How Good Is Your Nursing Vocabulary?

About this Quiz

To become a nurse, you'll need to get either an RN or LPN degree, and in order to do that, there are several exams that you need to take. You've always had a feeling that you could get through nursing school, so how about you try this quiz and see if you've got what it really takes. Let's find out together!

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1. A couple comes in thinking that the husband may be suffering from “sleep apnea.” What does that say?

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  1. He suffers from a breathing disorder
  2. He has a serious heart condition
Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder that is categorized by a person’s breathing being interrupted during sleep. When this happens, the brain and many of the organs may not be getting enough oxygen. There are two types of sleep apnea; obstructive and central.
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2. Which of the following numbers accompanies the systolic numbers in a blood pressure reading?

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  1. Diastolic
  2. Synantolic
The diastolic pressure corresponds to the bottom number on the blood pressure reading. It is the pressure in the arteries while the heart rests in between beat. During this time, the heart fills with blood.
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3. You’re asked to send a patient’s sample for urinalysis. What kind of sample are you dealing with?

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  1. Urine
  2. Blood
A urinalysis is defined as the analysis of urine by either (or a combination of) physical, chemical, and microscopically means. These tests are conducted in order to assess the presence of disease, drugs, etc.
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4. If you are checking to see if a person’s pupil is responding to a stimulus (light), you are testing its ____________.

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  1. Reactivity
  2. Interpupillary distance
Testing the pupils’ reactivity to light can provide important diagnostic information about a patient’s intracranial pressure. Shining a light into the eye causes the pupils to constrict, allowing less light in. Lower light intensity causes the pupil to dilate, allowing more light inside.
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5. What is a chronic disease?

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  1. A disease that persists for a short duration
  2. A disease that persists for a long time
According to the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, a chronic disease is one that lasts for 3 or more months and can get worse over time. Generally, they cannot be prevented by vaccines or cured by using medication — for example, diabetes, heart disease, different cancers.
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6. The attending physician asks you to take care of an abscess. What will you be taking care of?

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  1. A swollen area containing pus
  2. A swollen area containing blood
An abscess is a local accumulation of pus that can occur anywhere in the body. It is usually confined to a specific place and is most commonly caused by bacterial infections.
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7. Which of the following diseases is not a hereditary disease?

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  1. Cystic Fibrosis
  2. Influenza
A hereditary disease is one that is passed down from one generation to another (inherited genetically). This is done through defective genes passed on from parent to offspring. Some examples include cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia, and hemophilia.
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8. The doctor asks the patient to lie flat on their stomach. What position were they just asked to adopt?

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  1. Prone
  2. Reflux
In anatomy, prone position is adopted when a person is lying on their stomach (lying face down). The opposite position, supine, means that they are facing up.
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9. Ten children come in from a local kindergarten class complaining of “nits.” What does it mean?

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  1. They ate too much food
  2. They have a parasitic infection
Nits is a term used to describe the eggs or young form of a louse, specifically of head louse, which can be attached to human hair. It is very common in children between the ages of 3 and 11 years old and is often spread through contact. It is also used to refer to other parasitic insects.
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10. What is an ulcer?

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  1. A break in the skin or mucous membrane
  2. A pus-filled sore
An ulcer is a break in the skin or mucous membrane, causing the loss of surface tissues and the disintegration/destruction of the surfaces epithelial layer. They can be caused by injury, infection, or disease and are often slow to heal.
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11. Which of these diseases is the focus of oncology?

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  1. Cancer
  2. Heart attack
Oncology is the branch of medicine devoted to the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. There are several branches, medical oncology, radiation oncology, and surgical oncology.
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12. In medicine, “voiding” is defined as _______________.

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  1. The elimination of food from the stomach
  2. The elimination of urine from the bladder
Voiding can be defined as the discharge of waste matter from the body. Most commonly, it is used to refer to urinating, but can also be used to refer to defecation.
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13. What does the acronym CPR stand for?

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  1. Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation
  2. Cardio Phlebotomy Recuperation
The acronym CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation. It is an emergency lifesaving technique that is performed when the heart stops beating. Beginning this procedure can double to triple the chances of survival after cardiac arrest.
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14. A person whose heart rate is more than 100 beats per minute is considered to be ___________.

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  1. Bradycardia
  2. Tachycardia
Tachycardia is a condition whereby the heart beats more than 100 times per minute. A heart rate of more than 100 beats per minute is considered too fast, and it is a common type of rhythm disorder or arrhythmia.
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15. What does it mean to metastasize?

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  1. The spread (of a cancer) to other sites in the body
  2. The movement of a pathogen in the body
To metastasize is to spread to other parts of the body by either the blood or lymphatic vessels. It is usually used to describe cancer cells or tumors. The cells that metastasize can form secondary tumors.
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16. Which of the following is a type of tube that can be inserted into the body?

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  1. Centromere
  2. Catheter
A catheter is a flexible tube that is inserted through narrow openings into a body cavity for the removal of fluid. One example is a urinary catheter, which helps in draining urine from the bladder.
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17. If a patient is not awake, it means that they are ________.

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  1. Unconscious
  2. Conscious
A person who is unconscious is in the state of not being awake and usually not aware of the things going on around them.
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18. This term is defined as “the percentage of hemoglobin binding sites in the blood stream occupied by oxygen." What is it?

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  1. Saturation
  2. Sensitivity
Oxygen saturation, often called “sats” for short, is a measure of the percentage of hemoglobin binding sites in the blood which are occupied by oxygen. A pulse oximeter is used to indicate oxygen saturation.
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19. If a medication is administered to a patient, then it has _____________.

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  1. Been given them
  2. Been taken away from them
To administer something is to dispense or apply (something). If a medication is administered to a patient, it is given to them.
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20. Issues involving the cardiovascular system often involve which of the following organs?

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  1. Adrenal glands, thymus
  2. Heart, arteries, veins
The cardiovascular system, also called the circulatory system, consists of the heart and other vessels, arteries, veins, and capillaries. Blood in the circulatory system is pumped by the heart in a closed circuit.
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21. A patient comes to you to ask what a biopsy is. What do you say?

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  1. It is a sample of tissue taken from the body in order to examine it
  2. It is the removal of a diseased organ to prevent it from spreading
A biopsy is the removal of tissue from the body to be examined more closely. Biopsies are usually recommended in areas of the body which show signs of abnormality.
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22. Which of the following body systems uses the prefix neuro-?

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  1. Nervous
  2. Immune
The prefix neuro- is used to refer to nerves or the nervous system.
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23. Hepatitis is the inflammation of which of the following organs?

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  1. Liver
  2. Kidney
Hepatitis is the inflammation of the liver. It can be caused by both infectious (viral) noninfectious (medication) agents. In some cases, it can be self-limiting and run its course, but in others, it can progress to fibrosis, causes serious damage to the liver.
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24. Which of the following is not a real blood type?

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  1. A+
  2. C+
There are four main blood groups include A, B, AB, and O. Each of the four groups can then be categorized into RhD (Rhesus) positive and RhD negative (A+, A-). A person’s blood group is determined by the genes inherited from their parent.
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25. Which of these terms refers to low blood pressure?

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  1. Hypertension
  2. Hypotension
Hypotension is the medical term for low blood pressure, typically less than 90/60. The exact cause is not always clear and is associated with several conditions, including pregnancy, heart failure, and prescription medication.
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26. What do neonatal nurses specialize in?

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  1. The care of newborns
  2. The care of the elderly
Neonatal nursing is a subspecialty of nursing focused on caring for newborn infants. It is mainly focused on infants who experience issues shortly after birth.
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27. Vertigo often causes ____________.

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  1. Drowsiness
  2. Dizziness
Vertigo is the feeling that either you or your environment is spinning. Healthcare professionals attribute it to issues involving the balance centers of the inner ear and brain.
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28. What kind of care does immunization fall under?

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  1. Restorative
  2. Preventative
Preventative care is any medical service that defends against different health emergencies. It includes immunization, allergy medication, and immunization.
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29. Which of the following symptoms are associated with epilepsy?

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  1. Seizures and convulsions
  2. Decreased heart rate
Epilepsy is a chronic disorder characterized by recurrent unprovoked seizures. It is a central nervous system disorder in which electrical brain activity becomes abnormal.
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30. The acronym “IV” means ___________.

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  1. Intravenous
  2. Invasive
“IV” is an acronym that means intravenous. It is a route of administration used to deliver fluids into a vein.
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31. The doctor tells you that his patient is febrile. What does that mean?

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  1. He/she is forgetful
  2. He/she has a fever
A patient who is febrile either has or is showing symptoms of a fever. It is also characterized by a state of excitement or energy.
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32. Which of these is not a vital sign?

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  1. Respiration rate
  2. Blink (eye) rate
Vital signs are a group of medical measurements used to examine the body’s most basic functions. The main vital signs include body temperature, respiratory rate, heartbeat (pulse), and blood pressure.
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33. Medication administered in the nasal cavity is put into the…

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  1. Nose
  2. Neck
The nasal cavity refers to the inside of the nose. It is lined by a mucous membrane that helps to keep the nose moist. Some medications are administered intranasally, including sinus medication.
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34. Which of these body parts makes humans vertebrates?

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  1. Keratin
  2. Spine
A vertebrate is an animal that is distinguished by the possession of a backbone or spinal columns. They include mammals (humans), birds, and reptiles.
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35. What does the acronym “ECG” stand for?

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  1. Electrocardiogram
  2. Electrocrystalogram
An electrocardiogram abbreviated “ECG” is a machine used to measure the electrical activity and muscular function of the heart. It records the rhythm and activity on a moving strip of paper, which is then interpreted by a physician.
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36. Which of these conditions is a rare genetic disorder that results in the hair, skin, and eyes to have little to no color?

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  1. Vitiligo
  2. Albinism
Albinism is a group of genetic disorders that result in little to no color of the skin, hair, and eyes. It is due to reduced amounts of melanin pigment in these areas.
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37. You come across a nephrologist, which organ does the doctor focus on?

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  1. Lungs
  2. Kidney
A nephrologist is a medical doctor who specializes in treating and diagnosing conditions affecting the kidneys. The prefix “nephro-” refers to the kidneys or renal.
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38. What part of the body does arthritis affect?

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  1. The ligaments
  2. The joints
Arthritis is the swelling and tenderness of one or more joints. Some of the most common symptoms of arthritis include pain and stiffness of the joints. The most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
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39. Conjunctivitis is also known as this common eye infection.

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  1. Cataracts
  2. Pink eye
Pink eye, also known as conjunctivitis, is the inflammation or infection of the conjunctiva – the transparent membrane that covers the white part of the eyeball. When the small blood vessels become inflamed, they are more visible, giving a reddish or pink color to the eye.
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40. What is a fingerstick used to monitor?

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  1. Glucose
  2. Heart rate
A fingerstick is a procedure whereby the finger is pricked to obtain a small quantity of capillary blood to be tested. It was introduced over 30 years ago as a self-monitoring blood glucose tool.
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41. What is a sphygmomanometer is also known as?

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  1. Blood pressure cuff
  2. Temperature monitor
A sphygmomanometer, also called a blood pressure cuff, is an instrument used to measure blood pressure. It consists of an inflatable rubber cuff connected to a column of mercury next to a scale.
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42. Which of the following pieces of information is important when giving new medication to a patient?

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  1. Caloric intake
  2. Allergies
A drug allergy is an abnormal reaction of the immune system to medication. They are more likely to happen with certain groups of medications and usually result in hives, rash, or fever. It is important to find out whether the patient has any allergies to these medications before prescribing them.
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43. Can antibiotics be used to treat fungal infections?

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  1. No
  2. Yes
Antibiotics, also called antibacterial, are medications used to destroy or slow the growth of bacteria. They cannot be used to treat viral or fungal infections. Antivirals and antifungals are used to treat those pathogens.
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44. Which of the following words describes the body’s ability to defend itself against invading agents?

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  1. Exoneration
  2. Immunity
Immunity is the ability of an organism to defend against infections by either the use of antibodies or white blood cells.
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45. Which of the following hormones is important in the condition diabetes?

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  1. Testosterone
  2. Insulin
Diabetes is a disease that occurs when blood glucose levels are too high. Insulin, a hormone produced in the pancreas, helps glucose get into the cells to be used for energy. In a person with diabetes, insulin is either not produced at all or not used efficiently.
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46. What does the prefix “myo-” refer to?

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  1. Myoglobin
  2. Muscle
The prefix “myo-” means muscle, or relating to the muscle. For example, myocardial refers to something which relates to the muscular tissue of the heart.
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47. What is the name of the uniforms nurses wear?

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  1. Scrubs
  2. Overalls
Scrubs are a type of medical uniform characterized by a short-sleeved shirt and usually drawstring pants. Although they commonly worn by nurses, they can be worn by different medical personnel.
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48. When does a nurse analyze a client’s problems?

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  1. Evaluation
  2. Diagnosis
During a nursing assessment, information is gathered about the patient in order to evaluate the patients’ needs to help in diagnosing their conditions. Many factors are assessed, including their physiological, psychological, sociological, and spiritual status.
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49. Which organ is involved in gas exchange?

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  1. Lungs
  2. Liver
Gas exchange is the delivery of oxygen from the lungs to the bloodstream and the elimination of carbon dioxide from the bloodstream to the lungs. This process occurs in the lungs, between the alveoli and capillaries.
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50. A person with a BMI under 18.5 is classified as ________.

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  1. Overweight
  2. Underweight
The BMI (Body Mass Index) is used as a screening tool for overweight or obesity. It is calculated by dividing a person’s weight in kilograms by his/her height in meters squared. A BMI under 18.5 is considered to be underweight. Normal weight falls between 18.5 to 25. A person who is overweight is between 25 and 30, while over 30 is considered obese.
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51. Your patient has diabetes. The doctor is worried that she has "hypoglycaemia," which you know means:

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  1. Low Blood Sugar
  2. Chronic Migraines
When your blood sugar (blood glucose level) drops below 4mmol/L, you've got Hypoglycaemia. If it happens to you, you may have a hard time concentrating on everyday things. Under no circumstances should you drive or operate machinery.
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52. After an operation, the doctor tells you to test a patient's "ambulation." By this, she means:

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  1. To see how well he can walk.
  2. To test his heart rate.
Ambulation is a fancy word for walking. It's also a technique of postoperative care in which a patient gets out of bed and engages in light activity.
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53. If you are giving a patient 'palliative care,' then:

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  1. You have your patient hooked up to an IV.
  2. You are supporting a dying patient, but not curing their illness.
Palliative care means supporting a dying patient up until death, but not trying to cure his or her illness. It often includes managing a patient's pain, as well as offering psychological, social and spiritual support.
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54. A patient recovering from a broken hip enters the hospital. You send them to:

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  1. The Orthopaedic Clinic
  2. Neurology
In the Orthopaedic Clinic, doctors treat patients with bone problems, including: infections, sports injuries, broken bones, joint problems, congenital conditions, degenerative conditions, and bone tumors.
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55. A doctor directs you to keep track of how much apple juice your patient drinks. You do so using:

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  1. The Fluid Balance Chart
  2. The Patient's Surgical History Chart
A fluid balance chart is a chart which shows the fluid intake and the output of a patient.
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56. Where would you take a patient for an "angiogram"?

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  1. The Burn Center
  2. The X-Ray or Radiology Department
An angiogram is a type of X-ray that uses a dye to make the blood vessels visible. A coronary angiogram, for example, is used in the diagnosis of Coronary Artery Disease.
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57. When a patient calls you, they use a button called a:

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  1. That Red Thing
  2. Nurse Call
Hospitals install buttons (usually red), near hospital bed, within a patient's reach. These are called 'nurse calls.'
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58. An "antiemetic" is a medication that:

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  1. Is given to patients who are dying.
  2. Stops a patient from vomiting or feeling sick.
Antiemetics are a group of drugs used to treat symptoms of nausea and vomiting. Perhaps you've heard of Pepto Bismol? It's an over-the-counter antiemetic.
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59. When would you send someone to the Coronary Care Unit?

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  1. When they are pregnant.
  2. When they are recovering from a heart attack.
The Coronary Care Unit is a hospital ward which specializes in the care of patients with heart problems.
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60. The bodily function which encourages a person to swallow food or fluids in the mouth is:

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  1. A Swallow Reflex
  2. A Deep Tendon Reflex
You might test someone's swallow reflex to see if he or she has dysphagia, otherwise known as trouble swallowing. This condition can be brought on by a stroke, dental problems, or mouth sores.
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61. The doctor directs you to use a "tympanic thermometer," which goes in the patient's:

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  1. Forehead
  2. Ear
Tympanic thermometers are inserted into the patient's ear canal, which ends at the 'tympanic membrane.' These thermometers measure a patient's temperature by way of an infrared ray.
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62. What is "dead tissue"?

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  1. Cells which die because they don’t have a blood supply.
  2. A tissue paper used to treat bad burns.
Dead tissue, often called "necrotic" tissue, is a group of cells that can't survive because blood can't reach them. During recovery from a wound, dead tissue is often dangerous, because it can hamper the ability of a body to develop new skin.
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63. A synonym for pain relieving medication is:

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  1. Analgesia
  2. Antimalarial Drugs
Analgesia is the medical term for any medication that is designed to reduce pain without putting you to sleep or making you lose consciousness. Ibuprofen and Tylenol, for example, are analgesics.
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64. "Gestational diabetes" can only occur during:

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  1. Men
  2. Pregnancy
Gestational diabetes, which starts during pregnancy, usually disappears after giving birth. It is most common among women in their second or third trimesters.
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65. When the doctor asks you to prepare your patient for a "tonsillectomy," you know that she will:

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  1. Amputate the patient's arm.
  2. Surgically remove the patient's tonsils.
The surgical removal of the tonsils, or a tonsillectomy, was once a common procedure designed to treat tonsillitis.
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66. Where is the "larynx"?

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  1. The Neck
  2. The Lungs
Your larynx, the voice box that produces sound, is located in your neck.
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67. An "anticoagulant" is used to:

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  1. As A Muscle Relaxer
  2. Prevent Blood From Clotting
Used to prevent blood from clotting, anticoagulants - popularly known as blood thinners - are often used to treat pulmonary embolisms.
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68. If a patient has "comorbidities," he has:

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  1. Hallucinations
  2. Two Or More Diseases At The Same Time
Comorbidities, the condition of having more than one disease at the same time. They often coexist or relate to a primary disease, but also stand on their own as a specific disease.
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69. Bradypnoea is:

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  1. Abnormally Slow Breathing
  2. Premature Birth
The condition of breathing at abnormally slow rates, otherwise known as "bradypnoea," can be induced by cardiac problems, drugs, and hormonal imbalances.
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70. When the doctor talks to you about "venodilation," they are referring to:

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  1. The Stretching Of The Veins
  2. An Abnormally Big Brain
Venodilation, the stretching of the veins, is potentially dangerous as it can provoke circulatory collapse.
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