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Terms Definitions
auscultation a method of listening to sounds w/n an organ w/ a stethoscope
AVPU scale A method of assessing level of consciousness by determining whether the PT is awake & alert, responsive to verbal stimuli or pain, or unresponsive; used principally early in the assessment
blood pressureBP the pressure of circulating blood against the walls of the arteries
bradycardia slow heart rate >60 beats/min
capillary refill the ability of the circulatory system to restore blood to the capillary system; evaluated by using a simple test
chief complaint the reason a PT called for help. Also, the PT's response to questions such as "What's wrong?" or "What happened?"
conjunctiva the delicate membrane lining the eyelids & covering the exposed surface of the eye
cyanosis a bluish-gray skin color that is caused by reduced levels of oxygen in the blood
diaphoretic characterized by profuse sweating
diastolic pressure the pressure that remains in the arteries during the relaxing phase of the heart's cycle (diastole) when the left ventricle is @ rest
hypertension blood pressure that is higher than the normal range
hypotension blood pressure that is lower than the normal range
jaundice a yellow skin or sclera color that is caused by liver disease or dynsfunction
labored breathing breathing that requires visibly increased effort; characterized by grunting, stridor, & use of accessory muscles
OPQRST An abbreviation for key terms used in evaluating a PT's signs & symptoms:-Onset-Provocation or Palliation-Quality-Region/Radiation-Severity-Timingof pain
perfusion circulation of blood w/n an organ or tissue
pulse the pressure wave that occurs as each heartbeat causes a surge in blood circulating through the arteries
pulse oximetry an assessment tool that measures oxygen saturation of hemoglobin in the capillary beds
SAMPLE History A brief history of a PT's condition to determine -Signs & Symptoms-Allergies-Medications-Pertinent Past history-Last oral intake-Events leading to injury/illness
sclera the white portion of the eye
signs objective findings that can be seen, heard, felt, smelled or measured
sniffing position an unusually upright position in which the PT's head & chin are thrust slightly forward
spontaneous respirations breathing in a PT that occurs w/ no assistance
stridor a harsh, high0pitched, crowing inspiratory sounds, such as the sound often heard in acute laryngeal (upper airway) obstruction
symptoms subjective findings that the PT feels but that can be identified only by the PT
systolic pressure the increased pressure along an artery w/ each contraction (systole) of the ventricles
tachycardia rapid heart rhythm, <100 beats/min
tidal volume the amount of air that is exchanged w/ each breath
tripod position an upright position in which the PT leans forward onto 2 arms stretched forward & thrusts the head & chin forward
vasoconstriction narrowing of a blood vessel
vital signs the key signs that are used to evaluate the PT's overall condition, including respirations, pulse, BP, level of consiousness & skin characteristics
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