Site MapHelpFeedbackGlossary Terms (A - F)
Glossary Terms (A - F)
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10x lens (27.0K)  A magnifying lens in the ocular of a microscope that magnifies an image ten times.
abduction (21.0K)  Movement away from the body.
abscess (19.0K)  A collection of pus (white blood cells, bacteria, and dead skin cells) that forms as a result of infection.
absorption (22.0K)  The process by which one substance is absorbed, or taken in and incorporated, into another,as when the body converts food or drugs into a form it can use.
accessibility (20.0K)  The ease with which people can move into and out of a space.
acetylcholine (21.0K)  A neurotransmitter released by the parasympathetic nerves onto organs and glands for resting and digesting.
acetylcholinesterase (36.0K)  An enzyme within the nervous system that hydrolyzes acetylcholine to acetate and choline.
acid-fast stain (34.0K)  A staining procedure for identifying bacteria that have a waxy cell wall.
acids (17.0K)  Electrolytes that release hydrogen ions in water.
acinar cells (24.0K)  Cells in the pancreas that produce pancreatic juice.
acquired immunodeficiency syndrome AIDS (62.0K)  The most advanced stage of HIV infection; it severely weakens the body's immune system.
acromegaly (22.0K)  A disorder in which too much growth hormone is produced in adults.
acrosome (22.0K)  An enzymefilled sac covering the head of a sperm that aids in the penetration of the egg during fertilization.
action potential (35.0K)  The flow of electrical current along the axon membrane.
acute (13.0K)  Having a rapid onset and progress, as acute appendicitis.
addiction (12.0K)  A physical or psychological dependence on a substance, usually involving a pattern of behavior that includes obsessive or compulsive preoccupation with the substance and the security of its supply, as well as a high rate of relapse after withdrawal.
adduction (25.0K)  Movement toward the body.
adenoids (24.0K)  See pharyngeal tonsils.
administer (23.0K)  To give a drug directly by injection, by mouth, or by any other route that introduces the drug into the body.
adrenocorticotropic hormone ACTH (81.0K)  Hormone that stimulates the adrenal cortex to release its hormones.
aerobe (19.0K)  Bacteria that grow best in the presence of oxygen.
aerobic respiration (31.0K)  A process that requires large amounts of oxygen and uses glucose to make ATP.
afebrile (18.0K)  Having a body temperature within one's normal range.
afferent arterioles (35.0K)  Structures that deliver blood to the glomeruli of the kidneys.
affiliation agreement (26.0K)  An agreement that externship participants must sign that states the expectations of the facility and the expectations of the student.
agar (17.0K)  A gelatinlike substance derived from seaweed that gives a culture medium its semisolid consistency.
agglutination (24.0K)  The clumping of red blood cells following a blood transfusion.
agranular leukocyte (37.0K)  A type of leukocyte (white blood cell) with a solid nucleus and clear cytoplasm; includes lymphocytes and monocytes.
agranulocyte (37.0K)  See agranular leukocyte.
albumins (22.0K)  The smallest of the plasma proteins. Albumins are important for pulling water into the bloodstream to help maintain blood pressure.
aldosterone (26.0K)  A hormone produced in the adrenal glands that acts on the kidney. It causes the body to retain sodium and excrete potassium. Its role is to maintain blood volume and pressure.
alimentary canal (23.0K)  The organs of the digestive system that extend from the mouth to the anus.
allele (30.0K)  Any one of a pair or series of genes that occupy a specific position on a specific chromosome.
allergens (28.0K)  An antigen that induces an allergic reaction.
alopecia (21.0K)  The clinical term for baldness.
alveolar glands (31.0K)  Glands that make milk under the influence of the hormone prolactin.
alveoli (22.0K)  Clusters of air sacs in which the exchange of gases between air and blood takes place; located in the lungs.
amblyopia (19.0K)  Poorvision in one eye without a detectable cause.
amino acid (22.0K)  Natural organic compounds found in plant and animal foods and used by the body to create protein.
amnion (26.0K)  The innermost membrane enveloping the embryo and containing amniotic fluid.
anabolism (34.0K)  The stage of metabolism in which substances such as nutrients are changed into more complex substances and used to build body tissues.
anaerobe (23.0K)  A bacterium that grows best in the absence of oxygen.
anal canal (29.0K)  The last few centimeters of the rectum.
anaphylaxis (24.0K)  A severe allergic reaction with symptoms that include respiratory distress, difficulty in swallowing, pallor, and a drastic drop in blood pressure that can lead to circulatory collapse.
anatomical position (29.0K)  When the body is standing upright and facing forward with the arms at the side and the palms of the hands facing forward.
anatomy (30.0K)  The scientific term for the study of body structure.
anemia (29.0K)  A condition characterized by low red blood cell count. This condition decreases the ability to transport oxygen throughout the body.
anergic reaction (26.0K)  A lack of response to skin testing that indicates the body's inability to mount a normal response to invasion by a pathogen.
anesthesia (26.0K)  A loss of sensation, particularly the feeling of pain.
anesthetic (19.0K)  A medication that causes anesthesia.
aneurysm (19.0K)  A serious and potentially life-threatening bulge in the wall of a blood vessel.
angiography (26.0K)  An x-ray examination of a blood vessel, performed after the injection of a contrast medium, that evaluates the function and structure of one or more arteries or veins.
angiotensin II (31.0K)  A hormone that raises blood pressure and causes the secretion of another hormone called aldosterone.
annotate (21.0K)  To underline or highlight key points of a document or to write reminders, make comments, and suggest actions in the margins.
anorexia nervosa (28.0K)  An eating disorder in which people starve themselves because they fear that if they lose control of eating they will become grossly overweight.
antagonist (24.0K)  A muscle that produces the opposite movement of the prime mover.
antecubital space (31.0K)  The inner side or bend of the elbow;the site at which the brachial artery is felt or heard when a pulse or blood pressure is taken.
anterior (20.0K)  Anatomical term meaning toward the front of the body;also called ventral.
antibody (16.0K)  Highly specific proteins that attach themselves to foreign substances in an initial step in destroying such substances, as part of the body's defenses.
antidiuretic hormone (38.0K)  A hormone that increases water reabsorption, which decreases urine production and helps to maintain blood pressure.
antigens (25.0K)  A foreign substance that stimulates white blood cells to create antibodies when it enters the body.
antihistamines (27.0K)  Medications used to treat allergies.
antimicrobial (28.0K)  An agent that kills microorganisms or suppresses their growth.
antioxidant (35.0K)  Chemical agents that fight cell-destroying chemical substances called free radicals.
antiseptic (16.0K)  A cleaning product used on human tissue as an anti-infection agent.
anuria (17.0K)  The absence of urine production.
aortic valve (36.0K)  Heart valve that is a semilunar valve and that is situated between the left ventricle and the aorta.
apex (15.0K)  The left lower corner of the heart, where the strongest heart sounds can be heard.
apical (20.0K)  Located at the apex of the heart.
apocrine (32.0K)  A type of sweat gland. It produces a thicker type of sweat than other sweat glands and contains more proteins.
aponeurosis (27.0K)  A tough, sheet-like structure that is made of fibrous connective tissue. It typically attaches muscles to other muscles.
appendicitis (24.0K)  Inflammation of the appendix.
appendicular (32.0K)  The division of the skeletal system that consists of the bones of the arms, legs, pectoral girdle, and pelvic girdle.
approximate (25.0K)  The process of bringing the edges of a wound together, so the tissue surfaces are close, to protect the area from further contamination and to minimize scar and scab formation.
aqueous humor (28.0K)  A liquid produced by the eye's ciliary body that fills the space between the cornea and the lens.
areflexia (20.0K)  The absence of reflexes.
areola (16.0K)  The pigmented area that surrounds the nipple.
arrector pili (29.0K)  Muscles attached to most hair follicles and found in the dermis.
arrhythmia (19.0K)  Irregularity in heart rhythm.
arterial blood gases (36.0K)  A test that measures the amount of gases, such as oxygen and carbon dioxide, dissolved in arterial blood.
arthrography (24.0K)  A radiologic procedure performed by a radiologist, who uses a contrast medium and fluoroscopy to help diagnose abnormalities or injuries in the cartilage, tendons, or ligaments of the joints—usually the knee or shoulder.
arthroscopy (16.0K)  A procedure in which an orthopedist examines a joint, usually the knee or shoulder, with a tubular instrument called an arthroscope; also used to guide surgical procedures.
articular cartilage (31.0K)  The cartilage that covers the epiphysis of long bones.
artifact (29.0K)  Any irrelevant object or mark observed when examining specimens or graphic records that is not related to the object being examined; for example, a foreign object visible through a microscope or an erroneous mark on an ECG strip.
ascending colon (30.0K)  The segment of the large intestine that runs up the right side of the abdominal cavity.
ascending tracts (38.0K)  The tracts of the spinal cord that carry sensory information to the brain.
astigmatism (19.0K)  A condition in which the cornea has an abnormal shape, which causes blurred images during near or distant vision.
atlas (25.0K)  The first cervical vertebra.
atoms (24.0K)  The simplest units of all matter.
atria (16.0K)  Singular: atrium Chambers of the heart that receive blood from the veins and circulate it to the ventricles.
atrial natriuretic peptide (37.0K)  A hormone secreted by the heart that regulates blood pressure.
atrioventricular bundle (47.0K)  A structure that is located between the ventricles of the heart and that sends the electrical impulse to the Purkinje fibers.
atrioventricular node (34.0K)  A node that is located between the atria of the heart. After the electrical impulse reaches the atrioventricular node, the atria contract and the impulse is sent to the ventricles.
auditory tube (32.0K)  A structure that connects the middle ear to the throat. Also called the Eustachian tube.
auricle (14.0K)  The outside part of the ear, made of cartilage and covered with skin.
auscultated blood pressure (25.0K)  Blood pressure as measured by listening with a stethoscope.
auscultation (22.0K)  The process of listening to body sounds.
autoclave (34.0K)  A device that uses pressurized steam to sterilize instruments and equipment.
automated external defibrillator AED (81.0K)  A computerized defibrillator programmed to recognize lethal heart rhythms and deliver an electrical shock to restore a normal rhythm.
autonomic (15.0K)  A division of the peripheral nervous system that connects the central nervous system to viscera such as the heart, stomach, intestines, glands, blood vessels, and bladder.
autosome (20.0K)  A chromosome that is not a sex chromosome.
axial (32.0K)  The division of the skeletal system that consists of the skull, vertebral column, and rib cage.
axilla (19.0K)  Armpit; one of the four locations for temperature readings.
axon (23.0K)  A type of nerve fiber that is typically long and branches far from the cell body. Its function is to send information away from the cell body.
B lymphocyte (28.0K)  A type of nongranular leukocyte that produces antibodies to combat specific pathogens.
bacillus (20.0K)  A rod-shaped bacterium.
barium enema (29.0K)  A radiologic procedure performed by a radiologist who administers barium sulfate through the anus, into the rectum, and then into the colon to help diagnose and evaluate obstructions, ulcers, polyps, diverticulosis, tumors, or motility problems of the colon or rectum; also called a lower GI (gastrointestinal) series.
barium swallow (31.0K)  A radiologic procedure that involves oral administration of a barium sulfate drink to help diagnose and evaluate obstructions, ulcers, polyps, diverticulosis, tumors, or motility problems of the esophagus, stomach, duodenum, and small intestine; also called an upper GI (gastrointestinal) series.
baroreceptors (35.0K)  Structures, located in the aorta and carotid arteries, that help regulate blood pressure.
bases (26.0K)  Electrolytes that releasehydroxyl ions in water.
basophil (17.0K)  A type of granular leukocyte that produces the chemical histamine, which aids the body in controlling allergic reactions and other exaggerated immunologic responses.
behavior modification (30.0K)  The altering of personal habits to promote a healthier lifestyle.
bicarbonate ions (36.0K)  Elements formed when carbon dioxide gets into the bloodstream and reacts with water. In the alimentary canal, these ions neutralize acidic chyme arriving from the stomach.
bicuspid valve (25.0K)  Heart valve that has two cusps and that is located between the left atrium and the left ventricle. Also known as the mitral valve.
bicuspids (23.0K)  Teeth with two cusps. There are two in front of each set of molars.
bile (14.0K)  A substance created in the liver and stored in the gallbladder. Bile is a bitter yellow-green fluid that is used in the digestion of fats.
bilirubin (15.0K)  A bile pigment formed by the breakdown of hemoglobin in the liver.
bilirubinuria (28.0K)  The presence of bilirubin in the urine; one of the first signs of liver disease or conditions that involve the liver.
biliverdin (36.0K)  A pigment released when a red blood cell is destroyed.
biochemistry (26.0K)  The study of matter and chemical reactions in the body.
biohazard symbol (29.0K)  A symbol that must appear on all containers used to store waste products, blood, blood products, or other specimens that may be infectious.
biopsy (23.0K)  The process of removing and examining tissues and cells from the body.
biopsy specimen (28.0K)  A small amount of tissue removed from the body for examination under a microscope to diagnose an illness.
bioterrorism (27.0K)  The intentional release of a biologic agent with the intent to harm individuals.
blastocyst (24.0K)  A morula that travels down the uterine tube to the uterus and is invaded with fluid. It then implants into the wall of the uterus.
blood-borne pathogen (33.0K)  A disease-causing microorganism carried in a host's blood and transmitted through contact with infected blood, tissue, or body fluids.
blood-brain barrier (26.0K)  A structure that is formed from tight capillaries to protect the tissues of the central nervous system from certain substances.
botulism (28.0K)  A lifethreatening type of food poisoning that results from eating improperly canned or preserved foods that have been contaminated with the bacterium Clostridium botulinum.
brachial artery (23.0K)  An artery that provides a palpable pulse and audible vascular sounds in the antecubital space (the bend of the elbow).
brachytherapy (28.0K)  A radiation therapy technique in which a radiologist places temporary radioactive implants close to or directly into cancerous tissue; used for treating localized cancers.
brain stem (29.0K)  A structure that connects the cerebrum to the spinal cord.
bronchi (16.0K)  The two branches of the trachea that enter the lungs.
bronchial tree (38.0K)  A series of tubes that begins where the distal end of the trachea branches.
bronchioles (19.0K)  A part of the respiratory tract that branches from the tertiary bronchi.
buccal (14.0K)  Between the cheek and gum.
buffy coat (23.0K)  The layer between the packed red blood cells and plasma in a centrifuged blood sample; this layer contains the white blood cells and platelets.
bulbourethral glands (30.0K)  Glands that lie beneath the prostate and empty their fluid into the urethra. Their fluid aids in sperm movement.
bulimia (28.0K)  An eating disorder in which people eat a large quantity of food in a short period of time (bingeing) and then attempt to counter the effects of bingeing by self-induced vomiting, use of laxatives or diuretics, and/or excessive exercise.
bursitis (20.0K)  Inflammation of a bursa.
calcaneus (23.0K)  The largest tarsal bone; also called the heel bone.
calcitonin (29.0K)  A hormone produced by the thyroid gland that lowers blood calcium levels by activating osteoblasts.
calibrate (24.0K)  to determine the caliber of
calibration syringe (40.0K)  A standardized measuring instrument used to check and adjust the volume indicator on a spirometer.
calorie (16.0K)  A unit used to measure the amount of energy food produces;the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of 1 kg of water by 1°C.
calyces (23.0K)  Small cavities of the renal pelvis of the kidney.
canaliculi (21.0K)  Tiny canals that connect lacunae to each other.
capillary (16.0K)  Branches of arterioles and the smallest type of blood vessel.
capillary puncture (32.0K)  A blood-drawing technique that requires a superficial puncture of the skin with a sharp point.
carboxypeptidase (32.0K)  A pancreatic enzyme that digests proteins.
carcinogen (34.0K)  A factor that is known to cause the formation of cancer.
cardiac catheterization (44.0K)  A diagnostic method in which a catheter is inserted into a vein or artery in the arm or leg and passed through blood vessels into the heart.
cardiac cycle (26.0K)  The sequence of contraction and relaxation that makes up a complete heartbeat.
carditis (30.0K)  Inflammation of the heart.
carpal (18.0K)  Bones of the wrist.
carpal tunnel syndrome (44.0K)  A painful disorder caused by compression of the median nerve in the carpal tunnel of the wrist.
cast (16.0K)  A rigid, external dressing, usually made of plaster or fiberglass, that is molded to the contours of the body part to which it is applied; used to immobilize a fractured or dislocated bone. Cylinder-shaped elements with flat or rounded ends, differing in composition and size, that form when protein from the breakdown of cells accumulates and precipitates in the kidney tubules and is washed into the urine.
catabolism (27.0K)  The stage of metabolism in which complex substances, including utrients and body tissues, are broken down into simpler substances and converted into energy.
cataracts (22.0K)  Cloudy areas that form in the lens of the eye that prevent light from reaching visual receptors.
catheterization (24.0K)  The procedure during which a catheter is inserted into a vessel, an organ, or a body cavity.
caudal (26.0K)  See inferior
CD-ROM (31.0K)  A compact disc that contains software programs; an abbreviation for “compact disc— read-only memory.”
cecum (14.0K)  The first section of the large intestine.
Celcius Centigrade (30.0K)  One of two common scales for measuring temperature; measured in degree Celsius.
cell body (19.0K)  The portion of the neuron that contains the nucleus and organelles.
cell membrane (25.0K)  The outer limit of a cell that is thin and selectively permeable. It controls the movement of substances into and out of the cell.
cells (25.0K)  The smallest living units of structure and function.
cellulitis (34.0K)  Inflammation of cellular or connective tissue.
cellulose (23.0K)  A type of carbohydrate that is found in vegetables and cannot be digested by humans; commonly called fiber.
cementum (18.0K)  A bone-like substance that covers the root of each tooth.
central nervous system CNS (65.0K)  A system that consists of the brain and the spinal cord.
central processing unit CPU (66.0K)  A microprocessor, the primary computer chip responsible for interpreting and executing programs.
centrifuge (22.0K)  A device used to spin a specimen at high speed until it separates into its component parts.
cerebellum (16.0K)  An area of the brain inferior to the cerebrum that coordinates complex skeletal muscle coordination.
cerebrospinal fluid CSF (72.0K)  The fluid in the subarachnoid space of the meninges and the central canal of the spinal cord.
cerebrum (12.0K)  The largest part of the brain; it mainly includes the cerebral hemispheres.
Certificate of Waiver tests (42.0K)  Laboratory tests that pose an insignificant risk to the patient if they are performed or interpreted incorrectly, are simple and accurate to such a degree that the risk of obtaining incorrect results is minimal, and have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use by patients at home; laboratories performing only Certificate of Waiver tests must meet less stringent standards than laboratories that perform tests in other categories.
cerumen (24.0K)  A waxlike substance produced by glands in the ear canal; also called earwax.
cervical enlargement (39.0K)  The thickening of the spinal cord in the neck region.
cervical orifice (32.0K)  The opening of the uterus through the cervix into the vagina.
cervicitis (20.0K)  Inflammation of the cervix.
cervix (27.0K)  The lowest portion of the uterus that extends into the vagina.
chain of custody (27.0K)  A procedure for ensuring that a specimen is obtained from a specified individual, is correctly identified, is under the uninterrupted control of authorized personnel, and has not been altered or replaced.
chancre (17.0K)  A painless ulcer that may appear on the tongue, the lips, the genitalia, the rectum, or elsewhere.
chemistry (17.0K)  The study of the composition of matter and how matter changes.
chemoreceptor (19.0K)  Any cell that is activated by a change in chemical oncentration and results in a nerve impulse. The olfactory or smell receptors in the nose are an example of a chemoreceptor.
chief cells (28.0K)  Cells in the lining of the stomach that secrete pepsinogen.
chief complaint (27.0K)  The patient's main issue of pain or ailment.
cholangiography (30.0K)  A test that evaluates the function of the bile ducts by injection of a contrast medium directly into the common bile duct (during gallbladder surgery) or through a T-tube (after gallbladder surgery or during radiologic testing) and taking an x-ray.
cholecystography (26.0K)  A gallbladder function test performed by x-ray after the patient ingests an oral contrast agent; used to detect gallstones and bile duct obstruction.
cholesterol (22.0K)  A fat-related substance that the body produces in the liver and obtains from dietary sources; needed in small amounts to carry out several vital functions. High levels of cholesterol in the blood increase the risk of heart and artery disease.
chordae tendineae (24.0K)  Cord-like structures that attach the cusps of the heart valves to the papillary muscles in the ventricles.
choroid (30.0K)  The middle layer of the eye, which contains the iris, the ciliary body, and most of the eye's blood vessels.
chromosome (27.0K)  Threadlike structures comprised of DNA.
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease COPD (82.0K)  A disease characterized by the presence of airflow obstruction due to chronic bronchitisor emphysema. It is typically progressive. Cigarette smoking is the leading cause.
chronological resume (38.0K)  The type of résumé used by individuals who have job experience. Jobs are listed according to date, with the most recent being listed first.
chylomicron (40.0K)  The least dense of the lipoproteins; it functions in lipid transportation.
chyme (14.0K)  The mixture of food and gastric juice.
chymotrypsin (27.0K)  A pancreatic enzyme that digests proteins.
circumduction (24.0K)  Moving a body part in a circle; for example, tracing a circle with your arm.
cirrhosis (18.0K)  A long-lasting liver disease in which normal liver tissue is replaced with nonfunctioning scar tissue.
clarity (22.0K)  Clearness in writing or stating a message.
clavicle (28.0K)  A slender, curved long bone that connects the sternum and the scapula; also called the collar bone.
clean-catch midstream urine specimen (51.0K)  A type of urine specimen that requires special cleansing of the external genitalia to avoid contamination by organisms residing near the external opening of the urethra and is used to identify the number and types of pathogens present in urine; sometimes referred to as midvoid.
cleavage (18.0K)  The rapid rate of mitosis of a zygote immediately following fertilization.
clinical coordinator (25.0K)  The person associated with the medical assisting school that procures externship sites and qualifies them to ensure that they provide a thorough educational experience.
clinical diagnosis (29.0K)  A diagnosis based on the signs and symptoms of a disease or condition.
clinical drug trial (37.0K)  An internationally recognized research protocol designed to evaluate the efficacy or safety of drugs and to produce scientifically valid results.
clitoris (23.0K)  Located anterior to the urethral opening in females. It contains erectile tissue and is rich in sensory nerves.
coagulation (23.0K)  The process by which a clot forms in blood.
coccus (22.0K)  A spherical, round, or ovoid bacterium.
coccyx (18.0K)  A small, triangularshaped bone consisting of three to five fused vertebrae.
cochlea (24.0K)  A spiral-shaped canal in the inner ear that contains the hearing receptors.
colitis (21.0K)  Inflammation of the colon.
colonoscopy (30.0K)  A procedure used to determine the cause of diarrhea, constipation, bleeding, or lower abdominal pain by inserting a scope through the anus to provide direct visualization of the large intestine.
colony (19.0K)  A distinct group of microorganisms, visible with the naked eye, on the surface of a culture medium.
colposcopy (21.0K)  The examination of the vagina and cervix with an instrument called acolposcope to identify abnormal tissue, such as cancerous or precancerous cells.
common bile duct (22.0K)  Duct that carries bile to the duodenum. It is formed from the merger of the cystic and hepatic ducts.
complement (19.0K)  A protein present in serum that is involved in specific defenses.
complete protein (31.0K)  Proteins that contain all nine essential amino acids.
complex carbohydrate (25.0K)  Long chains of sugar units; also known as polysaccharides.
complex inheritance (32.0K)  The inheritance of traits determined by multiple genes.
compound (30.0K)  A substance that is formed when two or more atoms of more than one element are chemically combined.
compound microscope (33.0K)  A microscope that uses two lenses to magnify the image created by condensed light focused through the object being examined.
computed tomography (29.0K)  A radiographic examination that produces a threedimensional, cross-sectional view of an area of the body; may be performed with or without a contrast medium.
concise (23.0K)  Brevity; the use of no unnecessary words.
concussion (22.0K)  A jarring injury to the brain; the most common type of head injury.
conductive hearing loss (35.0K)  A type of hearing loss that occurs when sound waves cannot be conducted through the ear. Most types are temporary.
condyle (35.0K)  Rounded articular surface on a bone.
cones (17.0K)  Light-sensing nerve cells in the eye, at the posterior of the retina, that are sensitive to color, provide sharp images, and function only in bright light.
conjunctiva (21.0K)  The protective membrane that lines the eyelid and covers the anterior of the sclera, or the white of the eye.
conjunctivitis (30.0K)  A contagious infection of the conjunctiva caused by bacteria, viruses, and allergies. The symptoms may include discharge, red eyes, itching, and swollen eyelids; also commonly called pinkeye.
connective (20.0K)  A tissue type that is the framework of the body.
constructive criticism (39.0K)  A type of critique that is aimed at giving an individual feedback about his or her performance in order to improve that performance.
consumable (30.0K)  Able to be emptied or used up, as with supplies.
contraindication (23.0K)  A symptom that renders use of a remedy or procedure inadvisable, usually because of risk
contrast medium (35.0K)  A substance that makes internal organs denser and blocks the passage of x-rays to photographic film. Introducing a contrast medium into certain structures or areas of the body can provide a clear image of organs and tissues and highlight indications of how well they are functioning.
control sample (26.0K)  A specimen that has a known value; used as a comparison for test results on a patient sample.
controlled substance (27.0K)  A drug or drug product that is categorized as potentially dangerous and addictive and is strictly regulated by federal laws.
contusion (24.0K)  A closed wound, or bruise.
convolutions (26.0K)  The ridges of brain matter between the sulci; also called gyri.
cornea (15.0K)  A transparent area on the front of the outer layer of the eye that acts as a window to let light into the eye.
coronary sinus (40.0K)  The large vein that receives oxygen-poor blood from the cardiac veins and empties it into the right atrium of the heart.
corpus callosum (42.0K)  A thick bundle of nerve fibers that connects the cerebral hemispheres.
corpus luteum (22.0K)  A ruptured follicle cell in the ovary following ovulation.
cortex (20.0K)  The outermost layer of the cerebrum.
cortisol (17.0K)  A steroid hormone that is released when a person is stressed. It decreases protein synthesis.
costal (16.0K)  Cartilage that attaches true ribs to the sternum.
courtesy title (31.0K)  A title used before a person's name, such as Dr., Mr., or Ms
coxal (28.0K)  Pertaining to the bones of the pelvic girdle. The coax is composed of the ilium, ischium, and pubis.
cranial (27.0K)  See superior.
cranial nerves (36.0K)  Peripheral nerves that originate from the brain.
crash cart (25.0K)  A rolling cart of emergency supplies and equipment.
creatine phosphate (40.0K)  A protein that stores extra phosphate groups.
cricoid cartilage (26.0K)  A cartilage of the larynx that forms most of the posterior wall and a small part of the anterior wall.
cryosurgery (30.0K)  The use of extreme cold to destroy unwanted tissue, such as skin lesions.
cryotherapy (25.0K)  The application of cold to a patient's body for therapeutic reasons.
crystal (14.0K)  Naturally produced solids of definite form; commonly seen in urine specimens, especially those permitted to cool.
culture (19.0K)  In the sociological sense, a pattern of assumptions, beliefs, and practices that shape the way people think and act. To place a sample of a specimen in or on a substance that allows microorganisms to grow in order to identify the microorganisms present.
culture and sensitivity C and S (59.0K)  A procedure that involves culturing a specimen and then testing the isolated bacteria's susceptibility (sensitivity) to certain antibiotics to determine which antibiotics would be most effective in treating an infection.
culture medium (24.0K)  A substance containing all the nutrients a particular type of microorganism needs to grow.
cursor (23.0K)  A blinking line or cube on a computer screen that shows where the next character that is keyed will appear.
Cushings disease (32.0K)  A condition in which a person produces too muchcortisol or has used too many steroid hormones. Some ofthe signs and symptoms include buffalo hump obesity, a moon face, and abdominal stretch marks; also called hypercortisolism.
cuspids (21.0K)  The sharpest teeth;they act to tear food.
cyanosis (25.0K)  A bluish color of skin that results when the supply of oxygen is low in the blood.
cystic duct (24.0K)  The duct from the gallbladder that merges with the hepatic duct to form the common bile duct.
cytokines (26.0K)  A chemical secreted by T lymphocytes in response to an antigen. Cytokines increase T and B cell production, kill cells that have antigens, and stimulate red bone marrow to produce more white blood cells.
cytokinesis (26.0K)  Splitting of the cytoplasm during cell division.
cytoplasm (30.0K)  The watery intracellular substance that consists mostly of water, proteins, ions, and nutrients.
database (23.0K)  A collection of records created and stored on a computer.
dateline (26.0K)  The line at the top of a letter that contains the month, day,and year.
debridement (18.0K)  The removal of debris or dead tissue from a wound to expose healthy tissue.
defecation reflex (37.0K)  The relaxation of the anal sphincters so that feces can move through the anus in the process of elimination.
deflection (24.0K)  A peak or valley on an electrocardiogram.
dehydration (29.0K)  The condition that results from a lack of adequate water in the body.
dendrite (34.0K)  A type of nerve fiber that is short and branches near the cell body. Its function is to receive information from the neuron.
dentin (14.0K)  A hard substance found beneath the enamel of the crown of a tooth.
deoxyhemoglobin (26.0K)  A type of hemoglobin that is not carrying oxygen. It is darker red in color than hemoglobin.
depolarization (31.0K)  The loss of polarity, or opposite charges inside and outside; the electrical impulse that initiates a chain reaction resulting in contraction.
depolarized (26.0K)  A state in which sodium ions flow to the inside of the cell membrane, making the outside less positive. Depolarization occurs when a neuron responds to stimuli such as heat, pressure, or chemicals.
dermatitis (31.0K)  Inflammation of the skin.
dermis (21.0K)  The middle layer of the skin, which contains connective tissue, nerve endings, hair follicles,sweat glands, and oil glands.
descending colon (34.0K)  The segment of the large intestine after the transverse colon that descends the left side of the abdominal cavity.
descending tracts (25.0K)  Tracts of the spinal cord that carry motor information from the brain to muscles and glands.
detrusor muscle (26.0K)  A smooth muscle that contracts to push urine from the bladder into the urethra.
diabetes mellitus (26.0K)  Any of several related endocrine disorders characterized by an elevated level of glucose in the blood, caused by a deficiency of insulin or insulin resistance at the cellular level.
diagnostic radiology (48.0K)  The use of x-ray technology to determine the cause of a patient's symptoms.
diapedesis (22.0K)  The squeezing of a cell through a blood vessel wall.
diaphragm (21.0K)  A muscle that separates the thoracic and abdominopelvic cavities.
diaphysis (24.0K)  The shaft of a long bone.
diastolic pressure (42.0K)  The blood pressure measured when the heart relaxes.
diathermy (27.0K)  A type of heat therapy in which a machine produces high-frequency waves that achieve deep heat penetration in muscle tissue.
diencephalon (36.0K)  A structure that includes the thalamus and the hypothalamus. It is located between the cerebral hemispheres and is superior to the brain stem.
differential diagnosis (30.0K)  The process of determining the correct diagnosis when two or more diagnoses are possible.
diffusion (33.0K)  The movement of a substance from an area of high concentration to an area of low concentration.
digital examination (34.0K)  Part of a physical examination in which the physician inserts one or two fingers of one hand into the opening of a body canal such as the vagina or the rectum; used to palpate canal and related structures.
diluent (25.0K)  A liquid used to dissolve and dilute another substance,such as a drug.
disaccharide (22.0K)  A type of carbohydrate that is a simple sugar.
disbursement (26.0K)  Any payment of funds made by the physician's office for goods and services.
disinfectant (28.0K)  A cleaning product applied to instruments and equipment to reduce or eliminate infectious organisms; not used on human tissue.
dislocation (30.0K)  The displacement of a bone end from a joint.
dispense (22.0K)  To distribute a drug, in a properly labeled container,to a patient who is to use it.
distal (16.0K)  Anatomical term meaning farther away from a point of attachment or farther away from the trunk of the body.
distal convoluted tubule (38.0K)  The last twisted section of the renal tubule; it is located after the loop of Henle. Several of these tubules merge together to form collecting ducts.
distribution (20.0K)  The biochemical process of transporting a drug from its administration site in the body to its site of action.
diverticulitis (35.0K)  Inflammation of the diverticuli, which are abnormal dilations in the intestine.
DNA (38.0K)  A nucleic acid that contains the genetic information of cells.
documentation (27.0K)  The recording of information in a patient's medical record; includes detailed notes about each contact with the patient and about the treatment plan, patient progress,and treatment outcomes.
dorsal (20.0K)  See posterior.
dorsal root (21.0K)  A portion of a spinal nerve that contains axons of sensory neurons only.
dorsiflexion (25.0K)  Pointing the toes upward.
dosage (25.0K)  The size, frequency,and number of doses.
dose (19.0K)  The amount of a drug given or taken at one time.
dot matrix printer (32.0K)  An impact printer that creates characters by placing a series of tiny dots next to one another.
douche (15.0K)  Vaginal irrigation,which can be used to administer vaginal medication in liquid form.
drainage catheter (31.0K)  A type of catheter used to withdraw fluids.
dressing (23.0K)  Sterile materials used to cover a surgical or other wound.
ductus arteriosus (40.0K)  The connection in the fetus between the pulmonary trunk and the aorta.
ductus venosus (28.0K)  A blood vessel that allows most of the blood to bypass the liver in the fetus.
duodenum (18.0K)  The first section of the small intestine.
durable item (36.0K)  A piece of equipment that is used repeatedly, such as a telephone, computer, or examination table; contrast with expendable item.
dwarfism (26.0K)  A condition in which too little growth hormone is produced, resulting in an abnormally small stature.
dysmenorrhea (25.0K)  Severe menstrual cramps that limit daily activity.
dyspnea (15.0K)  Difficult or painful breathing.
ear ossicles (31.0K)  Three tiny bones called the malleus, the incus, and the stapes located in the middle ear cavity. They are the smallest bones of the body.
eccrine (20.0K)  The most numerous type of sweat gland.Eccrine sweat glands produce a watery type of sweat and are activated primarily by heat.
echocardiography (27.0K)  A procedure that tests the structure and function of the heart through the use of reflected sound waves, or echoes.
ectoderm (16.0K)  The primary germ layer that gives rise to nervous tissue and some epithelial tissue.
eczema (22.0K)  Inflammatory condition of the skin.
edema (30.0K)  An excessive buildup of fluid in body tissue.
editing (25.0K)  The process of ensuring that a document is accurate, clear, and complete; free of grammatical errors; organized logically; and written in the appropriate style.
effectors (32.0K)  Muscles and glands that are stimulated by motor neurons in the peripheral nervous system.
efferent arterioles (28.0K)  Structures that deliver blood to peritubular capillaries that are wrapped around the renal tubules of the nephron in the kidneys.
efficacy (23.0K)  The therapeutic value of a procedure or therapy, such as a drug.
efficiency (20.0K)  The ability to produce a desired result with the least effort, expense, and waste.
electrocardiogram ECG (58.0K)  The tracing made by an electrocardiograph.
electrocardiograph (38.0K)  An instrument that measures and displays the waves of electrical impulses responsible for the cardiac cycle.
electrocardiography (47.0K)  The process by which a graphic pattern is created to reflect the electrical impulses generated by the heart as it pumps.
electrocauterization (28.0K)  The use of a needle, probe,or loop heated by electric current to remove growths such as warts, to stop bleeding, and to control nosebleeds that either will not subside or continually recur.
electrode (20.0K)  Sensors that detect electrical activity.
electroencephalography (44.0K)  A procedure that records the electrical activity of the brain as a tracing called an electroencephalogram, or EEG, on a strip of graph paper.
electrolytes (35.0K)  Substances that carry electrical current through the movement of ions.
electron microscope (37.0K)  A microscope that uses a beam of electrons instead of a beam of light; can magnify an image several million times.
electronic mail (46.0K)  A method of sending and receiving messages through a computer network; commonly known as e-mail.
embolus (17.0K)  A portion of a thrombus that breaks off and moves through the bloodstream.
embryonic period (33.0K)  The second through eighth weeks of pregnancy.
enamel (22.0K)  A very hard material that covers the crown of the tooth.
enclosure (23.0K)  Materials that are included in the same envelope as the primary letter.
endocardium (40.0K)  The innermost layer of the heart.
endochondral (23.0K)  A type of ossification in which bones start out as cartilage models.
endocrine (18.0K)  A gland that secretes its products directly into tissue, fluid, or blood.
endoderm (18.0K)  The primary germ layer that gives rise to epithelial tissues only.
endolymph (16.0K)  A fluid in the inner ear. When this fluid moves,it activates hearing and equilibrium receptors.
endometriosis (31.0K)  A condition in which tissues that make up the lining of the uterus grow outside the uterus.
endometrium (22.0K)  The innermost layer of the uterus. It undergoes significant changes during the menstrual cycle.
endomysium (30.0K)  A connective tissue covering that surrounds individual muscle cells.
endosteum (32.0K)  A membrane that lines the medullary cavity and the holes of spongy bone.
enzyme immunoassay EIA (49.0K)  The detection of substances by immunological methods. This method involves an antigen, an antibody specific for the antigen, and a second antibody conjugated to an enzyme.
enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay ELISA test (102.0K)  A blood test that confirms the presence of antibodies developed by the body's immune system in response to an initial HIV infection.
eosinophil (29.0K)  A type of granular leukocyte that captures invading bacteria and antigen-antibody complexes through phagocytosis.
epicardium (27.0K)  The outermost layer of the wall of the heart. Also known as the visceral pericardium.
epidermis (22.0K)  The most superficial layer of the skin.
epididymis (27.0K)  An elongated structure attached to the back of the testes and in which sperm cells mature.
epididymitis (27.0K)  Inflammation of an epididymis.Most cases result from infection.
epiglottic cartilage (39.0K)  A cartilage of the larynx that forms the framework of the epiglottis.
epiglottis (17.0K)  The flaplike structure that closes off the larynx during swallowing.
epilepsy (18.0K)  A condition that occurs when parts of the brain receive a burst of electrical signals that disrupt normal brain function; also called seizures.
epimysium (21.0K)  A thin covering that is just deep to the fascia of a muscle. It surrounds the entire muscle.
epinephrine (18.0K)  An injectable medication used to treat anaphylaxis by causing vasoconstriction to increase blood pressure. A hormone secreted from the adrenal glands. It increases heart rate, breathing rate, and blood pressure.
epiphyseal disk (27.0K)  A plate of cartilage between the epiphysis and the diaphysis.
epiphysis (28.0K)  The expanded end of a long bone.
epistaxis (27.0K)  Nosebleed.
epithelial (39.0K)  A tissue type that lines the tubes, hollow organs, and cavities of the body.
erectile tissue (28.0K)  A highly specialized tissue located in the shaft of the penis. It fills with blood to achieve an erection.
erythroblastosis fetalis (43.0K)  A serious anemia that develops in a fetus with Rhpositive blood as a result of antibodies in an Rh-negative mother's body.
erythrocyte (22.0K)  Red blood cells.
erythrocyte sedimentation rate ESR (54.0K)  The rate at which red blood cells, the heaviest blood component, settle to the bottom of a blood sample.
erythropoietin (29.0K)  A hormone secreted by the kidney and is responsible for regulating the production of red blood cells.
esophageal hiatus (39.0K)  Hole in the diaphragm through which the esophagus passes.
estrogen (15.0K)  A female sex hormone;when produced during ovulation,estrogen causes a buildup of the lining of the uterus (womb) to prepare it for a possible pregnancy.
ethmoid (17.0K)  Bones located between the sphenoid and nasal bone that form part of the floor of the cranium.
etiologic agent (34.0K)  A living microorganism or its toxin that may cause human disease.
eversion (26.0K)  Turning the sole of the foot laterally.
excretion (19.0K)  The elimination of waste by a discharge; in drug metabolism, the manner in which a drug is eliminated from the body.
exocrine (18.0K)  A gland that secretes its product into a duct.
expendable item (43.0K)  An item that is used and must then be restocked; also known collectively as supplies. Contrast with durable item.
expiration (26.0K)  The process of breathing out; also called exhalation.
extension (22.0K)  An unbending or straightening movement of the two elements of a jointed body part.
external auditory canal (46.0K)  Canal that carries sound waves to the tympanic membrane;commonly called the ear canal.
extrinsic eye muscles (35.0K)  The skeletal muscles that move the eyeball.
facultative (27.0K)  Able to adapt to different conditions; in microbiology, able to grow in environments either with or without oxygen.
Fahrenheit (26.0K)  One of two common scales used for measuring temperature; measured in degrees Fahrenheit, or °F.
fallopian tubes (25.0K)  Tubes that extend from the uterus on each side and that open near an ovary.
fascia (26.0K)  A structure that covers entire skeletal muscles and separates them from each other.
fascicle (18.0K)  Sections of a muscle divided by connective tissue called perimysium.
febrile (13.0K)  Having a body temperature above one's normal range.
feces (16.0K)  Material found in the large intestine and made from leftover chyme. Faces are eventually eliminated through the anus.
femoral (44.0K)  Relating to the femur or thigh.
femur (26.0K)  The bone in the upper leg; commonly called the thigh bone.
fenestrated drape (26.0K)  A drape that has a round or slitlike opening that provides access to the surgical site.
fertilization (22.0K)  The process in which an egg unites with a sperm.
fetal period (29.0K)  A period that begins at week nine of pregnancy and continues through delivery of the offspring.
fiber (18.0K)  The tough, stringy part of vegetables and grains, which is not absorbed by the body but aids in a variety of bodily functions.
fibrinogen (33.0K)  A protein found in plasma that is important for blood clotting.
fibroid (19.0K)  A benign tumor in the uterus composed of fibrous tissue.
fibromyalgia (39.0K)  A condition that exhibits chronic pain primarily in joints, muscles, and tendons.
fibula (15.0K)  The lateral bone of the lower leg.
filtration (21.0K)  A process that separates substances into solutions by forcing them across a membrane.
fimbriae (24.0K)  Fringe-like structures that border the entrances of the fallopian tubes.
first morning urine specimen (33.0K)  A urine specimen that is collected after a night's sleep; contains greater concentrations of substances that collect over time than specimens taken during the day.
fixative (16.0K)  A solution sprayed on a slide immediately after the specimen is applied. It is used to preserve and hold the cells in place until a microscopic examination is performed.
flexion (19.0K)  A bending movement of the two elements of a jointed body part.
floater (14.0K)  A nonsterile assistant who is free to move about the room during surgery and attend to unsterile needs.
fluidotherapy (26.0K)  A technique for stimulating healing, particularly in the hands and feet, by placing the affected body part in a container of glass beads that are heated and agitated with hot air.
follicle (20.0K)  An accessory organ of the skin that is found in the dermis and the sites at which hairs emerge.
follicle stimulating hormone FSH (49.0K)  A hormone that in females stimulates the production of estrogen by the ovaries; in males, it stimulates sperm production.
follicular cells (28.0K)  Small cells contained in the primordial follicle along with a large cell called a primary oocyte.
folliculitis (28.0K)  Inflammation of the hair follicle.
fontanel (32.0K)  The soft spot in an infant's skull that consists of tough membranes that connect to incompletely developed bone.
food exchange (23.0K)  A unit of food in a particular food category that provides the same amounts of protein, fat, and carbohydrates as all other units of food in that category.
foramen magnum (22.0K)  The large hole in the occipital bone that allows the brain to connect to the spinal cord.
foramen ovale (27.0K)  A hole in the fetal heart between the right atrium and the left atrium.
forced vital capacity FVC (60.0K)  The greatest volume of air that a person is able to expel when performing rapid, forced expiration.
formalin (24.0K)  A dilute solution of formaldehyde used to preserve biological specimens.
fracture (14.0K)  Any break in a bone.
frontal (38.0K)  Anatomical term that refers to the plane that divides the body into anterior and posterior portions. Also called coronal.
full-block letter style (42.0K)  A letter format in which all lines begin flush left; also called block style.
functional resume (22.0K)  A résumé that highlights specialty areas of a person's accomplishments and strengths.
fungus (20.0K)  A eukaryotic organism that has a rigid cell wall at some stage in the life cycle.

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