BSI (bloodstream infection) – An infection in the blood when a PICC (peripherally inserted central catheter) line or central line is present.
BP (blood pressure) – A vital sign that measures the pressure of blood against the walls of the blood vessels.
Cardiac – Related to the heart.
CMI (case mix index) – The Medicare rating that measures the severity of a patient’s illness.
Central line – A type of IV placed in the upper chest area that allows easier access to administer medications and take blood samples.
CNA – Certified nursing assistant.
Contact isolation – Isolation due to an infection that is
transmitted by touch. Caregivers should use gloves and wear a gown when
taking care of a patient who is in contact isolation.
Culture – A test to determine if infection is present and identify which antibiotic to use for that infection.
Decubitis ulcer – An area of skin that breaks down when a body remains in one position for too long without shifting its weight.
Diaphoresis – An abnormal increase in the amount of sweat.
Diastolic – The bottom number of the blood pressure measurement.
Disposition – Placement when a patient leaves the hospital.
Endocrine – Relating to the glandular system.
Fluid overload – An unusual amount of water retained by the body.
GI (gastroenterology) – Related to the gastrointestinal tract (digestive system).
Hematology – Related to blood and blood-producing organs.
HR (heart rate) – A vital sign signaling the amount of times the heart beats in one minute.
Infectious – Related to infections.
Integument – Related to skin, hair and nails.
Interdisciplinary team – A team of caregivers from different specialty areas.
LOS (length of stay) – The amount of time a patient stays in the hospital.
LPN – Licensed practical nurse.
MD – Medical doctor.
Mental status – A patient’s ability to know the current day, date and time.
Mist therapy – A wound care modality that uses non-contact,
low-frequency ultrasound to improve wound healing, usually performed by a
MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus) – A type of infection that can be transferred by touch (requires contact isolation).
NGT (nasogastric tube) – A feeding tube placed in the nose that runs to the stomach.
Nosocomial decubitis – Bedsores that develop during hospitalization.
NP – Nurse practitioner.
OT – Occupational therapist.
Oncology – The study of cancer.
PA – Physician assistant.
PCT – Patient care technician.
PEG (percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy) – An endoscopic
procedure for that involves placing a tube into the stomach through a
very small incision in the abdominal wall.
PICC (peripherally inserted central catheter) – An IV inserted into the upper arm.
PLOF (prior level of function) – The patient’s functional level prior to hospitalization.
PO – Drinking or eating by mouth.
PPN (peripheral parenteral nutrition) – Nutrition provided through an IV.
Pressure ulcer – An area of skin that breaks down when a body remains in one position for too long without shifting its weight.
Protocol – Medical guideline.
RD – Registered dietitian.
Renal – Referring to the kidneys.
RN – Registered nurse.
Stabilized –- Resting comfortably.
Systolic – The top number of the blood pressure measurement.
TPN (total parenteral nutrition) – Nutrition provided through an IV.
Tube feeding – Liquid formula provided by a tube through either the nose or stomach.
UTI (urinary tract infection) – An infection of the urinary system.
Vascular – Related to the blood vessels and circulatory system.
Vital signs – The measurement of how fast the heart is beating, how fast a patient is breathing and body temperature.
VRE (vancomycin-resistant enterococci) – An infection that can be transferred by touch (requires contact isolation).
WOCN – Certified ostomy continence nurse.
Wound vac – A modality that uses suction (vacuum) to assist closing a wound.