A Fun Way For Caregivers To Learn Their Medical Terminology & Abbreviations

I have been a home health aide and CENA for over eight years and I still find myself needing to look up abbreviations and medical terminology that I don’t know. Learning is ALWAYS a process and not an event. Even if you have passed medical abbreviation tests before it is a good idea to stay fresh on the information.

If you are looking for a fun way to learn your abbreviations and medical terminology this is the perfect place for you. Take both of the below quizzes and test your med term knowledge!

If you are not ready to take the quiz yet feel free to go through the flash cards so you can learn them:

Medical Terminology Flash Cards
Medical Abbreviations Flash Cards

Medical Terminology Quiz

Medical Abbreviations Quiz

Medical Terminology Terms & Definitions For Nurse Aides



Abdomen Area between the chest and pelvis
Abduction Moving arm or leg away from the body
AROM Resident can do own range of motion
Adduction Moving arm or leg toward the center of the body
Advanced directive A written statement expressing person’s wishes in regards to medical treatment
Angina Chest pain when heart has decreased oxygen levels
Antibody Moleculres produced by cells to fights disease
Antiseptic Free from bacteria and germs
Aorta Large blood vessel that carries blood and oxygen away from heart
Aphasia Loss of ability to speak and understand speech
Apical pulse Obtaining a pulse by using a stethoscope placed over the heart
Arteriosclerosis or Atherosclerosis Thickening of blood vessels walls caused by calcium deposits which results in decreased elasticity and blood flow
Artery Blood vessel that carries blood away from the heart
Asepsis Free from disease causing organisms
Aspirate Inhaling food or fluid into lungs
Axillary Armpit area
Cataract Clouding of the lens of the eye
Clean catch urine specimen The process of obtaining a urine sample during the middle of urinary stream
Clinitest Measurement of glucose in urine
Contracture Shortening of a muscle due to spasm, scarring or paralysis
Cueing Reminding or prompting
Cyanosis Blue or gray color on nail bed or lips due to lack of oxygen in the blood
Dangling position Client sits with legs over the side of the bed
Dementia Impaired mental and intellectual function
Diastolic blood pressure The pressure in the blood vessels when the heart relaxes between contractions; The bottom number on blood pressure reading
Draw sheet Small sheet placed across the middle of the bed, over the bottom sheet
Dyspnea Difficulty breathing
Edema Swelling as a result of fluid retention
Embolus A blood clot that lodges in a blood vessel causing a blockage
Emesis basin Small basin into which a client can vomit or spit
Epiglottis Small, thin structure above the glottis that prevents food and fluid from going into the larynx
Esophagus Tube for passage of food that goes from the throat into the stomach
Flatus Gas expelled from digestive tract
Foley Catheter Catheter inserted into the bladder to drain urine
Foot drop Shortening of the heel cord resulting in decreased length of the calf muscle
Force fluids Encouraging client to drink fluids
Fowler’s position Sitting in bed position with head of the bed at 45 degrees
Fracture pan Small bedpan that you insert from the front for clients that have a difficult time moving
Gangrene Necrosis or death of tissue due to poor circulation
Graduate Graduated cylinder
Hand roll Roll put in a client’s hand to prevent hand contraction
Health care directives Decisions in regards to end of life issues when client can make them
Hemiparesis The loss of feeling on one side of the body
Hemiplegia Paralysis of one side of the body
Hemorrage Excessive blood loss
Hemorrhoid An enlarged vein in the rectum that causes pain and bleeding
Hepatitis Inflammation of the liver
Homeostasis Balance of bodily functions within normal limits
Impaction Very hard stool inside the rectum
Indwelling catheter A long tube inserted into the bladder in order to drain urine
Intake and output (I&O) Tracking the amount of fluid taken in and excreted out
Inspiration Breathing in air
Integument Skin
Logroll Method of turning a client to one side while keeping their head and back in a straight line
Meatus The opening from the exterior of the body into the urinary tract
Medical asepsis Techniques and procedures to decrease the spread of pathogens
Metastasis The spread of cancer throughout the body
Nephron Filtering unit of kidney
Peristalsis Churning motion that pushes food through the digestive tract
Sputum Mucus that has come up from the lungs
Thrombus Blood clot
Transient ischemic attack (TIA) Decreased blood flow to the brain for a limited amount of time
Ureters Tubes that go from the kidneys to the bladder
Validation therapy A type of therapy of accepting thoughts and encouraging communication
Ventilate Breathing into the airway of a person who is not breathing
Veins Blood vessels that lead to heart and carry deoxygenated blood
Vomitus Substance that has come up from stomach
Wound drainage Fluid or substance that comes from open area of skin

Medical Abbreviations for Nurse Aides

Abbreviations are frequently used in the health care industry. They provide an efficient method of health care professionals to communicate with each other in short hand form. It is recommended that you learn the below abbreviations because you will likely see many of them while working in the field.



ac before meals
ADL activities of daily living
AM morning
amb ambulatory
amt amount
bid twice a day
BM bowel movement
BP blood pressure
BRP bathroom privileges
C or dash above the c with
CA cancer or calcium
cath catheter
cc cubic centimeter
dc discontinue
dx diagnosis
GI gastrointestinal
h(hr) hour
H2O water
HS(hs) hours of sleep
I&O intake and output
IV intravenous
noc night
NPO nothing by mouth
OT occupational therapy
pc after meals
PM after noon
po by mouth
prn when necessary
Pt physical therapist
q every
qd everyday
qh everyhour
q2h,q3h,etc every 2 hours, every 3 hours, and so on
qid four times a day
qod every other day
R rectal temp, respiration,right
ROM range of motion
S without
SOB shortness of breath
Spec specimen
SSE soapsuds enema
stat at once, immediately
tid three times a day
TPR temperature, pulse and respirations
VS vital signs
w/c wheelchair
wt weight
a before
ad lib as desired
a.s.a.p. as soon as possible
ax axilla
B/P or BP blood pressure
BSC bedside commode
CHF Congestive Heart Failure
CVA Cererovascular accident
CV Cardiovascular
FF force fluids
fx fracture
G/C geri chair
GU genitourinary
H.O.B. head of bed
H.O.H. hard of hearing
HTN hypertension
MI myocardial infarction (heart attack)
R.O. Reality Orientation
Rx prescription
S.T. Speech Therapy
T.I.A. Transient ischemic attack
T.W.E. Tap water enema
Tx Treatment
5 cc  = 1 ts. (teaspoon)
15 cc  = 1 T (tablespoon)
30 cc  = 1 ounce (oz. or 2T)

2 Responses

  1. Yogesh Singh says:

    Informative article, thanks for sharing valuable content.
    keep writing…:)

  2. John says:

    Nice article