Angina: Sudden chest pain beneath the sternum (breastbone) associated with a heart attack (myocardial infarction), often radiating down the left arm in male patients.
Assistive devices: Devices such as gait belts and walkers that are used when moving a patient.
Blood-borne pathogens: Pathogenic microorganisms present in blood and body fluids that can cause disease such as hepatitis B (HBV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
Cardiac arrhythmias: Irregularities in a person’s heart rate and/or rhythm.
Cerebrovascular attack (CVA): The medical term for what is commonly referred to as a “stroke,” caused by a lack of blood flow and oxygen to the brain.
FAST: An acronym used to remember the early signs of a stroke: Facial drooping, Arm weakness, Slurred speech, and Time (meaning the quicker the response, the better the outcome).
Heimlich maneuver: A procedure used for someone who is choking that uses abdominal thrusts to clear the airway so they can breathe.
Incontinence: A lack of voluntary control over urination or defecation.
Myocardial infarction (MI): The medical term for what is commonly referred to as a “heart attack,” caused by a lack of blood flow and oxygen to the heart.
Nonskid footwear: Shoes or socks with rubberized soles used to prevent falls.
PASS: An acronym for using a fire extinguisher that stands for the following:
- P: Pull the pin on the fire extinguisher.
- A: Aim the extinguisher nozzle at the base of the fire.
- S: Squeeze or press the handle.
- S: Sweep from side to side at the base of the flame until the fire appears to be out.
Personal protective equipment (PPE): Equipment used to prevent transmission of blood-borne pathogens and infection, including gloves, masks, goggles, gowns, and other types of protective equipment.
RACE: An acronym for responding to a fire that stands for the following:
- R: Rescue anyone in immediate danger from the fire if it doesn’t endanger your life.
- A: Activate the alarm by pulling the nearest fire alarm or calling 911.
- C: Contain the fire by closing all doors and windows.
- E: Extinguish the fire if it is small enough using a fire extinguisher and the PASS method. Evacuate patients and oneself if the fire cannot be extinguished.
Resident mentor: A resident who can answer questions and encourage interaction for a new resident recently admitted to a long-term care facility.
Seizure: A transient occurrence of signs and/or symptoms due to abnormal neuronal activity in the brain.
Sharps injury: A penetrating wound from a needle, scalpel, or other sharp object that may result in exposure to blood-borne pathogens.
Shortness of breath (SOB): Difficulty breathing or a feeling of not being able to catch one’s breath.
Skin breakdown: Damage to the skin due to common preventable causes like immobility and incontinence.
SPICES: An acronym that stands for observing the following aspects of well-being for older adults: Sleep, Problems eating, Incontinence, Confusion, Evidence of falls, and Skin breakdown.
Thrombolytic medication: Medication (such as tPA) used to dissolve clots in arteries.
Transient ischemic attack (TIA): A medical term for what is commonly referred to as a ministroke. A TIA is a temporary period of symptoms similar to those of a stroke that usually last only a few minutes and don’t cause permanent brain damage.
Work-related musculoskeletal symptoms (WRMS): Symptoms from musculoskeletal injuries experienced at work, such as lower back pain, that are attributed to manual handling of clients, heavy physical loads, frequent awkward positions, and repetitive movements.