function of the body 

disinfection 

aseptic-control method that destroys pathogens but does not usually kill spores and viruses 

dislocation 

displacement of a bone at a joint 

disorientation 

confusion with regard to the identity of time, place, or person 

displacement 

defense mechanism in which feelings about one person are transferred to someone else 

distal 

most distant or farthest from the trunk; center or midline 

distal surface 

side surface of teeth that is toward the back of the mouth, or away from the midline of the mouth 

diuretics 

drugs that increase urinary output; "water pills" 

doctorate 

degree awarded by a college or university after completion of a prescribed course of study beyond a bachelor's or master's degree 

dorsal 

pertaining to the back; in back of 

dorsal recumbent position 

the patient lies on the back with the knees flexed and separated; used for vaginal and pelvic examinations 

dressing 

covering placed over a wound or injured part 

dry cold 

application that provides cold temperature but is dry against the skin 

dry heat 

application that provides warm temperature but is dry against the skin 

duodenum 

first part of the small intestine; connects the pylorus of the stomach and the jejunum 

dyspepsia 

difficulty in digesting food; indigestion 

dysphagia 

difficulty in swallowing 

dyspnea 

difficult or labored breathing 

dysrhythmia 

an abnormal rhythm in the electrical activity of the brain or heart 

dystrophy 

progressive weakening (atrophy) of a body part, such as a muscle 

dysuria 

difficult or painful urination 

 

 

E 

 

early adulthood 

period of development from 19 to 40 years of age 

early childhood 

period of development from 1 to 6 years of age 

echocardiography 

a diagnostic test that uses ultra-high-frequency sound waves to evaluate the structure and function of the heart 

edema 

swelling; excess amount of fluid in the tissues 

electrocardiogram (ECG) 

graphic tracing of the electrical activity of the heart 

electroencephalogram (EEG) 

graphic recording of the brain waves or electrical activity in the brain 

emblem 

a symbol; identifying badge, design, or device 

embolus 

a blood clot or mass of material circulating in the blood vessels 

embryo 

unborn infant during the first 3 months of development 

emesis 

vomiting; expulsion of the contents of the stomach and/or intestine through the mouth and/or nose 

emotional 

pertaining to feelings or psychological states 

empathy 

identifying with another's feelings but being unable to change or solve the situation 

enamel 

hardest tissue in the body; covers the outside of the crown of a tooth 

endocardium 

serous membrane lining of the heart 

endocrine 

ductless gland that produces an internal secretion discharged into the blood or lymph 

endodontics 

branch of dentistry involving treatment of the pulp chamber and root canals of the teeth; root canal treatment 

endogenous 

infection or disease originating within the body 

endometrium 

mucous membrane lining of the inner surface of the uterus 

endoplasmic reticulum 

fine network of tubular structures in the cytoplasm of a cell; allows for the transport of materials in and out of the nucleus and aids in the synthesis and storage of protein 

endorsement 

a written signature on the back of a check; required in order to receive payment 

endoscope 

a lighted instrument used to examine the inside of the body 

endosteum 

membrane lining the medullary canal of a bone 

enema 

an injection of fluid into the large intestine through the rectum 

enunciate 

to speak clearly, using correct pronunciation 

enuresis 

bedwetting; loss of bladder control while sleeping 

enzyme 

a chemical substance that causes or increases the rate of a chemical reaction 

epidemic 

an infectious disease that affects a large number of people within a population, community, or region at the same time 

epidemiology 

the study of the history, cause, and spread of an infectious disease 

epidermis 

the outer layer of the skin 

epididymis 

tightly coiled tube in the scrotal sac; connects the testes with the vas or ductus deferens 

epigastric

pertaining to the area of the abdomen above the stomach 

epiglottis 

leaf-shaped structure that closes over the larynx during swallowing 

epilepsy 

a chronic disease of the nervous system characterized by motor and sensory dysfunction, sometimes accompanied by convulsions and unconsciousness 

epiphysis 

the end or head at the extremity of a long bone 

epistaxis 

nosebleed 

epithelial tissue 

tissue that forms the skin and parts of the secreting glands, and that lines the body cavities 

ergonomics 

an applied science used to promote the safety and well-being of a person by adapting the environment and using techniques to prevent injuries 

erythema 

redness of the skin 

erythrocyte 

red blood cell (RBC) 

erythrocyte count 

blood test that counts the number of red blood cells (normally 4-6 million per cubic millimeter of blood) 

erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) 

blood test that determines the rate at which red blood cells settle out of the blood 

esophagus 

tube that extends from the pharynx to the stomach 

essential nutrients 

those elements in food required by the body for proper function 

ethics

principles of right or good conduct 

ethnicity 

classification of people based on national origin and/or culture

ethnocentric 

belief in the superiority of one's own ethnic group 

etiology 

the study of the cause of a disease 

eupnoea 

normal breathing pattern 

eustachian tube 

tube that connects the middle ear and the pharynx, or throat 

eversion 

turning a body part outward 

exacerbation 

period of time during which the signs and symptoms of a chronic disease become more severe 

excretion 

process of eliminating waste products from the body 

exocrine 

gland with a duct that produces a secretion 

exogenous 

infection or disease originating outside of or external to the body 

expectorate 

to split; to expel mucus, phlegm, or sputum from the throat or respiratory passages 

expiration 

the expulsion of air from the lungs; breathing out air 

extension 

increasing the angle between two parts; straightening a limb 

external auditory canal 

passageway or tube extending from the auricle of the ear to the tympanic membrane 

 

 

F 

 

facial surface 

the tooth surface nearest the lips or cheek; includes the labial and buccal surfaces 

facsimile 

machine that utilizes telephone lines to send messages and/or documents from one location to another location; a fax 

fainting 

partial or complete loss of consciousness caused by a temporary reduction in the supply of blood to the brain 

Fallopian tubes 

oviducts; in the female, passageway for the ova (egg) from the ovary to uterus 

fanfold 

folding in accordion pleats; done with bed linens 

fascia 

fibrous membrane covering, supporting, and separating muscles 

fasting blood sugar (FBS) 

blood test that measures blood serum levels of glucose (sugar) after a person has had nothing by mouth for a period of time 

fat 

also called a lipid; nutrient that provides the most concentrated form of energy; highest-calorie energy nutrient; overweight 

fat-restricted diet 

diet with limited amounts of fats, or lipids 

fax 

see facsimile 

febrile 

pertaining to a fever, or elevated body temperature 

feces 

also called stool; waste material discharged from the bowel 

Federation Dentaire International (FDI) System

abbreviated means of identifying the teeth that uses a two-digit code to identify the quadrant and tooth 

femur 

thigh bone of the leg; the longest and strongest bone in the body 

fertilization 

conception; impregnation of the ovum by the sperm 

fetus 

unborn infant from the end of the third month of pregnancy until birth 

fever 

elevated body temperature, usually above 101oF, or 38.3oC, rectally

fibula 

outer and smaller bone of the lower leg 

field 

a specific data category within a computer database, for example, the entry of an address in a patient information database 

filing 

arranging in order 

firewall 

a software program or hardware device designed to prevent unauthorized access to a computer system 

first aid 

immediate care given to a victim of an injury or illness to minimize the effects of the injury or illness 

flatus

air or gas in the intestines 

flexion 

decreasing the angle between two parts; bending a limb 

fomite 

any substance or object that adheres to and transmits infectious material 

fontanel 

area between the cranial bones where the bones have not fused together; "soft spots" in the skull of an infant 

foramina 

a passage or opening; a hole in a bone through which blood vessels or nerves pass 

Fowler's position 

the patient lies on the back with the head elevated at one of several different angles 

fracture 

a break (usually, a break in a bone or tooth) 

frontal (coronal) plane 

imaginary line that separates the body into a front section and a back section 

frostbite 

actual freezing of tissue fluid resulting in damage to the skin and underlying tissue 

full liquid diet 

diet consisting of liquids and foods that are liquid at body temperature 

fungi 

group of simple, plantlike animals that live on dead organic matter (for example, yeast and molds) 

 

 

G 

 

gait 

method or manner of walking 

gait belt 

a belt placed around a patient's waist to assist with transfer and/or ambulation 

gallbladder 

small sac near the liver; concentrates and stores bile 

gastric 

pertaining to the stomach 

gastrostomy 

surgical opening through the abdominal wall into the stomach; used for inserting a feeding tube 

generic name 

chemical name of a drug; name not protected by a trademark 

genes 

the structures on chromosomes that carry inherited characteristics 

genital 

pertaining to the organs of reproduction 

genome 

the total mass of genetic instruction humans inherit from their parents 

geriatrics, gerontology 

the study of the aged or old age and treatment of related diseases and conditions 

glaucoma 

eye disease characterized by increased intraocular pressure 

glomerulus 

microscopic cluster of capillaries in Bowman's capsule of the nephron in the kidney 

glucose meter 

instrument used to measure blood-glucose (blood-sugar) level 

glycosuria 

presence of sugar in the urine 

Golgi apparatus 

That structure in the cytoplasm of a cell that produces, stores, and packages secretions for discharge from the cell 

goniometer 

an instrument that measures the angle of a joint's range of motion (ROM) 

Gram's stain 

technique of staining organisms to identify specific types of bacteria present 

graphic chart 

record used to record vital signs (for example, temperature, pulse, and respirations) and other information 

groin 

area between the abdomen and upper inner thigh 

growth 

measurable physical changes that occur throughout a person's life 

gynecology 

the study of diseases of women, especially those affecting the reproductive organs

 

 

H 

 

halitosis 

bad breath 

hantavirus 

a virus spread by contact with rodents (rats and mice) or their excretions 

hard copy 

computer term for a printed copy of information 

hard plate 

bony structure that forms the roof of the mouth 

hardware 

machine or physical components of a computer system (usually, the parts of the computer and the peripherals) 

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) 

set of federal regulations adopted to protect the confidentiality of patient information and the ability to retain health insurance coverage 

heart attack 

see myocardial infarction 

heat cramp 

muscle pain and spasm resulting from exposure to heat and inadequate fluid and salt intake 

heat exhaustion 

condition resulting from exposure to heat and excessive loss of fluid through sweating 

heat stroke 

medical emergency caused by prolonged exposure to heat, resulting in high body temperature and failure of sweat glands 

helminthes 

a parasitic worm (for example, a tapeworm or leech) 

hematemesis 

vomiting of blood 

hematocrit 

blood test that measures the percentage of red blood cells per a given unit of blood 

hematology 

the study of blood and blood diseases 

hematoma 

a localized mass of blood 

hematopoiesis 

formation of blood cells 

hematuria 

blood in the urine 

hemiplegia 

paralysis on one side of the body 

hemodialysis 

mechanical method of circulating blood through semipermeable membranes to remove body wastes; procedure used for kidney failure 

hemoglobin 

the iron-containing protein of the red blood cells; serves to carry oxygen from the lungs to the tissues 

hemolysis 

disintegration of red blood cells, causing cells to dissolve or go into solution 

hemoptysis 

spitting up blood; blood-stained sputum 

hemorrhage 

excessive loss of blood; bleeding 

hemorrhoids 

varicose veins of the anal canal or anus 

hemostat 

instrument used to compress (clamp) blood vessels to stop bleeding 

heparin 

a substance formed in the liver to prevent the clotting of blood; an anticoagulant 

hepatitis 

inflammation of the liver 

high-fiber diet 

diet containing large amounts of fiber, or indigestible food 

high-protein diet 

diet containing large amounts of protein-rich foods 

high-velocity oral evacuator 

dental hand piece used to remove particles and large amounts of liquid from the oral cavity 

HIPAA 

see Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act 

histology 

study of tissue 

holistic health care 

care that promotes physical, emotional, social, intellectual, and spiritual well-being

home health care 

any type of health care provided in a patient's home environment 

homeostasis 

a constant state of natural balance within the body 

horizontal recumbent position 

see supine position 

hormone 

chemical substance secreted by an organ or gland 

HOSA 

Health Occupations Students of America, a national organization for students enrolled in health occupations programs 

hospice 

program designed to provide care for the terminally ill while allowing them to die with dignity 

hospital 

institution that provides medical or surgical care and treatment for the sick or injured 

humerus 

long bone of the upper arm 

hydro collator packs 

gel-filled packs that are warmed in a water bath to provide a moist heat application 

hygiene 

principles for health preservation and disease prevention 

hyperglycemia 

presence of sugar in the blood; high blood sugar 

hyperopia 

farsightedness; defect in near vision 

hyperpnoea 

an increased respiratory rate 

hypertension 

high blood pressure 

hyperthermia 

condition that occurs when body temperature exceeds 104oF, or 40oC, rectally

hypoglycemia 

low blood sugar 

hypotension 

low blood pressure 

hypothalamus 

that structure in the diencephalon of the brain that regulates and controls many body functions 

hypothermia 

condition in which body temperature is below normal, usually below 95oF (35oC) and often in the range of 78-95oF (26-35oC)

hypothermia blanket 

special blanket containing coils filled with a cooling solution; used to reduce high body temperature 

hypoxia 

without oxygen; a deficiency of oxygen 

 

 

I 

 

ice bag/collar 

plastic or rubber device filled with ice to provide dry-cold application 

idiopathic 

without recognizable cause; condition that is self-originating 

ileostomy 

a surgical opening connecting the ileum (small intestine) and the abdominal wall 

ileum 

final section of small intestine; connects the jejunum and large intestine 

immunity 

condition of being protected against a particular disease 

impaction 

a large, hard mass of fecal material lodged in the intestine or rectum; a tooth that does not erupt into the mouth 

impression 

negative reproduction of a tooth or dental arch 

incisal surface 

the cutting or biting surface of anterior teeth 

incision 

cut or wound of body tissue caused by a sharp object; a surgical cut 

incisors 

teeth located in the front and center of the mouth; used to cut food 

incontinent 

unable to voluntarily control urination or defecation 

index 

to put names in proper order for filing purposes 

infancy 

period of development from birth to 1 year of age 

infarction 

area of tissue that is necrotic (dead) after the cessation of a blood supply; death of tissue 

infection 

invasion by organisms; contamination by disease-producing organisms, or pathogens 

inferior 

below; under 

inflammation 

tissue reaction to injury characterized by heat, redness, swelling, and pain 

informed consent 

permission granted voluntarily by a person who is of sound mind and aware of all factors involved 

ingestion 

taking food, fluids, or medications into the body through the mouth 

inguinal 

pertaining to the region of the body where the thighs join the trunk; the groin 

inhalation 

breathing in 

input 

computer term for information that is entered into a computer 

inquiry 

search for information 

insertion 

end of area of a muscle that moved when the muscle contracts 

inspiration 

breathing in; taking air into the lungs 

insulin 

a hormone secreted by the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas; essential for the metabolism of glucose 

insulin shock 

condition that occurs in individuals with diabetes when there is an excess amount of insulin and a low level of glucose (sugar) in the blood

insurance form 

a form used to apply for payment by an insurance company 

intake and output (I&O) 

a record that notes all fluids taken in or eliminated by a person in a given period of time 

integrative health care 

a form of health care that uses both mainstream medical treatments and complementary and alternative therapies to treat a patient 

integumentary 

pertaining to the skin or a covering 

interactive video 

the color, sound, and motion of video technology integrated with computer-assisted instruction to create a new technology 

intercostal 

pertaining to the space between the ribs (costae) 

interproximal space 

the area between two adjoining teeth 

intestine 

that portion of the alimentary canal from the stomach to the rectum and anus 

intradermal 

inserted or put into the skin 

intramuscular 

injected or put into a muscle 

intravenous 

injected or put into a vein 

intubate 

to insert a tube 

invasion of privacy 

revealing personal information about an individual without his or her consent 

invasive 

pertains to a test or procedure that involves penetrating or entering the body 

inversion 

turning a body part inward 

involuntary 

independent action not controlled by choice or desire 

iris 

colored portion of the eye; composed of muscular, or contractile, tissue that regulates the size of the pupil 

ischemia 

inadequate blood flow to the body tissues caused by an obstruction in circulation 

isolation 

method or technique of caring for persons who have communicable diseases 

 

 

J 

 

jackknife (proctologic) position 

the patient lies on the abdomen with both the head and legs inclined downward and the rectal area elevated 

jaundice 

yellow discoloration of the skin and eyes, frequently caused by liver or gallbladder disease 

jejunum 

the middle section of the small intestine; connects the duodenum and ileum 

joint 

an articulation, or area where two bones meet or join 

 

 

K 

 

kcal-controlled diet 

diet containing low-calorie foods; frequently prescribed for weight loss 

ketone 

chemical compound produced during an increased metabolism of fat 

ketonuria 

presence of ketones in the urine 

kidney 

bean-shaped organ that excretes urine; located high and in back of the abdominal cavity 

kilocalorie 

unit used to measure the energy value of food 

kilojoule 

metric unit used to measure the energy value of food 

knee-chest position 

the patient rests his or her body weight on the knees and chest; used for sigmoidoscopic and rectal examinations 

 

 

L 

 

labia majora 

two large folds of adipose tissue lying on each side of the vulva in the female; hairy outer lips 

labia minora 

two folds of membranes lying inside the labia majora; hairless inner lips 

labia surface 

crown surface of the anterior teeth that lies next to the lips; facial surface of the anterior teeth 

laboratory 

a room or building where scientific tests, research, experiments, or learning takes place 

laceration 

wound or injury with jagged, irregular edges 

lacrimal 

pertaining to tears; glands that secrete and expel tears 

lactation 

process of secreting milk 

lacteal 

specialized lymphatic capillary that picks up digested fats or lipids in the small intestine and transports them to the thoracic duct 

lancet 

sharp, pointed instrument used to pierce the skin to obtain blood 

laryngeal mirror 

instrument with a mirror, used to examine larynx 

larynx 

voice box, located between the pharynx and trachea 

late adulthood 

period of development beginning at 65 years of age and ending at death 

late childhood 

period of development from 6 to 12 years of age 

lateral 

pertaining to the side 

lead 

an angle or view of the heart that is recorded in an electrocardiogram 

ledger card 

a card or record that shows a financial account of money charged, received, or paid out 

left lateral position 

see Sims' position 

legal 

authorized or based on law 

legal disability 

a condition in which a person does not have legal capacity and is therefore unable to enter into a legal agreement (for example, as is the case with a minor) 

lens 

crystalline structure suspended behind the pupil of the eye; refracts or bends light rays onto the retina; also, the magnifying glass in a microscope 

lethargy 

abnormal drowsiness or sluggishness; state of indifference or stupor 

leukocyte 

white blood cell (WBC) 

leukocyte count 

blood test that counts the total number of white blood cells (normally 5,000-9,000 cells per cubic millimeter of blood) 

liability 

a legal or financial responsibility 

libel 

false written statement that causes a person ridicule or contempt or causes damage to the person's reputation 

licensure 

process by which a government agency authorizes individuals to work in a given occupation 

life stages 

stages of growth and development experienced by an individual from birth to death 

ligament 

fibrous tissue that connects bone to bone 

light diet 

also called a convalescent diet; diet that contains easy-to-digest foods 

line angle 

area on crown surfaces of a tooth formed by a line drawn between two surfaces 

liner 

dental material that covers or lines exposed tooth tissue, usually in the form of a varnish 

lingual surface 

the crown surface of teeth that is next to the tongue 

lithotomy position 

the patient lies on the back with the feet in stirrups and knees flexed and separated 

liver 

largest gland in the body; located in the upper right quadrant of the abdomen; two of its main functions are excreting bile and storing glycogen 

living will 

a legal document stating a person's desires on what measures should or should not be taken to prolong life when his or her condition is terminal 

low-cholesterol diet 

diet that restricts foods high in saturated fat 

low-protein diet 

diet that limits foods high in protein 

low-residue diet 

diet that limits foods containing large amounts of residue, or indigestibles 

low-speed hand piece 

slower hand piece in dental units; used to remove caries and for find finishing work 

lung 

organ of respiration located in the thoracic cavity 

lymph 

fluid formed in body tissues and circulated in the lymphatic vessels 

lymph node 

a round body of lymph tissue that filters lymph 

lymphatic duct 

short tube that drains purified lymph from the right sides of the head and neck and the right arm 

lymphatic vessels 

thin-walled vessels that carry lymph from tissues 

lysosomes 

those structures in the cytoplasm of a cell that contain digestive enzymes to digest and destroy old cells, bacteria, and foreign matter 

 

 

M 

 

macule 

a discolored but neither raised nor depressed spot or area on the skin 

magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) 

process that uses a computer and magnetic forces, instead of X-rays, to visualize internal organs 

malignant 

harmful or dangerous; likely to spread and cause destruction and death (for example, cancer) 

malnutrition 

poor nutrition; without adequate food and nutrients 

malpractice 

providing improper or unprofessional treatment or care that results in injury to another person 

mammogram 

X-ray examination of the breasts 

managed care

a health care delivery system designed to reduce the cost of health care while providing access to care through designated providers 

mandible 

horseshoe-shaped bone that forms the lower jaw; only movable bone of the skull 

master's degree 

degree awarded by a college or university after completion of one or more years of prescribed study beyond a bachelor's degree 

mastication 

the process of chewing with the teeth 

Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) 

information sheets that must be provided by the manufacturer for all hazardous products 

matriarchal 

social organization in which the mother or oldest woman is the authority figure 

maxilla 

upper jawbone; two bones fused or joined together 

meatus 

external opening of a tube (for example, the urinary meatus) 

mechanical lift 

special device used to move or transfer a patient 

medial 

pertaining to the middle or midline 

Medicaid 

government program that provides medical care for people whose incomes are below a certain level 

medical history 

a record that shows all diseases, illness, and surgeries that a patient has had 

medical record 

also called a patient chart; written record of a patient's diagnosis, care, treatment, test results, and prognosis 

Medicare 

government program that provides medical care for elderly and/or disabled individuals 

medication 

drug used to treat a disease or condition 

Medigap policy 

an insurance plan that serves as supplemental insurance to Medicare; usually pays deductible for Medicare and co-payments of care 

medulla 

inner, or central portion of an organ 

medulla oblongata 

the lower part of the brainstem; controls vital processes such as respiration and heartbeat 

medullary canal 

inner, or central, portion of a long bone 

meiosis 

the process of cell division that occurs in gametes, or sex cells (ovum and spermatozoa) 

melanin 

brownish black pigment found in the skin, hair, and eyes 

memorandum 

a short, written statement or message 

meninges 

membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord 

menopause 

permanent cessation of menstruation 

mental 

pertaining to the mind 

mesial surface 

the side surface of teeth that is toward the midline of the mouth 

metabolism 

the use of food nutrients by the body to produce energy 

metacarpal 

bone of the hand between the wrist and each finger 

metastasis 

the spread of tumor or cancer cells from the site of origin 

metatarsal 

bone of the foot between the instep and each toe 

microbiology 

branch of biology dealing with the study of microscopic organisms 

microorganism 

small, living plant or animal not visible to the naked eye; a microbe 

microscope 

instrument used to magnify or enlarge objects for viewing 

micturate 

another word for urinate; to expel urine 

midbrain 

that portion of the brain that connects the pons and cerebellum; relay center for impulses 

middle adulthood 

period of development form 40-65 years of age 

midsagittal 

an imaginary line drawn down the midline of the body to divide the body into a right side and a left side 

midstream (clean-catch) specimen 

urine specimen in which urination is begun before catching the specimen in the specimen cup 

minerals 

inorganic substances essential to life 

mitered corner 

special folding technique used to secure linen on a bed 

mitochondria 

those structures in a cell that provide energy and are involved in the metabolism of the cell 

mitosis 

process of asexual reproduction by which cells divide into two identical cells 

mitral valve 

flap or cusp between the left atrium and left ventricle in the heart 

model 

also called a cast; a positive reproduction of the dental arches or teeth in plaster or similar materials 

moist cold 

an application that provides cold temperature and is wet against the skin

moist heat 

an application this provides warm temperature and is wet against the skin 

molars 

teeth in the back of the mouth; largest and strongest teeth; used to grind food 

mouth 

oral cavity; opening to the digestive tract, or alimentary canal 

mucus 

thick, sticky fluid secreted by mucous membranes 

muscle tissue 

body tissue composed of fibers that produce movement 

muscle tone 

state of partial muscle contraction providing a state of readiness to act 

myocardial infarction 

heart attack; a reduction in the supply of blood to the heart resulting in damage to the muscle of the heart 

myocardium 

muscle layer of the heart 

myopia 

nearsightedness; defect in distant vision 

 

 

N 

 

nasal cavity

space between the cranium and the roof of the mouth 

nasal septum 

bony and cartilaginous partition that separates the nasal cavity into two sections 

nasogastric tube 

a tube that is inserted through the nose and goes down the esophagus and into the stomach 

nausea 

a feeling of discomfort in the region of the stomach accompanied by the tendency to vomit 

necrosis 

death of tissue 

need 

lack of something required or desired; urgent want or desire 

needle holder 

instrument used to hold or support a needle while sutures (stitches) are being inserted 

negligence 

failure to give care that is normally expected, resulting in injury to another person 

neonate 

newborn infant 

neoplasm 

new growth or tumor 

nephritis 

inflammation of the kidney 

nephron 

structural and functional unit of the kidney 

nerve 

group of nerve tissues that conducts impulses 

nerve tissue 

body tissue that conducts or transmits impulses throughout the body 

network 

connection of two or more computers to share data and hardware 

neurology 

the study of the nervous system 

neuron 

nerve cell 

nocturia 

excessive urination at night 

noninvasive 

pertaining to a test or procedure that does not require penetration or entrance into the body 

nonpathogen 

a microorganism that is not capable of causing a disease 

nonverbal 

without words or speech 

nose 

the projection in the center of the face; the organ for smelling and breathing 

nosocomial 

pertaining to or originating in a health care facility such as a hospital 

nucleolus 

the spherical body in the nucleus of a cell that is important in reproduction of the cell 

nucleus 

the structure in a cell that controls cell activities such as growth, metabolism, and reproduction 

nutrition 

all body processes related to food; the body's use of food for growth, development, and health 

nutritional status 

the state of one's nutrition 

 

 

O 

 

obese

overweight 

objective observation 

an observation about a patient that is visible, palpable, or measurable; commonly called a sign 

observation 

to look at, watch, perceive, or notice 

obstetrics 

the branch of medicine dealing with pregnancy and childbirth 

occlusal surface 

the chewing or biting surface of posterior teeth 

occult 

hidden, concealed, not visible (for example, an internal [occult] hemorrhage) 

occult blood 

blood that is hidden; also, a test done on stool to check for the presence of blood 

occupational therapy 

treatment directed at preparing a person requiring rehabilitation for a trade or for return to the activities of daily living 

occupied bed 

a bed that is made while the patient is in bed 

odontology 

study of the anatomy, growth, and diseases of the teeth 

olfactory 

pertaining to the sense of smell 

oliguria 

decreased or less-than-normal amounts of urine secretion 

ombudsman 

specially trained individual who acts as an advocate for others to improve care of conditions 

Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA) 

Federal law that regulates the education and testing of nursing assistants 

oncology 

the branch of medicine dealing with tumors or abnormal growths (for example, cancer) 

open bed 

a bed with the top sheets fan folded to the bottom 

ophthalmologist 

a medical doctor who specializes in diseases of the eye 

ophthalmology 

the study of the eye and diseases and disorders affecting the eye 

ophthalmoscope 

an instrument used to examine the eye 

opportunistic infection 

an infection that occurs when the body's immune system cannot defend itself from pathogens normally found in the environment 

optician 

an individual who makes or sells lenses, eye-glasses, and other optical supplies

optometrist 

a licensed, nonmedical practitioner who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of vision defects 

oral 

pertaining to the mouth 

oral cavity 

the mouth 

oral hygiene 

care of the mouth and teeth 

oral-evacuation system 

special machine that uses water to form a suction or vacuum system to remove liquids and particles from the oral cavity 

organ 

body part made of tissue that have joined together to perform a special function 

organ of Corti 

structure in the cochlea of the ear; organ of hearing 

organelles 

structures in the cytoplasm of a cell, including the nucleus, mitochondria, ribosomes, lysosomes, and Golgi apparatus 

origin 

end or area of a muscle that remains stationary when the muscle contracts 

orthodontics 

the branch of dentistry dealing with prevention and correction of irregularities of the alignment of teeth 

orthopedics 

the branch of medicine/surgery dealing with the treatment of diseases and deformities of the bones, muscles, and joints 

orthopnea 

severe dyspnea in which breathing is very difficult in any position other than sitting erect or standing 

orthotist 

an individual skilled in straightening or correcting deformities by the use of orthopedic appliances (for example, braces or special splints) 

os coxae 

the hipbone; formed by the union of the ilium, ischium, and pubis 

ossicles

small bones, especially the three bones of the middle ear that amplify and transmit sound waves 

osteopathy 

a field of medicine and treatment based on manipulation, especially of the bones, to treat disease 

osteoporosis 

condition in which bones become porous and brittle because of lack or loss of calcium, phosphorus, and other minerals 

ostomy 

a surgically created opening into a body part 

otoscope 

an instrument used to examine the ear 

output 

computer term for processed information, or the final product obtained from the computer; also, total amount of liquid expelled from the body 

ovary 

endocrine gland or gonad that produces hormones and the female sex cell, or ovum 

 

 

P 

 

palate 

structure that separates the oral and nasal cavities; root of the mouth 

palliative 

measures taken to treat symptoms and/or pain even though it will not cure a disease; comfort measures 

pallor 

paleness; lack of color 

palpation 

the act of using the hands to feel body parts during an examination 

pancreas 

gland that is dorsal to the stomach; secretes insulin and digestive juices 

pandemic 

an infectious disease that affects many people over a wide geographic area; a worldwide epidemic 

panoramic 

dental radiograph that shows the entire dental arch, or all of the teeth and related structures, on one film 

Papanicolaou test 

also called a Pap test; a test to classify abnormal cells obtained from the vagina or cervix 

papule 

solid, elevated spot or area on the skin 

paraffin wax treatment 

heated mixture of paraffin and mineral oil; used to provide a moist heat application 

paralysis 

loss or impairment of the ability to feel or move parts of the body 

paraplegia 

paralysis of the lower half of the body 

parasite 

organism that lives on or within another living organism 

parasympathetic 

a division of the autonomic nervous system 

parathyroid 

one of four small glands located on the thyroid gland; regulates calcium and phosphorus metabolism 

parenteral 

other than by mouth 

paresis 

weakness and/or paralysis of an extremity 

partial bath 

bath in which only certain body parts are bathed or in which the health care provider bathes those parts of the body that the patient is unable to bathe 

patella 

the kneecap 

pathogen 

disease-producing organisms 

pathology 

the study of the cause or nature of a disease 

pathophysiology 

study of how disease occurs and the responses of living organisms to disease processes 

patience 

ability to wait, persevere; capacity for calm endurance 

patients' rights 

factors of care that all patients can expect to receive 

patriarchal 

social organization in which the father or oldest male is the authority figure 

pediatrics 

the branch of medicine dealing with care and treatment of diseases and disorders of children 

pedodontics 

the branch of dentistry dealing with treatment of teeth and oral conditions of children 

pegboard system 

method of maintaining financial accounts and records in an office 

pelvic 

pertaining to the pelvis area below the abdominal region and near the sacrum and hip bones 

percussion 

process of tapping various body parts during an examination 

percussion (reflux) hammer 

instrument used to check reflexes 

periapical 

around the apex of a root of a tooth; dental X-ray that shows the entire tooth and surrounding area 

pericardium 

membrane sac that covers the outside of the heart 

perineum 

region between the vagina and anus in the female and between the scrotum and anus in the male 

periodontal ligament 

dense fibers of connective tissue that attach to the cementum of a tooth and the alveolus to support or suspend the tooth in its socket 

periodontics 

the branch of dentistry dealing with the treatment of the gingiva (gum) and periodontium (supporting tissues) surrounding the teeth 

periodontium 

structures that surround and support the teeth 

periosteum 

fibrous membrane that covers the bones except at joint areas 

peripheral 

that part of the nervous system apart from the brain and spinal cord; also, a device connected to a computer 

peristalsis 

rhythmic, wavelike motion of involuntary muscles 

peritoneal 

pertaining to the body cavity containing the liver, stomach, intestines, urinary bladder, and internal reproductive organs 

permanent (succedaneous) teeth 

the 32 teeth that make up the second, or permanent, set of teeth

personal hygiene 

care of the body including bathing hair and nail care, shaving, and oral hygiene 

personal protective equipment (PPE) 

protective barriers such as a mask, gown, gloves, and protective eyewear that help protect a person from contact with infectious material 

perspiration 

the secretion of sweat 

pH 

a scale of 0-14 used to measure the degree of acidity or alkalinity of a substance, with 7 being neutral 

phalanges 

bones of the fingers and toes 

pharmacology 

the study of drugs 

pharynx 

the throat 

phlebitis 

inflammation of a vein 

phlebotomist 

also called a venipuncture technician; individual who collects blood and prepare it for tests 

physiatrist 

medical doctor specializing in rehabilitation 

physical 

of or pertaining to the body 

physical therapy 

treatment by physical means, such as heat, cold, water, massage, or electricity 

Physicians' Desk Reference (PDR) 

reference book that contains essential information on medications 

physiological needs 

basic physical or biological needs required by every human being to sustain life 

physiology 

the study of the processes or functions of living organisms 

pineal 

gland like structure in the brain 

pinna 

also called the auricle; external portion of the ear 

pituitary 

small, rounded endocrine gland at the base of the brain; regulates function of other endocrine glands and body processes 

placenta 

temporary endocrine gland created during pregnancy to provide nourishment for the fetus; the afterbirth 

plane 

flat or relatively smooth surface; an imaginary line drawn through the body at various parts to separate the body into sections 

plaque 

thin, tenacious, film like deposit that adheres (sticks) to the teeth and can lead to decay; made of protein and microorganisms 

plasma 

liquid portion of the blood 

platelet 

see thrombocyte 

pleura 

a serous membrane that covers the lungs and lines the thoracic cavity 

podiatrist 

an individual who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and disorders of the feet 

point angle 

area on the crown surface of a tooth that is formed when three surfaces meet 

poisoning 

condition that occurs when contact is made with any chemical substance that causes injury, illness, or death 

polycythemia 

excess number of red blood cells 

polydipsia 

excessive thirst 

polyphagia 

excessive ingestion of food 

polyuria 

increased production and discharge of urine; excessive urination 

pons 

that portion of the brainstem that connects the medulla oblongata and cerebellum to the upper portions of the brain 

positron emission tomography (PET) 

computerized body scanning technique in which the computer detects a radioactive substance injected into a patient 

posterior 

toward the back; behind 

posterior teeth 

teeth toward the back of the oral cavity, including the bicuspids and molars 

postmortem care 

care given to the body immediately after death 

postoperative 

after surgery 

postpartum 

following delivery of a baby 

Power of Attorney (POA) 

a legal document authorizing a person to act as another person's legal representative or agent 

prefix 

an affix attached to the beginning of a word 

prejudice 

strong feeling or belief about a person or subject that is formed without reviewing facts or information 

prenatal 

before birth 

preoperative 

before surgery 

pressure (decubitus) ulcer 

a pressure sore; a bedsore 

primary (deciduous) teeth 

also called deciduous teeth; the first set of 20 teeth 

privileged communications 

all personal information given to health personnel by a patient; must be kept confidential 

proctoscope 

instrument used to examine the rectum 

prognosis 

prediction regarding the probable outcome of a disease 

projection 

defense mechanism in which an individual places the blame for his or her actions on someone else or circumstance 

pronation 

turning a body part downward; turning "palm down" 

prone position 

the patient lies on the abdomen, with legs together and the face turned to the side 

prophylactic 

preventive; agent that prevents disease 

prophylaxis angle 

dental hand piece attachment that holds polishing cups, disks, and brushes used to clean the teeth or polish restorations

prostate gland 

in the male, gland near the urethra; contracts during ejaculation to prevent urine from leaving the bladder 

prosthesis 

an artificial part that replaces a natural part (for example, dentures or a limb) 

prosthodontics 

the branch of dentistry dealing with the construction of artificial appliances for the mouth 

protective isolation 

see reverse isolation 

protein 

one of six essential nutrients needed for growth and repair of tissues 

protoplasm 

thick, viscous substance that is the physical basis of all living things 

protozoa 

microscopic, one-celled animals often found in decayed materials and contaminated water 

proximal 

closest to the point of attachment or area of reference 

pruritus 

itching 

psychiatry 

the branch of medicine dealing with the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental illness 

psychology 

the study of mental processes and their effects on behavior 

psychosomatic 

pertaining to the relationship between the mind or emotions and the body 

puberty 

period of growth and development during which secondary sexual characteristics begin to develop 

pulmonary 

pertaining to the lungs 

pulmonary valve 

flap or cusp between the right ventricle of the heart and the pulmonary artery 

pulp 

soft tissue in the innermost area of a tooth and made of nerves and blood vessels held in place by connective tissue 

pulse 

pressure of the blood felt against the wall of an artery as the heart contracts or beats 

pulse deficit 

the difference between the rate of an apical pulse and the rate of a radial pulse 

pulse oximeter 

a device that measures the oxygen level in arterial blood 

pulse pressure 

the difference between systolic and diastolic blood pressure 

puncture wound 

injury caused by a pointed object such as a needle or nail 

pupil 

opening or hole in the center of the iris of the eye; allows light to enter the eye 

pustule 

small, elevated, pus- or lymph-filled area of the skin 

pyrexia 

fever 

pyuria 

pus in the urine 

 

 

R 

 

race

classification of people based on physical or biological characteristics 

radial deviation 

moving toward the thumb side of the hand 

radiograph 

X-ray an image produced by radiation 

radiology 

the branch of medicine dealing with X-rays and radioactive substances 

radiolucent 

transparent to X-rays; permitting the passage of X-rays or other forms of radiation 

radiopaque 

not transparent to X-rays; not permitting the passage of X-rays or other forms of radiation 

radius 

long bone of the forearm, between the wrist and elbow 

rale 

bubbling or noisy sound caused by fluid or mucus in the air passages 

random access memory (RAM) 

form of computer memory known as read/write memory because data can be stored or retrieved from it 

range of motion (ROM) 

the full range of movement of a muscle or joint; exercises designed to move each joint and muscle through its full range of movement 

rate 

number per minute, as with pulse and respiration counts 

rationalization 

defense mechanism involving the use of a reasonable or acceptable excuse as explanation for behavior 

read only memory (ROM) 

nonerasable, permanent form of computer memory built into a computer to control many of the computer's internal operations 

reagent strip 

special test strip containing chemical substances that react to the presence of certain substances in the urine or blood 

reality orientation 

activities to help promote awareness of time, place, and person 

recall 

to call back; letter or notice that reminds a patient to return for periodic treatment or examination 

receipt 

written record that money or goods has been received 

rectal, rectum 

pertaining to the lower part of the large intestine, the temporary storage area for indigestibles 

rectal tube 

tube inserted into the rectum to aid in the expulsion of flatus (gas) 

red blood cell 

see erythrocyte 

red marrow 

soft tissue in the epiplyses of long bones 

reference initials 

initials placed at the bottom of a letter to indicate the writer and/or preparer 

refractometer 

an instrument used to measure the specific gravity of urine 

registration 

process whereby a regulatory body in a given health care area administers examinations and/or maintains a list of qualified personnel 

rehabilitation 

the restoration to useful life through therapy an education 

remission 

period of time during which the signs and symptoms of a chronic disease are less severe or not present 

repression 

defense mechanism involving the transfer of painful or unacceptable ideas, feelings, or thoughts into the subconscious 

resident 

an individual who lives in a long-term care facility 

resistant 

able to oppose; organisms that remain unaffected by harmful substances in the environment 

respiration 

the process of taking in oxygen (inspiration) and expelling carbon dioxide (expiration) by way of the lungs and air passages 

restoration 

process of replacing a diseased portion of a tooth or a lost tooth by artificial means, including filling materials, crowns, bridges, or dentures 

restraints 

protective devices that limit or restrict movement 

retina 

the sensory membrane that lines the eye and is the immediate instrument of vision 

retractor 

instrument used to hold or draw back the lips or sides of a wound or incision 

reverse isolation 

technique used to provide care to patients requiring protection from organisms in the environment 

rheostat 

foot control in dental units; used to operated hand pieces 

rhythm 

referring to regularity; regular or irregular 

ribs 

also called costae; 12 pairs or narrow, curved bones that surround the thoracic cavity 

rickettsiae 

parasitic microorganisms that live on other living organisms 

root 

the anatomic portion of a tooth that is below the gingiva (gums); helps hold the tooth in the mouth 

rotation 

movement around a central axis; a turning 

rubber base 

dental impression material that is elastic and rubbery in nature 

 

 

S 

 

safety standards 

set of rules designed to protect both the patient and health care worker 

saliva ejector 

hand piece in dental units that provides a constant, low-volume suction to remove saliva and fluids from the mouth 

salivary glands 

glands of the mouth that produce saliva, a digestive secretion 

sarcoma 

tumor of connective tissue; frequently malignant 

satisfaction 

fulfillment or gratification of a desire or need 

scalpel 

instrument with a knife blade used to incise (cut) skin and tissue 

scapula 

shoulder blade or bone 

sclera 

white outer coat of the eye 

screen 

to evaluate; to determine the purpose of telephone calls so they can be referred to the correct person 

scrotum 

double pouch containing the testes and epididymis in the male individual 

sebaceous gland 

oil-secreting gland of the skin 

secretion 

substance produced and expelled by a gland or other body part 

seizure 

a convulsion; involuntary contraction of muscles 

self-actualization 

achieving one's full potential 

self-esteem 

satisfaction with oneself 

self-motivation 

ability to begin or to follow through with a task without the assistance of others 

semicircular canals 

structures of the inner ear that are involved in maintaining balance and equilibrium 

seminal vesicle 

one of two saclike structures behind the bladder and connected to the vas deferens in the male individual; secretes thick, viscous fluid for semen 

senile lentigines 

dark-yellow or brown spots that develop on the skin as aging occurs 

senility 

feebleness of body or mind caused by aging 

sensitive 

susceptible to a substance; organisms that are affected by an antibiotic in a culture and sensitivity study 

sensitivity 

ability to recognize and appreciate the personal characteristics of others 

sepsis 

presence of pus-forming pathogens and their toxins in the blood 

septum 

membranous wall that divides two cavities 

serrated 

notched; toothed 

sharps container 

a puncture-resistant container for disposal of needles, syringes, and other sharp objects contaminated by blood or body fluids 

shock 

clinical condition characterized by various symptoms and resulting in an inadequate supply of blood and oxygen to body organs, especially the brain and heart 

sigmoidoscope 

instrument used to examine the sigmoid, or S-shaped, section of the large intestine 

sign 

objective evidence of disease; something that is seen 

signature 

a person's name written by that person 

Sims' position 

the patient lies on his or her left side with the right leg bent up near the abdomen 

sinus 

cavity or air space in a bone 

sitz bath 

special bath given to apply moist heat to the genital or rectal area 

skeleton 

the bony structure of the body 

skill 

expertness, dexterity; an art, trade, or technique 

skin puncture 

a small needle hole made in the skin to obtain capillary blood 

slander 

spoken comment that causes a person ridicule or contempt or damages the person's reputation 

small intestine 

that section of the intestine that is between the stomach and large intestine; site of most absorption of nutrients 

smear 

material spread thinly on a slide for microscopic examination 

Snellen charts 

special charts that use letters or symbols in calibrated heights to check visual acuity 

social 

pertaining to relationships with others 

sodium hypochlorite 

household bleach 

sodium-restricted diet 

special diet containing low or limited amounts of sodium (salt) 

soft diet 

special diet containing only foods that are soft in texture 

soft palate 

tissue at the back of the roof of the mouth; separates the mouth from the nasopharynx 

software 

programs or instructions that allow computer hardware to function intelligently 

specific gravity 

weight or mass of a substance compared with an equal amount of another substance that is used as a standard 

speculum 

instrument used to dilate, or enlarge, an opening or passage in the body for examination purposes 

sphygmomanometer 

instrument calibrated for measuring blood pressure in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) 

spinal 

pertaining to the vertebral column or spinal cord 

spinal cord 

a column of nervous tissue extending from the medulla oblongata of the brain to the second lumbar vertebra in the vertebral column 

spleen 

ductless gland below the diaphragm and in the upper-left quadrant of the abdomen; serves to form, store, and filter blood 

splinter forceps 

instruments with sharp points used to remove splinters and foreign objects from the skin and/or tissues 

sprain 

injury to a joint accompanied by stretching or tearing of the ligaments 

sputum 

substance coughed up from the bronchi; contains saliva and mucus 

standard precautions 

recommendations that must be followed to prevent transmission of pathogenic organisms by way of blood and body fluids

statement-receipt

financial form that shows charges, amounts paid, and balance due

statistical data 

record containing basic facts about a patient, such as address, place of employment, insurance, and similar items 

stereotyping 

process of assuming that everyone in a particular group is the same 

sterile 

free of all organisms, including spores and viruses 

sterile field 

an area that is set up for certain procedures and is free from all organisms 

sterilization 

process that results in total destruction of all microorganisms; also, surgical procedure that prevents conception of a child 

sternum 

breastbone 

stethoscope 

instrument used for listening to internal body sounds 

stoma 

the opening of an ostomy on the abdominal wall 

stomach 

enlarged section of the alimentary canal, between the esophagus and the small intestine; serves as an organ of digestion 

stool 

material evacuated from the bowels; feces 

strain 

injury caused by excessive stretching, overuse, or misuse of a muscle 

stress 

body's reaction to any stimulus that requires a person to adjust to a changing environment 

stroke 

see cerebrovascular accident 

subcutaneous 

beneath the skin 

subcutaneous fascia (hypodermis) 

layer of tissue that is under the skin and connects the skin to muscles and underlying tissues 

subjective observation 

an observation about a patient that is felt by the patient but cannot be seen, palpated, or measured; commonly called asymptom 

sublingual 

under the tongue 

succedaneous teeth 

the 32 teeth that make up the second set of teeth; also called permanent or secondary teeth 

sudoriferous gland 

sweat-secreting gland of the skin 

suffix 

an affix attached to the end of a word that changes its meaning

suicide 

killing oneself 

superior 

above, on top of, or higher than 

supination 

turning a body part upward; turning "palm up" 

supine position 

the patient lies flat on the back, face upward 

suppository 

solid medication that has a base of cocoa butter or glycerin and is designed to melt after insertion into a body cavity (for example, the rectum or vagina) 

suppression 

defense mechanism used by an individual who is aware of unacceptable feelings or thoughts but refuses to deal with them 

surgery 

the branch of medicine dealing with operative procedures to correct deformities, repair injuries, or treat disease 

surgical hose 

elastic or support hose used to support leg veins and increase circulation 

surgical scissors 

special scissors used to cut tissue 

surgical shave 

removal of hair and cleansing of skin prior to an operation 

suture 

surgical stitch used to join the edges of an incision or wound; also, an area where bones join or fuse together 

suture-removal set 

set of instruments, including suture scissors and thumb forceps, used to remove stitches (sutures) 

sympathetic 

that division of the autonomic nervous system that allows the body to respond to emergencies and stress; also, to understand and attempt to solve the problems of another 

symptom 

a subjective indication of disease that is felt by the patient 

syncope 

fainting; temporary period of unconsciousness 

system 

a group of organs and other parts that work together to perform a certain function 

systemic 

pertaining to the whole body 

systole 

period of work, or contraction, of the heart 

systolic pressure 

measurement of blood pressure taken when the heart is contracting and forcing blood into the arteries

 

 

T 

 

tachycardia

fast, or rapid, heartbeat (usually more than 100 beats per minute in an adult)

tachypnea

respiratory rate above 25 respirations per minute

tactful 

able to do or say the correct thing; considerate of others' feelings

tarsal 

one of seven bones that forms the instep of the foot 

tartar 

see calculus 

teamwork 

cooperative effort by the members of a group to achieve a common goal 

technician 

a level of proficiency usually requiring a 2-year associate's degree or 3 to 4 years of on-the-job training 

technologist 

a class of expertise in a health career field, usually requiring at least 3 to 4 years of college plus work experience 

teeth 

structures in the mouth that physically break down food by chewing and grinding 

temperature 

the measurement of the balance between heat lost and heat produced by the body 

temporal temperature 

measurement of body temperature at the temporal artery on the forehead 

temporary 

dental material used for restorative purposes for a short period of time until permanent restoration can be done 

tendon 

fibrous connective tissue that connects muscles to bones 

tension 

uncomfortable inner sensation, discomfort, strain, or stress that affects the mind 

terminal illness 

an illness that will result in death 

testes 

gonads or endocrine glands that are located in the scrotum of the male and that produce sperm and male hormones 

thalamus 

that structure in the diencephalon of the brain that acts as a relay center to direct sensory impulses to the cerebrum 

therapeutic diet 

diet used in the treatment of disease 

therapy 

remedial treatment of a disease or disorder

thermometer 

instrument used to measure temperature 

thermotherapy 

use of heat applications for treatment 

thoracic 

pertaining to the chest or thorax 

thoracic duct 

main lymph duct of the body; drains lymph from the lymphatic vessels into the left subclavian vein 

thrombus 

a blood clot 

thymus 

organ in the upper part of the chest; lymphatic tissue and endocrine gland that atrophies at puberty 

thyroid 

endocrine gland that is located in the neck and regulates body metabolism 

tibia 

inner and larger bone of the lower leg, between the knee and ankle 

time management 

system of practical skills that allows an individual to use time in the most effective and productive way 

tissue 

a group of similar cells that join together to perform a particular function 

tissue forceps 

an instrument with one or more fine points (teeth) at the tips of blades; used to grasp tissue 

tongue 

muscular organ of the mouth; aids in speech, swallowing, and taste 

tonometer 

an instrument used to measure intraocular (within the eye) pressure 

tonsil 

mass of lymphatic tissue found in the pharynx (throat) and mouth 

tort 

a wrongful or illegal act of civil law not involving a contract 

tourniquet 

device used to compress the blood vessels 

towel clamps 

instruments with pointed ends that lock together; used to attach surgical drapes to each other and/or clamp dissected tissue 

trachea 

windpipe; air tube from the larynx to the bronchi 

tracheostomy 

creation of an opening into the trachea to facilitate breathing 

transdermal 

through the skin 

transfer (gait) belt 

band of fabric or leather that is placed around a patient's waist; grasped by the health care worker during transfer or ambulation to provide additional support for the patient 

transfusion 

transfer of blood from one person to another person; injection of blood or plasma 

transverse plane 

imaginary line drawn through the body to separate the body into a top half and a bottom half 

Trendelenburg position 

the patient lies on the back with the head lower than the feet, or with both the head and feet inclined downward 

triage 

a method of prioritizing treatment 

tricuspid valve 

flap or cusp between the right atrium and right ventricle in the heart 

tri-flow (air-water) syringe 

hand piece in dental units that provides air, water, or a combination of air and water for various dental procedures 

trifurcated 

having three roots (as do some teeth) 

tuning fork 

an instrument that has two prongs and is used to test hearing activity 

24-hour urine specimen 

special urine test in which all urine produced in a 24-period is collected in a special container

tympanic membrane 

the eardrum 

typing and crossmatch 

a determination of blood types and antigens prior to a blood transfusion 

 

 

U 

 

ulcer 

an open lesion on the skin or mucous membrane 

ulna 

long bone in the forearm, between the wrist and elbow 

ulnar deviation 

moving toward the little finger side of the hand 

ultrasonic unit 

piece of equipment that cleans with sound waves 

ultrasonography 

noninvasive, computerized scanning technique that uses high-frequency sound waves to create pictures of body parts 

ultra-speed hand piece 

high-speed hand piece used in dental units to cut and prepare a tooth during a dental procedure 

umbilicus 

navel; in slang, "belly button" 

Universal/National Numbering System 

abbreviated means of identifying the teeth 

uremia 

excessive amounts of urea (a waste product) in the blood 

ureter 

tube that carries urine from the kidney to the urinary bladder 

ureterostomy 

formation of an opening on the abdominal wall for drainage of urine from a ureter 

urethra 

tube that carries urine from the urinary bladder to outside the body 

urinalysis 

examination of urine by way of physical, chemical, or microscopic testing 

urinary-drainage unit 

special device used to collect urine and consisting of tubing and a collection container usually connected to a urinary catheter 

urinary meatus 

external opening of the urethra 

urinary sediments 

solid materials suspended in urine 

urinate 

to expel urine from the bladder 

urine 

the fluid excreted by the kidney 

urinometer 

calibrated device used to measure the specific gravity of urine 

urology 

the branch of medicine dealing with urine and diseases of the urinary tract 

urticaria 

hives 

uterus 

muscular, hollow organ that serves as the organ of menstruation and the area for development of the fetus in the female body 

 

 

V 

 

vaccine 

substance given to an individual to produce immunity to a disease 

varicose

pertaining to distended, swollen veins

vas deferens 

also called the deferens; the tube that carries sperm and semen from the epididymis to the ejaculatory duct in the male body 

vascular 

pertaining to blood vessels 

vasodilation 

constriction (decrease in diameter) of the blood vessels 

vector 

a carrier of disease; an insect, rodent, or small animal that transmits disease 

vein 

blood vessel that carries blood back to the heart 

venipuncture 

surgical puncture of a vein; inserting a needle into a vein 

venous 

pertaining to the veins 

ventilation 

process of breathing 

ventral 

pertaining to the front, or anterior, part of the body; in front of 

ventricle 

one of two lower chambers of the heart; also, a cavity in the brain 

venule 

the smallest type of vein; connects capillaries and veins 

vertebrae 

bones of the spinal column 

vertigo 

sensation of dizziness 

vesicle 

blister; a sac full of water or tissue fluid 

vestibule 

small space or cavity at the beginning of a canal 

veterinary 

pertaining to the medical treatment of animals 

villi 

tiny projections from a surface; in the small intestine, projections that aid in the absorption of nutrients 

virus 

one of a large group of very small microorganisms, many of which cause disease 

visceral 

pertaining to organs 

visual acuity 

ability to perceive and comprehend light rays; seeing 

vital signs 

determinations that provide information about body conditions; include temperature, pulse, respirations, and blood pressure 

vitamins 

organic substances necessary for body processes and life 

vitreous humor 

jelly-like mass that fills the cavity of the eyeball, behind the lens 

void 

to empty the bladder; urinate 

volume 

the degree of strength of a pulse (for example, strong or weak) 

voluntary 

under one's control; done by one's choice or desire 

vomit 

to expel material from the stomach and/or intestine through the mouth and/or nose 

 

 

W 

 

walker

a device that has a metal framework and aids in walking 

warm-water bag 

rubber or plastic device designed to hold warm water for dry-heat application 

wellness 

state of being in good health; well 

wheezing 

difficult breathing with a high-pitched whistling or sighing sound during expiration 

white blood cell 

see leukocyte 

withdrawal 

defense mechanism in which an individual either ceases to communicate or physically removes self from a situation 

Workers' Compensation 

payment and care provided to an individual who is injured on the job 

wound 

an injury to tissues 

 

 

X 

 

xiphoid process

the small, bony projection at the lower end of the sternum (breastbone) 

 

 

Y

 

yellow marrow 

soft tissue in the diaphyses of long bones 




Sports Medicine

Sports Medicine



V102

This Colorado Community College System Career and Technical Education Program provides an opportunity for the study and application of the components of sports medicine including but not limited to: sports medicine related careers, organizational and administrative considerations, prevention of athletic injuries, recognition, evaluation, and immediate care of athletic injuries, rehabilitation and management skills, taping and wrapping techniques, first/CPR/AED, emergency procedures, nutrition, sports psychology, human anatomy and physiology, therapeutic modalities, and therapeutic exercise.

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2/2/2016 BVSD Curriculum Essentials
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