Activity Home Teacher's Guide Glossary Credit & Thanks


Adderall – an amphetamine that stimulates the central nervous system and may be habit forming. It is prescribed to treat narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Addiction - repetitive behavior that gives short term gratification but has long term negative consequences. Typical signs of addiction include poor control or lack of control over substances or behavior, anxiety and obsession with the substance or behavior, continued use despite the negative consequences, and denial that there is any problem.

Amphetamines - Amphetamines are a group of drugs called central nervous system (CNS) stimulants. Medications containing amphetamines are prescribed for narcolepsy, obesity, and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

Betadine - a povidone-iodine solution used in homes and hospitals to treat open skin wounds, abrasions and surgical wounds to reduce a broad spectrum of pathogens and bacteria that potentially can cause skin infections.

Blood Pressure - the pressure of the blood against the walls of the blood vessels as it circulates. A normal blood pressure for an adult human is 120/80 where the first number is the systolic pressure and the second is the diastolic pressure. This reading is sometimes taken by medical personnel as a quick indicator of overall health. Long term blood pressure readings are taken and recorded by medical personnel as a means of evaluating long term health and changes that might result from illnesses, aging, or ongoing medical treatments.

Cannula - a thin tube inserted into a vein or body cavity to administer medicine, drain off fluid, or insert a surgical instrument

Carotid - either of the two key arteries located in the front of the neck, through which blood from the heart goes to the brain. The carotids are also points from which pulses are taken and can even be points from which blood pressure is taken or IV lines inserted.

CT scan - or CAT scan, Computed Axial Tomography uses X-ray technology to take multiple cross-sectional views of the inside of the body which result in clearer images of organs, bone, soft tissue and blood vessels.

Deformity - medical personnel use this term to refer to an acquired or inherited distortion or blemish of a body part or organ.

ECG - Electrocardiography is a measure of the electrical activity of the heart over a period of time, as detected by electrodes attached to the skin and recorded by a machine that produces a recording called an electrocardiogram (also ECG or EKG). An ECG is used to measure the rate and regularity of heartbeats, as well as the size and position of the chambers, the presence of any damage to the heart, and the effects of drugs or devices on the heart.

EMS - Emergency Medical Service, a network of services and personnel trained in the rescue, stabilization, transportation, and advanced treatment of traumatic or medical emergencies.

EMTs - Emergency Medical Technician, a person trained to give emergency medical care at the scene of an accident or in an ambulance transporting critical patients.

FAST - Focused Assessment with Sonography for Trama, which is a series of ultrasound readings to check for internal bleeding or injuries to the heart and major organs after a traumatic injury. Emergency surgery would be indicated if bleeding were found.

Foley Catheter - A hollow flexible tube that is inserted into a body cavity, duct, or vessel to allow the passage of fluids. A common use of the Foley catheter is to drain urine from the bladder during surgical procedures or when the patient is sedated.

Intubation - inserting a hollow tube into a body canal or hollow organ. Endotracheal intubation involves putting a tube down a patient’s throat to open or maintain an airway and assist with respiration.

IV - intravenous, which indicates a device that is used to administer fluids directly into a patient’s veins, or the method by which the fluid or medication is administered.

Glasgow Coma Scale - or GCS, is a neurological scale that is a reliable, objective way of recording the conscious state of a patient for initial as well as subsequent assessment. A patient is assessed and the resulting points give a patient score between 3 (deep unconsciousness) and 15 (full consciousness).

Laceration - a deep cut or tear of the skin.

Log roll - a method of turning a horizontal patient from one side to the other or completely over without bending the spine. The arms of the patient are folded across the chest, and the legs are extended.

Overdose - too large a dose or too many small doses of a medication in a short period of time.

Oxycodone - a synthetic opioid used to control pain. Its effects are similar to heroin or morphine and may become habit-forming over time.

Paralytic - a medication that causes temporary paralysis of the patient. A paralytic is often administered prior to surgical procedures to prevent the patient from moving or to prevent reflex reactions.

Prescribe - to authorize the use of something, particularly by a doctor to a patient via a written document.

Prescription - an instruction written by a medical practitioner that authorizes a patient to be provided a medicine or treatment.

Prolactin - a hormone that stimulates lactation in mammals and is also of some use in diagnosing epileptic seizures. Prolactin levels usually rise following an epileptic seizure.

Sedative - a medication administered for its calming or sleep-inducing effect.

Seizure - a sudden onset of spasms or convulsions such as in an epileptic attack.

Splint - a rigid material used to immobilize and/or set a broken bone.

Stethoscope - a medical instrument used to listen to someone's heart or breathing, typically having a small disk-shaped resonator that is placed against the chest and two tubes connected to earpieces.